Reading Records

First Book Review of 2019

Posted on Updated on

So i am please to say I am working on doing more reading as I begin the year 2019. As I stated, I haven’t been readying as much since I had Austin and its something I’m beginning to miss.

So, to break the curiousity of my mind (and some of my son’s issues), I decided to take some recommendations from a facebook parent group i’m a part of and look into this book: The out of Sync Child by Carol Stock Kranowitz.

Click on the Book Image to See amazon link

This book is about what is says on the cover: recognizing and dealing with Sensory process disorder in children. And yes — I will admit that I think Austin has some of this as I will explain in a minute.  The author is a former school teacher with a Masters in Education and “Human Development” (I’m taking from the inside cover of my copy of the book) who I can say its pretty much the most experiental expert for this topic. She also has worked with an occupational therapist for children to confirm her reseach who wrote the other recommended book for this disorder: Sensational Kids by Lucy Jane Miller, Ph.D., OTR. (yep, got that book too.)

For those of you who don’t know — sensory processing disorder is where a child has issues processing sensory items in their environment so much that it inhibits their daily routine. This is not limited to the 5 senses we all know (like touch/taste/sight/hearing/smell) but also the others related to your sense of self and your relationship to gravity and space. For some, sensory processing issues can be loud noises or scratchy clothing. For my son–it means a lot of things taste funny or weird and he never wants to wear a hat. I mean will throw tantrums if you put anything on his head for a second. And I mean rarely eats toddler appropriate food. Some related issues he has is that we are now seeing a speech therapist for his delays there and seeing an occupational therapist so he can learn age appropriate functions like dressing himself, how to experience new things and yet self-sooth.

Now–there are many reasons why I personally am reading this book. But the information I am learning surrounding sensory processing and its related issues are reasons I want to recommend this book to everyone. First– it has given me a new awareness of things I do to compensate my sensory processing. I know–i’m an adult– but there were things I did as a child I now understand why and as an adult I can learn and help myself function better. Second–it has opened up my eyes and my heart to seeing children (and adults) more neurodiversally. Meaning that some times, people take in information and release out other information differently. And that’s not a bad thing.

What’s been interesting is that sensory processing is tpyically linked with Autism spectrum issues. Many times autistics have sensory processing issues and vice versa. I’m not sure if Austin has it himself (i’ve been told no but he’s still under 3 so you never know where things go at this age,) but I am interacting on social media with parents who have sensory/autstic families and adults to help/support/understand what it means to look at the world differently. That’s a huge reason in itself to read this book.

So if you need some non fiction ready for something very insightful and severely misunderstood, read this book.


Books for the Year -2019

Posted on Updated on

So I don’t know how many of you out there in internet/blog land do this–but its kind of my “quirk” every year to make a book list reading goal. I never complete it. But at least I know I try to focus myself into reading–an important tastk. Let me tell you–watching my son go grab ANY book (let alone “Star Wars: I am a Droid”) and bring it to me to read during a TV shows is a huge parenting win in my book. Especially for a boy who can hardly sit still.

So to recap– this year i set a goal of 20 books. Its a little under 2 books a month. I thought “well, I’ll go to book group and work back towards reading.” HA! Have kid-having hard time keeping up on reading adult books. Realistically i have read probably 20 more bookx than expected. But the actual goal of completed adult books is 6. Reading “Night Night Groot” every night for a good 3 months doesn’t expand my mind or grow my vocabulary (it does my son’s though 🙂 )

So I’m trying to figure out how to take seriously reading. I know I can reflect my love for reading to my son. And trust me–I LOVE THAT! But its tiring. And sometimes he only wants me to read the book. Or sometime my husband. And that’s not healthy reading for an adult.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments. Should I go for 20 again? Set a goal of 12 (1 book a month) or even less than 6? Any special books you can remmend?

Make Room for the Giant

Posted on

2018 has come and half gone already. I was shocked to realize that my reading goal of 20 books is slowly losing space. But considering I started off the adventurous, maybe the next books will be easier.

That being said, you’re problem where the title of this blog came from. No, it’s not the title of the book. It’s in reference to it’s pure size.

click book for amazon link

This book is in no way short. Almost 500 pages of hidden (not secretive) history of Autism, it’s impacts on early children diagnosed, parents of those children and eventually the growth of something called neurodiversity. This is a fairly new term that explains the idea that autism doesn’t need a cure to fix a problem, but that autistic people have a different set of neurons providing a creative and sensitive outlook on life.

