July 20, 2012

On the Nightstand

photo credit
There is nothing like escaping into a good book. You can travel anywhere, learn about anything and explore the universe, right from your comfy bed. Now we're talking!

I remember my mother's nightstand being cluttered with tons of books she was reading. What do they say about turning into your mother? I'll take this trait from her, I love having books all over the place!

Let us share our love for good books with you! Grab your tea, enjoy this post and then go grab your favorite book!

What we are enjoying:

Mommy's Nightstand:

Style, Sex and Substance by Hallie Lord. 
I ordered this book recently and I couldn't wait to delve in! I have only read a few chapters and I love it. Hallie gathers ten or so women who talk about what a true authentic Catholic women looks like. They cover a range of topics such as the working mom, fashion, trying to fit a mold, sex and more. It's hilarious and uplifting at the same time! The women are real - and I feel as if Im having a heart-to-heart with them. I read a chapter every night and it's one of those books I can't wait to grab my tea, snuggle up and enjoy some conversation with the ladies. 

The Art of Fermentation by Sandor Katz. This is more of a reference book rather than a snuggle up in bed book, but it's a beauty don't you think? A friend recently bought this for me and I can't wait to delve in. It's basically a history book on fermented foods. I was never into science but this is really fun science in my mind! Or I guess you could call it art! We try to eat fermented foods and beverages for all the good bacteria. It's fascinating to learn that it has been going on forever and it's basically a lost art. Amazing.

Bringing it to The Table by Wendell Berry. I have only read one of Wedell's books and really enjoyed it. So I couldn't resist grabbing this one at the library to sneak a peak. Wendell writes beautifully about the art of family farms, I guess you could say. I think his writing is enchanting. These are essays he has written over the years, I can't wait to read them!

The Little Way of Saint Therese of Lisieux - John Nelson. This wonderful meditation book puts together daily meditations that draw from Scripture, St. Therese's writings and The Imitation of Christ. I LOVE this little book. It's short and perfect for a morning meditation. I have really grown in my spiritual life by reading St. Therese's writings. Her spirituallity entails doing small things for God with great love. It's something I can strive for, and these mediations help me to stay focused during the day. 

Backyard Livestock by Steven Thomas. I borrowed this book to research a little more about keeping chickens! *fingers crossed* Now I have to convince the landlord. :)  I like this one on keeping farm animals compared to the many others because it keeps it simple. It makes keeping chickens seem like something we can manage!

Hildegard's Healing Plants. One of my goals for this blog is to study and write about healing herbs. St. Hildegard of Bingen was a healer that lived in the 12th century. She wrote extensively on healing plants and remedies. In fact, this was the main reason I started the blog. Time for me to get refocused! If you interested in her, read this

Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Dr. Natasha-McBride. I pretty much always have this book out as a reference. I gotta hand it to being the best health book I have ever read.  It's an expensive book but worth every penny. It opened my eyes to the reasons why our gut health is so incredibly important to our well-being. Love it, love it, love it. Borrow it from the library if can - it's awesome!

Daddy's Nightstand:


The End of the Present World and the Mysteries of the Future Life by Fr. Charles Arminjon. My husband has a range of interest, eschatology being one of them. This book was one of St. Therese of the Child Jesus' favorite. I hear it's great!

Catholics and the New Age by Father Mitch Pacwa. Father has an incredible story of dabbling in the new age in college. He has done extensive research since and writes about the different influences and new age practices that are harmful. Fr. Mitch is a great writer and you can tell he is a very holy priest. 

The Glory of Christendom by Warren Carrol. My hubby is quite the history buff and is reading the third book in this series. He tells me about some of the interesting things he reads about Church history and politics. It's nice to have a little history lesson here and there - that I can understand! If it's not about food, it's a little too complicated for me!

Catholic Bible Dictionary by Scott Hahn. This has been an amazing reference for us while we read scripture. It can be pretty intimidating and hard to read the Old Testament if you don't have a clue what's going on! This book has helped us navigate God's word a little bit. Highly recommended!

Our Children's Nightstand:

Seven Silly Eaters by Mary Ann Hoberman. We could read this book over, and over and over! I even enjoy it that many times! The story is incredibly sweet with amazing illustrations to go along with it. We can't recommend this book enough - definitely a family favorite!

Jamberry by B. Degen. Berry season wouldn't be complete without this sweet book! Make sure to look it up at your library, it will bring you joy. We love the illustrations and silly rhymes.

