Nonfiction November- Nonfiction Favorites

Week 4 already! And my TBR is out of control with all my new interests. Lol.

This week our prompt is:

Nonfiction November Week 4: Nonfiction Favorites: We’ve talked about how you pick nonfiction books in previous years, but this week I’m excited to talk about what makes a book you’ve read one of your favorites. Is the topic pretty much all that matters? Are there particular ways a story can be told or particular writing styles that you love? Do you look for a light, humorous approach or do you prefer a more serious tone? Hosted this week by Leann from Shelf Aware 

I generally tend to read nature writing, true crime, history, some travel, some memoir. There is probably some overlap in there too, with some of those topics. I do seem to be having a love affair with British Nature Writing lately though. I actually wrote a post about it at the beginning of the year if you are interested. (and it would probably explain these first two books on my list as well a little better!)

My Favorites, of which I have probably forgotten quite a few!

James Herriot and John Lewis-Stempel. Two of my favorites forever and ever. That is all.

There’s No Such Thing As Bad Weather really changed my view on how I see the outdoors. Then I followed it up with The Nature Fix and I really felt the world open up to our family in so many different ways. I actually read that book when my phone was broken and I was waiting on my new one – so my access to technology was less and I could see the difference in my life very clearly, with phone and without.

I also like to read books about people hiking.

I loved all three of these for very different reasons. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil was just brilliant, its description of Savannah and all its eclectic denizens, I just knew I had to go and see for myself. So we did! Wide Open World was such a cool book about a family who spent a year volunteering around the world and wow, what an experience. It made me yearn for a freer lifestyle myself! Finally, The Oregon Trail. This book was amazing. My husband and I read it at the same time, and mini book clubbed it. I will say I now have a much better appreciation for mules! It was a great book about one man’s journey to retrace the Oregon Trail by covered wagon. I loved it.

It is probably fair to say that these books set the bar for most of my interests in nonfiction reading right now – and I say now because I am a person whose interests change all the time, I am always stumbling upon things somewhere then wanting to read all about it for a bit. But these are the mainstays, and not just “I have to know more right now!” reads.

My Sunday-Monday Post!

My Sunday Post is hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date

Sunday Salon is hosted by Deb at Readerbuzz

We had a busy busy busy week!! Tons of appointments – how they all fell in the same week I have no idea! But at least they are all done for a bit, including a few of Wyatt’s specialist appointments. So yay! Then on Saturday we celebrated my birthday! We went for really low key family day which I loved. It was so perfect to just see my family, hanging out, doing the things we enjoy. Today we have some stuff to get done, then we are going to try to make more pie! Lol.

Read Last Week – and this one coming up too!

21st Century Yokel: I am still plugging away at this one! I am really enjoying it, I just read nonfiction so slowly I guess. Plus, last week I would start to read at night and fall asleep in five minutes so that didn’t help. But I am more than halfway through so…this week!

The Owl Papers: I have also been reading this one as well. I have it stuck in my glove compartment and I read it when I get the chance. It’s really good too, but I love owls.

Posted Last Week:

Nonfiction November – Ask the Experts

A Day at the Detroit Parade Company

A Slow and Cozy Fall Day

Watching:

We barely watched anything last week! A little AutumnWatch on Britbox, and that is about it. Oh! We did watch a movie, The Biggest Little Farm, which was so beautiful and amazing. It is available on Amazon, and from the cinematography to the story, just the whole thing, was so beautiful. It made me cry too; sometimes tears of sadness, sometimes from the sheer beauty of what these people accomplished in just a few years. The life that abounded. The life that surrounds us. It was truly beautiful. I recommend it highly! Although, trigger warning, it does take place on a farm with animals, so…you know what that can mean sometimes.

Check out the trailer!

So that is about it from me today! What about you? What’s going on in your world?

A Slow and Cozy Fall Day

Saturday we hit the city; Sunday, we were back tromping in the woods. It was the most perfect fall day. Not too cold, not too warm. The leaves were a blanket over the ground, crunching under our feet, paving a yellow golden road for us. We didn’t hear many birds, just some geese flying overhead occasionally, and sometimes catching a glimpse of a woodpecker or two, with their distinctive red heads. Mostly we walked and talked and listened to the woods, keeping our eyes open for an owl tree, where an owl may by roosting. A few signs would be a tree that has been “whitewashed” and owl pellets at the base. Despite our best efforts though, we didn’t spot one. Billy and I are going on an owl prowl in a few weeks though, so hopefully we spot an owl that night!

