New on the Stack in August 2015

Welcome to New on the Stack, where you can share the latest books you’ve added to your reading pile. I’d love for you to join us and add a link to your own post or instagram picture sharing your books! It’s a fun way to see what others will soon be reading, and get even more ideas of books to add to my “I want to read that!” list.New on the Stack button

New on the Stack in August 2015

Nonfiction

The Great BridgeThe Great Bridge: The Epic Story of the Building of the Brooklyn BridgeThe Great Bridge: The Epic Story of the Building of the Brooklyn Bridge by David McCullough by David McCullough
How did I get it: Borrowed it via audio from the library
Why did I get it: It’s one of the three picks for book club’s September retreat.

Treasuring Christ When Your Hands are FullTreasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full: Gospel Meditations for Busy MomsTreasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full: Gospel Meditations for Busy Moms by Gloria Furman by Gloria Furman
How did I get it: Borrowed it from the library.
Why did I get it: Heard good things about it.

Deconstructing PenguinsDeconstructing Penguins: Parents, Kids, and the Bond of ReadingDeconstructing Penguins: Parents, Kids, and the Bond of Reading by Lawrence and Nancy Goldstone by Lawrence and Nancy Goldstone
How did I get it: Borrowed it from the library.
Why did I get it: Working on a project, and it’s been on my TBR list for awhile.

How to Write ShortHow to Write Short: Word Craft for Fast TimesHow to Write Short: Word Craft for Fast Times by Roy Peter Clark by Roy Peter Clark
How did I get it: Borrowed it from the library.
Why did I get it: Because this is not something I’m good at. (obviously)

In a French KitchenIn a French Kitchen: Tales and Traditions of Everyday Home Cooking in FranceIn a French Kitchen: Tales and Traditions of Everyday Home Cooking in France by Susan Herrmann Loomis by Susan Herrmann Loomis
How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: Because I loved her previous memoir, On Rue Tatin: Living and Cooking in a French TownOn Rue Tatin: Living and Cooking in a French Town by Susan Herrmann Loomis

The Energy BusThe Energy Bus: 10 Rules to Fuel Your Life, Work, and Team with Positive EnergyThe Energy Bus: 10 Rules to Fuel Your Life, Work, and Team with Positive Energy by Jon Gordon by Jon Gordon
How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: My neighbor is running a book group in September discussing this book.

Girl Meets ChangeGirl Meets Change: Truths to Carry You through Life’s TransitionsGirl Meets Change: Truths to Carry You through Life's Transitions by Kristen Strong by Kristen Strong
How did I get it: Received a review copy from the publisher.
Why did I get it: It sounded intriguing.

Fiction

Wuthering HeightsWuthering HeightsWuthering Heights by Emily Bronte by Emily Bronte, read by Emma Messanger
How did I get it: Bought it from Audible.
Why did I get it: Whispersync made it a great deal.

Treasure IslandTreasure IslandTreasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson by Robert Louis Stevenson, narrated by Neil Hunt
How did I get it: Bought it from Audible.
Why did I get it: Whispersync made it a great deal.

Mansfield ParkMansfield ParkMansfield Park by Jane Austen, narrated by Wanda McCaddon by Jane Austen, narrated by Wanda McCaddon
How did I get it: Bought it from Audible.
Why did I get it: Whispersync made it a great deal.

Northanger AbbeyNorthanger AbbeyNorthanger Abbey by Jane Austen, narrated by Donada Peters by Jane Austen, narrated by Donada Peters
How did I get it: Bought it from Audible.
Why did I get it: Whispersync made it a great deal. Plus, it’s October’s selection for book club.

Dear Mr KnightlyDear Mr. Knightley: A NovelDear Mr. Knightley: A Novel by Katherine Reay by Katherine Reay
How did I get it: Borrowed it from the library.
Why did I get it: I enjoyed Daddy-Long-Legs, and wanted to read this modern adaptation of that story.