Peter in Blueberry Land by Elsa Beskow. In honor of blueberries being in season we couldn't miss this one either! Having a son named Peter it was a must on our shelves. I could pour over the illustrations in this book too. We simply love everything by Elsa Beskow!

Only recently have we discovered beautiful children's books. We enjoy quality when it comes to our books  - so we have decided to foster the same love for quality books in our children. These books can be expensive though. I usually have an amazon wishlist of all the children's authors that I love and then keep my eyes peeled at thrift stores and garage sales. This is where we buy most of our books. We usually pay about 50 cents a book! I try to remember quality over quantity - it helps simplify our book shelves and encourages my children to love the good stuff!

I can hear my mother's voice in my head, "There are so many good books out there, why do you want to read this?" It was a bit annoying at the time when I wanted to read Harry Potter - but she encouraged me to read "The Lord of the Rings" instead, and I am so grateful for that!

Which children's books do you treasure? 

I'm always on the hunt for good books!

Don't forget to enter the giveaway for a good book!


  1. We have a favorite blueberry book too!
    "Blueberries for Sal" by Robert McCloskey. Pia loves the illustration at the beginning where the Mommy and little girl are going to pick blueberries and the one at the end where the Mommy and daughter are canning blueberries together.

    Sebastian's favorite is Cowardly Clyde by Bill Peet but that is such a boy book I don't know if Gianna would like it.

    1. I will have to check into Cowardly Clyde for Pete when he gets older. Thanks!

  2. Cassie just gave me this link! I've read the GAPS book on the recommendation of Amanda Truelove and two other household sisters...and I'm gearing up to start on the diet after August 20...Any suggestions?!

    1. I think I could write a whole post on my thoughts about the GAPS diet! I think I might actually, I have so many friends thinking about it. :) It's a great diet, just really hard! Good for you taking the leap!

  3. We love Jamberry and next on my nightstand is another collection of Wendall Berry (Bringing it to the Table is on the list too)! Seriously thought, we might be the same person ;) I really need to get a hand on a copy of S,S,&S too!

    P.S. Though I'd argue with your Mom about the merits of Harry Potter (and I'm a Tolkien fan too, it was a bedtime story book when I was kid!) Hayley @ Carrots for Michealmas just did a great post about why she'll be encouraging her children to read HP, you should check her out!

    1. p.s. "The Art of the Commonplace" by Berry is what I'll be diving into next!

    2. I will have to check out that post by Hayley - I have to admit it might take a bit to convince me! You will have to let me know how Wendell Berry's book is! I have only read "Hannah Coulter" and looooved it. Make sure to put that one on your list! :)

    3. I'll never say that HP is the height of literary form or anything close to it, but it is charming and captivating storytelling with strong characters who fail like a normal child and do not shy away from some of the scary realities of life (betrayal, loss, etc.). I also feel they show a great model for loyalty to family, and plus one of the main families is a "large family" who are truly rich in their love for each other and one of the characters store arcs is a great example of love and redemption, and I don't know a Catholic who doesn't love a redemption story! =)

    4. Good points. :) I enjoyed the two movies I saw so im sure I would enjoy the books as well. What I did hear about it (and I don't know if this is true or noe) is that they use real witchcraft spells in the books. In this case I do not really want my children reading it, have you heard that or know if it's true?

    5. Not at all, she butchers Latin to make up some words so there are "spells" but it's no different that running around shouting "abracadabra" and it'll get you about as far. As my husband says children with a strong religious life will not feel the pull to fill their lives with fictitious/"evil" religion/magic and so it could be used as a good discussion for what's real vs. imaginary (remember LOTR has plenty of witches and wizards too). There are characters who use their "magic" for good (defensive or benign "magic") and there are characters who use their "magic" for evil (offensive, hurtful or as the books call them "unpardonable") just like people use their natural abilities, talents and knowledge in real life.

      The way I think I'll handle that discussion in the future is that there are God-given talents and abilities, magic clearly isn't one of them (or our nuns, priest and saints could have used spells, etc.(miracles obviously being the except and NOT magic) therefore if magic is real then you should be very careful about the meaning you give to your words because it wouldn't be God's work you'd be doing. However words only have the meaning that we give them - if I believe "abracadabra" has the power to do something then I'm opening myself up to being used that way, and if I just believe it's only a nonsense word than that is all it will be. =D

      Future Librarian in Training Over and Out ;)

    6. Thanks for clearing all that up, Molly. It's good to know. I have definitely changed my mind about it, although Im still not sure about letting my kids read it. Who knows, we'll see when we get there! Thanks so much!


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