Monday, February 24, 2014

2013 | Book Review

This last Friday a group of people that I know all got together to share and talk about the books that we read last year.  It was so much fun!  I loved the diversity and the challenge to read some things that I may not necessarily think about.  I thought I would list our books here for possible future reference or for anyone looking for some book recommendations. I did note on a few if the person sharing really loved it or particularly disliked a book.  Also, at the end there is a short list of other books not read by anyone last year but were additional recommendations to go along side other books or from the same genre.  I put first name and last initial are more for my reference.  If you happen to know these folks then you can ask them more questions on their reads.

My List

  • Honeysuckle, Creosote, and Trainsmoke by William O. Cook
  • 100 Cupboards (100 Cupboards, #1) by N.D. Wilson
  • Dandelion Fire (100 Cupboards, #2) by N.D. Wilson
  • The Watermelon Man by William O. Cook
  • Unbroken:  A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand (Yes!)
  • The Chestnut King (100 Cupboards, #3) by N.D. Wilson
  • A Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  • The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver (hated)
  • Dad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan
  • Fit to Burst: Abundance, Mayhem, and the Joys of Motherhood by Rachel Jankovic
  • America the Beautiful: Rediscovering What Made this Nation Great by Ben Carson
  • Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  • These Old Shades (Alistair, #1) by Georgette Heyer
  • Longbourn by Jo Baker
  • Let Us Keep the Feast: Living the Church Year at Home by Michelle Allen Bycheck, et al
  • Indoctrination: Public School and the Decline of Christianity in America by Charles Laverdire, et al
  • Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Yes, I read a cookbook!) by Michelle Tam
  • An American Bride in Kabul by Phyllis Chesler
  • Devil’s Cub (Alistair, #2) by Georgette Heyer
  • Why Christian Kids Need a Christian Education by Douglas Wilson
Gail H.
  • Look Homeward Angel by Thomas Wolf
  • Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
  • The Devil All the Time by Donald Ray Pollock
  • The Earth Abides by George Stewart
  • Christianity & Liberalism by Machen
  • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  • Slave Narratives by Frederick Douglass
  • Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx
  • Animal Farm by George Orwell
  • The Juvenilization of American Christianity by Thomas Bergeler (Last Chapter was the best!)
  • Wordsmithy by Douglas Wilson
  • The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf
  • Best Loved Poems
  • Cross Talk by Michael Emlet
  • Number 44 The Mysterious Stranger by Mark Twain
  • Salt (She thought it was rather boring)
  • Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin
  • True Grit by Charles Portis
  • God's Gift to You by Charles Spurgeon
  • Loving God with All You Mind by Elizabeth George
  • The Enemy Within by Kris Lundgaard (she wants to read this every year!)
  • Vanity Fair by William Mackpiece Thackery
  • The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
  • Blink by Gladwell
  • The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
  • Middlesex by Jeffery Eugenides
  • Narnia Chronicles
  • The Odyssey by Homer
  • Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser
  • Experiments in Criticism by C.S. Lewis (fairly academic)
  • Till We have Faces by C.S. Lewis (best ever!)
  • The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo (hated)
  • The Devil in the White Cith by Erik Larson
  • Lilith by George McDonald
  • The Autobiography of Malcolm X
  • The Histories by Herodotus
Laura S.
  • Winter Study (Anna Pigeon, #14) by Nevada Barr
  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  • My Antonia by Willa Cather
  • O Pioneers! (Great Plains Trilogy, #1) by Willa Cather
  • Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2) by Suzanne Collins
  • Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3) by Suzanne Collins
  • Silas Marner by George Eliot (Loved!)
  • Cross Talk by Michael Emlet
  • The Adults by Alison Espach
  • Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner (hard to read and did not finish)
  • Gotta Keep on Tryin' by Donna DeBerry and Virginia Grant
  • The Confession by John Grisham
  • The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom (loved)
  • Eventide by Kent Haruf
  • The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
  • brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  • Unplanned by Abby Johnson
  • The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
  • Thursdays at Eight by Debbie Macomber
  • Short Girls by Bich Minh Nguyen
  • A Brother's Journey by Richard B. Pelzer
  • The Letters by Luanne Rice
  • Peony in Love by Lisa See
  • Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See
Kate F.
  • Babywise by Gary Ezzo
  • Toddlerwise by Gary Ezzo
  • Secrets of the Baby Whisperer by Tracy Hogg
  • First Time Mom by Kevin Leman
  • The Lost Boy: A Foster Child's Search for the Love of a Family by Dave Pelzer
  • Breath by Martha Mason
  • Parenting in the Pew by Robbie Fox Casteman
  • Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
  • A Separate Peace by John Knowles
  • Confessions of a Sociopath by M.E. Thomas
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • Fostering Cayden by J.V. Fink
  • An Everlasting Meal by Tamar Adler
  • The Blue Cotton Gown: A Midwife's Memoir by Patricia Harman
Zack F.
  • His Excellency by Joseph Ellis
  • American Sniper by Chris Kyle
  • The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • Fostering Cayden by J.V. Fink
  • Six Sigma by Roland Cavanagh
  • Suze Orman's Financial Guidebook by Suze Orman
  • Cicero by Anthony Everette
  • Project Management for Dummies
  • Letters to the Soviets by Alexander Solzhenitsyn
  • The Fall by Albert Camus
Katie F.
  • The Help by Kathryn Stockett
  • My Friend Leonard by James Frey
Kortnee H.
  • Treasuring God in Our Traditions by Noel Piper
  • The Meaning of Marriage by Tim Keller (read twice!)
  • The Complete Book of Pregnancy and Childbirth by Sheila Kitzinger
  • The Lies Young Women Believe and the Truth that Sets the Free by Nancy Leigh DeMoss
  • Chosen by God, by R.C. Sproul
  • The Shack by William P. Young (started and did not finish...hated it!)
  • A Classical Christian Education book by Wilson (could not remember title)
Nancy S.
  • The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness by Tim Keller
  • The Meaning of Marriage by Tim Keller
  • How Now Shall We Live by Charles Colson
  • Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
  • Tess of the D'Ubervilles by Thomas hardy
  • Term Limits by Vince Flynn
  • The Four Loves by C.S. Lewis
  • Killing Lincoln by Bill O'Reilly
Doug H.
  • Echos of Eden by Jerram Barrs
  • Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'engle
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  • The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker
  • A Cry for Justice by Jeff Crippen
  • Mending the Soul by Steven Tracy
  • Why does He do that? by Lundy Bancroft
  • No Longer Under Bondage by Barbara Roberts
  • In Sheep's Clothing by George Simon
  • The Emotionally Abused Woman by Beverly Engel
  • Center Church by Tim Keller
  • The Mind of the Maker by Dorothy Sayer
  • Spiritual Formation by Henri Nouwen
  • Eat this Book by Eugene Peterson
  • Light in August by William Faulkner
  • In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
  • Call of Duty: The Sterling Nobility of Robert E. Lee by Steven Wilkins
  • The Meaning of Marriage by Tim Keller
  • King's Cross by Tim Keller (?)
  • The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers
  • Barn Burning by William Faulkner
  • Ballad of the Sad Cafe by Carson McCullers
  • A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
  • The Enemy Within by Kris Lundgaard
  • Living the Christian Year by Bobby Gross
  • Temple of the Holy Ghost; Revelation; and A Good Man is Hard to Find (Short stories by Flannery O'Connor
Side Recommendations
  • The Shawl by Cynthia Ozick
  • The Boy in Striped Pajamas by John Boyne
  • Schindler's List by Thomas Keneally
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  • 1984 by George Orwell
  • The Beautiful and Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation by Joseph Ellis
  • The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
  • A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Reading Begets Reading

