On My Bedside Table (and, in my Feedly) – part 4

bilingualism bilingual literacy reading espanolita

I have found that one of the best ways to combat the winter blues is to read.

Due to below zero temps here on the East Coast of the United States, E. and I have had to find fun and creative ways to keep busy indoors. And, that’s meant lots of reading (never a bad thing, regardless of the weather!).

A few months back, I started a mini-series here on the blog about the books I’m currently reading (on my bedside table) and the on-line articles and blogs that have caught my attention in my Feedly and twitter accounts. Here’s what I’ve been reading lately.

I’m almost finished reading the bilingual parenting book Bilingual by Choice by Virginie Raguenaud (book review coming next week!). Although I was a bit hesitant at first because the author is not herself an expert in second language acquisition or a researcher in bilingualism, I am enjoying it. It is practical (with lots of strategies and tips for parents), positive (but also balanced), and grounded in solid research. (You can read my other reviews of books on bilingualism here and here.)

Have you ever considered what really distinguishes humans from other animals? This author and Christian thinker contends that it is ultimately language that makes humans unique. Fascinating read, from a Christian perspective.

Which language is the language of love? How about the one most suitable for writing poetry? I found this to be an interesting theory. (Okay, so maybe I’m a bit biased being that I speak both Spanish and English.)

Have you ever thought about how much food you waste? Ever since I quit my job and we started getting serious about budgeting as a family, I’ve become more interested in the amount of food we eat and in how to prepare it in a way that none – or very little – goes to waste. If you, too, are interested in this issue, be sure to check out this newly-released Sundance short film “The Man in the Maze.”

Before I had my daughter E., I spent almost eight years teaching ESL and English at a large, urban public high school, and I loved it! Part of what I loved about having a career was the predictable schedule it offered: waking up at the same time, getting dressed, leaving the house to work, and the endless and varied interaction with others. I thought, when I have children I am not going to stay at home; I’ll go stir crazy! Boy, was I wrong. I love being a stay-at-home mom. Part of what enables this schedule-driven, productivity-seeking, relational mamá to make it work is my commitment to getting out of the house with E. at least once a day. If you also work from home, check out this helpful article on the “5 Ways to Fight the Loneliness of Working from Home.”

One of my all-time favorite books is the fictional coming of age novel To Kill a Mockingbird by southern (American) writer Harper Lee. Published in 1960, and based on parts of the author’s life growing up in a small southern town, this book deals with serious issues, like rape and racial inequality. Despite winning the Pulitzer Prize for this American classic, Lee never went on to write a sequel, and ultimately fled from the public’s attention for a life of seclusion in her hometown of Monroeville, Alabama. Well, this month, it was announced that Harper Lee would be releasing a prequel to Mockingbird called Go Set a Watchman. Unfortunately, there is a lot of controversy surrounding the announcement due to the fact that at 88 and nearly blind and deaf after having suffered a seizure in 2007, Lee may not have authorized her lawyer and agent to publish the manuscript. You can read more about the controversy here.

And, so as not to leave you all on a depressing note, I present you with…baked oatmeal!

Ever considered how recipes are a literary genre unto themselves, worth reading even if you don’t put them into practice? Well, when you finish reading this post, turn off your computer and head to the kitchen to make this recipe for baked oatmeal. It will revolutionize your breakfast routine and add some warmth and spice to your cold winter mornings.

What are you reading right now? Any recommendations? I’m always looking for new material.

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