Current Child Count

  • HOGAR DE AMOR I: 11 babies
  • HOGAR DE AMOR II: 6 boys
  • HOGAR DE AMOR III: 8 girls

Monday, December 7, 2009

Reading My Way Through Vacation, Part I

Since the minute I left Bolivia I've had a BLAST reading everything I can get my hands on! Yes I have more time here, but another factor is that I am WAY less distracted and can actually concentrate on what I'm reading or learning.

I've also realized what a treat it is to be able to read pretty much straight through a book so as not to lose the gist of what's happening. At one point in November, I finished a 400 something page book on Monday and had read 3 more cover-to-cover by Friday. Helped that I was laid up from toenail surgery.

Here's the first list of the rather wide range I've been reading, in the order in which I read them:

* Wolves At Our Door: The Extraordinary Story of the Couple Who Lived with Wolves, by Jim Dutcher

Got this from missionaries leaving Coch earlier this year and read it on the plane rides back. Way more interesting than I had expected! I also know more about wolves and animal research than I wanted to.

* Plain & Simple: A Woman's Journey to the Amish, by Sue Bender

My Mom got this meditative book for me via inner library loan, knowing my interest in Mennonites/Amish since visiting a Bolivian colony last year. It was a nice "essay" sort of book that inspired me to find peace and joy in every task of the day, even the mundane, rather than rushing past it to get to the "fun part".

* Our Jerusalem: An American Family in the Holy City, 1881-1949, by Bertha Stafford Vester

This book has been on my list years, and Mom just happened to order it inner library loan as well. Wonderful read!! I had never realized what an extremely multi-cultural city Jerusalem is as the home to three major world religions: Judaism, Islam, and Christianity. It was also fascinating to learn how the city was before the decades of being torn apart by conflict.

*A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life, by Donald Miller

Very neat book! The easiest and quickest read of Don Miller so far, and we also got to hear him speak on his book tour through Memphis. I loved comparing life to a story and while reading it I was thinking of so many blog posts, but was too busy reading to ever do any. I was particularly thinking that my friends who work with street kids need to read this book. (I will be bringing a copy back to Bolivia, so feel free to borrow it!)

* Elizabeth Van Lew, Civil War Spy, by Heidi Schoof

Read this one afternoon and then started realizing that, hey, Tennessee has a huge Civil War history, so it was quite appropriate! She did an amazing work as a woman and it was sad how she was shut off from her community for the rest of her life for being on the wrong (and winning) side.

* The Alternate Day Diet, by James Johnson, M.D.

Interesting theory for healthier living. Tests show that eating only every other day produces our disease resistance and longevity - not to mention helping to maintain an ideal weight (which should be lower than most experts suggest). Of course eating only the half the time would be difficult so this doctor proposes eating 20-35% of your needed calories every other day and normally on alternate days. Definitely trying it out when I'm home in Bolivia!

* Someone Knows My Name: A Novel, by Lawrence Hill

This was a hard read but the most insight I've ever gotten into the 19th century slave trade from the inside out, and the "resettlement" of former slaves in Nova Scotia and Sierra Leone. Also gave a new perspective on the Revolutionary War and the participation of blacks on the British side.

* The Lady and the Panda: The True Adventures of the First American Explorer to Bring Back China's Most Exotic Animal, by Vicki Constantine Croke

Not a book that would have ever been on my list but it was displayed there on a front table at the library. I picked it and learned so many interesting things within a few minutes of reading that I didn't put it back.

I loved observing why Ruth Harkness succeeded in capturing a live panda where so many men before her (and for at least a couple years after) had failed: her maternal instincts!

I finished two more books yesterday and my "reading holiday" ends soon, so watch for Part II....

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