Despite its length, i enjoyed this book. I discovered how the beginnings of this condition confused many people, leading to bad insights like “bad parenting causes autism and therefore you should send your kid away.” It’s just horrible some of the things they thought and put families through. It really opened my eyes to the struggles related to autism.

My favorite chapter is the one about finding autistic mind can truly open up a world of creativity. Especially the beginnings of science fiction. People formed what would be considered the first fan clubs over the early fantasies and thoughts about space, astronauts and aliens. Let me tell you as another fan-girl, it was awesome!

So if you need a long book but want to be entertained and educated, pick up a copy!

The Missing Reading Records (sept 2017-april 2018)

Posted on Updated on

Wow. In working through this bog with a small child pushing buttons of the keyboard I realized I have not written in my book reading section in several months.  And I have actually read several books. So here’s a brief summary of the things I have read since my last post:

KETOGENIC COOKBOOKS: For my pcos diet I have picked up several of Maria Emmerich’s cook books on this Diet. They are organized in a lovely simplistic manner and include meal plans I can actually follow. My favorites are the quick and easy Keto book as well as the easy dairy free one. Not an easy diet, but well worth trying if you have hormone issues.

Allie and Bae by Catherine Ryan Hyde: an easy read a out an older lady and a younger teenager caught in unfortunate circumstances and how they survive by thriving with each other. We read it for my church book group, i recommend it if you need a filler, it’s not jaw dropping but I really needed support and encouragement and this book has definitely elements for that at any age.

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle: short but so jammed packed! Yes we read it before the movie came out. I had never read it…which was unfortunate cause it is my perfect book. Science, fantasy, love, faith…agh! I can’t rave about this book enough. I won’t be seeing the movie right away though. One because I have a kid but more for reason two that I don’t want to ruin any quality it has by my read and I don’t want to ruin the book by analyzing the movie. I have respect for both genres and therefore will take some time.

Highly sensitive person and Highly sensitive child by Elaine Aron: I was given the Child book before as a recommendation as I noticed some things going on with Austin and wanted some answers. But starting that book cause me to look st myself as realize I have sensitivities I have adapted for adult living. Both these books were great for that!

Well that’s the completed bunch so far. I’m almost thru another couple books but life jumped in the way and movie season is upon us. Hopefully updates will come more often. Hopefully the blog posts will too

Into the Void: Star Wars Legends (Dawn of the Jedi) (Star Wars: Dawn of the Jedi – Legends

Posted on Updated on

With my son now gradually getting more and more amounts of sleep–I am gradually getting back into my reading. And with that comes new Reading Records!

So before Austin was born–once I found out there was going to be a new Star Wars movie, I wanted to work on reading all the books in chronological order. It’s sort of a personal goal but also consistent with my huge desire to get all the background when learning about a book culture.

The first book in the original books (now called “Legends” thanks to Disney and their taking over canon for Star Wars…) is the book below. “Into The void.” It starts off on a far off system (planet) at the beginning of the Jeda’ii.


If you are a star wars fan–I recommend this book. Grant it–it seems as though every other story has its base in the original “New Hope” storyline (good vs evil sort of thing), but the mix up of the sci-fi fantasy in this book is amazing. The planets, descriptions, the abilities of humans, of other species, is fantastic. I wanted to read all the star wars books but  I have heard that this is one of the best and it makes me sad thinking it may be a letdown afterwards.

Another reason I recommend this book: a female lead. The main character is Lanoree and it is a search/rescue type mission of her brother Dalien. I will leave the rest in the book but it beautiful and fascinating to hear about a female Jedi leading the way in search of another great person.

Check it out Here on Amazon!
Check it Out here on Amazon! 

Book Review: Period Repair Manual

Posted on Updated on

As I noted in my last blog–2017 is a year of refreshment for me. It’s a perfect time to begin restructuring many parts of my life-little by little to incorporate good and healthy change. 

So while we were flying out to Dallas (blogs to follow-enter reference here), I decided I would get back into reading several of the books I had purchased over the last few 2-3 years. So I scanned my kindle app and noticed I had forgotten a book referral I had received when I first wanted to get pregnant. 

