What We’re Reading :: May 2011

by flowers on May 26, 2011 · 9 comments

This is a new monthly series where I share with you “what we’re reading”. I’d love to hear if you’ve read/loved/hated any of the books & publications we’ve got our noses in this month by leaving a comment. Have you done a book review (or reviews) lately? Link it up!

The Mama


Trust Agents by Chris Brogan & Julien Smith

Yes, it’s true I’m a complete social media geek and this book kept it real. Brogan and Smith  take the sometimes overwhelming realm of social networking and explain it into language and ideas that make sense. It packs some great insight and provides helpful language to help communicate with my colleagues, clients, friends and family about the why of social media and how it relates to them, their passions, and their businesses.

My only critique is that it’s a little heavy on the “dude” vibe. Since it’s written by two dudes I guess it makes sense ;-) Just be ready for an opening story about the mafia. It’s spot on, but not exactly my speak. In other words, if you’re anything like me you might have to translate from Godfather-esque to starry eyed global do-gooder.


Do The Work by Steven Pressfield

Do The Work by Steven Pressfield

I heard about this gem from Seth Godin, my intellectual crush, and I downloaded it for free on Amazon. (I think it costs 7.99 now.) Since I don’t have a Kindle I actually read it on my itouch using the Kindle app. Call me crazy–I don’t mind.

This was an emotional roller coaster of a read. Pressfield takes you through the emotional journey of creating and completing a project–the highs and the lows.

The idea is that by identifying this process you can complete your work rather than get hung up somewhere because of that evil Resistance. (You have to read it to understand what the heck I’m referring too).

It’s short, easy to read and packs a punch.

As I read it I wanted to jump headfirst into three different projects, but instead I had children to care for and laundry to do so I found myself a bit frustrated. I promised myself to read it again when I dive head first into my next project. (Soon! Oh so soon!)


The Daddy



The Daddy has been working seven days a week–no exaggeration. Spring is notoriously his busiest work season so when I asked him what he was reading he just laughed at me.

Got it, babe.

But you can’t fool me. I’ve spotted him reading National Geographic, Ode Magazine and he’s been using the Birds of New York Field Guide to identify the birds coming to our feeder.






Knights by Rachel Firth (Discovery Usborne)

The boys started collecting Playmobil figures and they both are only pick knight figurines. While they sweated out which new knight to pick out I browsed through the books. I found this pretty realistic discovery book which I thought was a good way to broach the conversation that real weapons and knights were pretty intense–a little reality check, but still honoring his interest and all. We’ve been reading it in pieces and they both like looking at the armor and the weapons. Weapons are a big focal point around our home right now.




Rikki Tikki Tavi by Rudyard Kipling

We’ve always loved this book (and the movie). It’s exciting, a little scary and triumphant. The pictures are beautiful in this version and Solshine pulled this off the book shelf and we’ve reread it a few times. I particularly enjoy reading this one out loud.





Greek Myths for Young Children by Heather Amery

I can’t remember how, but Solshine heard a story about a Zeuss and started asking lots of questions about Greek mythology. We took out a few books from the library and he really enjoyed them so when I saw this collection I thought it would be nice to add to our home library. We’ve read the first five or six stories and I think it’s a tad over his head, but he seems to be enjoying it. I spend most of the time looking up the pronunciations in the back ;-) I think we’ll be revisiting this one again in the future.




Busy Town by Richard Scarry

Koala is obsessed with this book. Obsessed. He loves that there are so many pages it never seems to end. The mama thinks maybe there could have been a few less pages for the parent who has to read it from cover to cover again and again. Just saying.

No, but really, super cute and creative classic.




Hop on Pop by Dr. Seuss


Everyone loves Dr. Seuss, right? Well, now that Koala is on board it’s extra fun. I appreciate the rhythm and cadence and he’s even started reading along from memory. We read this almost every night at bedtime.





Pirates Don’t Change Diapers


This is another bedtime regular. It’s quite funny and literally has Koala cracking up. Is there anything better to a three year old boy than pirates, treasure maps and references to a stinky diaper? I think not.






The Baby

Oh gosh–she’s the third child and I’m just going to admit that I don’t sit there and read baby board books to her! I mean she’s around while we’re reading, but her own books? Not really ;-)


There you have it–our stand out favorite reads for the month of May.

Have you read these books? Thoughts? What’s your family reading right now?