Rebel MechanicsRebel Mechanics: All is Fair in Love and RevolutionRebel Mechanics: All is Fair in Love and Revolution by Shanna Swendson by Shanna Swendson
How did I get it: Borrowed it from the library.
Why did I get it: Her Katie Chandler series was entertaining, and this one sounds similar to the Parasol Protectorate series which I love.

The MartianThe MartianThe Martian by Andy Weir by Andy Weir
How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: I’m a lemming.

Little WomenLittle WomenLittle Women (Puffin in Bloom) by Louisa May Alcott by Louisa May Alcott
How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: YAB&MC pick for September and I’d forgotten all about it. I’m not doing so well at participating in this book club.

Rules of CivilityRules of Civility: A NovelRules of Civility: A Novel by Amor Towles by Amor Towles
How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: It’s one of the three picks for book club’s September retreat.

When You Reach MeWhen You Reach MeWhen You Reach Me (Yearling Newbery) by Rebecca Stead by Rebecca Stead
How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: It’s one of the three picks for book club’s September retreat.

Something RottenSomething RottenSomething Rotten (Thursday Next Novels) by Jasper Fforde by Jasper Fforde
How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: It’s the next in the Thursday Next series.


“New on the Stack” Link-up Guidelines:

1. Share your posts or instagram pictures about the new-to-you books you added to your reading stack last month. They can be purchases, library books, ebooks, whatever it is you’ll be reading! Entries completely unrelated to this theme or linked to your homepage may be deleted.

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5. By linking up, you’re granting me permission to use and/or repost photographs from your linked post or Instagram. (Because on social media or in next month’s post, I hope to feature some of the books that catch my attention from this month.)

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Dear Mr. Knightly by Katherine Reay

Dear Mr KnightlyDear Mr. Knightley: A NovelDear Mr. Knightley: A Novel by Katherine Reay by Katherine Reay

Some mixed feelings towards this one. It’s a modern retelling of Jean Webster’s book Daddy-Long-LegsDaddy-Long-Legs by Jean Webster (reviewed last week), but that’s only mentioned in the questions for the author at the back of the book. It’d be very easy to miss otherwise if you didn’t already know the DLL connection.

In general, Reay does a nice job of modernizing the story. DLL was cute fluff, but Dear Mr. Knightly adds some grit to the tale, and gives it extra depth – it could work as a book club read, while I don’t think DLL really would. However, that modernization also ends up making the premise behind the story not work so well.

The writing is engaging, and despite knowing how it would end, I was still invested in the book and Sam that I stayed up way too late reading it. And while I side-eyed a few fairly minor plot points, overall I mostly enjoyed it.

I was surprised to find a bit more overt Christian content in it than I originally expected. It’s still a minor part of the story, so if you object to it, I don’t think there’s so much to put you off the book entirely. A couple of times it was a bit clunky in how it was integrated into the text, but it was still fairly minor in annoyance. (Typically I find it incredibly annoying when that sort of content is forced into a storyline, and that’s even when I agree with what they’re saying. This had two or three mildly eye-rolling moments). Halfway through the book it takes a turn and it became surprisingly moralistic in an unbelievable way.

Sam’s reaction at the end of the book was predictable if you know the original book, but still annoyed me. Spoiler alert! Highlight the area below if you don’t mind getting spoiled as to some events.

She’s spent most of the book telling half-truths if not outright lies, hiding information and herself, and then she gets angry when she discovers the identity of “Mr. Knightly”? It felt so hypocritical.

I enjoyed Reay’s writing, and actually enjoyed it the most when she veered away from the original plot lines. I’d happy read her second book, Lizzy and JaneLizzy and Jane by Katherine Reay, except for the cancer story-line. Instead I’m holding out for her third book, The Brontë PlotThe Brontë Plot by Katherine Reay, which releases this November. (It’s also only $4.99 on Kindle right now to pre-order: a great price for a pre-release!)

Publisher’s Description:
Dear Mr. Knightley is a contemporary epistolary novel with a delightful dash of Jane Austen.

