It has been awhile since I have given you an update on my reading. I actually finished up several books on vacation, and I realized I had better get up to date before I share those in my July reading post. Here is the list of what I read in April, May, and June. I think I will stick to monthly updates from now on because this is kind of long.
Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids by Kim John Payne and Lisa M. Ross is an excellent book. When my friend Keren posted about this book I knew this was one I wanted to read. We have made some conscious decisions in our family to simplify our children’s lives. Toys, clothes, and schedules are all things we have taken into consideration. I found this book to be very confirming of the choices we made, and also gave me some new ideas of things I could do. His thoughts on how our culture’s push of “too much, too fast, too soon,” is hurting our children are worth reading. This is a very practical, how-to book.
Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting by Pamela Druckerman. Read my post on the effect of culture on parenting.
What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast: A Short Guide to Making Over Your Mornings — and Life by Laura Vanderkam. This short ebook will inspire you to use the early morning hours that nobody else wants to achieve your goals.
Simple Blogging: Less Computer Time, Better Blogging by Rachel Meeks. This was a basic guide, but I found quite a few helpful tips for blogging.
My Life in France by Julia Child with Alex Prud’Homme. I found it very intriguing to read about what Paris was like just post WWII. I also determined (yet again!) that I am not a cook. While I was fascinated with how she worked tirelessly to perfect each recipe, I can’t imagine loving cooking that much. I loved how she approached living in a different culture with such enthusiasm. A fun, interesting read about someone who is an icon of French cuisine in America.
Building a Life out of Words by Shawn Smucker is another short ebook that I got for free. I found his journey of leaving a steady paying job to become a writer something I could relate to. While we are in Seminary, not pursuing a writing career, I could relate to the ups and downs of choosing a life (and therefore an irregular income) that is counter-culture. I also found in intriguing at how a writer thinks about his work.
All The Money in the World: What the Happiest People Know About Getting and Spending by Laura Vanderkam. Normally when I read a money book I come away trying to find more ways that I can scrimp and save. This was a much more positive view and I came away looking for ways that I can use the money I have in a meaningful way. Read my thoughts on Money, Happiness, and the Christian.
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. This book came recommended to me by several friends. Initially I had trouble reading it. While I know the writer was careful and could have made it much darker, I don’t like anything that comes close to dark. I am kind of sensitive about things like that. However, like a good writer, he completely pulled me into the book. As a novel it is excellently written. More importantly, though, I was given a small peek of what life is like in Afghanistan. Though written as a novel, the story has many auto-biographical elements. It is about a 12-year-old boy from Afghanistan. I will never again hear news about Afghanistan and the Taliban without thinking about real moms, dads, and little boys and girls. These are real people in the news. I am grateful I read it.
Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God by Francis Chan.This was another book that I got free on my kindle awhile back. I am thankful, because I don’t think I would have read it otherwise. It was an excellent reminder that our lives are meant to be lived fully for God. Chan observes that too many Christians are living their Christian lives very “safely,” and hardly distinguishable from non-believers except for going to Church on Sundays. My least favorite chapter was the one of examples. I am sure that for some the examples would be helpful, but I found them to be distracting from the overall message. The rest of the book was full of scripture and when the Bible speaks directly to us it is far better than any human example.
What have you been reading lately? Any good reads I should add to my list?
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