I found the teeniest little baby acorn!! We may not have spotted any owl trees but we did spot lots of mushrooms, and stopped to make some nature art near the trail out of acorns and oak leaves. Billy also made a “clock” to signify the time we took to hike together that morning near the trail as well.

When we got home, we dug in and kept cozy, listening to music, having impromptu dance parties, and baking. Well, Billy and I at least. I made an apple pie while Billy tried his hand at a hand raised hot crust pork pie, inspired by the Great British Bake Off. We have a pie project for this month, and this was our first attempt. I have never made a completely from scratch pie, nor has he, and we didn’t do too bad for the first round. My dough was a little tough, which I guess can be too much water or over handling. Billy needed a little more flavor in his filling and he had made his crust a little too thick. So, we will see how we do next time! My recipe came from the Art of Pie, and the filling was delicious! I ended up using Granny Smith and Gala apples and it was very tasty together. And I apologize, I am the worst at food photography!! I thought Billy’s little dough piggy looked cute though.

I am so glad that we had such a fabulous fall day together, because the next morning we woke up to a whole new landscape…

We got 6.5 inches of snow!! Our little gnomes in our gnome garden are totally snowed in! And it is still here, sticking around.

But hey at least we had pie!

A Day at the Detroit Parade Company

On Saturday one of my childhood dreams came true! I have always loved the Detroit Thanksgiving Day Parade and have all these memories of watching it with my brother, and now my own family. So when we got the opportunity to tour the Detroit Parade Company as part of a group that Wyatt belongs to, I quickly RSVPd. At the start it was more exciting for me, but I knew once we got there that Wyatt would love it too! Billy who is not a parade lover, even enjoyed himself!

We were greeted by larger than life Sesame Street characters – including two of Wyatt’s favorites, Cookie Monster and Elmo!

We learned that the Parade has been running continuously from the 1920s, except for the two years we were in WWII, when there was a shortage of materials. The warehouse itself was used to make Howitzers, which was weird to think about as we walked around! There is a permanent staff of 14 people, and then 2000 volunteers!

We walked through the construction areas first, that were reserved for sculpture and carpentry, before we got to the giant floats. And they were huge! Seriously so big. I think we were all a little in awe of the craftsmanship and size and scale of the floats that we saw.

Two of our favorites – The “Up North” float, and the Detroit Zoo! We also saw the brand new Ford Motor Company float which is amazing, but we are not allowed to talk about it or post photos. They want a big reveal at the parade! That one was Billy’s favorite of the day too. It was pretty cool!!

The big heads are always so fun during the parade! There is a Bob Seger one, which makes sense! But then someone had a sense of humor because the Henry Ford head was next to Walter Reuther. LOL. Our tour guide and full time staff member told us that the laundry for the parade takes until April to get finished!! Yikes!!!

We also really loved this dinosaur float!! It is retired unfortunately, so we won’t see it again, but I loved being able to see all the details up close! So fun. Also pictured is part of the Wayne State University float. And then of course my boy who was getting a little sleepy!

We finished up at Santa’s sleigh, which really put me in the Christmas spirit! I guess Santa no longer gets out of the sleigh as he gets mobbed, but gets out onto a platform and the mayor climbs up to him.

This was definitely something that we probably will never have the chance to do again, and it was such a good time. I learned a lot, and saw a lot, including the smile on my kiddo’s face during this whole event. I can’t wait for the parade now to see these things in action!

Do you like a parade?

Nonfiction November – Ask the Experts!

Wow, week 3 already! I have been finding so many great books – I am so glad that I participated this year. This week’s prompt is:

Be The Expert/Ask the Expert/Become the Expert (Hosted by Katie at Doing Dewey)
Three ways to join in this week! You can either share three or more books on a single topic that you have read and can recommend (be the expert), you can put the call out for good nonfiction on a specific topic that you have been dying to read (ask the expert), or you can create your own list of books on a topic that you’d like to read (become the expert).

