Leigh Ann just posted her current reading list over on her blog, and I thought that it was a good idea for me to do as well (yea, that makes me a copy cat). After all, as Dave Ramsey says, you will be the same person next year as you are today except for the books you read and the people you meet. (but as I typed that in on-line to search for the exact wording, it appears lots of folks have said something similar, so guess Dave might have picked it up somewhere himself)
So, here are some recent reads:
Son of Hamas by Mosab Hasan Yousef
This book is not something that I would generally pick up and read, but I had read on Megan’s blog that it was a good book. So, when I saw it placed out at the library, I checked it out. Turns out, I am very glad I read the biography because it opened my eyes to several things. It helped me to gain some perspective on how everyone believes him/herself to be right and justified, until something major changes and eyes are opened. In particular, Yousef fights as a Muslim and strives for success in the organization in Hamas, just like his father that founded the organization. There is then a shift and the story turns spy novel along with a Christian insight text, all being true and actual events. There are some very breathtaking moments as you read about jail break ins/outs and bombing, especially being they are all true in his life as a double agent. It also changed how I will interact with someone outside of my faith. Knowing how he was reached and loved amidst a highly Muslim lifestyle gives much insight on how to handle others.
Freakonomics By Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner
This was a happenstance grab at the library. I am, however, very glad I got it, for it is such a fun read. As most of you know, I am not a numbers person. Researching, on the other hand, is something I do enjoy. This takes random numbers and odd facts and brings them together in a way that is undeniably and accurately linked. The authors take a focus on why crack dealers live with their mothers, why we name our children what we do, sumo wrestlers rigging fights, and cheating teachers, just to name a few. I am so happy that I was not the one responsible for crunching the numbers to make this book function, but I am glad someone did, for it provides an opportunity to look at different sides and aspects to nearly everything. I like having alternate perspectives, and it has certainly changed how I will look at some things. The “hidden side of everything” approach is certainly true and I can not look at a real estate agent the same way after reading this text!
Calming the Family Storm By Gary McKay and Steven Maybell
Again, we have a library impulse pick up book. Turns out I am highly incited by the display books, especially being that I only get to browse the adult section as I pass through to the kiddo portion of the library :O). I shared so much of this book with Thomas, for there were portions that could benefit his work with clients. I learned a phrase from this book that will stick with me: (pardon me as I paraphrase) “It is not the Golden Rule we should employ ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.’ Instead, we should ‘do unto others as they would want done unto them’.” How true if that? For, if you have done any reading or learning on the Love Languages, you realize that you may want a gift but someone else really only wants an act of service. It is simply not enough to do as you would want, it is imperative to do as others would want. They writers do not write as Christian writers but the advice is still sound and there are spiritual elements. I actually skipped several portions of the text because they did not apply to my life in any way, such as a blended family, step-parents, ex-spouses, and things of the like. The portions I did read, however, were good, and I think anyone who has to ever deal with a toddler and the possible tantrums that can erupt, even from the best put together parents, can benefit from this text.
In Defense of Food by Michael Pollen
This is my most recent read. I actually picked this up at Barnes and Noble one day and started reading while the boys played at the train table. I put it back when I left the store and actually looked it up at the local library. I think this book is a must, and I have learned so much from it and clarified some other things I already knew. For instance, I learned some history on nutritionalism and how it has invaded our society as a health focus, as through Senator Mc Govern in 1977, which was neat. I learned a new word, orthorexia, which I wish I had known a few months back when I commented on some blogs and wrote this post, for it sums up in a clinical manner exactly what I wanted to say. The term is actually an unhealthy focus on healthy eating, which is being researched more in order to have it added into the DSM (my hubby’s ever constant manual!) as an eating disorder, right along side anorexia and bulimia. Pollen correlates this orthorexia, the overall “amount of time people spend worrying about nutrition and their overall health and happiness”, e.g.- The French, who I have heard the women don’t get fat. I *love* that this guy tells me I can eat bread, and milk, and beef! I have always felt these things were good things, and he confirms that they are, as long as they are in a certain form and state, which I most often abide by. He discusses Americans who are “overfed and undernurished,” how other cultures eat pastas and breads and live healthier lifestyles than us, all along not stressing over the thought of bread or how Japanese have lower heart disease rates despite smoking and high blood pressure thanks to the omega-3 in fish. All so interesting. He also makes me happy when he does not just say eat from the perimeter of the grocery store. That saying in itself drives me nuts. Instead, he clarifies so many things, which I have always said, but Pollen just does it much more effectively than I ever could. Example: hidden trash in the perimeter and some good things in the middle (like peanut butter, etc). I admit there are some things that I will change after reading this book, along with many things I feel even better about doing. Even though I will adopt his more comprehensive Great-Grandother philosophy of looking at most food, I do think I will keep goldfish in the house on which for my children to snack, as well as Dora yogurt, for at least it is colored with vegetables.
Up next on the list? Well, I actually have about 2o pages more on In Defense of Food to finish. After that, I am going to tackle Better Off, which I did not have at my public library, so I bought it with my SwagBucks off Amazon for $4, a.k.a- free. Ironic that a person that teaches for an on-line college would want to read a book about turning off all technology, but a girl can dream, can’t she? :O)
I’ll let you know how the book turns out.
What are YOU reading? Anything that I just can’t pass up, let me know. And in a manner of FYI, I read sooooo much fiction while in school, teaching, and grad school, I am in a little kick of non-fiction……..