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    This Book and That Book

    July 23, 2009 by Brandy Vencel

    It has been quite a while since I went through my book stack and talked about what I’m reading, what I will be reading, and what I hope to read. I love to talk books, and find out what others are reading, too, so if you have something you’re fond of, go ahead and share the title with the rest of us in the comments!

    What I’m Reading

    Smart Medicine for
    a Healthier Child

    This is my new favorite tool-of-the-mothering-trade! During Si’s time in the hospital, Baby O. had some tummy troubles {not related, as he’s had them before}. I ran down to my favorite natural medicine store and spoke with the woman behind the counter. She took me over to their book shelf and helped me look up natural remedies in this book. Immediately, I fell in love with it, but it was too pricey. However, I came home and found it online in good shape {ex-library copy}, for $6 including shipping.

    I love used books.

    Anyhow, this book was written cooperatively between a traditional medical doctor, a naturopath/acupuncturist, and a nurse practitioner. Like many references of its kind, it contains a long list of childhood disorders and concerns–beginning with Acne and ending with Whooping Cough. What makes this book unique is the amazing treatment varieties covered: conventional medical treatment, dietary guidelines, nutritional supplementation, herbal remedies, homeopathy, Bach flower remedies, and acupressure. So, for instance, if my child is doing that of which we do not speak {vomiting}, I can try Pepto {actually, our doctor would just have us keep the child hydrated, but go with me here}, add a Lactobacillus acidophilus or Bifidobacterium bifidus supplement, have him drink aloe vera juice or ginger tea, administer homeopathic Arsenicum album, or do some selected acupressure motions.

    How cool is that?

    Norms and Nobility

    I have read the preface, introduction, and first two chapters three times. It is that good. Anyone still up for a casual book club? I know that our family issues threw a wrench in our plans for June, but what do you think about now?

    To You and Your Children

    I believe I got this for two dollars…and brand new, at that! Si and I are reading this one aloud, looking up most of the references, and having some interesting discussions.

    Man of the Family

    We recently started reading this one aloud together as a family. We all love it. Moody gives me some insight into the minds of little boys.

    The Paideia of God

    This is a nice little book of essays thinking through issues surrounding education: vouchers, dress codes, classicism, etc. Trying to kick my habit of wanting to own and mark up every book I read, I’m reading online for free.

    Along this vein, I am also slowly reading Whiston’s Accomplishment of Scripture Prophecies, which is on Google books, but has been out of print for around two hundred years.

    Nutrition and Physical Degeneration

    A friend of mine lent me her copy. This is a fascinating book for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that it reads not unlike an old British travel journal.

    What I Will Be Reading

    Designing Your Own
    Classical Curriculum

    Every time I meet someone who runs a homeschool I admire, I find that they reference this book. I have had it on my PBS Wishlist for months, and got a match this week. I always feel guilty when, in exchange for a poorly-written easy reader, I receive a wonderful book like this. When it comes to PBS, I am usually getting the better end of the deal.

    To a Thousand Generations

    Infant baptism: a subject I always wondered about.

    The Baptized Body

    Mystie tells me this is pretty in-depth, like taking an upper-level university course. Leithart is supposed to be brilliant, so I’m looking forward to it. This is in the read-aloud-with-Si pile.

    Free: The Future of
    a Radical Price

    The bad news it that the price of this book doesn’t match the title. The good news is that Cindy pointed out we can read it free online.

    Mr. Clutterbuck’s Election

    A novel by Hilaire Belloc written in 1908: who could resist?

    Books I Hope to Read

    I could also call this: books I might buy with all those Amazon credits you all are so gracious to donate to me when you click through my sidebar. Or, conversely, books I wish I could afford.

    Cure Tooth Decay

    I am very interested in preventing future dental bills.

    Real Food for
    Mother and Baby

    I am always looking to maximize our nutrition through food.

    The Devil Knows Latin

    This might convince me to get through my Wheelock’s a little quicker.

    I Could Keep Going

    But first, we have to save up for those bookcases in the Library {aka large hallway}. When Si was in the hospital on his deathbed, he moaned to me, “I am so sorry about the bookcases!”

