Friday, February 7, 2014

Current Reads III

Time for another round of current reads! Since this list is ever changing, it provides more blogging material than one might expect. Which is a good thing, sometimes.  :-)  So here's what I'm in the middle of right now (the pictures are links):

This is just a generic history of the service world in Britain over the last 150+ years. If anybody has seen the Downton Abbey craze kicking around- there's an entire table of related books at Barnes & Noble- and has any interest in the world of the British titled and wealthy in recent history, this is a great book for insight from a myriad of sources.

The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill (Vol. 1)
Okay, so I have a total weak spot for Winston Churchill. The man was just hilarious and had an incredible knack for words. I don't know where exactly I got so fond of him, but it probably had something to do with my stumbling across a book called The Wit & Wisdom of Winston Churchill, which was hilarious. This biography (part 1 of 3) was a little slow to start, but I have been loving it once I got in several dozen pages. 


The Pilgrim's Progress
This book is just fabulous. It's a classic, which usually sends people running the other way, but I just think it's fascinating. If you've ever looked at the Christian through the euphemism of a "journey", then you'll realize why this is so fascinating: it tells the story of a Christian man on a literal journey to heaven, and he meets people with names like "Evangelist" or "Pliable" or "Hope", all of whom influence him according to their names. He goes through typical spiritual struggles, including dark valleys, all of which are named with euphemisms that the Christian would be familiar with. It's a fascinating read.

Keeping A Family Cow
If you can't have a cow, you read about having cows.

Little Britches
I frequently refer to the Little Britches series as "the Little House books on steroids". It's a fabulous autobiographical series with some serious grit, life lessons, and insight to character growth as the author himself learns about them from hard working, wise parents. On top of that, this boy (and eventually man) is just-- I don't know. Not a genius, but he never meets a problem that he can't figure out a solution for, and it's primarily because of nothing more than serious determination, an intense work ethic, and a knack with tools.

The Epigenetics Revolution
This is a pretty heavy topic, but basically there's some new findings in the science world that show that DNA is not concrete, but can be affected by environment and so our choices now can literally pass down in our DNA to our children and grandchildren. Naturally the angle of this that appeals to me most is nutrition. This particular book on the topic is a pretty difficult read and I'm not enjoying it, but past experience says that most difficult topics are not as difficult if you can find the author whose explanations work with how you think. I'll finish slogging through this one and then try to find another that suits me better. If you're interested in this topic in general, check out this documentary on Youtube: The Ghost in Your Genes. While necessarily leaving out a lot of detail, it's a great overview of the topic that is easy to understand and whets the interest.

Peter the Great: His Life and World
I'm not very far into this (I got distracted by the Winston Churchill book...) but I hope it'll be a good read. I'm intrigued by Peter the Great because my limited understanding of him is that he was the one who ushered Russia into the modern age. Prior to him, Russian royalty lived similarly to the rest of the population-- so no extensive grandeur or wealth. But Peter traveled extensively and liked the westernized world, so things started to change from his influence. This perception may be erroneous, but it's why I picked up a book on him; to find out more.

Betsy Was A Junior
Yes, I'm still working through the Betsy-Tacy series. They're just cute, and a girl needs something light to wind down with right before sleep.  :-)

Curious George
This is actually Kara's contribution to this list...I'm not entirely sure if she meant it as a joke or if she was trying to imply (rather strongly) that the existence of an 11 week old child doesn't leave much room for reading. If she's still working on this book when I do the next Current Reads post, I think we'll have our answer.

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