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6. The Pacific Crest Trail, William R Gray. 196pp
Typical National Geographic book: lots of pictures (which I loved), text fairly well-written but still a bit tedious to read all at once. After reading "A Walk in the Woods" I was interested in learning more about our own trail. We passed one of the access points thereto in our recent snow hunt, and both of us thought it would be fun later this year if possible to walk part of the trail.

7. Time of Wonder, Robert McCloskey. 62pp
I've never read this book despite having grown up with "Blueberries for Sal" and "One Morning in Maine" and a plethora of McCloskey's other books. I really enjoyed the different art in this one as well as seeing the familiar (albeit unidentified in the text) family of Mom and Dad and an older Sal and Jane.

8. Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things, Randy O Frost and Gail Steketee. 279pp
This was an excellent book and in it I saw myself in various ways. Do I collect boxes of newspapers? Maybe not. But I could really relate to the one lady who looked at her mess, got overwhelmed not knowing where to start, and gave up without trying. Unlike my mother, whose brain is wired more logically apparently, I haven't a clue. She can proceed through a gigantic mess, throw stuff away, and have it organised and packed away neatly with not much trouble at all. I, however, take stuff out of a closet, pile it all over the floor, look at it and cry and feel as if I will never win (and I really never do, because I usually end up stuffing it all back in the closet again well before the task is complete).

I wouldn't say I have a problem with hoarding the way most of these cases do, but I also know that part of the reason my house isn't a pigsty is because I live with a husband who cleans up if I don't get to it in a timely fashion. All you have to do is look in our office to see this manifested. My half is a jumble of quilts, fabric, books, candy canes, electronic devices, camera, papers on my table and desk and ironing board; his is clean.

Reading this book made me wonder if perhaps some counselling sessions would help. Something to think about. I would really like to be more tidy and understand what it is in my brain that is misfiring so I can overcome.

I did start going through stuff already. One of the things shared by many of the people in this book was a tendency to keep magazines/papers because the information in it might come in handy some day... but eventually so much piles up that they would never have time to go back and look, let alone know where to find anything. Therefore, I have decided that when we move, we are not taking a lot of stuff with us, and I'm already beginning that purging process. I told Dan he's going to have to help me be rational about stuff.

Personal relation aside, I really enjoyed the sheer variety of case studies presented in this book. Moving on.

9. The Full-Plate Diet, Stuart A Seale et al. 143pp.
This book is beautifully, cleanly laid out with eye-popping photography and quite good information about food and practical, accessible ideas of how to incorporate a plant-based diet into daily life.

Considering that it's supposed to be based on the Adventist health message, however, I was a little perturbed at the overall casual "meat and dairy is okay" attitude. They didn't promote the use of meat and dairy but neither did they really talk about good reasons to avoid it except for a very brief blurb at the end of the book. The basic premise is "eat more fibre" (which, in a plant-based diet, you will get a lot of), but it seemed a bit too simplistic. Or maybe I'm just sceptical.

10. Maine, Deborah Kent. 143pp
From the children's section. Not the most interesting book I've ever read. Had nice pictures.

11. Labour of Love, Cara Muhlhahn. 256pp
Ih. This was okay. The first half was really not much to do with midwifery at all. When she finally did get to talking about her work it was more interesting. Her attitude comes off as being really rather arrogant and proud of how wonderful she is, which was annoying, but she did have interesting things to say about her work and the current condition of industrialised maternity care. I thought it was ridiculous that she promoted the use of castor oil, though, and subscribed to the notion that if you have little to no morning sickness you're having a boy. Sure. Neither I nor my one friend had much nausea at all with our girls and Frances was much worse than me with Josiah.

There was a lot that rubbed me the wrong way, I guess.

12. Meet Josefina, Valerie Tripp. 85pp
I've never read the Josefina books and decided it was time. I just love the artwork and enjoyed the story as well. It's not hard to predict what's going to happen, of course, in future books. Hehe.

13. The Good Old Days - They Were Terrible!, Otto L Bettman. 197pp
This was an excellent peek into some of the realities of the Gilded Age: the dirt, the grime, pollution, crime, terrible education systems, blah blah blah. For me it provided a lot of context into why Ellen White was so adamant that the people of God move out of the cities, and why she stressed cleanliness and so forth. Very insightful and written with a humourous style that keeps it from being totally depressing. I also really enjoyed the period illustrations that he used that were caricatures of what the people were dealing with in those days.

14. Into the Wild, Jon Krakauer. 203pp
I've read "Into Thin Air" before, probably 10 or more years ago now, and it impressed me very deeply, so I thought I'd pick up another book by the same author and see how I liked it. Not at all what I was expecting, but interesting. I have a hard time sympathising with the man it's about in many ways. Although I can see a little why he didn't like his dad, I strongly believe nothing is able to be accomplished by hatred/anger in relationships and to just up and disappear seems like a cruel thing to do. It was a sad story for sure.

Year-to-date totals:
Page count for February: 1564
Total page count: 3437
Nonfiction: 11
Juvenile fiction: 2
Juvenile nonfiction: 1
Rereads: 1


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August 2011

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