I have been consuming books like literary food since late last year.  I have already read seven books this year and just started my eighth this morning while on hold with a company.

In the midst of rebooting my love for reading I realized that I had been lacking, and had been for years (even while in full time ministry), consistency in reading a book that I claimed had such influence in my life... the Bible.  Oh, that is so hard to write.  So humbling and so true.

Sure, I have been in churches where we were reading the Bible together and we all had plans.  Honestly, I never made it.  This was after several attempts over the years at several churches just to clarify for those readers who are familiar with my church going history. :)

On October 21, 2013 (there is no significance in the date) I looked around on the Bible app I have on my phone, YouVersion.  There were all sorts of plans and I took some time to read through the descriptions.  I was looking for one that would help me succeed in the endeavor and one that was not too overwhelming. I found one. You know what?  It's great.  It's working!  I have a reminder on my phone that goes off during naptime (it's quiet) just in case I haven't managed to read it yet.  Honestly, nap time is the best time for me.  The kids are resting and I can relax and take in what the Lord has for me on that particular day.

I found that reading more has helped in my reading what is most important.  So, as I read in parenting books that "sleep begets sleep" with babies...I find that reading begets reading, too.

I actually have a challenge to finish my plan early so that I can join my husband in his Bible readings so we can be reading the same thing on the same days.  I know, I should just start over and it does makes sense.  Luckily, I have a husband who also understands that I want to finish the goal of reading through.  So, we'll see if I can finish early??