Carnival of Family Life: Well-Read Life Edition

My bookshelfWelcome to the Carnival of Family Life: Well-Read Life Edition.

Read in order to Live. –Gustave Flaubert

Don’t we all wish we had more time to read? While no one can escape the bounds of time, there are some tools and techniques available to increase our book time. Now, bloggers are writers, and writers must be readers. So, my Carnival of Family Life will display this week’s wonderful blog posts (in the order received) among bits of book-love wisdom. My source is The Little Guide To Your Well-Read Life by Steve LeveenHow to get more books in your life and more life from your books.

Mr. Leveen is a big fan of making lists. He insists that it must be your list, not someone else’s list. It can be overwhelming with the number of books available, with thousands more titles added each week.

I like to call this list that you make for yourself a List of Candidates rather than a reading list. Most of us had assigned reading lists in school, and hence the term carries a tweed-jacketed pall of obligation. It is more helpful to consider the books you place on your list as candidates for your attention rather than obligations. p. 13

Donetta presents Carnival of Family Life. Life Celebrated posted at A Life Uncommon. Just look at her celebration pictures!

Dana presents Planet’s meanest mom now the coolest posted at Principled Discovery. Would you have the guts?

What Works For Us presents I Shoulda Been A Hairdresser posted at What Works For Us. Do you know what a chullet is?

Christine presents Home is where my Heart is! posted at Are We There Yet Mom. You will just go kiss your grandmother after reading this.

Cory Aldrich presents Tax Season Is Upon Us! posted at Marriage Actually. Death and taxes, yes we know. Some sound advice.

Mom & Dad present Pneumonia, Bronchitis, and Birthdays, Oh My! posted at Raising 4 Boys. Oh, go drop this dear family a word of encouragement!

Jesse Moran presents 6 Tips to Cutting Down Your Spending on Groceries posted at CompGifts [The Frugal Way of Living]. If all you did was follow tip #1, you’d be in darn good shape.

Miscellaneous Mum presents THE scariest book for a preschooler EVER posted at Miscellaneous Adventures of an Aussie Mum. I guarantee it’s NOT what you think!

Read, read, read!Steve Leveen mentions a reading guide first created in the mid-1930s by a group of scholars and led by Atwood H. Townsend, a professor at New York University:

From his introductory essay, “On Reading,” Professor Townsend comes across as a kind and wise fellow who’s not shy about lecturing us. “No matter how busy you may think you are,” he tells us, “you must find time for reading now, or surrender yourself to self-ignorance.” Most comforting was this advice: “Never force yourself to read a book that you do not enjoy. There are so many good books in the world that it is foolish to waste time on one that does not give you pleasure and profit.” p. 25

Marjorie presents Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike the Headless Chicken posted at Life Without School. After killing 141 chickens, you’d sound crazy, too.

Mrs. Darling presents Chicken Little posted at Dishpan Dribble. Okay, so I presented this for her, since she is too busy to submit it herself (seriously), but while we’re talking about chickens, it’s just so fitting.

Alvaro Fernandez presents Brain Plasticity, Health and Fitness Books posted at Sharp Brains. Yep, lots of brain books. I could use a few of these in the midst of raising four children – you know what that does to your brain.

Tim Gary presents How to Make Time Out of Thin Air posted at Tim Gary. Okay, I was wrong above when I stated that no one can escape the bounds of time.

Meredith presents Ways to Save Money: Beauty and Fashion posted at The Simple Nickle. I’m all over this idea – remember, I use vegetable shortening on my skin. “If beauty is only skin deep, why does it reach so deeply into our wallets?”

Frugal Trader presents Shopping for a Newborn I – The List posted at Million Dollar Journey. Oh, to be an old Indian woman and just strap the little thing in a papoose.

Coupon Fetcher presents How To Find The Real Price Of Things posted at Coupon Fetcher. Beware of the fine print!

Left Wing Christian presents Kids & Money: Putting Baby on a Budget? posted at Suburban Wife’s Daily Dollar Diary. A very interesting perspective on children and finance. I like this.

Mitch McDonald presents Sell Your House and Rent it Back: Avoid Foreclosure posted at FYI Did you know there is such a thing as a repossession rental specialist?

Children connecting with booksSome people will cringe at the thought, but Leveen maintains that you should write in your books. This marginalia can express your inspirations, questions, and thoughts, and help you connect with your books.

On a trip to Amherst, Massachusetts, Lori and I toured Emily Dickinson’s home. I bought a nice hardcover volume of her poetry in the gift shop and inside it wrote the date that we bought it, then taped in the ticket stub from the tour. Walking in the Dickinson’s yard with Lori that lovely summer afternoon, I picked up a perfect oak leaf from the grass and put that inside, too. Now our book is not simply any copy of Emily Dickinson’s poetry, but a special one with particulars, and even a leaf from the very yard that inspired her. p. 55

Paid Twice presents Teaching Preschoolers About Money posted at I’ve Paid For This Twice Already. A different school of thought from Suburban Wife above – “Even though it may seem early to start helping a three year old understand money concepts, they’re more aware of everything already than you might think.”