    Um. Babe? We’d rather have you with us. I’m just saying.

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  • Reply Brandy July 27, 2009 at 6:37 am


    Reapeat after me: Google Books!


    Yes! We adored Little Britches, though I cried through the end and our son was a bit bewildered by that. But Moody is great and brings much laughter to our family. πŸ™‚

  • Reply Elizabeth July 25, 2009 at 12:11 am

    I love the Ralph Moody books! My grandma all of them. Did you read ‘Little Britches’ before you started on ‘Man of the Family’?

  • Reply Kimbrah July 24, 2009 at 3:38 pm

    Why do you do this to me Brandy?! WHY!??!??!??!?!?!?!? πŸ™‚

    Now I have to go fast and pray that God will make my heart content with what I have for now. πŸ™‚

  • Reply Brandy July 24, 2009 at 6:01 am


    For some reason Blogger sent your comment separate from all the others. Hmmm…

    Anyhow, I hope you do one of your marathon posts on DKL, especially if it’s good. Is it? Worth buying? Or at least reading as a borrowed book?

  • Reply Brandy July 24, 2009 at 5:59 am


    I’d love for you to interact in whatever way you can. You always have good thoughts.


    Your book reviews are some of my favorites I ever read, did you know that? I look forward to hearing what you have to say about DYOCC when the time comes. I don’t “design” a whole lot since I use Ambleside so much, but I think that Ambleside might not be as good of a fit with my second-born, so I’m studying up for a couple years from now when she is Year One age.

    Your current read sounds interesting. I have noticed lately how young my kids seem compared to other kids their age. It’s like these little girls are already teenagers or something. Strange world.


    I have been drooling over your trip. So fun! We hope to do something like that with the kids when they are older. If you do get around to reading N&N, I’d love to read a post or two. I will probably go ahead and post the Mr. Linky, just in case anyone feels inspired, even later on. I don’t care if you go back and link a chapter one post three months from now. I will still be interested!

    In other news, I had picked up Hunchback to read (we already owned it) a few months ago, and got distracted by everything. It really does require complete attention, something that is hard with lots of littles underfoot and on road trips.

    Enjoy your scenery. πŸ™‚

  • Reply Rahime July 24, 2009 at 2:41 am

    Well. I had a small pile of books on tape (for ‘Chung and I to listen to together) and paperback books (for me to read) of which, Norms and Nobility was the first. I’ve read the preface and first half of first chapter of Norms and Nobility twice…but haven’t gotten any farther. I haven’t even started any of the others. πŸ™ Here I thought that with hours and hours of riding in the car I would have all kinds of time to read. As it turns out, the trip has been so much fun that I haven’t wanted to do anything but stare out the window at the changing scenery (well, and nap…I do a lot of car napping when I’m not driving).

    The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Because of Winn Dixie, and whatever else I had along will have to wait. I am going to try to get through N&N by the end of summer though.

  • Reply Willa July 24, 2009 at 2:28 am

    I’m reading The Devil Knows Latin right now (a reread, but I don’t remember much of it from the first time).

    I’d love to follow along with Norms and Nobility if you pick it up again.

  • Reply Kansas Mom July 24, 2009 at 1:38 am

    I also received a copy of Laura M. Berquist’s book from PBS and will be referencing it for homeschooling materials. I hadn’t planned on designing my own curriculum, but it seems to have worked out that way (though perhaps it would be better to say we are exploring together rather than following a strict curriculum).

    I’m currently reading Childhood Lost: How American Culture Is Failing Our Kids edited by Sharna Olfman (among other things). It’s astounding. And disturbing.

  • Reply Mystie July 24, 2009 at 12:15 am

    I don’t think I’ll be up to posting my own posts about Norms & Nobility, but I would love to participate with you on your blog. πŸ™‚

    “The Devil Knows Latin” is on my list, too, although I’ll probably just check it out from the library when it moves up high enough on the list. πŸ™‚ I bought “Designing Your Own Classical Curriculum” and her introduction was well worth it. That’s quite a PBS score!

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