Book Talk: What We’re Reading in October

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I have had this post going in my mind for months now, because I have been reading so many great books lately. Now that it’s getting to be the perfect season for finding a cozy spot and reading, let’s talk about books. I hardly even know where to begin, but I’ll try.Book Talk October

For Fun

Maisie DobbsI have been traveling between England and Spain in my for-pleasure reading. My mom sent me a copy of Maisie Dobbs, and I totally loved it. If you are a fan of Downton Abbey and Call the Midwife (books or show) then I think you will like this one. It’s the first in a detective series set in 1930’s London, kind of a British version of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency. I can’t wait to read the other books.


Driving Over LemonsOn the Spanish side of things, I read Driving Over Lemons and enjoyed it even more than I expected to. It’s a memoir written by an English man who bought a farm in a remote mountain village in Andalucia. It’s hilarious and genuinely interesting from a homesteading point of view. Although the author brings up some of the frustrating aspects of living in Spain, it has only made me so much more excited to live there. It’s a really fun and easy read. Jeff is into it now, and really loving it. I just ordered the sequel, A Parrot in the Pepper Tree.



Nothing at this moment, but I’d like that to change. What are your favorites?  A while back, I read A Farewell to Arms and really enjoyed it. I am ordering For Whom the Bell Tolls because it is set in Ronda, near where we will be living come February. I love reading books that help me understand the history of the places I am living. On that note, Anglophiles will love the Nora Lofts books, written here in Bury St. Edmunds! My dad’s cousin wrote me to recommend them, and I was so fascinated by the first book in The Suffolk Trilogy, The Town House.

Under classics, I will also mention that we are reading the final book in the Narnia series after dinner as a family, and we haven’t decided quite yet on what’s next. Maybe this one. Amelia and I have stretched the Little House series out over the last couple years, and getting to the end. We’re on These Happy Golden Years right now. She has re-read each of the other books a number of times herself already. I don’t want them to end, either.


This is always a fun topic! Right now my wishlist is actually much longer than my “am reading” list. I do have one to tell you about, then I’ll share some new books that are on my wishlist.

Gentle Art of PreservingI mentioned on my facebook page that I would love to get my hands on The Gentle Art of Preserving, and then– like magic– my mother-in-law sent it to me! So now you may see me mentioning more books I want on my page in the future (wink.)  It’s beautiful, and there are so many great ideas for making fine foods at home. One of my favorite forms of cooking is to make things that would cost a ton of money in a gourmet food shop. So this book definitely fits the bill there.


Big Meals for Little HandsAnother book I mentioned on my page and which my mother in law magically made appear, is this really cool cookbook for kids. It’s actually a book of French recipes, but translated into English. Amelia has been poring over it, and her first trial of Vanilla Poached Pears and Chocolate Sauce was a big hit at our table. She may make her first foray into cooking the family dinner pretty soon, from this sweet book.



Fermenting-coverOh Lardy just released a fantastic ebook on home fermentation. For those of you who are just getting started with learning to ferment foods and drinks at home, this will be an invaluable guide. I read through it last week, and have so many new ideas to try. Have you ever tried simply fermenting whole berries? It’s a great way to get them to last longer! You’ll love this book.

On my wishlist:

•Artisan Drinks

•The New American Herbal

•Plenty More


Which cookbooks are you working from right now? What’s on your wishlist?

Inspiration/ Living

I have been doing a lot of reading in this category lately. I have a lot of personal goals that I am working toward, and am ready to do the work and get over my own issues that are standing in the way. Maybe you are going through something similar? If so, you might want to check these ones out.

You Are a Badass.Badass  Indeed. You are.  Yes, the title makes me laugh! But if you need some straight talk about getting to where you want to go, this is probably a good book for you. It helped me realize that I have some real issues with earning money for my family (raised to believe that this is simply not  female territory) and it has really helped. I see things shifting for me, and I plan to read the money part again. If you need a motivational firm kick in the pants, get it.




The One Thing Holding You Back.One Thing Holding You Back  OK, this is a great book. I’m re-reading it after about five years, and it’s one that I would recommend to absolutely everyone. I use these principals in my bodywork practice, and am glad to have this refresher during a somewhat crazy season in life, when there are a lot of different things going on for me. I may be writing a post pretty soon, inspired by what I’ve been learning here.

Another book you may find helpful is The Miracle Morning. Both Jeff and I have completely changed the way we do mornings, and although we made these changes even before I read this book, this one explains how reworking your morning hours can change so many things about your life. It’s an easy read that could make a big difference for you. (And a post on a few changes I’ve made for my mornings is coming soon!)


Well, I think that’s enough about my bookshelf for now. I am so curious to hear what you have been reading. What has brought you enjoyment, good meals, deep thought or personal change through your reading lately? Please share with us in the comments!


