What We Are Reading Right Now #16 – The Mother Person Version…

“What We are Reading Posts” are typically books that my kids that are reading. This week I thought I would show you what is on my reading pile right now… I am always surrounded by a heaps of books to read, mostly from the library. I take a look at the free books available on Amazon everyday, I follow Free Kindle books on Jungle Deals and Steals, and download a couple of books each week. I also earn a few Amazon dollars from affiliate links on our site and look forward to downloading a book from my wish list every now and then. Paper or e-book? Gotta say I still much prefer paper… but e-books are fabulous for a quick read and for books I only want to read once. Not to mention you don’t pay shipping fees…


Where I used to be a massive reader I am now a snippet reader… catching a chance to read whenever I can. Gone are the days where I could plonk down and read a book from start to finish because the laundry could wait… laundry might be able to wait but meals for ten can’t and they relentlessly roll around every couple of hours to interrupt my reading. I confess that I pretty much insist on an hour on the couch after lunch – reading whatever I am reading. We all do this, everybody reads their own books for a period of time each day. It is just a small intentional way that I can ensure that I keep on reading and learning and well reading!!!

  1. Lampedusa Pie by Andrea Burgener: Let’s start with a cook book, because I always have a cook book on my pile. I never used to read them, I used to browse them for new and interesting recipes. But the last couple of years I have really started to dig into cookbooks and I love discovering that there is so much more to cookbooks than recipes. This book is a locally written book by Andrea Burgener and you can read an interview with her here. This book smacks of my childhood and is filled with food you want to eat rather than a pile of pretentious recipes that you should be eating!!! I love it, I love her personality shining through in page after page – I love a self-taught chef who makes it, who is totally unafraid to voice her opinion and I am all for someone who cooks with just butter and considers margarine to be a bit of an unmentionable. There is lots to love in this book… the recipe a page, and easy lay-out, the photographs filled with vintage finds… swoon and sigh… and just enough writing to make you want to settle in and have a good read, but not so much that you feel you have to take notes. I will stop rapturing on – but seriously when the first recipe in a book is pumpkin fritters then you know you just can not go wrong from there… Lots and lots of totally doable recipes and somethings that are totally new and different and interesting – like why haven’t I tried that before!!!

    So se7en + 1 recipes my kids will be trying in the next few weeks:

    1. pumpkin fritters (of course),
    2. granadilla curd – seriously!!!,
    3. chicken baked cream, garlic, mustard and thyme,
    4. pizzetta… deep fried little pocket size bites of pizza… with all the cheese all melty in the middle!!!
    5. st. clements pudding… oh my goodness a lovely baked dessert just right for our weather right now.
    6. best posh chocolate cake… nearly all recipe books have a chocolate cake and yes we try them all!!! This recipe looks like a keeper!!!
    7. spaghetti with marmite… where have I been, this may just be the way I can get my kids to eat one of my favourite childhood flavours!!!
    8. And the se7en + 1th

    9. well can I say: Cinnamon-fudge sauce…

    Needless to say this book is firmly settled on the cookbook shelf. Lampedusa Pie is published by PanMacmillan South Africa, who gave us a copy for review purposes.

