Monday, August 3, 2015

books I read over the summer (June/July)

My entire life, well my entire reading life, which has been all of my life that I remember, I have spent many summer days reading. As a child I preferred to be with my books than outside in the heat (though I spent a fair amount of time riding bikes, playing kickball and kick-the-can in our cul-de-sac with the neighborhood kids). Becoming a mom means no longer having long summer days to leisurely read all day.  I did, however, manage to read a few good books this summer, and I am about to finish up a couple more. Here's what I read in June and July:

Still Alice by Lisa Genova - 
A professor at Harvard is diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimers.  I connected with the characters in this book, even though I don't have much in common with them. It was a beautiful and hard story, but also a quick read. After reading, I vented to The Hubs for about ten minutes about one character. Actually I am still ticked off at one character in the book. I would love to vent about him/her on here, but then I would need to post a spoiler alert. I know there is a movie based on the book, but I am not sure if I want to see it or not. Has anyone watched the movie?

Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church by Rachel Held Evans
Rachel and I are very different in our current theologies, but she asks many of the same questions in her book that I have asked or am asking. We just often arrive at different answers. Of the three books of hers I have read/attempted to read, this one was easier for me to stick with. I was frustrated with some of her conclusions and opinions, but I think I saw her more as a person rather than "that blogger that I no longer read," and that was refreshing. I still do not quite understand how her faith shifted so much, but I am trying. The book reminded me of the beauty and truth to be found in churches that don't look like mine, and as a multi-denominational gal, I appreciated that. 

Caught Up in a Story by Sarah Clarkson
This is a book about what books to read to your children. I have read a couple of books by Sarah's mother, Sally, but this is the first one I have read by Sarah. Caught Up in a Story was delightful and helpful. It made me sad about many of the wonderful stories (and experiences) I missed as a child, but it was encouraging and challenging to me as mother of what I want to provide for my own children's reading (and imaginative) experiences. I highly recommend this for parents wanting to know about what their children should read. It is more than a list.

The Living Page: Keeping Notebooks with Charlotte Mason by Laurie Bestvater
This has been one of the most helpful Charlotte Mason books I have read so far. It gave me many answers for some of the how-to's and how-does-it-look questions I have had. At some point, I will be purchasing this for my own library.

Anchored by Kayla Aimee
My mom sent this book to me, and a friend had offered to loan me her copy. It is about Kayla's experience as  NICU mom. Her daughter was born at twenty-six weeks, and she spent several months in the NICU. Kayla shares about her experiences and struggles, but there is also humor in this book. I found myself going from crying to laughing within the same chapter.  Though my boys were just in the NICU for seven weeks and two weeks, I related so much to her experience, not just as a NICU mom, but in my newer journey as a special needs mom.

Women of the Word by Jen Wilkin
I actually read this book in late spring, but somehow it didn't make the list in previous months.  A great, informative, but easy read on how to study the Bible.  If you don't know what to do or how to start actually digging into the Word for yourself, get this book. Much of it I knew from classes I took in college or other studies I have done, but I took a lot of notes from Jen's book. Also, it was nice to have a book for women without flowers or princess themes - instead it was content without fluff that some authors think appeal to women.  Even if you are a man, I would recommend this book to you for how to dig into the Bible. 

Favorite children's book of mine this summer:
Roxaboxen by Alice McLerran
A group of children use their imagination to build a town out of boxes, rocks, and other items.  I don't know how I haven't read this book before. It brought back happy, though different, memories of the games played in my own neighborhood growing up. I cried at the end of this story. Bubby wondered why. I couldn't explain. Read it and perhaps you will see why I cried.   Bonus: It takes place in Yuma, Arizona, where I lived for two years.

Books I started reading but had to return to the library before I finished: Living Well, Spending Less; Wearing God; and Undone: a story of making peace with an unexpected life

1 comment:

  1. I read Still Alice this past year too! Which character did you want to vent about? Her husband? I thought it was so good, and I passed it along to my mom since there is dementia in some of our family. The book actually helped me understand my older relatives better and have more compassion for the things they do which are baffling and frustrating on the outside.


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