It’s Friday, so how about a round-up? We’ll start with books because we always start with books around here!
I’ve written extensively before about Bernard Cornwell’s fabulous Saxon saga (Reader’s Digest version: funny, awesome battle scenes, great historical detail) and all that applies to his latest installment, The Empty Throne. Does Cornwell have a formula? Yes. But is it a great formula? It is. If you like British history in general or non-romancey historical fiction in particular, you’ll like Cornwell’s offerings. I wouldn’t say this book moved the ball very far down the series field, but it was worth it nonetheless.
If you’ve read Meyer’s other books (Cinder, Cress, Scarlet) you’re going to read Fairest no matter what I say, so I won’t bother to dissuade you. But it’s a disappointment. We already knew Levana was the evil stepmother character, but I was hoping this prequel would give me some reason to like her. Nope, she’s just evil. I guess that’s part of the fairytale trope, but since we also don’t learn anything new about the overall storyline from this book, it seemed like a waste. I also didn’t think that the Snow White frame came through very strongly, and the story was darker and less like something I’d let a kid read. Fortunately it’s short and you can tear through it quickly.
Good Cheap Eats: Everyday Dinners and Fantastic Feasts for 0 or Less is a solid cookbook from Jessica Fisher, combining fresh, real food ingredients with tips for saving money on your grocery budget. If you’ve done any delving into those topics not much of this will be new (although I did get some good tips!) but the recipes are good for getting ideas and branching out, which I needed. I did find that I had to double most of them to fit my family, and since we tend to be a protein + vegetables family rather than a carbohydrates + meat-as-condiment family not all of the ideas were a good fit. But I tried several things and got great results every time, so I’d recommend this cookbook as a versatile and helpful resource.
I wanted to look into adrenal fatigue after reading about it on Crystal’s blog, so I picked up Tired of Being Tired since the library had it. I have some of the symptoms listed, and felt like lots of the advice was good (cut sugar, reduce caffeine, sleep more, don’t over-exercise) but some of it was flat out weird. When the rationale for using some sort of magnet therapy is that Cleopatra wore a magnet on her forehead to reduce signs of aging, you’ve lost me. I mean, even if Cleopatra did wear a magnet on her head, I think the asp got her before we could really draw anti-aging conclusions, right? If you can take the good and leave the weird, this book might be a good choice. Otherwise, go forth and do the good you know you ought to do anyway.
1) It’s always good to have a book on your phone. I got stuck in Costco waiting for a pizza for 35 minutes (payback for trying to save time making dinner, I guess) and scrambled until finally found a library download about Queen Victoria. I wish I had had something preloaded!
2) Jelly beans aren’t breakfast. I try to get breakfast together in time to send my husband out the door with something to eat. The other day my Biblestudy/exercise/shower routine got delayed and he had to leave hungry. “It turned out ok, though,” he reported. “Someone brought in jelly beans.” #notbreakfast #nicetry
3) Small tweaks matter. We dropped cello lessons and now all three kids take piano, back-to-back lessons, all at one time and in one location. You wouldn’t think this would make a huge difference in my life but it has. Driving to one less thing and having an entire hour to read a book while the kids are having lessons feels amazing. Don’t underestimate the power of a small change.
1) Manners matter. I’m not talking about which fork to use when, but basic courtesy like speaking politely, not making comments about someone’s personal appearance, and responding to communication in a timely manner. Is it the internet that’s squashing basic courtesy? Because it feels like unkindness and disrespect when you’re on the receiving end of bad manners, as I have been several times this week.
2) Jillian still works. I went back to the 30 Day Shred and Level 3 still brings it. I can barely walk up the stairs. But in a good way.
A Bagel in a Pear Tree
The weather turned nicer here, so we’ve been out taking walks. One of our neighbors hung a bagel in the pear tree in their front yard. We assume it’s to attract birds, but so far it just looks odd and kind of soggy. The kids wanted to know if we could hang assorted food items in our trees, but I said no. Probably a missed educational moment of some sort, but oh well.
How was your week?
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