In Common – September 26, 2020

I keep telling myself I’m going to take a book-buying fast, but there are just so many good books out there!

I do think I should declare some sort of moratorium on book buying, and take some time to work through my TBR stack. I’m sure my husband would appreciate that!

I did manage to finally finish some of my slow reads – I finished up The Jewish Annotated New Testament. I found the commentary and footnotes throughout quite informative. The essays detailing Judaism, the rise of Christianity and its relationship to Judaism at different points in history, was worth the book purchase alone.

I am continuing through the New American Bible (Catholic) – I am reading slowly through the Old Testament. In addition, I am nearly finished with Grudem’s Systematic Theology. I am trying to stay on course to finish by end of October. I’ve got several other Christian theology/Christian living titles staring expectantly at me from the corner of the living room.

I’ve also got a small stack of books I’m reading on food and wellness. While we are longtime vegans, I am currently reading through The Vegan Starter Kit. I am putting together a Food and Wellness course for my 8th grader, and this is a great resource for new and seasoned vegans and vegetarians. I think when we raise our children with a certain lifestyle – in this case, following a whole-foods, plant-based diet – at some point they need to understand and embrace this lifestyle for themselves. This is especially true when the lifestyle is counter culture.

One book I am currently reading toward this goal is Salt Sugar Fat. It’s an expose of sorts of “how the food giants hooked us.” The author digs into how the food giants, such as Kraft and Cargill, use salt, sugar and fat to hook consumers on processed foods, with little or no regard to the public health crisis they are contributing to. From the introduction:

Inevitably, the manufacturers of processed food argue that they have allowed us to become the people we want to be, fast and busy, no longer slaves to the stove. But in their hands, the salt, sugar, and fat they have used to propel this social transformation are not nutrients as much as weapons – weapons they deploy, certainly to defeat their competitors but also to keep us coming back for more. (Salt Sugar Fat, p. xxx)

I am reading another book, Nature’s Best Hope by Douglas Tallamy. In this book he discusses his vision for a more grassroots, individual approach to conservation. In discussing Aldo Leopold, who spent years along with his family restoring sand plains in eastern Wisconsin, wrote about the need to develop a new land ethic, and unfortunately died before seeing the ultimate return of the sand cranes to the land, Tallamy comments:

Nevertheless, we cling to the notion that nature should be saved where nature remains, not where humans work, live, farm, or play. Though persuasive and moving, Aldo’s plea for a land ethic has thus far been unable to change the nearly universal belief that people are here and nature is somewhere else. (Nature’s Best Hope, p. 20)

I also wanted to share a great book resource. Living Book Press is releasing Anna Comstock’s Handbook of Nature Study, in sections AND with new color photos! I’ve already gotten the first book, covering Fish, Reptiles, Amphibians, Invertebrates. Birds has just been released and Insects is forthcoming. I’ve got the large volume (with the black cover), but of course I want to have these smaller volumes, with new photos added.

Current Personal Reads

New American Bible, Revised Edition

Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem

Make Your Home a Haven Bible Study by Courtney Joseph

The Key to Living By Faith (Hebrews) by Kay Arthur and Pete De Lacy

The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook by Bourne

Taking Charge of ADHD by Russell Barkley

The Whole-Brain Child by Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson

Aspergirls by Rudy Simone

Rise of the Warrior Cop by Radley Balko

A Charlotte Mason Companion by Karen Andreola

Nature’s Best Hope by Douglas W. Tallamy

Salt Sugar Fat by Michael Moss

Magicians of the Gods by Graham Hancock

The Vegan Starter Kit by Neal D. Barnard (prereading for my teen)

The History of Christian Theology – The Great Courses (audible)

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith (audible)

Family Read Alouds

Harry Potter 7: The Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling (audible, family listen)

The Mitchells: Five for Victory by Hilda Van Stockum

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