Thursday, January 15, 2015

Not Sure How To Start This Thing Over So I'll Start With Books!!

I realize that I've not blogged in years.

I also realize that unintentionally my blog became a homeschool blog.

While I hope that the Letter's Of The Week posts are helpful and continue to encourage young homeschoolers, I do hope to move this blog forward. I have high hopes to update my profile and the photos and add tabs to separate categories with ease, but for now, if I don't just start, I never will. 

I get asked on the regular for book suggestions and I love that question! I have been posting the books I read onto Instagram for a the last few years and always have emails and text following the posts asking for more details on this book or that. As I prepped to post my latest reads onto Insto, I decided to write a mini-review for each book to help as people decided which books to read next. The more I wrote I realized that, in my social media opinion, this broke all the Insta-rules. SO MANY WORDS. SO MANY WORDS. INSTO IS FOR PICTURES. Just kidding...kinda. 

This led to me remembering that I do, in fact, have a blog AND that blogs are the social medium in which it is appropriate to write "long-mini-reviews." *wink*

So with out further ado... 

What I've Been Reading and My Thoughts For Those Who Care::

Tables In The Wilderness- by Preston Yancey - I read this book at the end of last year and I can not believe I never posted about it. Yancey's writing is honest and beautiful. I was raised with Liturgy, the Church Calendar & Creeds as the basis of my faith and in college landed in a church that had none of these practices so I found Yancey's story intriguing as it is the EXACT opposite of mine. This memoir is full of thought provoking insights and I highly recommend it!!

The Best Yes- by Lysa Terkeurst - This was my 1st read of 2015 and I am so glad it was. Lysa gives practical advice on how to approach decisions where both options seem great.  She shares stories about how to decide if you have enough time to say yes to obligations and gives some fantastic tools for the reader to take away. She coaches you and reminds you that "no" is not a bad word but in fact is a very healthy one. This is an easy, practical read.

The Pearl- by John Steinbeck - I feel like anytime you write a review for Steinbeck all you need to say is, "Steinbeck." As with most all Steinbeck works, this is a thoughtful parable that you can find yourself in most all the characters. This is a short book, clocking in under 100 pages, but is full of mystery, love & terror with little resolve. I mean, it definitely resolves, but not in your heart...for a long time at least.

Yes Please!- by Amy Poehler - This book is by Amy Poehler so it goes with out saying that well over 40% of the book is COMPLETELY inappropriate in every way (so much so that I am sorta embarrassed to be posting about it). BUT the other 60% is HILARIOUS and doubly insightful. I laughed so much. I love learning from and listening to friends with a totally different worldview than my own and that is how I felt as I read "Yes Please!". While I'd be very sheepish to recommended this book because of it's content, I did really enjoyed her balance of candor and privacy. If you choose to read this book and it is at all possible (and children are not in ear shot!! ) I recommend the audio of this book on Amy is actually the reader along with Seth Myers and they add A LOT to it as they banter back and forth. They are hilarious. 

Jesus Feminist- by Sarah Bessey - I didn't know what I would think about this book before I read it, so I tried to go in with an open mind. I was afraid, as the book had been accused of, that it would be another hate book toward patriarchal leadership. What I found was quite the opposite. Bessey, kindly shares her story of being raised in an egalitarian, Jesus loving home in Canada, her move to southern United States and the cultural differences that ensued. She makes a strong and equally humble case for the Bible's teaching on women, both in the home and in the church setting.  I never once sensed a harshness or manipulating tone, just her story and Biblical evidence on which she had landed. I was thrilled as I entered the back portion of her book. She lays out the upside down nature of Jesus's teaching on the Kingdom and her final chapters are filled with encouragement to all readers, egalitarian and complementarian alike.  

Girl At The End Of The World - by Elizabeth Esther -  Y'all. I am obsessed. I mean, not really but I am having a hard time not thinking about this book.  I found myself googling facts and being more disturbed by the seemingly true nature of it.  I read this book in 2 days. I was pretty much useless to my family due to lack of sleep but I just couldn't put it down. This is a memoir about a girl who was raised in a fundamentalist cult and her life's pursuit to get out of it. The author, who is telling her own story, lets you in on the mindset of a child who endures abuse in the name of God, love and sacrifice. I'm really going to need some of my friends to read this in the next day or two so we can talk about...okay? okay. Thanks!

Hope these reviews are helpful!!

Happy Reading!