Seventeen years of Treehouse talk

Seventeen years of Treehouse talk

Monday, December 31, 2018

Joining the "Christian Greats Challenge" (Mama Squirrel's Reading List for 2019)

Carol at the blog Journey and Destination has set up a reading challenge for 2019, and several of my planned books fall into the categories she suggests. So I'm going to begin my new reading list with the challenge books, and then add the rest afterwards. 

1)  A Book on Early Church History (up to about 500 A.D) or a book written by a key figure who lived during that time, or a biography about that person. 

Part III: Christian Testament Since the Bible (re-reading)

2)  A Book About a Prominent Christian Who Was Born Between 500 A.D & 1900 

(See #1)

3)  A Christian Allegory

The Inferno

4)  A Book on Apologetics 

The Divine Conspiracy: Rediscovering Our Hidden Life in God (in progress)

Willard, Dallas

5)  A Philosophical Book by a Christian Author

Medieval Wisdom for Modern Christians: Finding Authentic Faith in a Forgotten Age with C. S. Lewis

6)   A Missionary Biography or A Biography of a Prominent Christian who lived [was born?] any time between 1500 A.D to 1950 A.D

Now and Then: A Memoir of Vocation

7)  A Seasonal Book

The Faces of Jesus: A Life Story

8)  A Novel with a Christian Theme


Robinson, Marilynne

Notes from Underground


9) A Good Old Detective or Mystery Novel


10)  A Substitute - choose a book in place of one of the above categories:

40 Days to a Joy-Filled Life: Living the 4:8 Principle (in progress)
Karon, Jan

Friends for the Journey
Shaw, Luci, and Madeleine L'Engle

Breath for the Bones: Art, Imagination, and Spirit: Reflections on Creativity and Faith
Shaw, Luci

Praying Twice: The Music and Words of Congregational Song

Wren, Brian

Other Books to Read This Year

A note: My biggest mistake in planning is usually that I list books I don't own, or can't easily borrow. This year I'm sticking mostly to what's already on the shelf.

Tales from Ovid: 24 Passages from the Metamorphoses
Ovid, Ted Hughes (translator)

Do Not Say We Have Nothing

Thien, Madeleine

The Book Thief
Zusak, Markus

The Practice of Poetry: Writing Exercises from Poets who Teach
Behn, Robin

How to Read a Poem
Phillips, Christopher

Pooh and the Philosophers: In Which It Is Shown That All of Western Philosophy Is Merely a Preamble to Winnie-the-Pooh
Williams, John Tyerman

On Reading Well: Finding the Good Life through Great Books

Raelin, Joseph A.

Tools for Teaching
Davis, Barbara Gross

On Education (in progress)
Frye, Northrop
The Well-Crafted Argument: Across the Curriculum
White, Fred D.

Linked from the Challenge post at Journey and Destination.

Friday, December 28, 2018

Mama Squirrel's 2018 Reading List: What's done, what's not (Updated)

This felt like a good year for reading, although when I see the list written out, it doesn't look like so much. Only eight novels? Well, there were some others, but they were re-reads (listed separately). Three poetry books? I resolve to do better in 2019.

There are quite a few adult education textbooks included, because that's what I spent a lot of time this year reading.

Best Books I Read in 2018

Funniest fictionTo Say Nothing of the Dog (Oxford Time Travel, #2)
Connie Willis

Scariest fiction: The Thanatos Syndrome
Walker Percy

Most needed in today's world:  The Lost Art of Reading: Why Books Matter in a Distracted Time
David L. Ulin

Most useful: Two Awesome Hours: Science-Based Strategies to Harness Your Best Time and Get Your Most Important Work Done
Josh Davis

Runner-up for most useful: Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time
Jeff Sutherland

A book Christians should read: A Mind for God
James Emery White

Runner-up for a book Christians should read: Reading for the Common Good: How Books Help Our Churches and Neighborhoods Flourish
C. Christopher Smith

Most interesting devotional book: 40 days to a Joy-Filled Life
Tommy Newberry

Favourite simplicity book (and I read quite a few this year): Decluttering at the Speed of Life: Winning Your Never-Ending Battle with Stuff
Dana K. White

Runner-up for favourite simplicity book: Goodbye, Things: The New Japanese Minimalism
Fumio Sasaki

Books completed in 2018, including re-reads

Disclaimer: just because I read it doesn't mean I recommend it!