Samantha Moore survived years of darkness in the foster care system by hiding behind her favorite characters in literature, even adopting their very words. Her fictional friends give her an identity, albeit a borrowed one. But most importantly, they protect her from revealing her true self and encountering more pain.

After college, Samantha receives an extraordinary opportunity. The anonymous “Mr. Knightley” offers her a full scholarship to earn her graduate degree at the prestigious Medill School of Journalism. The sole condition is that Sam write to Mr. Knightley regularly to keep him apprised of her progress.

As Sam’s true identity begins to reveal itself through her letters, her heart begins to soften to those around her—a damaged teenager and fellow inhabitant of Grace House, her classmates at Medill, and, most powerfully, successful novelist Alex Powell. But just as Sam finally begins to trust, she learns that Alex has secrets of his own—secrets that, for better or for worse, make it impossible for Sam to hide behind either her characters or her letters.

Book Details

Title: Dear Mr. Knightley: A NovelDear Mr. Knightley: A Novel by Katherine Reay
Author: Katherine Reay
Category: Fiction
My Rating: 3 Stars
Buy the book: Print | Kindle | Audible

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I Know How She Does It by Laura Vanderkam

I Know How She Does ItI Know How She Does It: How Successful Women Make the Most of Their TimeI Know How She Does It: How Successful Women Make the Most of Their Time by Laura Vanderkam by Laura Vanderkam

I’ve mentioned before my deep appreciation for Laura Vanderkam’s books. All the Money in the WorldAll the Money in the World: What the Happiest People Know About Wealth by Laura Vanderkam is one of my favorite finance books ever – it’s got such a different perspective than the usual texts – and 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think by Laura Vanderkam was eye-opening to me about how to consider my time and what I can and cannot accomplish with it.

I read her blog regularly, and while I was excited to read her latest book, I wasn’t completely sure how informative it would be for me. Between reading her blog and columns, and all her previous nonfiction books – I felt like I had a good idea what she’d say.

And I did, and yet I *still* found myself really enjoying this book. It’s not quite as eye-opening as 168 Hours was for me, and if you’ve read that one I think you’ve got a good handle on her general principles. The focus on this one is in the data that proves her point – you can have a “big job” as a woman and still have time for your family – it doesn’t have to be an either-or proposition.

The book is encouraging if you’re wondering how it can be done. It’s perhaps a bit discouraging if you’ve made decisions so far that lead to a career that provides a lot less success financially – many aspects of life can be easier if you have additional money to pay for help. (Which actually is all the more reason to encourage women to not sell themselves short but aim at some of those bigger jobs – the pay they provide will help you make it work.)

This isn’t the book of hers I’d recommend most highly – for that I think the more general usefulness of 168 Hours or All the Money in the World are better choices, or What the Most Successful People Do Before BreakfastWhat the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast: And Two Other Short Guides to Achieving More at Work and at Home by Laura Vanderkam or her other two ebooks are quick introductions to her style and approach. However, I’d have loved to read something like this after high school when I was still trying to figure out what to study in college and what I was going to do with my life.

Despite not thinking it’s the most “you’ve gotta read this” of all of her books, it’s still worth reading and considering. As always, she gets me thinking about both what I’m doing in my own life, and what I’ll be encouraging my children to think about for their futures.

Publisher’s Description:
Everyone has an opinion, anecdote, or horror story about women and work. Now the acclaimed author of What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast shows how real working women with families are actually making the most of their time.

“Having it all” has become the subject of countless books, articles, debates, and social media commentary, with passions running high in all directions. Many now believe this to be gospel truth: Any woman who wants to advance in a challenging career has to make huge sacrifices. She’s unlikely to have a happy marriage, quality time with her kids (assuming she can have kids at all), a social life, hobbies, or even a decent night’s sleep.

But what if balancing work and family is actually not as hard as it’s made out to be? What if all those tragic anecdotes ignore the women who quietly but consistently do just fine with the juggle?

