In spite of its corny title, I found “Crunchy Cons” to be a thoughtful, consistent, and coherent examination of the phenomenon of conservatives who are actually…well, conservative. Although I don’t agree with all of Dreher’s conclusions, I found myself agreeing more often than not. I was particularly drawn to his arguments about what it really means to be in favor of “family values” and “the community” and the importance of using technology as a tool rather than becoming a tool of technology. Even if you think you would be turned off by the “crunchy” (ie, natural/organic/slowfood) side of this book, I would urge you to take a look at it. Dreher covers a wide range of topics in ways that might make you think, even if you disagree.
In major book news, two weeks ago I bit the bullet and paid $30 to join the Indianapolis library again as an out-of-county resident. Wow, was it worth it. For one thing, I save myself money buying books that wind up being duds. Not that “Homespun Gifts From the Heart” is a total dud, but it was not as good as I had expected it to be. Perhaps because my love language is acts of service, I like to make (or partially make) gifts a lot. I expected the book to have a lot of really unique ideas that I could use. What I found instead was that it covers a lot of ground I already thought of, and then the last half of the book is really simple labels you could make on your own computer for things. I guess if you are really starting from square one when it comes to homemade gifts, this book might help you, but I didn’t personally find anything new to use.
I’ve extolled the “How to Teach Your Baby” series before, but I had to mention this title from the group as particularly interesting. “How to Teach Your Baby to be Pysically Superb” sounds like the kind of book that really scary people read, but it’s not as bad as you might think. What I really liked was how the book went into detail about how children’s brains develop from birth to age six, and then maps different physical accomplishments that happen in each stage. The premise of the book is that you can help your baby/child to develop that part of his/her brain more completely if you help him/her develop the physical skills that go along with that phase of brain development. You could certainly take their ideas to a crazy extreme, but what I took away from it was a better sense of how brains work, and a good feeling that a lot of things we have done with Hannah just because they are fun, were also helping her brain to develop. Although I still feel guilty for not giving her enough tummy time.
Numbers, Psalms, Mark, Romans
“Baby Catcher: Chronicles of a Modern Midwife” by Peggy Vincent (thanks for the recommendation Kim F!)
“Small is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered” by E. F. Schumacher
“Guide to Childbirth” by Ina May Gaskin
“Shepherding a Child’s Heart” by Tedd Tripp
“Little House on the Prairie” by Laura Ingalls Wilder (to Hannah)
“Training Hearts, Teaching Minds” by Starr Meade (as a family)
Thanks to readers who have sent me recommendations – I am always looking for good books to read! Please keep the ideas coming!