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Jackie Lee May 26, 2011 at 8:10 am

I have read quite a few of the books on your list! Do The Work was astounding and has made a huge difference in my business. I agree that it makes you so ready to get out there and jump into a big project. :)
Pirates Don’t Change Diapers is a really fun book! We have it and it’s a regular pick for before bed reading.
We’re doing a hundred book reading challenge (with my 5 year old) this Summer, if you want to see what we’re reading (or join the challenge) stop by and take a look: http://www.thebooksinourlife.com/100-books-summer-reading-challenge/


flowers May 26, 2011 at 2:23 pm

Oh that’s so cool. I’m going to check it out!


mb May 26, 2011 at 12:32 pm

nice! i like the new series! this will be great. i especially liked seeing pictures of the whole family. :) quinn and i read through many of the jungle book (rudyard kipling) stories a few months ago, and rikki tikki tavi, as i recall, was exactly as you described- a little scary but exciting and triumphant. there was a great story in there that we loved as much as all the mowgli ones, called the white seal, it was truly magical for water people like we are. again, a little scary but we went with it. kipling tells it like it is, he doesn’t really seem to dumb down the nature stuff. we have how i became a pirate (precursor to pirates don’t change diapers- which we get out of the library sometimes) and love those stories- quinn has playmobil pirates at his dad’s place, and loves all things boaty. we definitely have the weapons theme, and dada is taking point on that topic, i am particularly useless on it anyway, but they are learning about everything from paleo stone knives and spear points, to bow and arrow, to swords and cannons and guns. dada has it in mind to have this stuff be a non-issue by informing him about them (the serious stuff they can really do, and how it’s important to use them for good, as tools) and i’m crossing my fingers. we’ve been reading some old favorites (mrs. frisby and the rats of nimh) some magic treehouse series (honestly i give it mediocre reviews but the boy loves annie and jack) and a great new nikki mcclure book “to market to market” with her famous exacto knife prints- nothing but love there, especially given the topic is farmer’s markets. i just finished the omnivore’s dilemma (love) and just picked up the dirty life by kristin kimball and anticipate loving it as well. i’ve been on a farm theme, personally.


flowers May 26, 2011 at 2:27 pm

We feel the same way about weapons. Lots of discussion and information and play and when appropriate some “reality” (more for the six year old.) We talk about weapons in terms of hunting for food and if warfare comes up we don’t glorify it in any way.

Once in a while my three year old says something particularly disturbing like, “Mom, I cut off your head!” and I respond seriously thinking I want him to know how serious that statement is and he looks at me and says, “But mom, it’s pretend.” Right.

We love the Magic Treehouse series too! We have the audios, but they’re taking a break right now. And just today we took out “How I became a Pirate” from the library :-)


Stacy at Sweet Sky June 1, 2011 at 11:28 pm

I especially love the baby’s list!! So funny and true. :)

I was doing a “What I’m Reading” series for a while… I love seeing what others are reading too. Thanks!


Erin OK @ it's OK June 15, 2011 at 3:04 am

We like Hop on Pop, when little isn’t tearing the pages (he’s only 1, we’re all about board books here!).
I’ve been thinking of starting a monthly review of what I’m reading. . . but I love the idea of including the whole family’s reading!


Elizabeth June 18, 2011 at 11:25 pm

I’ve been contemplating “Do the Work”… sounds like it’s worth the 8 bucks.

I’m swamped right now with books on infant massage, attachment parenting, breastfeeding, and birth, since I’m working towards my certification on a few things, so really, my list is filled with this genre.

My little guy (8 mo. old) LOVES “Teeth Are Not For Biting” right now. We read it at least 4 times in a row at each sitting before he’s okay moving on to the next, which is another favorite of his – “How Does a Dinosaur Clean His Room?” I’m just loving the fact that my 8 month old will sit still for 15 solid minutes, pointing and laughing at the pictures while I read to him. I’m a bookworm and really wanted him to enjoy reading also… so glad he does.


Angie June 22, 2011 at 4:12 pm

I just came across your blog via the Simple Homeschool blog (or some rabbit hole of links starting there!), and love this series! The best books are always ones recommended and I’m eager to follow your lists. I do a “book of the week” sort of thing every friday on my own blog – but love the idea of including the whole family in the reading list.


caroline starr rose August 20, 2011 at 10:14 am

My boys and I are are reading The Great Glass Elevator and Encyclopedia Brown. fun for me to revisit!


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