January Books of the Homestead

For the first time in more than five years I made a New Year’s resolution: Put down the phone and pick up a book. By January 15th, I had disabled my Facebook account and discovered the extra time I had previously spent scrolling mindlessly through the drivel of social media. There is more time for my kids, for my studies (herbalism, aromatherapy, etc.), for the farm, for creativity and for reading.

Confession: I was never a reader. I spent large amounts of time in my adolescence writing poetry and short stories but could rarely find a book to keep my interest. I followed quest and story lines in video games with great interest, never skipping a sentence and always doing side quests to get more details. However, when I became a Mom, I started reading to my children from the day they arrived. I wanted to foster their imaginations and re-ignite mine; I wanted to read with different voices and bring books to life as my grade seven teacher, Mr. Giesbrecht, had done for us while reading aloud Charles Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’ and S. E. Hinton’s ‘The Outsiders’. I was engaged with his emphasis, different character voices and passion for reading and it was in his class I read Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor; all of these books have stuck with me.

So when I say I read two and a half books and joined our local library’s book club in less than 15 days, I assure you its a feat I haven’t accomplished in many a year, if ever. My interests are abstract and eclectic, ranging from alternative history, high fantasy, sci-fi and conspiracy to biographical pieces, homesteading, nutrition and the metaphysical. Hubby is a true crime fellow when he picks up a book and my kids enjoy earthy stories with a bit of adventure and Dr. Seuss books. My hope is in a few years, we will sit curled up on the couch together with good books and open minds.

Here are the books I completed this month:

Alternative History/Conspiracy
The Moth in the Iron Lung by Forrest Maready
A historical look on the conditions surrounding the discovery and rise of Polio, its redefinition and the broken naive systems that helped the disease proliferate and spread fear and paralysis. This well-cited book is an amazing read and gives the reader a new perspective of the history of Polio, its sources supplying photographs and articles to further research. What struck me most about this book was with the minor tweak of a few major culprit names, this story could have been written about some major issues facing today.

Alternative History
The Lost Temples of the Annunaki by Michael Tellinger
An incredible look at a massive collection of otherwise seemingly unremarkable South African ruins. Yet another set of ancient remnants that point to an unknown alternative historical scenario. A wonderful book for people who question origins as we know them or who enjoy alternative theories of advanced technology in our history.

The kids had some favourite books too. I made a point of getting them 4 weeks worth of night time stories from the library and though some were absolute flops, there were a few that were greatly enjoyed and would be wholly welcomed on our bookshelf.

Cyril and Pat by Emily Gravett
The tale of a squirrel and his city slicker friend who is not what he seems. A book about judging books by their covers and making friends with people who are different than us.

Otis and the Kittens by Loren Long
A heroic story of a loveable, dedicated farm tractor and a beautiful litter of kittens. Dry weather, a fire and an old barn lead to some edge-of-your-seat drama that the kids couldn’t get enough of. I look forward to bringing in more Otis books.

What did you read in January? February has a few books set aside as well as the local library’s book club selection and I look forward to seeing what I can finish between kiddings and the rest of life.

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