Instead of relying on scattered stories, time management expert Laura Vanderkam set out to add hard data to the debate. She collected hour-by-hour time logs from 1,001 days in the lives of women who make at least $100,000 a year. And she found some surprising patterns in how these women spend the 168 hours that every one of us has each week.

Overall, these women worked less and slept more than they assumed they did before they started
tracking their time. They went jogging or to the gym, played with their children, scheduled date nights with their significant others, and had lunches with friends. They made time for the things that gave them pleasure and meaning, fitting the pieces together like tiles in a mosaic—without adhering to overly rigid schedules that would eliminate flexibility and spontaneity.

Vanderkam shares specific strategies that her subjects use to make time for the things that really matter to them. For instance, they . . .
* Work split shifts (such as seven hours at work, four off, then another two at night from home). This allows them to see their kids without falling behind professionally.
* Get creative about what counts as quality family time. Breakfasts together and morning story time count as much as daily family dinners, and they’re often easier to manage.
* Take it easy on the housework. You can free up a lot of time by embracing the philosophy of “good enough” and getting help from other members of your household (or a cleaning service).
* Guard their leisure time. Full weekend getaways may be rare, but many satisfying hobbies can be done in small bursts of time. An hour of crafting feels better than an hour of reality TV.

With examples from hundreds of real women, Vanderkam proves that you don’t have to give up on the things you really want. I Know How She Does It will inspire you to build a life that works, one hour at a time.

Book Details

Title: I Know How She Does It: How Successful Women Make the Most of Their TimeI Know How She Does It: How Successful Women Make the Most of Their Time by Laura Vanderkam
Author: Laura Vanderkam
Category: Nonfiction / Time Management
My Rating: 4 Stars
Buy the book: Print | Kindle | Audible

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

New on Your Stack (volume 7)

Red QueenKate shared about the book I am perhaps most wanting to read right away – Red QueenRed Queen by Victoria Aveyard by Victoria Aveyard.

What a GREAT cover, and intriguing premise. My only reason for holding off is it’s the first in a trilogy and I’m don’t want to fall in love with a new series and then have to wait and wait and wait for the subsequent books. So it’s going on my TBR list and I’ll keep an eye on it in the future.

Walking Home from MongoliaTuija had lots of travel books listed, and one in particular is going on my TBR.

I LOVE travel books where the individual is walking or riding a bike across long distances (I know, talk about a particular subgenre), so Rob Lilwall’s Walking Home from Mongolia: Ten Million Steps Through China, from the Gobi Desert to the South China SeaWalking Home from Mongolia: Ten Million Steps Through China, from the Gobi Desert to the South China Sea by Rob Lilwall sounds like it’s right up my alley, and I’m excited to see if my library has a copy of it. The only real question is do I first read his previous book, Cycling Home from Siberia: 30,000 miles, 3 years, 1 bicycleCycling Home from Siberia: 30,000 miles, 3 years, 1 bicycle by Rob Lilwall

My Name is ResoluteAs I commented on Jessica’s post, my mother-in-law is visiting, and brought the book These is My Words: The Diary of Sarah Agnes Prine, 1881-1901These is My Words: The Diary of Sarah Agnes Prine, 1881-1901 by Nancy E. Turner with her, and recommended it to me.

Of course I then had to go and see what other books that author wrote, and the one that sounded really tempting to me was My Name Is ResoluteMy Name Is Resolute by Nancy E. Turner. It’s always funny to me to then see a title pop up again in another situation – in this case at the top of Jessica’s list!

The Someday JarIt’s not my usual sort of book, but I’m intrigued by Allison Morgan’s The Someday Jar. It sounds like a fun read, that fits my current reading mood. Thanks for bringing it to my attention Stacie!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

7QT on visitors, life in general, cake, and books.

Seven Quick Takes

— 1 —

homeschooling record keepingWe’re on a homeschooling break (after only one week) because my inlaws are visiting along with two sisters-in-law and one brother-in-law. We ended up not even doing school the last two days before they arrived because of a sick baby (and doctor’s appointment) and sick mama.