Samuel Bryson presents The Philosophy of Happiness – The Media & Unrealistic Expectations posted at Total Wellbeing. His first sentence sums it up: “Mainstream Media is full of crap.”

FitBuff presents 4 Tips on How to Live Longer posted at FitBuff. Sorry, the Fountain of Youth is not one of the four – every good thing requires some work.

Michael Ruch presents Post Surgery Recovery Going Well posted at Mikes World. The whole family pitches in to make for a speedy recovery.

Warren Wong presents The Value of Our Parents posted at Personal Development For INTJs. Wong says, “Parents can give us a sense of meaning and purpose in life.”

Terry M presents Marathon Day posted at Mom on Wheels. Go congratulate this mom on running her first half-marathon!

Carole Fogarty presents Easily Delete Obstacles and Welcome a Rush of New Opportunities posted at The Healthy Living Lounge. She says to detox and simplify.

Diane Kidman presents How to Lose Weight After Pregnancy and Beyond posted at The Mommy Spot. It’s the month of resolutions!

HowToMe presents How to Add Zest to Your Day posted at HowToMe. As in, the zest of an orange!

Guera presents Treating Clubfeet posted at Roaming Aussie Mum. Wow. “The story of my daughter’s journey to beautiful feet!”

Alex Blackwell presents Five Good Reasons to Exercise posted at The Next 45 Years. “Exercise can help to relieve stress, build confidence and to provide self-care and nurturing.”

Expat Chef presents The Unnecessary Nugget posted at The Expatriate’s Kitchen. “Can the fast food nugget be nudged out by a healthier alternative? You betcha, and it tastes better, too.”

Chris presents Don’t Snooze In Your Cubicle: Here Are Four Ways To Snack For Higher Energy posted at The Healthy Snacks Blog.

Aparna presents 12 beauty uses of baking soda posted at Beauty and Personality Grooming. “You can concoct your own beauty products in the convenience of your home by mixing a few ingredients from your kitchen shelves.”

audio bookReading with your ears can open up a whole new world, and Leveen is a big fan of audiobooks. He quotes George Guidall, who says “I think it’s an essential need of the human being to hear another human being tell them a story…it makes us feel there’s somebody else here with us.” Are you a commuter? Stuck in traffic? A long-haul trucker? A taxi-cab mom? Mr. Leveen shares the example of Sarah Thomas, director of the Cornell University Libraries:

One of the first audiobooks Sarah listened to in the car was Peter Mayle’s Year in Provence. She delighted in all the well-executed French accents. “I was surprised. I don’t think that I had fully grasped the possibilities of the media. If you take something like Three Junes by Julia Glass, the story of a Scottish family, how much more alive the story comes with the Scottish accent than when you’re reading the book and trying to imagine it.” p. 66

David B. Bohl presents Small Business Trends Column – Who Else (Besides a Majority of Business Professionals) Wants Work Life Balance in 2008? posted at Slow Down Fast Today! “A nationwide survey sheds some light as to what people think will help them achieve their business goals in 2008. What made the top of the list? Achieving a work-life balance!”

Erika Wilson presents Weight Loss God’s Way posted at Royally Redeemed. “Why waste time losing weight with dieting only to gain it back once you return to your former eating habits, when you can learn the process to a healthy lifestyle and lose weight with out ever worrying about gaining it back?”

Deb presents Impulsive, ego-centric, exuberant…posted at Mom Of 3 Girls. “Trying to help figure out what makes our daughter different from other kids in some ways…”

Jeremy Neal presents Discovering Dad – 10 Most Common Parenting Strategies of Dads posted at Discovering Dad. “Here’s a list of the Top 10 Most Common Parenting Strategies of Dads.”

Spillay presents The Party Fairy was watching over me posted at A Pot of Gold. No more fear of having a social event in my home.

Madeleine Begun Kane presents Miss Dating? Not Me! (Limerick) posted at Mad Kane’s Humor Blog. Married gals, aren’t you glad the game is over?

Zamejias presents Young Engineer posted at Verb. Yes, I see the young engineer.

Meghna presents MUSINGS…: Mail it??? How??? posted at MUSINGS… Oh, yeah, the postal system.

Matt M presents My Dog’s “Flix” at posted at The Pet Haven. Cutest little pooches in sweaters I’ve ever seen.

Host Bee presents Valentine’s Day Party Ideas posted at Busy Bee Lifestyle. A Valentine’s Day Coffee And Conversation!

Hilltown Families presents Zoe’s Big Adventure Across Eastern Europe posted at Hilltown Families. “Join Zoe (age 4) and her mom as they travel across Europe. You can read their posts, which will include photos, activities, maps and links to suggested readings.”

