by Mark Steyn
I highly recommend this book. In a nutshell: how demographics, cultural relativism, and Islam are colliding, with catastrophic results on the horizon. Or, in some cases, already here. Read my longer review.
Glenn Beck’s Common Sense
by Glenn Beck, with Thomas Paine’s Common Sense included
Yes, ok, I like Glenn Beck. No, I haven’t followed him long. Actually, I only started watching him after he got his own show on Fox News. I’ve enjoyed the book a lot so far. I’m certainly not about to become a Libertarian (I am not yet ready to totally give up on laws that impose morality, like anti-drug laws and such), but the book (and show) have been thought-provoking. And yes, I went to a Tea Party. And a 10th Amendment rally. Beck may be silly at times, but he isn’t wrong.
Bless Me Father, For I Have Kids by Susie Lloyd
For the days when I just want to know that I’m not the only homeschooler with *issues*. Any Christian and/or homeschooler would appreciate the humor, although, I’ll admit, it’s probably funniest if you’re a Catholic homeschooler. (I was very amused to note that this version of the cover has all the kids wearing proper lace headcoverings… the whole point of that particular chapter was how the girls kept losing their “doilies” and substituting what they could grab on the way out of the house: sunglasses, winter hats, etc.)
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver
I totally do not agree with either Kingsolver’s politics or Christianity-bashing in her novels, which is why I had avoided this book. I finally decided to read it and was pleasantly surprised. She (somewhat grudgingly) admires some Amish farmers (without acknowledging their Christianity). Except for some jibes at the Bush administration’s non-handling of Hurricane Katrina (hello? State and city government?), her politics were notably absent.
Anyways, the book was an interesting analysis of what we eat, where it came from, and why we eat it (but maybe shouldn’t). Notable thoughts: if your fruit came all the way from California in January, how much fuel was burned to get that calorie of food to your table? (And why are we eating mushy, overpriced strawberries in January anyways?) When did “kinda red” become the only criteria for tomatoes? What have we lost in our food by feeding cows corn (which destroys their stomachs) and the non-saleable parts of dead cows (mad cow disease)? How much would we gain in nutrition and taste (and avoid paying in transportation and food contamination) if we ate locally from smaller farmers?
I have seen Dr. von Hildebrand many times on EWTN and always found her remarkably insightful. She would probably argue that a lot of that is due to her famous husband, Deitrich von Hildebrand, also a well-known author in Catholic circles. They collaborated closely, and she has continued a lot of his life’s themes in her own work, as well as elaborating on her own.