I’m glad I’m not worried about getting enough days in this year, otherwise I’d probably be wound up about the crazy start. I am wondering a bit if I should have held off on starting, or if it doesn’t really matter.

— 2 —

weather forecastIt’s been an amazingly wonderful summer at least as far as the weather goes. Not too hot, and most days aren’t too humid either. It’s so fabulous. I’m trying to soak it all up and take advantage of the opportunities it provides for the kids to play outside. Come January I’m sure I’ll be missing it.

— 3 —

Where the summer continues to be difficult is with general life stuff. My husband’s last grandmother passed away last week. She’d been in poor health and it wasn’t all that surprising, but it was still very quick at the end. (And that would be the “why” behind the extra visitors we’ve had).

— 4 —

My kids are too young to understand, but they’re old enough to remember the strangest things. And it sometimes combines into “please don’t say that” moments. One child was looking forward to great-grandma’s funeral because maybe they’ll be cake like there was at the other great-grandma’s funeral earlier this year. Yelling “She died?? Are we going to the funeral? Yay! – I love cake!” is … not that sensitive to the rest of the grieving family.

— 5 —

Maybe cake was just on their mind because the baby’s first birthday cake was delayed and delayed. She was sick on her birthday, and I knew she didn’t want to fuss with cake and presents. The big kids pestered every day afterwards about when we were going to have her cake. And open her presents. And have cake, because cake cake cake we want cake.

— 6 —

YLEO August 2015 ER OrderOn a happier note, I got three new oils to try in this month’s shipment, and one of them is absolutely scrumptious-smelling. Deep Relief roll-on, Light the Fire, and Northern Lights Black Spruce (the one that smells so good I want to jump into the bottle).

— 7 —

I Know How She Does ItIt’s hard to select the best book I’ve finished recently – I’ve read some good ones, but they’re all so different it’s hard to compare. For most thought-provoking, it’s got to be I Know How She Does It: How Successful Women Make the Most of Their TimeI Know How She Does It: How Successful Women Make the Most of Their Time by Laura Vanderkam.

The Martian
For most can’t-put-this-down the clear winner is The MartianThe Martian by Andy Weir. I read it in one night, and I paid for that late bedtime the next day.

For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain’t The Lyceum!

Disclosure: Amazon links are affiliate links, but none of the others are. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

What the Kids are Reading (in August 2015)

What the Kids are Reading August 2015Boot & ShoeBoot & ShoeBoot & Shoe by Marla Frazee by Marla Frazee

Super cute, and my kids *love* the page with the squirrel running around everywhere. There is a little bit of potty humor because the two dogs pee on the same tree. My kids thought that idea was hilarious, and I was amused at the role that fact ended up playing in the story. We’ve already reread it several times.

How to Make an Apple Pie and See the WorldHow to Make an Apple Pie and See the WorldHow to Make an Apple Pie and See the World by Marjorie Priceman by Marjorie Priceman

I think this suffered by my inflated expectations. We liked it, but didn’t love love love it like I thought we would. It was a fun way to talk about geography a bit, but we’ve already done that so much it didn’t interest my son as much as it likely would have otherwise. I think he was also being too literal with the ideas in it. Why would they travel all the way over there for this – that makes no sense?!? We’re still going to try her follow-up title, How to Make a Cherry Pie and See the U.S.A.How to Make a Cherry Pie and See the U.S.A. by Marjorie Priceman

Puff the Magic DragonPuff, the Magic DragonPuff, the Magic Dragon by Peter Yarrow and Lenny Lipton, illustrated by Eric Puybaret by Peter Yarrow and Lenny Lipton, illustrated by Eric Puybaret

Beautifully illustrated with the familiar text from the famous song. It was surprisingly hard to read the book without singing it. The bittersweet nature of the text also jumped out at me this time (as the last time I heard the song I was still quite young).

Harry and HorsieHarry and HorsieHarry and Horsie (Harry and Horsie Adventures) by Katie Van Camp, illustrated by Lincoln Agnew by Katie Van Camp, illustrated by Lincoln Agnew

Really cute story and illustrations – my kids were entertained by this one.

