Sunday, July 1, 2012

First, What Are You Reading? Volume 23, July 2012

Updated:  I've added back in the link I made many moons ago, but haven't used in also many moons, since Bonnie was gracious enough to write her own here on her blog, Learning to be a Newlywed.

Here are my answers to the four questions I ask on the first of each month:
first, what are you reading?
what do you like best about it?
what do you like least?
what's next on your list to read?

As always, I hope you'll consider your current reads on your blog and/or sharing here in the comments or on Facebook.  Happy reading!

First, what are you reading?  

All the Money in the World: What the Happiest People Know About Getting and Spending by Laura Vanderkam.

Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen.

What do you like best about them? 

Vanderkam is a kindred spirit; she’s one of those writers I read (surprisingly rare) who I wish I could go out for coffee with and just gab.  She seems like an interesting person who would make a good friend.  I really enjoy her writing style and her general take on things.

Last year, I read Vanderkam’s first book 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think and reviewed it in a prior “first, what are you reading?”    I liked that book pretty well, but I really  enjoyed All the Money in the World.

All the Money in the World explores the ways people spend money and how we can be more intentional about spending, saving and giving.  Every chapter offers very specific ideas and conversation starters.  Like 168 Hours, Vanderkam offers outside-the -box ideas for tackling the specifics.  For instance, she recommends people think of how life would change if you had all the money in the world, or at least all the money you needed.  Would you quit your job? Travel more? Give more to charity?  Then she challenges .  She also recommends people keep a

Vanderkam has a great chapter on dreaming big when it comes to charitable giving.  I hate when books about finance don’t stress this.  She points out that being intentional and thinking creatively about giving to charity can be great for both the charity and one's own happiness.

This marks the umpteenth time that I have read Pride & Prejudice.    It may seem wrong for me, who has so much new to read, to revisit this book, but it makes me happy, so there.

The ostensible reason for reading P&P again is that last month, my daughters and I saw an excellent theater production of “Pride & Prejudice" at the Lifeline Theater in Chicago. I wrote about that here. It was a terrific production, and I highly recommend if you live in the area and love Jane Austen, you consider going to it.  We loved it!  It’s been extended until July 8, with good reason.  I wrote more about that here in my “literary pilgrimage.”

So after we saw it, I was determined to again re-read the novel and see how “lesser” lines from the play compare.  The play was remarkably true to the book, except in the play at several points, the character Elizabeth Bennet talked directly to the audience.   It was utterly charming and funny, and I loved that touch about the play.

What do you like least about them?

Really, I liked just a bout everything about All the Money in the World, except I wish I had more time to discuss it in our family and talk over financial literacy, and in particular passing that on to our children.

Last month, I wrote about how I found Michael Hyatt’s Platform helpful, but not as applicable to a busy mom.  I find both of Vanderkam’s books really helpful right now in my life, with a mix of work and family.

What’s next on your list to read?

I wish I could start reading Sense & Sensibility to keep reading Jane Austen, but I really need to branch out next month.

I’ve started to read The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien with our 9-year-old.  We are having a great time, and I hope to work through the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy after finishing The Hobbit.  I’m not sure if anyone in our family will be going to see the forthcoming Hobbit movie this winter, but at least we will have read the book ahead of time if we decide to see it.

So, what are you reading these days?  Any books you would like to share?


  1. The Gospel According to Tolkien, by Ralph Wood.
    VERY good!
    Tolkien interwove his Catholic faith into The Lord of the Rings (and other works) seamlessly. Unlike the obvious allegory of Lewis, Tolkien's works celebrate our faith in one of the most moral and beautiful works in modern literature. Wood takes us through elements of the faith found in Tolkien's writing and presents them deliciously, like a seven course meal of all desserts!

  2. I can't tell you how much I'm enjoying reading The Hobbit again, especially with kids. But I also really love Lewis and reading him aloud. Tolkien is much more lyrical. It is beautiful to read aloud. Thanks for this recommendation.

  3. Here's my answers!

  4. Bonnie! Thanks for doing your own "what are you reading." Now I need to add back in the Mister Linky widget I created long ago... having a little trouble with it right now.

  5. I'm reading Teaching with Poverty in Mind: What Being Poor Does to Kids' Brains and What Schools Can Do About It. I love that the book is concise, well-researched, and practical. I'm going into my 6th year of teaching communication arts to public school kids. I'm eager to put my new mindset on poverty to work. [*1st time on this blog :)]

    1. Ashley, thanks for visiting! I enjoyed popping over to your blog--happy 4th anniversary a few days late :-)