What I’m Into: August 2013

walking sunset

Well. I’ve been sharing all about my kitchen escapades over the last few weeks in my short, weekly updates. (If you haven’t been following along, I’ve been scaling back on blogging and diving into summer stuff for the month of August. It’s been pretty great. Impromptu beach visits; long walks to the library; food preservation; soft-serve ice cream dates; etc.)

I haven’t watched a single movie or TV show throughout the duration of the month (I know! I can’t even believe it!), so I have nothing to share there. I haven’t really been listening to music, either. That leaves only two categories to discuss:


C. S. Lewis – A Life: Eccentric Genius, Reluctant Prophet by Alistair McGrath

C. S. LewisThis new biography (which I received from a dear friend as a late birthday present) was published to commemorate of the 50th anniversary of Lewis’ death. And did you hear? Lewis is going to be commemorated at Westminser Abbey’s Poet’s Corner next month! EEEEK! I’m beyond thrilled.

Anyway, back to the book. It’s an extremely thorough and detailed account of Lewis’ life, with an entire chapter devoted to nailing down the date of his conversion. Luckily, I’m such a die-hard Lewis fan that I’m loving every second of it. I feel like I’m re-visiting Oxford, which is the most delectable place I’ve seen in my life — strolling down Addison’s Walk, peeking into Magdalen College Chapel. Ah! Heaven.

Heaven on Earth: A Handbook for Parents of Young Children– Sharifa Oppenheimer

My favourite resource so far about Waldorf education in the home. I love this book. It’s elegant, inspiring, and very readable. I want to run out and turn my back yard into a wild and wonderful naturescape for Lydia to enjoy.

Teach Me to Do It Myself: Montessori Activities for You and Your Child– Maja Pitamic

And this, I think, is my favourite book on Montessori education in the home. It offers lots of simple, practical Montessori activities that use everyday materials. I’ve taken this book out of the library before, but until now, most of the activities have been too advanced for Lydia. It’s incredibly practical and straightforward. I recommend it for parents with kids between 2-5 who are interested in introducing their children to the Montessori method without feeling overwhelmed.

Children’s Books:


Lydia’s really enjoying classics like Where the Wild Things Are and Madeline lately (both of which I purchased from thrift stores for a dollar). It pleases me to no end. I actually really enjoy story time when it comes to these books. (I may or may not have become prone to flinging certain books across the room when Lydia requested hearing them for the eleventh time that day, shouting dramatically, “No! Not this one! I hate this book!!”)

I’m  so excited that she’s getting old enough to appreciate good literature, and finally getting over vocabulary board books. I’m delighted to move Happy Baby Animals into storage to make space for these poetic, imagery-rich, gorgeously-illustrated works of art.

(For the record, two is becoming my favourite age so far. If you forget about all the tantrums, and ignore the fact that she still isn’t close to sleeping through the night. Not. Even. Close.)

Best Internet Reads

I’ll add another category this time around, just for fun.

School Clerk In Georgia Persuaded Gunman To Lay Down Weapons | Mark Memmot, NPR — an awe-inspiring story of how violence was curbed, not with more violence, but with loving words. Praise God no children were harmed!!

The Way My Brain Works After a Summer Home With My Kids (And a Recipe for Granola) | Revolution From Home — I can SO RELATE to this woman’s inner dialog about blogging. Funny and wise. Thank-you, sister. You get it.

Keeping Kids From Toy Guns: How One Mother Changed Her Mind | Christina Gross-Loh – A very, very interesting look at whether playing with toy weapons encourages violence. (Hint: the opposite seems to be true!) Brought to you, incidentally, by the author who wrote Diaper-Free Baby (a favourite of mine!).

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What have you been into?

Linking up with Leigh Kramer.

*Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you click the links and buy anything from Amazon, I get a tiny commission. Thanks for supporting Becoming Peculiar!

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  1. Did you know I grew up just outside Oxford? I love imagining you wandering around my city and enjoying it so much! I also love that you linked to Madeline – I was trying to describe it to French friends of mine on Friday with blank looks in response. Maybe it’s not so well known there ironically?
    Fiona Lynne recently posted..Hope in the Darkness – and an announcementMy Profile

  2. What if you’re not a die-hard CS Lewis fan? I usually enjoy a well-done biography but that sounds like it might be quite the undertaking. Glad you were able to take it easy in August!
    Leigh Kramer recently posted..Leigh Loves It giveaway: When We Were On FireMy Profile

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