The Pout Pout FishThe Pout-Pout FishThe Pout-Pout Fish (A Pout-Pout Fish Adventure) by Deborah Diesen, illustrated by Dan Hanna by Deborah Diesen, illustrated by Dan Hanna

The hit of the month – my kids LOVED it. LOVED it. I’ve lost track of how many times we’ve read it, and I’ve heard them reciting the one refrain again and again. I like a lot of the language in it as well – “kaleidoscope of nope” might be my favorite.

Hopper and WilsonHopper and WilsonHopper and Wilson by Maria Van Lieshout by Maria Van Lieshout

This reminded me a bit of Winnie the Pooh, and I’m not sure why. The gentle story line and illustrations? The odd friendship pairing of an elephant and a mouse? Whatever the reason, it’s a very sweet book, with lovely illustrations.

Pirate Nap a Book of ColorsPirate Nap: A Book of ColorsPirate Nap: A Book of Colors by Danna Smith, illustrated by Valeria Petrone by Danna Smith, illustrated by Valeria Petrone

One of my two Bookroo books this month. We’ve read a lot of books about colors, and this was one of my favorites. An overall story line that holds up on its own, plus integrating the colors into the story, plus pirates = big winner here. My daughter thought the purple monster part was the best.

Hugless Douglas and the Big Sleep-OverHugless Douglas and the Big Sleep-OverHugless Douglas and the Big Sleep-Over by David Melling by David Melling

One of my two Bookroo books this month. I thought it was fine, if nothing too exciting, but my kids were vastly entertained by it (especially the aftermath of the sneeze.) I’m looking for others in this series to get from the library since mine were so tickled by this one.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

Daddy-Long-Legs by Jean Webster

Daddy-Long-LegsDaddy-Long-LegsDaddy-Long-Legs by Jean Webster by Jean Webster

Sweet and charming, if completely predictable. Don’t let that keep you from trying this book – despite the complete lack of any sort of surprise involved in the narrative, it was such a fun, comforting read. Yes, I know, I’m a committed fan of epistolary novels, but I don’t think you have to be as partial to them as I am to still appreciate this.

There’s a sequel companion novel, that follows this one chronologically (thank you Caroline for the correction on the term), Dear EnemyDear Enemy by Jean Webster, which I’m excited to read. And Dear Mr. KnightleyDear Mr. Knightley: A Novel by Katherine Reay seems to be an updated version of the story. I can’t wait to get to this one too.

It’s also one that would work for precocious readers, if you’ve got younger girls whose reading ability surpasses their maturity for some of the content in contemporary YA titles.

Thanks Jessica for picking this as part of your Young Adult Book and Movie Club – I wouldn’t have read it without that prompting, and I so enjoyed it.

A heads-up: the Kindle version is only $.99, which is admittedly a great deal. But it doesn’t include the drawings that are scattered throughout the text, which is a real shame. Something to consider if you’re thinking about purchasing it.

Publisher’s Description:
Bright and lively Judy Abbott is an orphan who dreams of escaping the drudgery of her life at the John Grier Home. One day she receives a marvelous opportunity—a wealthy male benefactor has agreed to fund her higher education. In return, Judy must keep him informed about the ups and downs of college life. From horrendous Latin lessons to falling in love, the result is a series of letters both hilarious and poignant. Fans of L. M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables and Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women will relish this American-girl-power coming-of-age story.

Book Details

Title: Daddy-Long-LegsDaddy-Long-Legs by Jean Webster
Author: Jean Webster
Category: Juvenile Fiction
My Rating: 4 Stars
Buy the book: Print | Kindle | Audible

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

The Fringe Hours by Jessica Turner

The Fringe HoursThe Fringe Hours: Making Time for YouThe Fringe Hours: Making Time for You by Jessica Turner by Jessica Turner

I think this is another book where my personality made it not such an ideal fit (much like The Best Yes). A big chunk of it felt like it was giving women permission to take time for themselves and their interests. I’ve never felt like I needed permission for that, so none of that resonated with me. I already know I’m a better mom if I’ve had time to read or go to book club, so no justification required from me. However, if you do struggle with taking time for yourself, this may help you with that.

