Family, Mom Reads

Mom Reads: August Edition of Favourite Books

My favourite books that I have been reading this month, including a picture book, parenting/mom book, and something just because.

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Note: this is not a sponsored post. This is just me sharing what I’m reading and enjoying with you!

I love reading. And it warms my heart when my two year old picks up a book and opens it beside me. Even though she’s mumbling nonsense, the fact that she wants to do what I’m doing – reading – is so lovely.

I like to read a lot of books at the same time. I have books I read aloud to the girls, books I read aloud but for myself [reading aloud as practice for me and just so the girls can hear words formed], and then books I let myself enjoy quietly. I’m going to share my favourite book from each of those categories that I’m reading.

Read Aloud to the Girls

While picture books can be fun, it is hard to find one you’re willing to read 20 times in one day. And that is my criteria for a good picture book. We received We Pray as a gift from Little Fox’s Godparents, and we love it!

We Pray is written by Daniel G. Opperwall, a professor at an Orthodox theological college. His picture book includes all the ways we pray as Byzantine Christians. From incense and icons to Great Vespers and Divine Liturgy, the poetry of We Pray weaves the beauty of prayer together in a way which is simple and attractive to children. His book also provides a way to talk about praying for the clergy and those who have died.

Little Fox especially loves the illustrations of the Trinity icon, and connects seeing the last one to singing the Trisagion. There is also a little puppy on the page with the Jesus prayer that she likes to point out to me. Illustrators Jelena and Marko Grbic did an excellent job.

You can find this book at Ancient Faith, where it lists the book as appropriate for ages 2-12, though we started using it earlier than 2 for Little Fox.

Read Aloud For Me

The Brave Learner: Finding Everyday Magic in Homeschool, Learning, and Life by Julie Bogart is my August read aloud. I have to say, this book was not what I expected. Although I don’t agree with everything the author says, Borgart has challenged and changed some of my views on life and homeschooling. And the rest of the book provides brilliant ideas for living an enchanted lifestyle full of appreciation for learning.

I can also recommend this book to any parent. It has great ideas to go along with any kind of homeschooling (from classical to unschooling), as well as just some generally great ideas for engaging in your child’s passions and interests.

Her framework for the book includes four ways to inspire a child’s interest, four ways to sustain that interest, and how to engage the mind, heart, body, and soul in learning. That’s the highlight of the book for me. She also discusses ways we may unintentionally crush a child’s desire to learn, and her experience with various homeschool methods and challenges. I really think the book should be retitled “Enchanted Learning,” but the author already has a brand with a “brave writing” program and whatnot. So, while I felt the word brave was forced in a couple times, the content of the book is great and I’m even doing a second read through with notes this month. Which is why this article is coming out a little later on Thursday than I’d planned. I’ve been doing a little more reading than writing.

Just For Me Reading

I’m going to be honest and say I haven’t done as much just-for-me reading this month. But, I have started reading Gregory Popcak’s book For Better Forever. So far I’m enjoying it. Some it it is stuff I already know well, so I’m skimming a bit. But there are also some good analogies and ideas about marriage I hadn’t heard before. I had a discussion about one image with my husband, and he recognized (when I hadn’t) that Popcak was alluding to Dante with the image of the seven story mountain.

So there has been some great images and imagery, but I haven’t completed it yet. I do enjoy the Popcak’s other books though, including God Help Me These People are Driving Me Nuts and Then Comes Baby: A Guide to Surviving and Thriving in the First Three Years of Parenthood. I totally recommend reading both those books. The first talks about healthy boundaries, and when the Christian thing to do is step away from a relationship. The second book talks about baby development, mom care, and ways to grow your relationship with a baby and toddler.

The Byzantine Life

Thanks for checking out this week’s article! Be sure to subscribe to get email updates to future articles.

Also if you have any books you think I’d like to read let me know in the comments. Or just let me know about a book you’re enjoying right now!

It’s been a busy August for us. Family visiting, Little Fox’s birthday, and figuring out life with a baby and toddler. I am looking forward to getting back into writing more as this adjustment becomes easier.

Don’t forget to follow us on social media. On our Pinterest we have boards full icons and faith activities! New posts are always shared to Facebook, and my husband runs our Twitter (@LifeByzantine) and Instagram accounts (username: thebyzantinelife)! And if you want to support our work at, consider joining us on Patreon. For as little as $5 a month you can get exclusive access to special posts, photos, and updates from our family!


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