Sunday, January 31, 2016

January Books Read (2016)

Richmond view, just to the right is the landing strip at YVR

 This month felt dry for me in a lot of ways. I think a lot of my downtime was taken up with things, stuff, and events. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't put something on my list if I didn't want it to be there, it just so happened that moreso for me in January than December, everything started happening that first week and hasn't stopped! I'm writing this on Tues, Jan. 26, in prepartation for the 31st, and this last week of the month is still just bursting at the seams. When I look back at my list, though, I'm reminded that I did take a lot of time-in bits and spurts-to get into some deep and a few academic books this month, and for that I'm grateful. Here's what I read in January:

*Satisfy My Thirsty Soul by Linda Dillow - I finished this in January, but read the bulk of it in December in preparation for my church's women's bible study. I'm going through it now a second time, week by week, in order to help faciliate a table, and I'm enjoying it more so in a week-by-week measure than I did the book in one big gulp. It's about what worship looks like in an individual and ordinary life. I don't know that I'd pick up another one of her books, but the thoughtful questions and practices in the back of the book meant for study are what makes this book richer.

*The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd - This book was fantastic, and there were times when I couldn't put it down (also, times when I could that felt a bit too 'filler' for me). It's the story of a rich white girl who grows up in luxury in the South, and the slave girl she's gifted at her 11th birthday. The turn of events in this story are at times surprising, and the intermixing of the voices (you only hear from 2 characters within the framework) was an excellent sylistic choice by Kidd. The story is loosely based on 2 sisters from long ago, and reading the notes in the back of the book are just as enjoyable as the story itself. I'd recommend this book to a lot of people; anyone who likes fiction. 

*The Summer of the Great-Grandmother by Madeline L'Engle (Crosswicks #2) - This book was bittersweet, not only because of L'Engle's torn writing, but because how things are unfolding in my own family regarding my grandmother and her caregivers, her children. This book needs to be read with a box of tissues, and if you love truthful writing that carves it's niche in quiet, you'll love the Crosswicks series, part of L'Engle's memoirs from her time at her country home in Conneticut. This particular entry of the Crosswicks series, is about her own mother, her mother's life, influence, death, and memory. 

*The Gift of Failure by Jessica Lahey - This nonfiction read is about how our current parenting philopsophies of never letting our children fail is actually cripping them, adding stress and entitlement, and what we can do about it as parents, educators, and advocates.  We are overparenting, exhausting ourselves and inadvertently telling our kids 'they can't' by our behaviors, and we need to stop. I was recommended this book by a friend, and I really liked it, though I don't know that I'm the target audience for this book, as I am definitely part of the choir that already touts this information (i.e. your kid keep forgetting their lunch? a day of not having that lunch will be the #1 reminder from then on...). A lot of studies broken down to bits and enjoyable to read, I'd recommend this book to a parent who feels completely undone by the parenting responsibilities of their school-age child, and maybe highlight the appropriate chore list for junior...

*The Gift of Dyslexia by Ron Davis - This book is two things: an entry level guide walking the reader through dyslexic symptoms one by one in detailed fashion, and two, a solution manual to help with those symptoms through the Ron Davis program. I only read the first half, the informational half, because I didn't want to do all the exercises with my child. I am doing a lot of research on dyslexia currently because although it's been in the back of my mind for close to three years, this year is the first time a professional has said, 'yes, this might be why xyz happen, let's take a closer look and remedy it'. I found myself nodding my head to quite a bit of it, but I don't know that this is the best dyslexic book out there. It's written in an odd way, in my opinion, and although informative, I feel like I still need more information. 
 
*Money Making Mom by Crystal Paine - I've read all of Crystal's books and they are very accessible with great ideas and anecdotes interspersed throughout. This one focuses on creating your own business and the steps one has to take to do it. There's an entire chapter devoted to living generously, too, which is something maybe not every entrepreuner takes into account. Paine's story is pretty amazing and I feel she has some great practical advice, but in a lot of ways it does feel like chasing after the American dream with very little balance, rest, and downtime outside of making the money you either need or want. I have mixed feelings about this one, mostly because Paine is a Christian and her book feels very 'strive-y' and 'pull yourself up by your bootstraps-y' (yes, made those up right now) and not very much 'resting in God's grace for your daily bread(y). Just my opinion, though. 

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