Where the book shines is with the examples of how this works out in various lives. Turner works full time outside of her home, so it’s not a matter of someone giving tips for things she doesn’t practice. She’s a busy woman, and knows how to maximize her time.

While many of her examples revolve around having children and the time pressures they add, most of her principles remain and would work for anyone regardless of stage of life. And yes, the focus is on women, but if a guy is having issues with taking time for his own needs, the principles aren’t gender-specific. The language and pronouns throughout the text are however, if that would be a sticking point for male readers.

Nothing in the book is revolutionary, but it’s all solid information, and the repackaging of concepts and particular phrasings and examples may give fresh insight into your own life and how you can squeeze more time for your interests.

I do still prefer Laura Vanderkam’s 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think by Laura Vanderkam as the best book on time-management I’ve read, but The Fringe Hours approach and writing style may be a better fit for some women. I don’t regret reading it, but doubt it’ll be one I’d reread.

Publisher’s Description:
For the woman who is doing everything for everyone–except herself

Ever get to the end of the day and realize you did nothing for you? In this practical and liberating book, Jessica N. Turner empowers you to take back the fringe hours–those little pockets of time you already have in your day–in order to make time for your passions and practice self-care. Based on original research, The Fringe Hours helps you overcome common hurdles that prevent women from taking time for themselves regularly. You’ll also discover tips for maximizing the time you have and discover how living this lifestyle makes you a better wife, mother, and friend.

Book Details

Title: The Fringe Hours: Making Time for YouThe Fringe Hours: Making Time for You by Jessica Turner
Author: Jessica Turner
Category: Nonfiction / Time Management
My Rating: 3 Stars
Buy the book: Print | Kindle | Audible

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

Bookroo: A Bookish Subscription Service

bookroo box and wrapped booksSeems like subscription boxes are all the rage right now, and it’s easy to understand why. New items sent right to your door? How fun!

But beauty boxes aren’t my thing, and even clothing ones don’t tempt me that much. I’d rather spend my money on books and things for my kids.

Now a subscription box of kids’ books? SIGN ME UP.

H with Hugless Douglas and the Big Sleep-Over 2Literally, sign me up. I jumped at the chance to try Bookroo. No, this post isn’t sponsored by them (although they did give me a discount code to try them. And I also have a discount for you to try them too!) I was just that enthusiastic to try what looked like such a fun product.

Before I signed up, I checked out what books they’ve been sending in the past. What fun would it be if it’s all old familar books we already have read or own? Nowhere near as much fun as it’d be if they were new discoveries.

Glancing over previous boxes, I found one – ONE – title that we already read, let alone owned. And that solitary title is an absolute favorite, so that speaks well to their taste.

H reading Hugless DouglasSo, we’re trying it out. I signed up for a three-month subscription, and they’re nice enough to let me alternate between picture books and board books.

Our first month’s delivery arrived, and it was all I could do to hold off the kids long enough to get a picture. I had thoughts of taking an unboxing video but that wasn’t happening. Too much excitement by the big kids! (How convenient it is for me that two picture books = one for each kid to immediately claim. Board book subscriptions come with 3 book in each box.)

boo_headIf you want to try Bookroo, you can get $4 off a subscription. Where I think think Bookroo really shines is for gifts – they make it super easy, and the packaging is nice. I would have been delighted to get this as a baby shower gift, and I love the idea of sending this to friends who have new babies.

And a reminder: This post is not sponsored by them, and I’m not an affiliate. They did give me a discount code to use to try their service, but you can also get a discount too: If you click over to them using my link, you’ll automatically get $4 off your order.

Homeschooling Update: We Have a First Grader!

2015 2016 first day of schoolWe also have a Pre-Kindergartner, and a Toddler, but we’ve had those before. Sorry, non-oldest children, but the first one gets the headline. I’m a middle child, I survived it, and you will too.