Novels and plays

The Archivist

Martha Cooley

Go Set a Watchman

Harper Lee


Marilynne Robinson

To Say Nothing of the Dog (Oxford Time Travel, #2)
Connie Willis

The Thanatos Syndrome

Walker Percy

Leota's Garden

Francine Rivers

Clock Dance

Anne Tyler

The Cocktail Party
T.S. Eliot

Farewell, Four Waters: One Aid Worker's Sudden Escape from Afghanistan. A Novel Based on True Events
Kate McCord


This Great Unknowing: Last Poems
Denise Levertov
This Day: New and Collected Sabbath Poems 1979 - 2012
This Day: New and Collected Sabbath Poems 1979 - 2012
Wendell Berry

Sounding the Seasons: Seventy Sonnets for the Christian Year
Malcolm Guite

Art books

Gathie Falk
Robin Laurence

The Tangled Garden: The Art of J. E. H. MacDonald

Paul Duval

Woldemar Neufeld's Canada: A Mennonite Artist in the Canadian Landscape 1925-1995 (re-read)

Laurence Neufeld

Faith and worldview

Reading for the Common Good: How Books Help Our Churches and Neighborhoods Flourish

C. Christopher Smith

When Helping Hurts
Steve Corbett

Unpoverty: Rich Lessons from the Working Poor
Mark Lutz

A Mind for God

James Emery White

The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation
Rod Dreher

An Other Kingdom
Peter Block et al.

Getting Love Right (short paper)
Dallas Willard

Getting Stuff Done

Two Awesome Hours: Science-Based Strategies to Harness Your Best Time and Get Your Most Important Work Done
Josh Davis

Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time
Jeff Sutherland

Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High
Kerry Patterson

Make Peace With Anyone: Breakthrough Strategies to Quickly End Any Conflict, Feud, or Estrangement
David J. Lieberman

How to be creative: Rediscover your creativity and live the life you truly want

Liz Dean

Homekeeping and simplicity books

Let It Go: Downsizing Your Way to a Richer, Happier Life
Peter Walsh

Decluttering at the Speed of Life: Winning Your Never-Ending Battle with Stuff

Dana K. White

Year of No Clutter
Eve O. Schaub

Mini-missions for Simplicity: small actions for massive change

Courtney Carver

Soulful Simplicity: How Living with Less Can Lead to So Much More

Courtney Carver

A Life of Being, Having, and Doing Enough

Wayne Muller

The Life-Changing Manga of Tidying Up: A Magical Story
Marie Kondo

Love the House You're In: 40 Ways to Improve Your Home and Change Your Life
Paige Rien

The Nesting Place: It Doesn't Have to Be Perfect to Be Beautiful

Myquillyn Smith

Goodbye, Things: The New Japanese Minimalism
Fumio Sasaki

The Year of Less: How I Stopped Shopping, Gave Away My Belongings, and Discovered Life Is Worth More Than Anything You Can Buy in a Store
Cait Flanders

Clothes and style books

Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion
Elizabeth L. Cline

The Curated Wardrobe: A Stylist’s Secrets to Going Beyond the Basic Capsule Wardrobe to Effortless Personal Style

Rachel Nachmias

The Face of The Business: Develop Your Signature Style, Step Out from Behind the Curtain and Catapult Your Business on Video

Rachel Nachmias

The Color of Style
David Zyla

The Pocket Stylist
Kendall Farr

The Fashion File: Advice, Tips, and Inspiration from the Costume Designer of Mad Men
Janie Bryant

Education, Charlotte Mason and Otherwise

Ourselves Book II (re-read)
Charlotte Mason

A Touch of the Infinite

Megan Elizabeth Hoyt

Know and Tell: The Art of Narration

Karen Glass

Tending the Heart of Virtue: How Classic Stories Awaken a Child's Moral Imagination

Vigen Guroian

The Purposes of Adult Education: An Introduction
Bruce Spencer

Collaborative Learning Techniques: A Handbook for College Faculty

Elizabeth F. Barkley

Planning Instruction for Adult Learners

Patricia Cranton

Educating for a Change
Rick Arnold et al.

Designing Effective Instruction, 7th Edition

Gary R. Morrison et al.