The Period Repeair Manual is a book that address the one thing every woman fears and dreads: your monthly cycle. After the birth of my son, I made a conscious effort to work to understand what my body does naturally and help support that through my diet instead of letting doctors prescribe things to me without explanation or review. This quickly escalated after I spent time going to both my obgyn and an endocrinologist to try and get help for my PCOS only to be told “pill or metformin”–two answers I der were not only lazy medical work but lacked looking at the real problems I was having. 

Beginning this book was difficult for me. I was scared to look at natural repair and approach to my pcos issues because I didn’t want to given into “guru” approaches to everything. There are plenty of examples of modern medicine helping our society (the birth of my son has definitely taught me this) and I do want to use all resources when apprised. 

So I started with page one. As the book continued through explaining what we know about menstral cycles, what the true “norm” is and how to address the spectrum of problems that arise from poor period health–I realized this book was placed in my hands at the perfect moment. Coupled with my appointment in two weeks with a natural approaching doctor–it makes me excited about reforming my life.
I think the biggest change I will be making is saying goodbye to sugar. Stevia and the other natural sweetness I’m willing to look at very occasionally–but basically eating a sugarless diet would benefit me in mass quantity. And while I will cut down on processed carbs (sticking to no French fries), eating a baked potato with butter is not going to kill my diet if I decide I’m extremely hungry for this. So no soda, no ice cream, no fruit juice (bad bad sugar levels) and definitely no syrup on my pancakes. 

Another modification I am considering to work in is no diary. I already drink very limited amounts of diary and only keep coconut at home for breakfast cereal. My immunologist highly recommended this already but after doing some reading (both my own and that she provided), I humbly agree to give up my other diary friends. Trust me-my gut will thank me later. 

The last modification: I am working to make is clean eating. Luckily we live in a society that is gradually movi towards cleaner eating but we are definitely nowhere near something positive. This is going to be my Lenten project. Clean self. I mentioned I would be going on a Paleo- type diet. I want to do this even more. 

Again–I ask that those of you who know and interact with me daily help support me in this. I don’t mean to change your life with me. But asking to go to McDonald’s when Panera is in the same parking lot is not helpful. 


Posted on Updated on

So in keeping with my theme from my last post–I want to share a story. Yesterday I made another run to Target. I needed to fulfill a prescription that had to start yesterday night. So I dropped off the paperwork and the pharmacy let me know it would be about 30 minutes before I could come and get it. So I decided to paruse the store. 

While walking through the book section, I came across called Furiously Happy-a Funny book about Terrible Things.  It stood out because on the cover are shiny confetti like triangles and a big raccoon with its extremities all stretched out like a cheering fan at a sports event.  Completely ridiculous I know, right? When you see a cover like this, you don’t just pass it up.  

So I began my crazy adventure through this book. I read a little bit at the store and the summary caught my attention. Wow–let me tell you. Not only are the warning signs hysterical–like don’t this book unless you plan to be CRAZY!– But the stories are also engaging from the beginning. It is a book about dealing with chronic depression and anxiety and how one woman decided that being ferociously happy was the way she was going to live. Here are some details:

1) the original book cover only had the mouth of the raccoon so that when people glanced you reading they would see your smiling psychedelic face instead. It was a reminder that impression are not everything and that a crazy positive outlook can help. 

2) something about renting 25 kangaroos….don’t ask, or maybe you should 😉

3) it writes like a discussion. So the Arthur asks questions, engages the reader and dances around on the edge of imagination and insanity. It’s beautiful. 

So I will keep you informed as best I can on the reading tales. I might be in limbo for a while since I have insurance testing coming up so I need to read that book. 

All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Posted on Updated on

Welcome again to another book review from my book group at church. I have got more involved since graduating from college and it hEditas been a great blessing. So here is our most recent book read:  

 All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr is a story about a blind girl Marie-Laurie and another young German boy named Werner during World War II. While the storyline is typical for a World War II story, the structure of the book is unique and keeps you reading though every chapter, despite their short length. As the story moves along, more characters obtain their own chapters.  It is like reading little snips of what is going on in the story and you spend most of the book putting together the separated storylines.  Like a little puzzle. It truly keeps you focused on perspective. 

I truly think this is a book that expresses how we as humans see our memories. The stories we remember are only snips of the whole storyline and while we want to remember the best parts, not everything is always so great. I also appreciated this book because it shows that truly listening and hearing do not always relay on what one can initial see and hear.  The two main characters, Marie and Werner, both have extraordinary gifts. Marie is blind yet excels at feeling her way through city scape, thanks to the wonderful ingenious of her father.  Werner is orphaned aUnknownnd while left alone most of the time with his sister, learns to listen through making and connecting radios.

