Recent Reads vol. 2


Check out my first book review post of 2017 here.

I have been a super lame reader lately, which makes me sad, but I have just been so busy these past few months that reading hasn’t been high on my priority list. I also have been trying so hard to get through a collection of C. S. Lewis essays, and if you’ve ever read any C. S. Lewis, well, you know that he’s brilliant and also dense, so I read about one essay a night and then get super sleepy. Ha! 

But I do have two book reviews for you today, and I have four books that just came in from the library (all at the same time, of course), so hopefully I can get back on the reading train and not be ashamed of myself anymore.

The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind, Survive Everyday Parenting Struggles, and Help Your Family Thrive by Daniel Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson

Reading about the brain is fascinating to me, and this book was a pretty quick and easy read. It breaks down some of the brain's functions so that we can better understand what is happening when a child is experiencing different emotions/tantrums, etc. 

This actually gave me some insight into my own self as well, and I had an insightful realization about how I can better relate to Jordan. While I did find some of the examples hard to relate to since R is only a year and a half, I think the authors did a great job offering tips and suggestions for a variety of different ages. This would be a book I would read again in a few years to get a refresh when my kids are a bit older too!

A few quotes that stood out:

“Too often we forget that ‘discipline’ means ‘to teach’—not ‘to punish.’ A disciple is a student, not a recipient of behavioral consequences. When we teach mindsight [a concept talked about in one of the chapters], we take moments of conflict and transform them into opportunities for learning, skill building, and brain development."

“In terms of development, very young children are right-hemisphere dominant, especially during their first three years. They haven’t mastered the ability to use logic and words to express their feelings, and they lives their lives completely in the moment—which is why they will drop everything to squat down and fully absorb themselves in watching a ladybug crawl along the sidewalk, not caring one bit that they are late for their toddler music class. Logic, responsibilities, and time don’t exist for them yet. But when a toddler begins asking, “Why?” all the time, you know that the left brain is beginning to really kick in. Why? Because our left brain likes to know the linear cause-effect relationships in the world—and to express that logic with language."

“When a child is upset, logic often won’t work until we have responded to the right brain’s emotional needs. We call this emotional connection “attunement,” which is how we connect deeply with another person and allow them to “feel felt.” When a parent and child are tuned in to each other, they experience a sense of joining together."

Spaceman: An Astronaut’s Unlikely Journey to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe by Mike Massimino

If you know me at all, you know that this is not in any way completely not at all a book I would ever have read. But I saw this available on Blogging for Books and picked it up because I know that Jordan loves space and I thought he would like to read it. I was shocked to find that I enjoyed this book very much! This memoir was written by an astronaut who has taken two trips into space and worked on repairing the Hubble Telescope. It was well written and in some parts truly suspenseful. 

The author describes what it feels like to be in space, and I loved the photos that were included in the color insert. I had no idea all that it took to be an astronaut, and I found this book fascinating. I would recommend this even if you don't think you're interested in space. After I finished reading this book I started Googling all about the Hubble telescope and NASA, and that is normally not something I have any interest in. So give this a try if you are looking for something somewhat out of the box!

This is not a book about faith or God, but there was one quote that stood out to me that really resonated with me. This is during the author's first spacewalk when he gets his first view of Earth.

"The planet below was so beautiful that I actually started getting emotional... I know that might sound strange. There are so many horrific problems here: war, hunger, killing, suffering. But heaven is supposed to be this beautiful, perfect place, and from up there I couldn't imagine anything more beautiful, more perfect than this planet. We might discover life on other solar systems someday, but for now there's nothing but chaos and blackness and desolation for billions of light-years in every direction. Yet here in the middle of all that is this magnificent place, this brilliant blue planet, teeming with life. It really is a paradise. It's fragile. It's beautiful. It's perfection...

"My thought looking down at the Earth was Wow. How much God our Father must love us that he gave us this home. He didn't put us on Mars or Venus with nothing but rocks and frozen waste. He gave us paradise and said, 'Live here.' It's not easy to wrap your head around the origins and purpose of the universe, but that's the best way I can describe the feelings I had."

*I received a copy of Spaceman from Blogging for Books, but all opinions are entirely mine.

Here's what I picked up at the library recently:

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch-- because I keep seeing this book everywhere and I need to know what all the fuss is about.

Dead Wake by Erik Larson-- Erik Larson is my absolute favorite nonfiction writer and this is the last book of his that I have not read.

A Fall of Marigolds-- I liked the author's previous book, so I'm going to see how I like this one!
Michelle said...

Spaceman was SO GOOD. I'm still thinking about it. I've been following NASA and the space station on Instagram ever since. I can't believe people are actually up there in space, RIGHT NOW. I remember those quotes you mentioned, and they got to me too. I have no desire to go to space, but I do wish I could see what he saw in person.

I loved Dead Wake! As always, a bit too detailed at times, but truly fascinating. I finished A Fall of Marigolds the other day. I enjoyed it, but I have some thoughts. I'm eager to hear what you think!

Audrey Louise said...

All the buzz about Dark Matter is making me curious, too. Neither that nor Spaceman are my kinds of reads, but it sounds like you really enjoyed the latter and I should add it to my TBR list just in case!

Carolann Chambers said...

I want to read Spaceman! I love nonfiction books and I have always been scared of//fascinated with space. Right now I'm reading An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth and although I'm only a few pages in, I'm really liking it.

Laura Darling said...

Spaceman sounds really interesting! I might have to check that one out.

Torrie said...

Great reviews! And I'd never heard of either one, so that's always a plus :) I love reading your book reviews---keep 'em coming!

Rachel said...

The astronaut book sounds really, really fascinating--and those quotes you Pretty cool to imagine!

Kaity B. said...

I am so embarrassed by my lack of reading lately. Womp.

Erin LFF said...

My sister read the whole-brain child book recently and definitely told me to check it out as well. She has a strong-willed almost 4 year old and felt like she took a lot away from it as a parent :)

Kristen @ See You In A Porridge said...

oooh can't wait to hear your thoughts on dark matter :)

Rach said...

Wow! That quote from Spaceman is incredible!