Facilitating with Ease!: Core Skills for Facilitators, Team Leaders and Members, Managers, Consultants, and Trainers

Ingrid Bens

The Skillful Teacher: On Technique, Trust, and Responsiveness in the Classroom

Stephen D. Brookfield

Methods that Matter

Harvey Daniels & Marilyn Bizar

The Art Of Facilitation
Dale Hunter

Learning Group Leadership: An Experiential Approach
Jeffrey A. Kottler

How To Teach Adults
William A. Draves

Reading and writing books

Writing for Story: Craft Secrets of Dramatic Nonfiction

Jon Franklin

The Lost Art of Reading: Why Books Matter in a Distracted Time
David L. Ulin

How to Write a Lot: A Practical Guide to Productive Academic Writing

Paul J. Silvia

Style: Toward Clarity and Grace

Joseph M. Williams

Sin Boldly!: Dr. Dave's Guide To Writing The College Paper
David R. Williams

Deep Writing

Eric Maisel

Miscellaneous books

Gift Wrapping with Textiles: Stylish Ideas from Japan
Chizuko Morita

How to Pack: Travel Smart for Any Trip
Hitha Palepu

Gifts Differing: Understanding Personality Type
Isobel Briggs Myers

The Twelve Teas of Christmas
Emilie Barnes

The Greatest Gift
Ann Voskamp

Hallelujah: A Journey Through Advent with Handel's Messiah
Cindy Rollins

Favourite and nostalgic re-reads

A Light in the Window
Jan Karon

These High, Green Hills

Jan Karon

Out to Canaan

Jan Karon

To Be Where You Are

Jan Karon

The Wisdom of Narnia
C.S. Lewis

The Last Battle

C.S. Lewis

Leaf by Niggle
J.R.R. Tolkien

Not Under the Law

Grace Livingston Hill

Sleeping Murder (Miss Marple #13)

Agatha Christie

Miss Pinkerton

Mary Roberts Rinehart

Jerusalem Inn (Richard Jury, #5)
Martha Grimes

The Man With a Load of Mischief (Richard Jury, #1)
Martha Grimes

Clothe Your Spirit: Dressing for Self-Expression
Jennifer Robin

I Haven't a Thing to Wear!

Judith Keith

Books I'm trying to finish by the end of 2018

The Invention of Clouds
Richard Hamblyn

Power through Prayer

E.M. Bounds

12 Rules for Living

Jordan Peterson

Books I've started that will stretch through the new year

The Divine Conspiracy

Dallas Willard

Keep it Real

Lee Gutkind (ed.)

40 days to a Joy-Filled Life

Tommy Newberry

On Education
Northrop Frye

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

The Intentional Thrifter: Clothes with character, and a book of characters

Half the fun of thrifting is finding things that are slightly different from either your own or everyone else's. But the real winners are the ones that mix well with what you already have. (In clothes, or anything else.)

Two recent clothes finds: a long plaid jacket that is as comfortable as an old flannel shirt.
A pair of tweed trousers. They're a mix of brown and grey, more on the brown side. I like them with the shoes I found earlier (photo below).
And a helpful book. This was originally titled Bunyan Characters--1st Series, and you can read it online here.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

The Return of the Intentional Thrifter

I'm feeling both lucky and blessed about the things that have come my way lately. I've said no a lot (it's inevitable), but the yeses make the search worthwhile.

Sorry about the poor lighting/colours of these photos: the sunlight has not been co-operating over the past couple of days. In this apartment, you either get flooded with natural light, or walled in with clouds and fog. But I did my best with the lightbulbs.
An education textbook, Tools for Teaching, and another book that just looked interesting: On Purpose: How We Create the Meaning of Life
I finally replaced our copy of Watership Down.
Free M.C.C. volunteer t-shirt!
These look like slippers, but they're actually shoes with stretchy tops from Arcopedico. Good for wearing around the apartment.
I'm really happy about these Naot shoes! Shoe shopping is not my forte, new or used. I  brought home a pair of burgundy pumps last week, because in the store I was sure that they fit. I got them home and they were too small here, too big there. However, that pair did fit Lydia! Today I browsed the shoe racks very cautiously, and these sort-of-Oxfords popped up, just my size and shape. If at first you don't succeed...
I have been looking for a belt like this all fall, and for a dollar you can't lose. I especially like those little chevron inserts. The photo makes it look black, but it's dark grey.
I bought this skirt today, not the top, but I couldn't get a photo of the skirt by itself that looked like anything but a random wad of fabric. It's a dark grey stretchy pencil skirt, brand new with tags. I've bought a couple of skirts recently, mostly to try out different styles, and I think this is the keeper. (It works with the belt!)

For those who like capsule wardrobes: the official new Project 333 season will start in January, and I'll have a new page up then too.

Saturday, December 08, 2018

Quote for the day: You Choose

"Greg McKeown, in his book Essentialism, says it this way: 'No one can
take away your right to choose. You can’t even give it away if you
want. You can only forget that you have the power to decide.'” (Quoted by Joshua Becker in Simplify Magazine #7, December 2018)