  2. Mornings in Jenin by Susan Abulhawa: I grabbed this book as I walked into the library last week, it just totally looked like my kind of book… and yes I most certainly do judge a book by the cover. While this book is a novel it looked biographical and I love those kinds of books especially books about cultures that totally different to my own. This is a family life book about a Palestinian family forced from their olive farm to live in a refugee camp in Jenin Israel in 1948. You follow the interweaving lives of her family through the eyes of Amal, the grand-daughter of the displaced family… This book is sad, you will cry at the pain this family experiences as part of their daily lives… the loves the losses and the injustices. A really good read, I am loving it.
  3. Help Your Kids With Maths, by Carol Vorderman: I got this book out of the library because I just love messing around with numbers and playing with math facts… my kids not so much!!! This book is a great family reference book and would be a fabulous addition to our shelves… full of really colourful pages presenting tons of math facts in a fun and easy way… It is a dipper, digging slightly deeper than your average book about maths – but not so deep as to overwhelm. Typical DK book… heaps of colour and fabulous presentation, you can take a peak inside here. Lots of little tricks to show my kids without them thinking that they are learning anything!!!
  4. Going Green by Simon Gear: I found this one on the library shelf… and thought it needed a read. The first plus about this book is that even though it is applicable wherever you are in the world, it is written by a local. Somehow green tips by someone who lives in your own country and knows the lay of the land are a little easier to follow and absorb. This book is incredibly easy reading an almanac of green facts – something different for each day of the year. The tips are separated into six categories: Home and Garden; Family; Work and Community; Travel and Leisure; Food and Drink; and You. The tips are mostly easy to implement… recycle, green cleaning products and all that. Gotta say I am not sure what the author would say about a family with eight kids when he recommends that two is green… that is a whole huge debate that I would just rather not get into!!! Apart from that the book is filled with fab tips, easy to implement and often silly things we just don’t think about.
  5. How Eskimos Keep Their Babies Warm by Mei-Ling Hopgood: This book was on my wish list for ages… I am naturally drawn to multi-cultural books and this one is about kids as well – has to be a winner!!! This book is delightful and I find myself smiling from page to page. So often I have parented a way that wasn’t, dare I say, quite what “the joneses” were doing… and this book really highlights what works in one culture would be a complete misnomer in others!!! For example, the first chapter is about sleep patterns and how some culture’s children seem to go to bed out and about restauranteering at mid-night and other cultures have their tiny tots in bed by 7pm every night. Other topics she covers are: first foods, and life without a stroller… that one is close to my heart – we have never owned a stroller!!! I really like how she embraces what works from different cultures – if nothing else this book will encourage you… always good to know that somewhere in the world other children are doing all the things that your children are doing – including dashing about long past “the expected bed-time.” This is not another boring and prescriptive parenting book full of things you should be doing. I really enjoyed the easy reading of this book and the feeling that I could possibly have unintentionally raised kids with a smattering of multi-culture-ism ingrained in them.
  6. Never Let Go by Gareth Crocker: This book is written by a South African Author, Gareth Crocker and I have been keen to read one of his books. You can meet the author, Gareth Crocker in this video. Who doesn’t like a good crime from time to time. Something to keep you stuck in a book till the very end… I have been reading and reading. The problem with being a mom with eight kids and a good crime novel is – well interruptions. I want to be able to read this from start to finish… but I am about two thirds of the way through and need a chunk of time to get to the very end. You go into this book expecting a kidnapping… and then I imagined that it would be a page turner of “getting the child back”… Nothing like that. The book begins: You are settled into a loving relationship between a dad and his daughter and you can see the crime in progress… but the father can’t. Astonishingly the worst happens and it is harrowing to read the father’s journey, coping with his desperate recovery… but there are twists and turns and this book is not running a typical course at all… I need to finish it!!! I received a copy of this book from Penguin Books South Africa for review purposes.
  7. The Fifth Wave by Rick Yancey: My kids received this book to review and they were quite excited about it, it comes with a fair amount of hype, top of the bestseller list, movie rights and so on. But my big boys didn’t enjoy it. So I thought I would read it for them and see what the inside scoop was all about. Honestly, I wouldn’t naturally read about alien invasions, it is not my thing. But the book holds its own even though I haven’t read the previous “Waves in the series”. There is of course a dark feeling of dystopian gloom… well the author claims sci-fi… but anyway. In a dark world and a bit like “Katniss of the Hunger Games” you can’t help rooting for the lead character Cassie Sullivan. She is tough and strong and a great heroine. Her goal is to stay alive is really a cover for her true and higher cause, she is out to rescue her younger brother, Sammy and it turns out at any cost. Meanwhile the aliens are invading… and a world at war is quite the understatement!!! I think the opening page where the alien intrudes as a shadow on a sleeping family – a mother, father and an unborn child – only to be awakened from its “sleeper status” five years later was just a little too creepy for my teens… but if you are into creepy sci-fi alien invasions then this is a really good read… and the first in a trilogy – of course there is more to come!!! Pretty gripping, not my usual read at all… but I can see why folk love it and can’t wait to find out what happens next. We received a copy of this book from Penguin Books South Africa for review purposes.

  8. And the Se7en + 1th are a set of books:

  9. These books came highly recommended by one of my fave bloggers We Are That Family, so I popped them onto my wish list. Vicki Courtney is a mom of three children, two are married and one in college… so she has done her time in the teenage trenches. I have to say we are at a stage where I have a stream of teens headed my way… when we had six kids under eight and eight kids in ten-ish years… I wasn’t really imagining a hole lot of teenagers sitting around the kitchen table at meal times… but the reality is well impending!!! And while I firmly believe that teenagers get a terrible wrap and even if they aren’t a breeze to live with, neither am I!!! I was looking for books that would open up discussion about topics that my kids might want to know about but not want to talk about… not to mention things that I just might not think about talking about with them… I think I have found what I am looking for!!! I have already dipped a little and I love her approach to kids and their thinking as well as to parents… I love how she shares the reality, for example anybody with a teenage son that has just as much lego underfoot as a their younger brothers will know where I am coming from. I am really going to enjoy these… and they are booked for this weekend’s reading.

We would like to thank PanMacMillan South Africa and Penguin Books South Africa for giving us some of these books to review. We would like to declare that we were not paid to do these reviews, just provided with books. All the opinions are entirely our own!!!

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