What I’m Reading (and Watching) This Week

Here’s what I’ve been busy with this week:

I came across this documentary on Netflix and found it absolutely fascinating and depressing. Peanut watched a little bit with me and it really opened her eyes. Ever try to explain to a 9 year old why things are they way they are in Korea? I recommend you try it.

I’m halfway through A Song for Nagasaki and had to put it down. It was getting pretty intense and rather depressing; so that book (much like the above documentary) will be consumed in smaller bits.
Despite the heaviness, this has to be one of the most interesting books I’ve read this year. Absolutely beautiful writing, absolutely heart-breaking. A++++, add it to your “to read” lists.

This book is part of Amazon’s “First Reads” program, so I was able to download the Kindle version for free. I’m 100% sure I won’t read this until the summertime. As someone prone to seasonal depression, I tend to be very cautious about what I read when the days are short and the nights are long.
Buuuuuuuut I expect it to be interesting. If you’re into that sort of thing, which apparently I am.

Filling the gaps from my youth, I realized I know nothing about Asian history and culture except for what comes through Western media. I’m on the hunt for a good “intro to Japanese history” type book that isn’t a textbook. I did purchase this book, and am awaiting its arrival.

I was hoping to find something about Japan written by .. someone Japanese, but this was as close as I could find in English. I think the language is the problem – a good Japanese history book written in Japanese needs to be translated to English, and that probably would be by someone who is not Japanese. But still.

Also in my “to arrive” pile is what’s thought to be the world’s first novel.
I have no idea what to expect with this one.

I did some Christmas book shopping and found a book Greg had been looking for ever since I bought him Volume One earlier this year:
Many of the ones in Volume One read like bad dad jokes. I do not expect this one to be any different. Greg will love it!

{The links to the books in the post are affiliate links, thank you for supporting my never-ending book bonanza!}

What I’m Reading This Week

I haven’t had too much of a time to read during this past week. There’s been a lot of stress resulting from things beyond my control, figuring out logistics with my parents in case my mom comes to hang out with us if my Dad does end up needing a surgery; and more. I’ve been resorting to stress cleaning; mainly decluttering as a way of dealing with everything (which is good, as St. Nicholas Day and Christmas are right around the corner).

I’ve been reading A Song for Nagasaki in my post-cleaning times, though. I’m about a quarter of the way through it, and it’s a beautiful book. The writing is evocative and I’ve discovered that I don’t know much about Asian history (both secular and Catholic). I’m finding Takashi Nagai’s journey of Shinto to atheist in college to Catholic rather similar to what I went through in college (minus the Shintoism starting point) but definitely the whole “one doesn’t need God” vibe that I heard echoed throughout most of my courses (which intensified after my conversion).

One part that made me think is that Nagai mentions that he boarded with a Catholic family in college and I’m guessing that family played a huge role in his conversion. If someone were to board with my family, what kind of an impression would they receive? It’s a very interesting thing to think about, and it has provided some great ponderings when I am doing my stress cleaning.

I’m really looking forward to the rest of the book, especially if more details are shed about the family that Nagai stayed with. The book has already discussed a lot about how Pascal’s Pensées influenced Nagai. I would like to put this book in at the highschool level for history/religious studies; I’d put it in earlier except there’s a rather gruesome part describing the crucifixion of Japanese Christians that would really disturb my kids if they read it in the next few years. I’ll make my final determination about if it will be included and what year once I’ve finished it.

AO Year 4, Term 2, Week 1 | AO Year 2, Term 2, Week 3

Peanut was excited as this week we started the second term of Year 4. Right out of the gate, Abigail Adams is the new favorite with George Washington’s World as a close second. I’m reading A.A. aloud, which is both fun for Peanut and myself (and educational as well).

We’re working on a timeline together (Moose is also keeping one this term), which is something I wanted to add in and finally was able to do so. I found a wonderful template for one on the AO Forums, printed off a couple copies, and put it in the kids’ binders for easy reference.

I’ve been thinking about whether or not to use AO For Groups with the kids and discussed it on the forums. I’ve decided that it probably wouldn’t work, simply because the kids coming and going in the forms and that there would be not a lot of kids in one form at a time (they’re pretty well spread out, even if they are all two years apart). I’m going to keep on trucking and combining what we can and working through the readings for each kid. Right now it’s not too big of a deal, but it should be very interesting as more and more kids are added into the mix.

