Monday, March 25, 2019

Recent reads

The Clippity-Cloppity Carnival… This was another of the Wellie Wishers books and I liked this one, too. This one dealt with a fear of horses. One of the girls lashed out at her friends, then almost immediately apologized and confessed that she was really upset about something else. I like seeing books that model a healthy and appropriate response to fear, frustration, rejection, etc. and this one did that quite well in my opinion. 

Dark Justice… This book was both a selection on my TBR list of Christy winners/finalists and written by the author of one of my Spokane Christian Writers Conference speakers. The general premise: a woman stops at the scene of a car accident and is suddenly being hunted down for information the victim gave her. I really liked it and couldn’t get over how easily I fell into the main character’s head each time I picked it up. Hannah is 55 years old and is caring for her mother, who has dementia. She also has an adult daughter who lives away from home. Still I found myself feeling protective of my mom and thinking a lot about my own daughters’ futures when I wasn’t reading the book. I told Brandilyn Collins as much when I met her in person because authors need love too, y’all. 

Freedom!*… I’m doing a lot of healing right now, focusing a lot on wounds from the past that never healed properly, I guess like re-breaking a bone so you can set it the right way, if that makes sense. I have gotten professional help and read a few books on the subject already this year and was really excited to see Freedom! in my list of potential review books. I’m not sure what to say about it. On the one hand, I was really disappointed to feel each day like it got me really hyped up for change without providing me any actual steps to move forward. (She does say that she doesn’t have a formula to share because there isn’t one. I only kind of agree with that because while there may not be one formula that works for every person, there are general steps a person can choose from, which I’ve found through so many other books this year). On the other hand… I wrote down so many amazing quotes and was so incredibly inspired each morning to move forward with the steps I had already been given! So I think I would say that I highly recommend this book for its motivational qualities, but I also recommend that you see a therapist (or, if you’re like me, a hippie healer) and/or find actual steps you can take (I so highly recommend Counterfeit Comforts for that!) in conjunction with the book. She shares other women’s inspiring stories, shares popular movie comparisons that help paint the picture, and somehow tackles such a crazy tough issue with grace, humor, wit, and charm. I hope you’ll give it a try if you’re interested in overcoming the heart-obstacles that have been holding you back! 

Imagination Station: Peril at the Palace… This is the third book in the series and in this one the kids meet Marco Polo and Kublai Kahn. It held my attention and I do think my kids will love it when the time comes! 

The Paleo Kids Cookbook… This is at the very top of my son’s birthday wish list. He has adored this cookbook for the two months we’ve had it from the library and he desperately wants to own it so he can make many more of the recipes inside. (Pictured in that tiny collage photo is the pizza pocket recipe, which was really time-consuming and messy but which he adored making together). Most of the recipes require adult help at his age (five), but he is keenly aware that he’ll be able to do more and more as he gets older. It definitely makes me happy to imagine him cooking something that isn’t microwavable for himself when he moves out someday, but I also think it’s really important for men to know how to cook a few good meals if they want to call themselves good husbands! 

Pilgrim’s Progress... I want to say that I loved this book and was deeply touched by it… but honestly, I didn’t finish it. Even though I was definitely into the allegory, the language was just too old to hold my attention and I was constantly finding my mind wandering. I was listening to it on audiobook and really slogging through before I finally decided to give up and try Little Pilgrim’s Progress, the kid’s version. 

Vision of Beauty… This is recommended for 8-12-year-olds and was both well-done and beautifully illustrated. This was a simple biography on Sarah Breedlove Walker. If you don’t know who she is (I didn’t), she’s a black woman from the 1900s who created her own product, sold enough of it to turn it into a business that generated many well-paying jobs for other black women, and also changed the social life in general of Indianapolis. She was an inspiring force to be reckoned with and I can’t help but wonder how much she could have accomplished if she’d lived on past the age of 51.

What Your Husband Isn't Telling You… David Murrow was the keynote speaker at the Spokane Christian Writers Convention and I also took his workshop on building your Internet platform. A huge part of my bulimia recovery involves really diving into the deeper parts of ourselves we tend to subconsciously bury, so Ryan and I have talked a ton about this specific subject over the past few months. I was intrigued because of that but also wasn’t so sure I’d really get a lot out of it. I was instantly hooked, stayed up late reading it and finished the book in two days. There was so much laid out in this book that was explained in a way I’d never heard before, and it made for so much awesome conversation in our marriage! I freely admit the sex chapters were really hard on me because I already have so many miserable body image issues and want to believe that my husband thinks I really am the last woman on the planet… but I was mostly able to separate myself from those and feel both fascinated by the differences between men and women and aware of a few things I can do differently to make our marriage even better.

*I received a free copy of Freedom! from the publisher in exchange for my completely honest review.

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