Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Getting Better Every Day -- Another Round-up

I noticed that I've read four books I can generously classify as self-improvement, so there's another group for catch-up posts. This should get in shape for my summer goal of a book-a-day.

Positive Discipline, by Jane Nelson, was the textbook for a parenting class I took through my kids' school last winter. It counsels parents to look at effects when doling out punishment, and to search for causes when evaluating children's behavior. It has many common-sense proposals and ideas, some of which are hard to implement in the heat of the moment. The last bit of advice in the book was to reread it, and I think it's the kind of thing I need a lot of reinforcing on. But it definitely leads me to a calmer, kinder, and more effective parenting style.

Steering the Craft: Exercises and Discussions on Story Writing for the Lone Navigator or the Mutinous Crew, by Ursula Le Guin, provides a guidebook for a writer's group or a solo writer to master the tools of their craft. It discusses grammar, syntax, and tone, with examples from Le Guin's favorite authors and writing exercises with each discussion. I should give it to my brother when he next starts his novel-writing attempt.

The Pro-Child Way: Parenting with an Ex, by Ellen Kellner, was a good refresher in concentrating on your child and making things right for the kids, not getting your own back from the ex. Some of it seemed too specific; as if the author thought everyone's situation matched her own. Also, the bad examples of "the old way" sounded very mean and nasty to me; I haven't hadexperience with doing stuff that way and it made me wonder if the author had. I liked the many different situations addressed, and the constant push that the kids don't make the divorce and that kids don't need to take sides. I also liked the idea that you can only control yourself; even if the ex isn't doing stuff the way that the kids prefer, it still helps if you are. However, I hate the cutesy writing with the heart between the words Pro and Child. It demeans adulthood.

The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes from an Accidental Country Girl, by Ree Drummond gives all the recipes you need for the cowboys in your life, of which I have none, actually. But the step by step instructions, complete with about a zillion pictures, de-mystify the techniques addressed in the book, making cooking seem something I could someday do. And I prefer having recipes on paper rather than on my laptop, for obvious reasons, especially as I try to push more of the cooking onto my kids. They also like this book because it makes the food look good.The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes from an Accidental Country Girl


Kristen said...

I keep meaning to get a copy of the Pioneer Woman cookbook. In the meantime, I drool over The Tasty Kitchen blog, which i a collaborative effort started by Drummond which often has her recipes posted on it. I've never made a bad recipe off of it.

Buffy said...

Thanks for sharing! I put Steering the Craft on hold.