I did finally have another paradigm shift, in that it doesn’t really matter if it takes 42, 46, or 52 weeks to do the 36-weeks of AO work. It won’t be the end of the world if things need to slow down, if readings need to be even more spread out than just a 4-5 day week. I feel like a lot of pressure is off of me now and I won’t be forcing the kids through their work. I want them to want to learn vs have to learn.

Moose is getting into The Wind in the Willows well (it helps that our copy has a great map in the front, so we plot the travels of the book on it). Other books are also getting really interesting, and the connections are popping up left and right. It’s really, really cool to watch them make their connections and see what is going on in their minds.

What I’m Reading This Week

Slowly making my way through my book pile, hooray!

I did finish up Marry Him and Be Submissive. I liked this book, but I wasn’t over the top impressed with it. I do think that the writing is great – very casual and friendly – and the subject matter is often treated very poorly (or in a really weird way), but it wasn’t in this book. I did like what she had to say about Biblical submission and how it played out in the scenarios she saw around her; but it felt a tad repetitive towards the end. Still, a book I’d have no problems recommending to people discerning marriage.

I’ve also been slowly making my way through Cardinal Sarah’s The Power of Silence. The good Cardinal has such a way with words and I refuse to just slam through it in order to mark it done. I know that silence is so important in this world and there’s such a lack of it, especially in my own house. And I’m not just talking about the kid-noise. I’ve had many discussions with Peanut and Moose about the silence of God, that it is in silence that He talks to us; but they just don’t quite ‘get’ it (and really, who can, fully get it?). Maybe this book can help me explain to them in some way.

Moose and I finally finished Rescue Josh McGuire and have moved on to My Side of the Mountain. Honestly, it took us so long to finish Rescue Josh McGuire because we were still working out when would be a good time for me to read aloud to him and just general household chaos. But, we pegged it to bedtime and it worked out quite well. I thoroughly enjoyed Rescue Josh McGuire, I remember reading it as a kid and so it’s wonderful to share a book with my kid now – and that he received the same (or even more) enjoyment that I had. It helps that it’s set just down the road from us, and the landmarks discussed were quite known and therefore there was a personal connection to the book.

He’s enjoying My Side of the Mountain, which I figured he would. Survival books seem to be his “thing” now, along with learning random German from Greg and I (apparently we drop little German nuggets in our speech, I had no idea I did until Moose started walking around saying “Das ist nicht gut!”) and lengthy discussions with Greg about the Spartans.

For the girls, I’m reading Little House in the Big Woods. As with Moose, I pegged it to bedtime. This gives me time to decompress after reading for the school day, get housework done, etc; and rest my voice before the bedtime read-alouds. I read half a chapter each night since the chapters are quite long, and the little girls (Little Miss Sunshine especially) has a hard time listening for an extended length of time.

At any rate, it’s nice to finally have some sort of a routine around here for extra-reading; and it’s great to get some more of my “to read” list taken care of.

What I’m Reading This Week

A blessed All Saint’s Day! As with our tradition, we don’t have school on Holy Days of Obligation; so the kids have been enjoying spending time with Grandma and Grandpa, shoveling snow for $$$, and playing with toys. As I posted on Instagram this morning; it’s a good thing we take HDOs off by default.

Anyways. I finished up Wheat Belly {aff link} this past week and it is so, so good. I’m definitely going to have to get a hard copy eventually, just so I can mark it up and keep it on hand. My one complaint is that it became tedious after a while reading chapter after chapter after chapter about how much wheat can impact the human body; but I did find his suggestions for going wheat-free, the recipes in the back, and the appendixes quite helpful.

The process of de-wheating has been one of “one step forward, two steps back”. I accidentally ordered something wheaty from the Costco food court this weekend when we were out grocery shopping and of course I felt like trash afterwards. Such a bad idea. So I will definitely need to adjust my default order there to either the chili (perfect for this weather) or the salad (sans croutons).

Next up on my “to-finish” list is Marry Him and Be Submissive {aff link}. I’m about 3/4 through it and should hopefully finish it by the weekend. 🙂

What I’m Reading This Week

Now that my brain is coming back online, I’m finding my energy level recovering as well as my concentration abilities. I basically had to pause anything that required some level of concentration – like reading, learning Japanese, thinking ahead (such as bringing a lunch for Greg if he came with me to kid-wrangle for appointments that happened over his lunch break)  – basically teaching the kids exhausted my mind as well as my body.