Dolfin presents Snow Day!! posted at Lionden Landing. “Share with us as we celebrate our first real snowfall.”

reading books togetherSharing the fellowship of books – think about joining a book club if you don’t already belong to one. This tradition, actually dating back in some form to at least the 1800s in America, is on the rise. Some benefits of belonging to a book club include getting back into reading, reading books you would not have otherwise read, and gaining more insight from those books.

Whether to participate in a book group raises the age-old pros and cons of group involvement. You give up a bit of your personal freedom in exchange for the insights that can be gained from discussion. To the extent that you read to expand your knowledge of the world and people, group participation may be well worth the trade-off. The legendary reader Samuel Johnson said, “Books without the knowledge of life are useless, for what should books teach but the art of living?” p. 94

Laura Scarborough presents Ready or Not posted at Adventures in Juggling. “What’s a slacker mom to do when her child is driven and passionate about something? Well, ready or not, I join in because she is my child.”

Terri Mauro presents Emotional Rescue posted at About Parenting Special Needs. “Do you ever have days when you feel solely responsible for your family’s emotional equilibrium, and fear that you’ll overturn that apple cart any minute? I had one of those days today.”

The Baglady presents Fifteen Years in America — An Introduction — The Baglady posted at The Baglady. “Here is the first chapter in this real story written by my dad where a family came from Communist China with absolutely nothing, and chased the American Dream with hard work and determination.”

Samuel Bryson presents Cycling and your Wellbeing posted at Total Wellbeing. Lots of good reasons here to hop on your bike!

Living By Learning presents How To Be Popular: Tween Style posted at On Living By Learning. “Sometimes the pursuit of popularity can be a useful parenting device.”

Tea Party Girl presents Teach Your Children Well–The Top Five Mealtime Etiquette Lessons for Children posted at Tea Party Girl. “What role do manners and etiquette play in the twenty-first century? Tea Party Girl wants to go on record as saying they play the same role they always did: to help us show preference and honor to others over ourselves.”

Tipsandtricks presents Dishwashing With Clothes posted at Tipsandtricks. Oh, and I thought she was putting the clothes in the dishwasher! It’s getting late!

Shabana presents Five 2 Minute Tips to Raise a Confident Child posted at PreSchoolMama. “A few simple and easy to do tips to help raise a confident child.”

MyBestInvest presents MBI’s Guide to Playing With Your Kids posted at My Best Investments. Sometimes, we need a list.

Stephanie presents The Birthday Tea Party – Activities posted at Stop the Ride! “Fun activities for a birthday tea party with links for other DIY tea party ideas.”

PlanningQueen presents Fighting the materialism battle with self esteem posted at Planning with Kids. Comments on curbing the “gimme syndrome,” with some nice links.

Thank you for visiting the Carnival of Family Life: Well-Read Life Edition! Next week’s carnival is hosted by Confessions of a Novice, and you may submit your family-related post HERE.

There is creative reading as well as creative writing. –Emerson

photo credits:,, AudioBook Builder

This entry was posted in carnivals, family life. Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Carnival of Family Life: Well-Read Life Edition

  1. JHS says:

    You have done a BEAUTIFUL job hosting this week! I am thoroughly impressed. LOVE the theme, love the graphics . . . you rock! THANKS SO MUCH FOR HOSTING!!

  2. Grace says:

    Hi Jen, I didn’t know you were hosting the carnival this week. I forgot to submit my post because I was busy with hosting another carnival. The Carnival of Cities is up in my site right now. :-)

    Great work! This is a massive carnival and with the lot of entries this week, I’d say, you did a beautiful job!

  3. MyBestInvest says:

    Great job! Thanks for the hard work you put into this week’s carnival!

  4. Pingback: Small Business Trends Column - Who Else (Besides a Majority of Business Professionals) Wants Work Life Balance in 2008? | Slow Down Fast Today! ~ David B. Bohl

  5. mrs darling says:

    Thanks for submitting that for me. Thats true friendship! LOL Wow what a lot to read. It would take me weeks to get through this!

  6. Pingback: This just in, some Fun Bloggy Announcements |

  7. HowToMe says:

    Thank you very much!

  8. Pingback: Reading On The Road - On Living By Learning

  9. Thanks for hosting, neat pictures. I have some reading to check out now!

  10. Jen says:

    Hey, thanks everyone for your encouraging words, great posts, and for LINKS back to this carnival!!

  11. zamejias says:

    Nice presentation. Good job!

    Also tapping at

  12. Meredith says:

    ah, if only i had more time to read more! including all the great posts on this carnival. thanks for including me in such a great lineup.

  13. Pingback: Blog Carnivals - On Living By Learning

  14. Pingback: Debt, Family, and Women - The Carnivals | I've Paid For This Twice Already...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *