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This summer I've had my hands full with a new baby. Literally, my hands are full with a baby that wants to eat and be held all the time! That's made reading new books and taking notes on them pretty hard. And the general sleep deprivation has made it harder than ever to pay attention to a complex plotline or in-depth argument. All of this is to say that I've been even more into podcasts than usual.
I decided to try My Favorite Murder and wow! I wish I'd found these guys five years ago! I'm almost caught up and wanted to share a list of books I'd recommend to a fellow murderino, if they asked me. To be clear, I'm not associated with the podcast. I'm just another murderino who's also a library pro and can't help but recommend good books!
Brianna and Ariel review and discuss the book Fly Safe: Letters from the Gulf War and Reflections from Back Home, by Vicki Cody. If you order the book through our affiliate links, you're helping to keep Busy Nest News going at no extra cost to you. Thanks.
Fly Safe: Letters from the Gulf War and Reflections from Back Home, by Vicki Cody
Ariel and I recently received copies of Fly Safe: Letters from the Gulf War and Reflections from Back Home, by Vicki Cody. We’ve read a lot of books by military spouses, from awesome to cringeworthy, so we were cautiously interested to see what this one would hold.
Fly Safe is Cody’s memoir from the Gulf War, with details filled in by her journal entries and letters between her and her husband while he was deployed. She describes life on an Army base (post) before, during, and after the conflict. During the deployment, she covers what her husband was doing (the details of which she only learned of afterward) and the challenges he faced, as well as the challenges she dealt with on the homefront.
By Brianna and Ariel
This post contains affiliate links. If you follow them to purchase Fly Safe, you're helping to keep Busy Nest News going at no extra cost to you. Thanks.
In addition to getting advance copies of Fly Safe: Letters from the Gulf War and Reflections from Back Home to read and review, we also had the pleasure of talking to the author, Vicki Cody, about her latest work. Read on to see what we chatted about! Forour full review of Fly Safe, click here.
Did you just marry someone in the military? Congrats! Feeling a little culture shock? You're definitely not alone! There are loads of reading lists out there for military spouses, many of which rattle off the same books over and over. Those picks are ok, but we have a few problems with them.
First, they focus on the negative parts of military life, such as deployments and death. Second, they're getting old and outdated, which admittedly happens pretty fast. When I first got married in 2011, the books were about being a military spouse in the 90's, and that was a little helpful, but not a lot, because so much had changed and many acronyms had become meaningless. Likewise, now, there are a bunch of books about being married to a service member in the early years of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The military does not work the same way now as it did 15 years ago. Third, some of these lists are all about understanding your service member spouse's world, but they don't help YOU! We're all for learning about each branch's heroes, histories, and challenges, but a list of books for military spouses should help the spouses. Some of the books on our list will be specific to the military, but several address key pain points about life in general that tend to be exacerbated by the military lifestyle.
One challenge we encountered when we went to make this list is that we would not recommend the same books to new spouses as we would seasoned spouses. This list is for the new (and probably quite young) military spouse. If you're new to the military community, you might be suffering a little culture shock, homesickness, or loneliness. Even if you're adapting well, you might be struggling to explain it to your family or friends. Read on for our list (in no particular order) of great books to help you embrace your new life.
The links below are affiliate links, so we'll get a small bonus if you use them to order any of these books from Amazon, but we also have a free printable version of this list that you can take to the library!
Big changes to The Commandant’s Professional Reading List Program were recently announced. For anyone not in the know, the United States Marine Corps has a professional reading list, packed full of titles that are meant to educate Marines and inculcate them with the Corps’ values. We explained how it typically works in a previous article, but a good deal of that has now shifted, mostly for the better.
We here at Busy Nest News love a reading list, especially a list meant to develop leadership, creativity, and resilience. We believe any org can benefit from developing a reading list for its members. The Commandant’s Reading List has been updated regularly since it was established in 1989, so it’s always been one of our first stops when we’re looking for the next book in our respective self-development journeys. So what are these changes, and why are they a big deal? Doesn’t the list get updated frequently anyway? Read on for my initial analysis of the changes.
In pursuit of making great book club kits and generally improving ourselves, we read a LOT of books! We believe that you can get at least a little bit better at just about anything, as long as you keep learning about it and practicing proven techniques. We extend this philosophy to our journeys as parents, too. What if all parents took their parenting as seriously as their career or favorite hobby? To progress at work, people read books, take classes, and seek mentorships. We aren't too proud or self-assured to try these techniques to become better parents, as well.
While we're certainly not perfect, we're definitely seeing results from these efforts. One of our biggest lessons has been that we're constantly planting the seeds for future progress; real changes are rarely immediate, but they're lasting and buildable. That and, parenting is hard! Even when you're doing it right, your kid will still get mad at you. Saying "no" in the cereal aisle when your kid is two might result in a tantrum that makes you wish you'd just ordered everything online. But sticking to your "no" and enduring the tw0-year-old's rage will result in a much more subtle, but accepting, form of dissatisfaction to your "no" in the same scenario a year or two later.
All of this is to say, you've got this! And when you feel like you don't, we have books that can help. Read on for our list of our ten favorite parenting books (in no particular order). These are all of our go-to's when friends ask how we handle things. Use the links in the article to order your own copy from Amazon (we'll get a small referral payout if you do, at no additional cost to you). Bonus: we have a printable pamphlet of all ten titles that you can take with you to the bookstore or library!
When people think about military training, they usually picture some version of basic training. And why wouldn’t they? The vast majority of military movies spend a large amount of time on the protagonist getting through boot camp. Basic training is a big deal, but the truth is that it’s just the beginning (hence the word "basic"). After boot camp, the training continues in the form of schools, field ops, distance learning classes, and ongoing mentoring. But there’s one type of training that is key for developing leaders that's often overlooked by the casual observer of military life. The great news, though, is that you can use this technique to develop yourself as a leader, as well as other aspiring leaders in your team.
Full-size versus mini kits
Here at Busy Nest News, we realize that every book club has unique needs. That is why we have many options to choose from including our mini and full-size book club kits.
The Busy Nest News mini book club kit, also known as the “one and done” is an updated version of what we currently consider a typical book club experience. The kit contains discussion questions, tips on how to run a book club, icebreakers, and one group activity. The core of any book club experience is the discussion questions. Our questions are quality. These will not be your run of the mill, “what did you think of x, y, and z?” Our questions will push you to dig into the content and come up with new ideas. They do not assume that you are reading this book because you already agree with what the author has to say. They are developed for those who have come to question and learn. If you are willing, we will help to expand your horizons. Our ice breakers are creative, thought-provoking questions chosen so that even old friends might learn something about each other. The icing on the cake is the group activity. We choose our group activity to maximize engagement and minimize hassle for the discussion leader. Our activity will encourage full group participation with minimal effort on your part.
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Expecting Better, by Emily Oster
It’s been a while since Ariel and I came across a parenting book that we just had to read. When we heard the premise of Expecting Better, by Emily Oster, we knew it bore checking out.
Emily Oster is an economist (as is her husband). In a nutshell, what economists are pros at is analyzing information, evaluating the quality, and synthesizing it into reports to help people in key positions make decisions. In Expecting Better, Oster aims to use her economist skills to breakdown the data around the most common, thorny issues encountered in pregnancy, to help you decide what's best for your family.
Some of the topics tackled include the risks around foods (caffeine, alcohol, lunch meat, sushi), medicines (birth control, pain killers, antidepressants), and exercise. Oster also details risks of and protocols around genetic testing, common pregnancy conditions (such as pre-eclampsia and gestational diabetes), bedrest, and the options available during birth.
In which Brianna and Ariel discuss Neil Pasricha's upcoming book, You Are Awesome. Who is this man, what is his book about, and when is it available? We received advance copies of this book so that we could give it our honest review. This post contains affiliate links.
You Are Awesome, by Neil Pasricha
Summary & Review:
Hello, dear readers! It has been a while since our last book review because we have been busy making book club kits. However, we’ve missed sharing our thoughts on helpful books with you and with each other. There’s a long, long list of all the books we want to review or that friends have asked for our take on. We were excited to take on this book because we were fortunate enough to get early access to it. So what is this book? It’s called You Are Awesome, by Neil Pasricha.
Neil Pasricha is the best-selling author of six previous books, as well as the creator of (at least) six failed websites. He’s also the son of two very wise and patient parents, whom I’d love to meet. In his book, which is an interesting blend of autobiography and life advice, Pasricha explains how he went from working the careers he was “supposed” to want, to finding his own path to success, happiness, and resilience.
Ariel and Brianna are friends who met while working in a library. Now they collaborate to develop life-enhancing book club experiences.
Let's keep in touch!