I’ve been working on pulling my house together. It’s wild to see how tired I was, as it was adequately reflected in my house’s state. It’s not like it’s a total dump but it’s definitely not what we’re all used to. I maintain that the state of my house is a great reflection of my health – I’m a weirdo who enjoys housecleaning, organizing, and decluttering (except the seasonal clothing switch, no thank you!). So if my house is really getting unkempt and there’s no immediately obvious reason; tell me to get to the doctor!

Now that I’m feeling loads better, I’m picking up the books that I put down because I simply didn’t have the mental ability to read them and really understand them. I’m also getting back into Japanese – shockingly I put the hiragana and katakana into long-term memory so it was merely a matter of refreshing things.

I almost purchased a hard copy of this book, after a friend on Instagram had mentioned it. I’ve heard about it before and had shelved it to the “someday” reading shelf in my mind. But after my doctor’s dietary counseling (stop eating wheat and go keto) and my friend talking about it, I figured I should move the book from “someday” to “now”.
And as it worked out, both Google Books and Kindle have the electronic version on sale for $1.99. I don’t know how long the sale will last, but it’s been going on for a couple days now.

I’m through chapter 10 and it’s been a very interesting read already. Some of it I already knew (such as why abdominal fat is not healthy at all) and a lot of it is new to me, especially the science behind modern wheat and what’s in it. I have read a lot that modern wheat isn’t the same as Grandma’s wheat, but this book has done a great job (so far) discussing why it’s so different and how it got to be that way as well as the effect on your body (it’s not pretty). Fascinating stuff.

The process of dewheating is slow and steady, it’s not that I was consuming massive amounts of wheat but there as definitely some wheat going on in the house (cookies…). And it’s funny, I started getting horrible cramps in my belly on our trip when I did have wheat – one would think I’d connect the two? Nope. But it looks like my body is starting to react how the kids all react. So even if I wanted to wheat it up, my body is reacting more and more to it.

My reading plan is to finish the books that I had started but had to abandon due to my inability to concentrate. It’s so great to finally be feeling better!

What I’m Reading Wednesday

I’m still waiting for my labwork results. One result came back and it’s definitely indicative that something else may be going on; but what depends on the rest of the labwork results. Some of the tests had to go across the state for analysis and my guess is that’s where it’s all being held up at. It’s rather agonizing to continue to feel unwell, have a little idea of what may be going on but not the complete picture. I’m working on being patient, and trying not to refresh the lab results page too many times a day. 😉

It’s quite hard to do anything thanks to how poor I feel. Each day we just take as it comes, and I try to do things when I have energy. Some days are better than others.

(If you want to make bets about what’s going on/play armchair doctor/if you’re Googling around; here are just SOME of my symptoms: brain fog, losing hair, breaking nails, weight irregularities, poor appetite, heart palpitations, sleep disturbances, exhaustion, hard to concentrate, random hand tremors and more! And nope, not pregnant; although that would be a welcome reason to feel like trash.)

THAT BEING SAID, I’ve been attempting to read, when I can actually concentrate.

I found this book in a local thrift store for $0.50. I like it because no matter how brain-drained I am each day, I can read a little sentence or two from it and have something meaty to ruminate over. It’s the perfect low-energy book, at least for this stage in my life.

This book is my book when I’m feeling a little more with it in the energy department. Honestly, don’t let the title fool you (you can tell on the Amazon reviews who has read it and who hasn’t) – it’s not what you think it is. It’s a lovely book, written very light-hearted and self-depreciating at times; but does a great job of discussing that whole “submission” thing and how it relates to marriage. This isn’t a ‘let your man beat you’ or ‘say good-bye to having a life!’ submission books, but rather what submission IS and why it’s needed in a marriage. And if you’re curious; there’s one for the men (which I’ve not read) called Marry Her and Die For Her (just in case you were wondering what the men are called to do in a marriage…).

This is quickly becoming one of my favorite marriage-related books I’ve read in a good, long time.

* * *
Say a prayer my bloodwork results can be posted soon and they show something conclusive, either one way or the other. I don’t like the whole “welllll you have symptoms of X but the bloodwork doesn’t agree so it’s probably not X, but we don’t know why you feel so bad.”