Scheduling Decisions

I grew up in Florida, and the school systems were county-wide. Whichever county you lived in, that was your school system, and so all public schools in the entire county were on the same schedule.

Why do I mention this? Because I *still* find it somewhat weird how Indiana has so. many. school. systems. All in the same county! There are townships here (also something new-to-me) and those may have their own system. Some townships combine to form a system. Some systems I still don’t fully understand their boundaries.

What it all means is that back-to-school around here is so spread out. I have friends whose kids went back in July. Some started the first week in August, some the second. Some probably still haven’t started, and I won’t realize that until their “first day of school!” pictures pop up on my facebook feed. It’s not one-county-one-system here.

On the plus side, it makes it not so obvious when I’ve got the kids out around town on a “school day” – no one can keep track of days off for the various systems so no one seems to bat an eye at us. I realize this may change as my kids get older and they’re all obviously of school age.

Anyway, it made for a not so clear “when” of when to restart school for G after our break. We could follow the school calendar , but which one? Ultimately I followed one of the closest locations, because it also worked out really nicely with us no longer having house guests. Back to reality kiddos! I don’t promise to follow that same system’s schedule all year, but it worked well as a start date.

Our Restart, and Where We’re At with Curriculum

G first day of 1st gradeWe’ve been back at it for a week and a half, and we will soon be taking a little break (yes, already!) because Grandma and Grandpa will hopefully be visiting from Arizona. When they’re at our house, we won’t do school. When they aren’t (because they’re here for a reunion, and won’t always be with us), we will. We’ll see how much we get done between now and our next update, but I’m not too concerned.

So far with the newly-titled 1st grader we’ve gotten back to reading (beginning All About Reading Level 4 this week), math (closing in on the end of Math Mammoth 1A), history (Sonlight Core A, week 8), and science (Sonlight Science A, week 6).

I have not resumed spelling (where we’ll be starting All About Spelling Level 2), but will add that in next week. We’ve done a “graduated restart” with the intent of making for a smoother time, and I think it’s worked well.

Next month I hope to get back to art and music (Harmony Fine Arts Year One), and begin Spanish (Song School Spanish, requested by my son). That should have us back to doing everything!

However, when I mention science above, that’s with a big caveat. We have done zero science experiments. We may need to take a day and just get a bunch of them done. Which means *I* need to suck it up and get myself mentally prepared to do a bunch of science experiments. They’re not my favorite. :)

The Other Two

H first day of PreKAnd for the Pre-K student? We’re reading through Sonlight’s Core P 3/4 books, doing All About Readings Pre-Reading Level (when she requests it), and Mathematical Reasoning or Miquon (when she requests it).

She sits in on any of the Sonlight A reading she wants to, as well as the extra library books we read, but I don’t force her to listen to them if she’s not interested. She also enthusiastically participates in art, so I know she’ll be happy when we resume that.

She adores workbooks, and I got her a set of 4 to do. She finished the first one in 2 days, so who knows what else we might end up doing once she gets through them.

The baby pulls books off the shelf, is a menace with any writing implements she can grab, and is delighted if we ever forget to put the gate up on the stairs to then let her practice her stair climbing. She’s also super cute and likes listening to stories, although she has to be watched lest she rip pages in her enthusiasm to flip to the next one.

Organization

First Grade August 2015 Deliberate Reader
I’ve done some rearranging of my house, and some re-figuring on our scheduling. It’s still so new that I want to wait until next month’s update to report back on how it’s working. So far it’s going well, but at only a week and a half into it (less than that when I’m actually writing this post), it’s still in the honeymoon stage. I know enough to know that doesn’t always mean something will work well long-term.

I also made some additions to my binder for organizational help. I briefly thought about making my own forms to have them be exactly what I wanted. Then I acknowledged that the time that would take me was better spent elsewhere, and using “close enough” printables I found online was a smarter choice. If I end up liking what I’ve got, I’ll share about it as well.

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