This is the week I was really nervous about. In the past few years I haven’t read much nonfiction. Not enough to consider myself an expert at anything. Maybe years ago, when I was reading more. But now, not so much. So, I am opting for a blend of the remaining two options! I am asking for recommendations as well as sharing a list of the books I had already started. If you have a suggestion on my topic, I would love to hear it! If you have an opinion on any of the books I am sharing, I would love to hear that too! And finally, if you don’t have one on this particular topic exactly, I would love your suggestions for nature reading!

Rewilding/Wilding our Family

For much of my adult life, I have suffered from anxiety. When things began to pile up, I would find a walk in the woods always made me feel so much better. Years later, I have learned that this is something that has been studied and scientists are finding that nature and a connection to nature is so important to our health, mental and physical. My son has cerebral palsy, so sometimes finding the accessibility is tough, so I have joined a million groups online and read all sorts of different philosophies to find different ideas that I can adapt. I really believe that some of his progress is due to the way we are trying to raise him, with a closeness to nature. Yes, he has multiple therapy appointments a week, and monthly doctors appointments, but I believe this nature connection is providing a healthy balance to that world, and they are working in tandem. So,with all that being said, I need your suggestions! I have read a few already, like The Nature Fix and There is No Such Thing as Bad Weather, but I am looking for more!

These are the few I have found but I would love to hear your recommendations or suggestions! If you don’t have a rewilding/widling specific book suggestion, I would love to hear your nature book suggestions!

My Sunday- Monday Post

My Sunday Post is hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date

Sunday Salon is hosted by Deb at Readerbuzz

I have had a week, I tell you! It was just crazy. I can’t even tell you why, but it disappeared like that! *snaps fingers* I blogged a lot, I went to a wet felting class with my stepmom, had parent teacher conferences, then on Saturday Billy, Wyatt, and I toured the Detroit Parade Company, which was awesome!!! A post on that with lots of photos is coming this week, I took a million so I will try to cut some out. Lol. I didn’t read as much as I intended to however – my Kindle ran out of juice and I never managed to charge it! I am so bad with that, it is one reason I read physical books more. I know, I’m weird.

Read This Week:

When my Kindle died, I reached for this. And I loved it! I guess I am feeling Christmas a little early this year – perhaps because I already drove my son to school in a white out?

I started 21st Century Yokel and was enjoying it but then ended up just reading Coming Home For Christmas. I was a little judgy of the main character at first and thought I might never like her, but then ended up loving the book.

Reading This Week:

I am going to hopefully finish 21st Century Yokel, and also read Alone in the Wild, which I am super excited for! I love this series!

Posted Last Week:

Currently…November

Hello, November!

Nonfiction-Fiction Book Pairings – Nonfiction November

Watching:

AutumnWatch on Britbox – I’m obsessed a wee bit. Lol. Also Riverdale, and I also started watching the Reese Witherspoon show on Netflix, Shine On. The first episode with her and Dolly Parton is magic. I love them both.

How about you all? What is in going on in your world?

Currently..November

Currently..is a meme hosted by Anne in Residence. I had a great time last time and found so many great new blogs! Today we are sharing what we are currently….. picking, preparing, trying, feeling, following.

Picking and Preparing: Recipes! This kind of goes along with the next one, preparing, too, so I am just putting them together. We are preparing for our Thanksgiving gathering this year, who is bringing what, who is coming. My mom and I have a few recipes picked out, and my husband and I have been hitting the cookbooks and blogs for different things to try. My husband and I have a pie project going on as well this month, where we want to improve our pie game. It is going to be a month of planning and eating!

Trying: We are trying to do a fast food free November! Sometimes it seems like days run away with us and this month, we want to be more mindful of our minutes and our time, and what we do in that time. One way we can do this is by eating good food together, not just driving through Taco Bell, which we probably do more often than I want to admit. (but I do love their cheesy bean and rice burrito..) We are just going to try to menu plan better, so on the days that are going to be busier, have easier, quicker meals planned ahead of time, even if it is make our pizzas or homemade Mexican food.

Feeling: Cozy. We are settling into a new fall routine, our warmer clothes are coming out, our wool hats and socks, and we are enjoying filling warm soups and stews, with tea as our nightcap. The nights are darker earlier, and we are embracing this change.

Following: The 30 Day Slowdown Childhood Challenge by Wilder Child! We are on day 3 and so far it has been simple and gratifying. We have watched a sunset together, prepared a meal together, and tonight we are going outside to explore and find some treasures in nature to add to our nature table.

What about you? What have you been up to?