P.S. While we’re talking books, I wanted to let you know that Pruned: Blossoming Through Life’s Difficult Seasons is now available on Kindle, and free for Kindle Unlimited subscribers. If you already have a copy and found it helpful, would you be willing to do me a big favor and leave a quick review? Thanks!

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13 Responses to Book Talk: What We’re Reading in October

  1. Newmark October 17, 2014 at 5:09 pm #

    Did you get round to reading “Suffolk Summer” by John Appleby that I recommended some time ago?

    • ariana October 20, 2014 at 9:33 am #

      Hi Newmark,
      Thanks for the reminder! I had my husband pick it up for me over the weekend.

  2. Laurel October 18, 2014 at 7:33 pm #

    I’m totally ordering those books from the library right now! Lately I’ve been loving Robert Galbraith’s (JK Rowling’s) two books about her new detective Cormoran Strike. Uber love anything that woman writes!!!

    • ariana October 20, 2014 at 9:34 am #

      Laurel, we have never read any of her books! (I KNOW, crazy.) I am looking forward to reading them as a family sometime in the next year!

  3. Emily October 19, 2014 at 9:18 am #

    oh, oh oh…! I am reading These Happy Golden Years to my 7 year old son at the moment too! We are starting to feel regret at the idea of finishing the Little House series of books. I have learned so much about American history and the strength and discipline of that family moves me to tears every time! I am inspired and feel I can learn alot by their example. My Australian son is on the edge of his seat every evening after dinner too! And he senses when I am going to be moved and studies my face, smiling. Special times, indeed. I read children’s books from time to time. The Narnia series was very special to me during my pregnancy for some reason! At the moment I’m reading The Conscious Parent (one of the best parenting books I’ve read yet) and Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel. I’m a real sucker for Tudor history.

  4. Emily October 19, 2014 at 9:39 am #

    Ariana…I just ordered The Miracle Morning on your recommendation…ever since I was a little girl I’ve had trouble getting up in the mornings and just can’t seem to get going still! Can’t wait for your post on how you’ve changed your mornings!

    • ariana October 20, 2014 at 9:36 am #

      Thanks for suggesting The Conscious Parent– I will have to check that out. I like the sound of it already. And I hope you find The Miracle Morning really helpful. The concepts are so simple, but I think they are powerful at the same time. The author might sounds *a little* like the obnoxious morning person we’ve all encountered (or been) but worth the read, for sure.

      • Emily November 6, 2014 at 2:31 pm #

        I just finished reading the Miracle Morning and…well…it was JUST what I needed! Thank you! I have already started getting up before the kids and can feel a real shift in my brain about early mornings. I have undertaken alot of education about getting wealth and abundance in my life but I needed a simple way of developing myself so that I could focus and be consistent with achieving my goals. This is one neat package.

        • ariana November 6, 2014 at 4:45 pm #

          So thrilled to hear this, Emily! Thanks for reporting back! I am wishing you well as you pursue your goals and find new ways of opening up to all the good stuff coming your way.

  5. Marisa October 19, 2014 at 5:11 pm #

    I loved this post Ariana! I could talk books all day and love hearing what you’ve been reading. This is a good moment to note that I was looking at a shelf of books at work and noticed a title that sounded very familiar “The Art of Possibility.” I knew I recognized the title and it didn’t take me long to remember that you had recommended this one! So, I picked it up and started reading – so far I’m very intrigued though I’ve only read the introduction. In any case – thank you for this recommendation! I’ll let you know what I think when I’m all done 🙂 I recently finished another truly marvelous novel! It is called “All the Light We Cannot See.” It is yet another WWII novel – but far different from any I’ve read previously. I highly recommend this one to you!

    • ariana October 20, 2014 at 9:38 am #

      So glad you picked up The Art of Possibility, Marisa!!! Both Jeff and I LOVE that book, and credit it in part to getting through our really difficult year that started in Germany. So good.

      I looked up that novel, and it sounds really beautiful! I think I’ll order it. Thank you! I was thinking of you in particular when I mentioned the Maisie Dobbs book. I think you will really love it, Marisa.

  6. Sheri October 20, 2014 at 1:51 am #

    Don’t forget Anne of Green Gables. Wonderful post! My daughter is now 38 years old but I remember how Anne of Green Gables effected both of us and brought us so close. Just saw a wonderful movie “The Book Thief”. It’s a must see!

    • ariana October 20, 2014 at 9:39 am #

      Hi Sheri! I really enjoyed The Book Thief, too. Thanks for the reminder about the Anne of Green Gables books. We read them as a family when I was a kid, and I *loved* the movies, and watched them over and over again. I will look forward to reading the books to Amelia. Thank you!

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