summer reading and a no-poo update

book list - sparrowhopes.comMy goodness I love reading. Sometimes I start to feel overwhelmed by the impossibly long list of books on my to-read list. And just when I feel I’m making some headway I learn of another great book that must be added to the queue. I kind of like things this way though, a never ending book list. It’s comforting to think there’s a lifetime of stories to enjoy and get lost in that are out there waiting for me to discover them. I can feel my heart flutter with anticipation.

I’ve read some really great books over the past year or so, and at the top of my list would be an unexpected title ‘A Canticle for Leibowitz’. A sci-fi novel, it’s completely outside my normal book genres, but I’m so thankful my dear husband recommended it as it was truly outstanding. It’s a post-apocalyptic story that spans thousands of years as civilization slowly rebuilds itself following nuclear devastation with the help of a monastic order that has carefully preserved humankind’s scientific knowledge until they are ready to receive it once again. This book is really thought provoking and extremely well written. If you’re looking for something a bit outside of the norm, give this one a shot. It’s a gem.

Here are the other books I’ve been enjoying lately:

  • A Canticle for Leibowitz, Walter M. Miller, Jr.
  • The Railway Children, E. Nesbit
  • The Time Traveller’s Guide to Medieval England, Ian Mortimer
  • The Time Traveller’s Guide to Elizabethan England, Ian Mortimer
  • The Wouldbegoods, E. Nesbit
  • The Penderwicks on Garden Street, Jeanne Birdsall
  • High Rising, Angela Thirkell
  • Down Under, Bill Bryson
  • Dracula, Bram Stoker
  • A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Betty Smith
  • Joy in the Morning, Betty Smith
  • Beyond the Rainbow Bridge, Barbara J. Patterson and Pamela Bradley
  • You are Your Child’s First Teacher, Rahima Baldwin Dancey
  • Waldorf Education – A Family Guide, Rahima Baldwin Dancey
  • Swallows and Amazons, Arthur Ransome (currently reading)
  • Silent House, Orhan Pamuk (currently reading, I really want to like this one, but am finding it a bit of a slog. Has anyone else read it? I’d love to hear your thoughts!)
  • The Sparrow, Mary Doria Russell (currently reading)
  • The Complete Stories, Bernard Malamud (currently reading)

To read

  • Ghost Riders – Travels with American Nomads, Richard Grant
  • Sightlines, Kathleen Jamie
  • The Pilgrim’s Progress, John Bunyan (reread, last time was freshman year of university!) 
  • When I Was a Child I Read, Marilynne Robinson

I have a few books lined up on my ‘to-read-soon’ list, but am always eager for suggestions. Do you have anything good on your summer reading list? If so please share in the comments! I always love encountering new authors and titles.

In other news, my no-pooing has really hit its stride! I’m absolutely loving my baking soda/apple cider vinegar combo. It took me awhile to figure out the right balance of each, but now that I’ve found it my hair feels healthier than it has in years and is really full and soft. Another unexpected benefit is that it has been growing like crazy! My hair is really curly, so length comes slowly and I’ve struggled to ever grow my hair much beyond my shoulders. But, since I started caring for my hair in this way (about seven weeks now) I’ve grown about 2.5 inches. That, for me, is nearly miraculous. In the past that would have been about 8 months worth of growth. I also have tons of new growth coming in from where my hair was previously damaged and breaking off. It’s so fun! I think I’d like to add in a natural deep conditioning mask every few weeks, so we’ll see what I can find. I’ve heard of using honey or avocado or eggs… Anyone have any experience with this? I’ll let you all know what I figure out. Also, if you’re thinking about giving this a go or are already no-pooing/low-pooing I’d love to hear about your experience. I find it so helpful to chat with others who are using this type of method to care for their hair as I still feel like I’m just finding my way without my shampoo and conditioner bottles.

  • Sarah Matichuk

    Ooh! Yay! I’m looking for books to read this summer. Just read The Book Thief, which I highly recommend. Thank you for reminding me that I have been wanting to read the Sparrow. I like the interest in Waldorf and thanks for the update on the no poo. It’s nice to hear that it’s working for you. I may give it another try in a few months. I have not done any of those conditioning methods since high school, but I remember at sleepovers, we had tried egg, honey, mayonnaise, and beer. Avocado is nice for a facial, so I would imagine it would work on hair as well.

    • http://sparrowhopes.com Katy

      Oh, The Book Thief! Thank you so much for reminding me about that one. We actually have a copy and I keep meaning to add it to my reading shelf as I’ve heard such good things about the story. I’m just a few chapters in to The Sparrow, but already loving it. I can tell this is going to be another one I think about long after I’ve read it. Loved the high school sleepover! Thinking back now I can’t believe we never tried one of these natural conditioners, how’d we miss that???

  • Erin O’Connor

    Oh, I just peeked in and saw your book list! My husband’s b-day is coming up, and A Canticle for Leibowitz sounds perfect for him.

    Have you read *The Snow Child*? I loved that, and *The Tiger’s Wife*–both read a couple of years ago. and Vanessa Gebbes *A Coward’s Tale.*

    • http://sparrowhopes.com Katy

      I hope your husband enjoys it, such a thought provoking, engaging story! And thanks so much for the great book recommendations. They all look wonderful. I’ve just requested “The Snow Child” and “The Tiger’s Wife” from the library. Can’t wait! Thanks so much for the ideas! xx