I’ve read a few new interesting books lately I’d like to share. If nothing else, you should read the Jim Gaffigan part at the end. Hilarious.
The Opposite of Spoiled by Ron Lieber
This book was a great read. Even Ted has started reading it and likes it. We have been agreeing with almost everything the book says about raising kids with healthy attitudes towards money. My parents taught me some great habits about money growing up – how to save for the future, to pay off my credit cards every month, to be generous towards others, and the importance of a good work ethic. I was raised to earn my own money from a young age, and to be responsible in the ways I spent and saved it, and I really want to make sure my kids do the same. This is a new book, and it includes some great real life anecdotes from people around the country. I will be watching for this book to come out in paperback, because I think I would like to have it on hand for future reference.
One of my life goals is to raise kids who will eat anything. My family and I weren’t (aren’t) very adventurous eaters – I had no idea what hummus or avocados were until well into college. I ate a lot of packaged foods growing up, and changing my eating habits is something I have been working really hard to do now as an adult. This book suggests choosing one new or unfamiliar type of produce each week of the year (hence the 52), and incorporating it into a meal or two. The book is divided by season, with 13-14 different suggestions per season to try. For example asparagus, cabbage, leeks and kumquats, plus a couple recipes to help with ideas on how to prepare them. I’ve learned that I really like roasted vegetables (not so much the boiled or microwaved stuff I grew up with), so that has been really helpful to me as I’m trying to eat more plants and less of everything else. So far, Ellie has been willing to try everything we give her. She might like some things better than others, but I’m hoping repeated exposure will help her develop a taste for a more wide variety of foods.
Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives by Gretchen Rubin
This book is a guide to help you learn to develop good habits, or get rid of bad ones. I have read and own the author’s two previous books The Happiness Project and Happier at Home and liked them a lot, so I was intrigued by this new book. I don’t necessarily have bad habits to get rid of, but there are a couple things that I would like to become more a part of my daily life. The book talks about different personality types and the practices that are helpful to each one in the development of new habits.
For example, my personality type is an “upholder.” Other types include “Questioners (this is Ted!), Obligers, and Rebels.” To paraphrase Rubin’s definition of an upholder, I:
“wake up thinking about my schedule and to do list for the day. I don’t like to let other people down, including myself. I’m a self directed learner and typically have little trouble meeting deadlines and meeting commitments. I like rules and schedules, feel uneasy breaking rules, even unnecessary ones, without a powerful reason not to.”
The bad side of this personality type is the “gold star seeking, the hoop jumping, the sometimes mindless rule following.” I think that’s one of the reasons I enjoy doing things like my 30 Before 30 list. I have a lot of goals for my life, and it’s important to me to accomplish them. Each check off my list feels like a gold star to myself. Having some structure to my day is important to my feeling of well being. Now, if only I could commit to keeping my house cleaner and liking grocery shopping…
Food: A Love Story by Jim Gaffigan
I have read Gaffigan’s previous book, Dad is Fat, which is good, but this one is even funnier. If you’re not familiar, he’s a comedian known for clean, family based humor (he has 5 kids in a 2 bedroom, 5th floor NYC walkup apartment!!) I kept giggling through the entire book, and will include some quotes here to help persuade you to read the rest of the book.
- In a chapter called “Seabugs”
“Man 1: Hey, I found a rock with a snot in it. I was thinking of eating it.
Man 2: Um, okay. Go ahead.
Man 1: (slurps up the oyster)
Man 2: What does it taste like?
Man 1: Pneumonia”
- “I keep waiting for people to realize that Swiss cheese tastes like a pencil eraser. Swiss cheese is like an old dirty sock.”
- In reference to how corporate McDonald’s came up with the Ronald McDonald mascot… “Let’s go with a clown with a creepy weatherman vibe.”
- In reference to the fact that a majority of US airports contain a Cinnabon… ” Well, I’m about to get on a plane. Maybe I should eat eight pounds of cake.”
- “If you’ve never had the chance to visit a Waffle House, simply imagine a gas station bathroom that serves waffles. That sums up the atmosphere pretty well.”
- In reference to how he thinks God has a sense of humor… “Doesn’t it look like God didn’t try very hard on the manatee? “Let’s see, make him a gray blob of fat, flip-flops… what the heck, let’s go with the goatee. Stick him around Florida; he’ll fit right in.””
Anyway, I typically have a bunch of things on my to-read list, some turn out to be great, others not so much. Anytime I come across something especially good, I will plan to share them here.