War truly changes perspective. It shows us what is important, what keeps us going and what helps us survive. Sometimes it is instinct. Of what we learn while trying to understand the world. Sometimes it is pure luck-what one finds in a bag hundreds of miles away from all that is known. And sometimes nothing helps us–we just know we need to help each other to do what is right.

Please enjoy reading this book–take the time to savor the snips of the story with each chapter and the amazing ending that ( i promise) will leave you breathless.

Searching for Sunday by Rachel Held Evans

Posted on Updated on

Sometimes we need to hear stories of others not only because it gives us support but also to know that our experiences have meaning. To know that what you went through is both unique and similar to someone else in the world. This is part of the reason I began my initial novel Searching for Something Unknown. For research-I decided to look into what others were writing about their church experiences and I cam across Rachel Held Evans’ new book Searching for Sunday. Originally I was not going to read it–thinking I had come across another “Christian motivation” book that I would just get bored with someone explaining how I should live as a Christian woman instead of coming to where I am in my life and journeying with me.

And this book does just that. Less than 25 pages into the book I kept saying “oh I going through that” and “it definitely felt like that when I experienced something similar.”

Evans structures the book by walking through the sacraments while walking through her transitions from growing up in church, leaving her home and coming to find church again in a revived church.  This is exactly what I wanted to describe in my novel.   Not exactly this story–but I wanted to write/am writing a tale where the main character finds the church as having meaning despite going through a terrible event. I feel that several individuals in my generation leave the church and never come back. And it breaks my heart. I am a person who wants to fix what we have instead of leave and let it be.

So it was a relief when Evans started describing events how she left her church and started a church plant.  I have been there and while did not get as involved in a church as I like, I did try my hand at running a 24-hour prayer room after college and it was beautiful. The most peace I have felt in all my life–mainly because I could feel Gods presence living and breathing there. Rachel talks about this  in some parts–Being present. Being with others in Christ like love to further the Kingdom. 

So if u need a soaking read–this is it!

Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Posted on Updated on

Though the main reason I joined my church book group because I love to read.  I also joined the group to be opened up to different types of books-non-fiction, memoir, instructional, etc.  I was hopeful for finding things I wouldn’t typically pick up or reading about topics that were hidden among the pages I had not seen. And this group has not let me down.

For June, our group decided to read Infidel  by Ayaan Hirsi Ali.  It is an autobiography.  Not a typical book I read. Ali is from Somalia and escapes as a refugee to Holland and ends up becoming part of the Dutch Parliament.  Her life is threatened many times, she is circumcised (yes-you read that right-as a female and its not pretty), is trying to grow in a devout Muslim faith at the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood with two very different examples of what a devout Muslim woman believes and how they act and struggles with trying to find her voice in cultures and faith communities that typically suppress women from a dysfunctional and disintegrating family.  It is very interesting and contains a lot of material on each page, making the 330-page book feel like 1000.   Some comments and possibly some spoilers

1) Don’t read the forward by Christopher Hitchens. Typically I do not say this–usually forwards give unique insight about the relationship between the writer and the author or stories that you would not get in the book. This is not true about this section. Honestly-I tried to be open, knowing Hitchens was a declared atheist.  I actually try to listen to everyone’s perspective. But if you cannot write well while trying to insult and deconstruct someone else’s opinion without any consideration for the book you are writing a forward for-then I cannot respect you.  Honestly–got through 5 pages and Hitchens only defines religion as a myth and states that belief as limiting illogical method of thinking. While this may be the case for Ali and himself–you can still state such things with respectful terms. They require that type of standard for descriptions of non-religious reasoning–they should require the same for religious reasoning.

2) I will state this again–each page is filled with so much imagery, so much information that it can be overwhelming.  I remember reading 10 pages and thinking I had read 50 pages. Deep descriptions that paint a picture of some of the more depressing and disturbing events of Ali’s life are hard to diguest all at once. I highly recommend taking the time to read this book. Slow, in bites and counteract with it with something positive and inspiring.

3) The book does get more inspiring. It’s getting through through all the depressing and shocking information in the beginning that takes the longest. 
Good luck to all who read!