In an effort to procrastinate from doing something more productive, but ultimately less fun, I found myself rearranging the books on my living room shelves. I read somewhere that it's visually pleasing to arrange your books by color, so that's what I did. For the record, no one has noticed the change, not even my very own husband. So if you're looking for something to do in your home that will WOW you? That's probably not it.
On the up side, though, I was rewarded with a very enjoyable hour or so of sitting on my living room floor and leafing through some of my most beloved books. I'm not a keeper of things in general, nor a book-buyer, so if a book is purchased and continues to live on my bookshelf? It's a really good one.
So many of these books were responsible for some really big light bulb moments in my life, so I thought I would share them with you.
10 Books That Fundamentally Changed the Way I . . .
Feel About Motherhood: Operating Instructions by Anne Lamott. Before reading this book I had all these conflicting feelings about how I thought I was supposed to feel about motherhood and how I actually felt. Anne's essays on her first year of being a mother were honest, raw and freaking hilarious. I laughed, I cried, I pumped my fist in the air. I love everything by her, but this book will always be special to me.
Handled Birth Control and Geting Pregnant: Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler. After years of being on the pill, I turned to this book for a more natural method. I know more than I ever thought I could know about my cycle and certain, um, fluids. I'll have you know that both of my pregnancies were planned and conceived using the methods I learned here. No surprise babies here.
Educate My Children: You Are Your Child's First Teacher by Rahima Baldwin Dancy. I first read this when Elena was just a baby. It opened my eyes to a different way of interacting with your child. The author is a strong advocate of Waldorf education, but her philosophies on education eventually led me to Montessori. For that I am very thankful.
Thought About How My Kids Play: Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv. This book can be bit dry at times, but it's drastically changed the priority I put on getting my kids outside. The light bulbs went off a lot while reading this one.
Read To and Choose Books For My Kids: The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease. This book warrants an entirely separate post in the near future. We've always been big on reading aloud to our kids, but this book helped me to see why it's so important – not just for little ones, but for big kids, too. Great suggestions of books for different age groups, as well as tips for how to make the most out of your reading sessions.
Eat: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. I dare you to read this book and not want to start your own garden. And raise chickens. Mike is thanking his lucky stars I've only made it as far as the garden.
Discipline My Kids: How To Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish. I re-read this one over and over. What can I say, I'm a slow learner and my kids misbehave A LOT.
Cook: The Best Recipe by Cook's Illustrated. This book was my gateway drug into the world of America's Test Kitchen. I've never made anything from their vast collection of recipes that wasn't awesome. Each recipe is preceded by an essay which explains the process involved in coming up with the best recipe. It satisfies the nerd and chowhound in me like nothing else can. When I grow up I want to be a cook in the Test Kitchen.
What about you? Is there a book that opened up your mind to a new way of thinking? I'd love to hear about it in the comment section.