Saturday, February 24, 2018

7 Recent Reads

You are Blessed, Blessed, Blessed… I feel like most people either love or completely hate Duck Dynasty. I kind of fall somewhere in the middle. Technically, I’m pretty sure I don’t really much care for the show. I like drama and dramedy but I’m not a big fan of most comedy. I’m picky about it I guess. But I adore all the women of the show and have read most of their books. I’ve been dying to read this one, about Jase and Missy’s daughter’s cleft lip and palate, because it’s actually a subject I’m pretty familiar with. I worked for an orthodontist for a few years who was very involved with cleft lip & palate cases. I was forever seeing amazing transformations in kids who had been patients for years, and also precious little babies who would come in right after leaving the hospital to be fitted for their first appliances. I knew all about it from a medical standpoint but it was so incredible to read about it from a parent’s perspective. Very eye-opening, at least in my opinion. I say it’s very much worth the read.

Breaking Cover*… I am always watching FBI and police drama TV shows so when I read the synopsis of this one (basically, a CIA memoir) I was so intrigued. I of course know that in real life there is far less drama (and far more paperwork) involved… but I also wondered about what it’s really like, being a spy. Secret identity, dangerous missions, shady characters… well Breaking Cover did a truly excellent job conveying that not every moment is life-threatening while wearing an elaborate disguise, but while still sharing mostly crazy stories I was dying to know more about. This is such an awesome book for anyone who is curious about the subject, and also about conflict between the Sunnis and Shi’a in Iraq. I personally knew basically nothing about it aside from the general media feeling that, uh, they’re both bad. I learned so much but I never felt like I was being given a lecture. I really liked this book and definitely recommend it to anyone who is fascinated by the world of espionage. Ryan isn’t per say, but he’s very interested in the war on terror so it’s now sitting in his stack too.
Also, a line I still just can’t get out of my head: “It’s hard to imagine, but terrorists are real people, too, burdened with their own hang-ups and insecurities.” I think about this so often. Sometimes you hear about awful murders, drug deals gone wrong, terrible man-made atrocities and the part that always gets me is when you find out the person has children. It’s so hard to imagine some of those crazy bad guys going home and kissing their babies goodnight, tickling their necks and whispering into their ears how much they are loved… but they do! They come up behind their wives and wrap arms around her waist while she does dishes, cram a couple bucks into the red Salvation Army bucket at Christmas, pick up the orange that just rolled out of an old woman’s grocery basket, laugh at Seinfeld reruns, look in the mirror and wish their teeth were straighter. Isn’t that just the strangest thing to think about? I actually remember thinking about that as a little girl and asking someone a few personal questions about a criminal. That person was totally appalled so I stopped asking out loud but I’ve still always thought so much about this subject, about “bad guys” just being normal guys who also happen to do terrible things.

The Family under the Bridge… I had never read this children’s novel about a homeless family and a homeless old man they befriend, but I’ve been trying to read more and more children’s novels for the future and decided to give this one a try. I really liked it and thought it was very touching. I can see it leading to some really great discussion and I am very much looking forward to snuggling up and reading it with A in the future.

More than Just Making It… This was a pretty good book about finances from a Christian perspective. A lot of these books tend to be geared toward the upper middle class, in my opinion, and talk about the best ways to manage your money. This one was geared towards those with lower incomes (or enough of a spending problem/debt-to-income ratio that their incomes feel too low) and I thought that was so refreshing. The author, Erin Odom, was also very transparent about how her income situation touched her marriage, her decision on when to have children, and her ultimate decision to file for bankruptcy. I am very frugal and I’m a good saver but I still found that there was plenty learn from her story. It was interesting enough that I’d still recommend it even if you don’t have any income/spending problems at all!

Amelia Lost… I was talking to my brother about some WWII facts for the fiction book I’ve been writing and he casually mentioned that many people think Amelia Earhart was captured by the Japanese. I had never heard that theory before (now I have to wonder why, seeing as it’s truly everywhere) but I was utterly fascinated and quickly requested an AE book from the library. This one actually turned out to be a middle grade biography so it was a quick read, but it was written in a very fascinating way from the first few pages so I kept it and just read it instead of waiting for a grown-up version to come in instead. I really liked it and I highly recommend it even for adults who are at all interested in AE’s story.

On the Way Home… This was a Laura Ingalls Wilder diary, from their journey from South Dakota to Missouri. It was very short and was of course interesting, but it also left much to be desired. It’s short enough that you’ll still plow right through it if you’re interested in this one. I had never read it and we’ve been reading the Little House picture books so I was interested enough to keep going.  

Voracious… This book, gosh. I bet it ends up on my top ten list at the end of the year. An avid bookworm + foodie cooks all these amazing dishes that relate to the books she’s read. I had read probably half of the books and was so intrigued, plus got excited about a few books I hadn’t yet read. I can’t recommend this one enough for anyone who loves reading and cooking and/or baking (she does both so you’re good to go even if you only do one or the other!)

What are you reading?

*I received a free copy of Breaking Cover from Tyndale House in exchange for my honest review

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Thanks so much for your comments! I always read them, don't always have time to answer quickly. Sorry about that!