Books about Food:
Tedious because it’s very scientific, but it was informative and helpful. I learned that there is a broader category of non-celiac gluten intolerance that can evidence itself in a variety of ways, though it isn’t recognized yet by most general physicians.
I Quit Sugar
A really fun cookbook/challenge to eliminate sugar. I tried it for a few weeks and it was fun learning to eat other things than cereal in the morning. I really need to go back to this. My two biggest takeaways were eating oatmeal for brekky and a yummy recipe for coconut granola.
The Paleo Manifesto
An easy read, but not scientific enough to base a lifestyle off of. I really enjoyed reading about the non-food aspects of a paleo lifestyle, like barefoot running, which I did a lot of this summer.
Books about Food and France:
French Kids Eat Everything
I loved, loved, loved reading this. It was so fun reading about the author’s life in rural France and how she learned to adjust her and her children’s eating habits. There are a ton of really practical tips to improve your diet for adults and children. The most important fact I learned is that you can learn to like almost any food if you try it enough times – usually 8 or 9 times is enough.
I didn’t read very much of this, but I want to go back to it. It’s about a couple who lives between California and France, and shares recipes and styles of eating in both places. I tried the Lamb Stew which was delicious, and made me feel more French than ever before.
Books about Kids in France:
Bringing up Bebe
This is almost as good as French Kids Eat Everything, but I liked the story in the other book better. This book is less focused on eating and more on how to raise your kids in a French way. I totally want to implement all of her ideas when we have kids. I actually super can’t wait to have kids so I can just try French parenting, haha.
Bebe Day by Day
A shortened version of Bringing Up Bebe, simplified into 101 tips. I had Whit read some of it, and when we become pregnant one day I want him to read it all.
This was a cute story, but I don’t really remember much of it. Most of the Frenchy principles were repeats of what I learned in the other two books, and the story wasn’t as interesting as the other two ladies’.
Books about Kids Elsewhere:
How Eskimos Keep Their Babies Warm
I was really excited about reading this since discovering the Motherhood Around the World series from A Cup of Jo’s blog. It wasn’t quite as interesting as reading stories from those different women, particularly because it’s all based on one woman’s perspective. I didn’t really like the way the book was laid out either – she would talk about one place, but not get into the reasons why they parent differently until later in the chapter. And there was nothing about eskimos, sadly. I did learn that in Argentina kids stay awake until really late at night. I want kids who will do that, so we can take them out with us and not have to worry about a strict bedtime.
The Nanny Diaries
I watched the movie with my friend, and thought it was fascinating. Basically these two girls who have done a lot of nannying in New York City wrote this novel as a paradigm of how intense the nannying world is in Manhattan. The book follows the movie fairly closely but is even more extreme, actually. I would read a lot more books on this subject; it is amazing how these rich wives spend so little time with their poor sweet children – I don’t understand it, but their lives are so interesting.
Books for Children/Young Adults:
Babysitter’s Club Snowbound
This was my absolute favorite book to read in the winter when I was young. I think of it pretty much every year, so I finally bought it on Kindle and read it on my iphone when it snowed this winter. It was such a good blast from the past. I can’t wait to read it again.
Babysitter’s Club Winter Vacation
I love Snowbound so much I wanted to read another cozy winter children’s novel. This one wasn’t nearly as interesting, but I kept thinking of it this weekend when our youth group took a bus ride up to the Poconos on icy roads. It was a good way to pass the time, but I don’t think it would be worth reading again.
I had set this book out to read last summer so I could re-read it before the movie came out, but I searched high and low for it and couldn’t find it. After getting a trial of Kindle Unlimited and reading it on my phone, I found the hard copy. Oh well. I didn’t remember a lot from reading this book in seventh grade, but I did like it just as much as I did back then. It’s a fascinating take on a dystopian society. I was reading it the same time Whit was reading Brave New World, and it was kind of fun to bounce concepts off of each other. I still haven’t seen the movie though! Dieyah!
Little did I know that Lois Lowry had written three other books in the Giver series. Gathering Blue is the second, and it is set in a completely different dystopian society. I got really into this story, told from the perspective of a crippled girl who is gifted at weaving. Supposedly the third book is in another society, as is the fourth, which ties all of the stories together. I don’t know why I haven’t read Messenger and Son yet, I need to get on that!!
Serving with Eyes Wide Open
My boss let me borrow this, and I read it as a substitute for When Helping Hurts, because I still haven’t gotten around to reading that. I didn’t love it – there wasn’t a lot of entirely new concepts in the book, except for at the end when he talks about Cultural Intelligence. There are four stages that I really want to incorporate into Cru Summer Missions.
Marley & Me
This is one of my all-time favorite movies; I could probably watch it every day. I didn’t know if I would like the book because how much is there to say about a dog? But I was hooked! I loved learning things that weren’t in the movie (did you know Marley actually had a sort of mental disability, which explains why he was never able to be trained??), and I laughed out loud many times – which never happens for me.
Is Everyone Hanging out with Me?
Okay, I officially love Mindy Kaling. She is hilarious and I want to be her best friend. My favorite thing about this book was actually learning about comedy. It’s a completely new world to me, and very set apart from the rest of Hollywood. When Mindy was writing for the Office, she had a contract with NBC that ANY idea she came up with while brainstorming belonged to them. Crazy!
Lost in Translation
I guess this counts as a book that I read, haha. It’s an illustrated coffee table book that depicts words from other cultures that don’t have a translation in English. Some of my favorites are Boketto (Japanese): gazing vacantly into the distance without really thinking about anything specific, Komorebi (Japanese): the sunlight that filters through the leaves of the trees, Kiling (Tagalog): the feeling of butterflies in your stomach, usually when something romantic or cute takes place.
I set a goal on GoodReads to read ten books last year, and I made it through seventeen (French Roots doesn’t count because I only read a few pages)! I can’t wait to plow through some books this winter, I think I will finally start having time to read this week. 🙂 What were your favorite 2014 reads? Anything I should put on my list?