I’ve been reading more now that I’m forced to sit still at least four times a day for nursing, and consequently, I’ve finished some books worth sharing with you.

Educating the Wholehearted Child, by Clay & Sally Clarkson

This was the book I finished in September, and while I can see why it’s considered one of the “great classics” for those interested in homeschooling, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it wholeheartedly. I was uncomfortable with a few of the premises in the book, but the overall content was great. We’re still on the fence about homeschooling (especially since Miss Muffet talks nonstop about going to school, riding the bus, etc.), though that’s not stopping me from filling myself with all kinds of books about it. Whether or not we homeschool, there are some great ideas in this book, including book lists (my excitement about those is no surprise).

The Complete Stories, by Flannery O’Connor

I have read a lot about O’Connor and added her to my reading list about a year ago. Over the summer, I came across this collection of all of her short stories, and since I’ve been on a bit of a collection-of-short-stories kick since last Christmas, I picked it up and started reading stories before bed. And after finishing all 600 or so pages of short stories, I’m pretty sure I need to read them again. Flannery doesn’t so much write about happy things. And Flannery has some complicated themes. Except I’m pretty sure my numb mind didn’t get them all. Good thing I bought the book, so I can revisit it later…

The Heart of Motherhood, by Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle

This book came in a brown paper package a few months ago, and I saved it to be my hospital book (though it nearly killed me to see it sitting there so patiently on my shelf, waiting for the baby right along with me). What a book to read during those first few days with my new baby! As I savored the excitement of my new daughter, feeling much the way I remember feeling on the Christmas mornings of my single-digit years, Donna’s book reminded me about the hard work and the bright rewards of motherhood. She doesn’t gloss over the difficulty, nor does she make light of the responsibility. In this book, she does what she does so well – she encourages all of us mothers.

In the past few months, I’ve gotten to know Donna a bit, through her two blogs and some emails we’ve exchanged, and reading this book was just like talking with Donna. Each chapter ends with prayer, the kind that you’ll want to copy into your prayer book or post on your bathroom mirror. I felt the same sort of comfort in reading this book that I feel when I’m having a cup of tea with a dear friend. So go and grab a copy of this book and a steaming cup of tea. Donna has some words of encouragement for you!

A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper, by John Allen Paulos

I was stuck in my husband’s truck without a book of my own, so I unabashedly grabbed this one from under the console and started reading it. Innumeracy has long been a favorite of ours, and Paulos keeps his humor and his talent for making the reader go “d’oh!” in this analysis of just how – I’m not being politically correct here – ignorant we all are in falling for the numbers games in the paper. He structures the book like a newspaper (in sections), and uses humor and clarity to explain the fallacies of the numbers so that even I could appreciate it. You don’t have to be a “numbers person” to enjoy this book – in fact, you probably need this book more if you’re not a numbers person!