May Reading Review and June Reading Goals

May Reading Goals:

  1. The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God Absolutely loved it. I thought he succeeded admirably in his stated goal “to give both married and unmarried people a vision for what marriage is according to the Bible.” It is not a light read by any stretch of the imagination, and each chapter required close attention to fully appreciate.

    I especially appreciated how gospel-centered the book is, and how it shows how every aspect of marriage should be rooted in the gospel: “It is the message that what husbands should do for their wives is what Jesus did to bring us into union with himself. . . This is the secret—that the gospel of Jesus and marriage explain one another. That when God invented marriage, he already had the saving work of Jesus in mind”

    I also really liked how the book addressed common contemporary responses to and thoughts about marriage such as “marriage is just a piece of paper,” “you should marry your soul mate,” or “marriage is oppressive to women.”

    Overall I thought it was an excellent book, and I recommend it highly.

  2. Mean Moms Rule: Why Doing the Hard Stuff Now Creates Good Kids Later Didn’t read: got another parenting book from the library that was going to be due soon, so this one got pushed back (the tyranny of the library).
  3. The Wine Club: A Month-by-Month Guide to Learning About Wine with Friends Finished and thought it was an excellent introduction to different types of wine. It also made me very excited to want to form a wine club, and a friend and I are thinking about doing just that.
  4. The Power of Six (Lorien Legacies) Did not finish. Didn’t even start. This one was on a “to be read” list of mine that I found, and on a whim I added it to my library reserve list. Then when I went back to refresh my memory on the first in the series, I remembered that I didn’t like the first one, so why would I spend my reading time on the second? I quickly put it back into the library returns stack.
  5. Les Misérables Read some of it, but didn’t finish it. It is so long, and my motivation to finish it took a nose dive when I realized I won’t be able to go to the bookclub meeting where it will be discussed.

Not on my original list, but I also finished:

  1. Chasing Daylight: How My Forthcoming Death Transformed My LifeAn inspiring memoir, written after O’Kelly had received the diagnosis of inoperable, terminal brain cancer giving him between 3-6 months left to live.

    I admired how he faced his new reality squarely, determined to live out his remaining days in the best way possible. He wanted to die the best death possible, and that led him on a quest to fill what time he had left with as many “perfect moments” as possible.

    I liked how he got me thinking about how I would spend my time, if I only had 100 days left to live. What would I prioritize, and what would I ignore? And what should I take from that for my current life, where I’m not under a known time limit. He also acknowledged that most people can’t live like they only have 100 days left; if you’re probably going to live for decades, there are some sacrifices that you’ve got to make today that you wouldn’t if you were in your final days. Striking the right balance between living for today, as if it might be one of your last, and making choices and decisions for the future, as if you might live for decades more, is something I’ve thought a lot about before, and this only made me consider it more.

  2. In the Kitchen with A Good Appetite: 150 Recipes and Stories About the Food You Love Loved reading this – it’s more like a combined memoir and cookbook. Each chapter has an introductory story, and each recipe has the story of how it developed. Most of the savory dishes don’t tempt me, but even when it was for something I don’t want to eat, I enjoyed reading the story behind it.
  3. Don’t Kill the Birthday Girl: Tales from an Allergic Life Liked it, but didn’t love it. I enjoyed the true memoir bits the most, but there were also details about allergies in general and their history that I didn’t feel was well integrated, and instead it felt like “and now here’s an intermission with your history facts.” I love history, I love random facts, but I didn’t like how it all flowed.
  4. The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home (Third Edition) I’ve never wanted to homeschool following the classical method, but this book make me reconsider. Actually, this book got me excited and wishing my kids were older so we could jump right into it. It’s a huge book, yes, but Bauer is an engaging author and much of the book is very skimmable because it’s got so much reference information.
  5. Simple Secrets to a Happy Life Reviewed here
  6. Write It Down, Make It Happen Very repetitive, with mostly anecdotal examples of people who succeeded in writing it down and making it happen (or having it happen to them.) I felt like I’ve read the ideas before, presented in a better, more compelling manner.
  7. Raising Your Spirited Child Rev Ed: A Guide for Parents Whose Child Is More Intense, Sensitive, Perceptive, Persistent, and Energetic Thought it was so helpful, I’m about to buy the book so my husband can read it too (the library copy had to go back). I really wish it had been edited more tightly however; I think it could have been cut down by abut 25% without losing anything of real significance, and it would make it much easier for people who don’t like to read to get through it.
  8. Bloggers Boot Camp: Learning How to Build, Write, and Run a Successful Blog Should have added the word “News” into the title, because that’s what the book is really about, building, writing, and running a successful NEWS blog. If you’re not a news blogger, you’re not really a blogger in their opinion; you’re a diarist at best. I found their tone off-putting, and I wish the title had matched the contents. This is not a general blogger’s guide.
  9. And I also started but did not finish Hidden Children of the Holocaust: Belgian Nuns and their Daring Rescue of Young Jews from the Nazis. I hated her dry writing style, and the way it was structured. I wanted to like the book, because it fills in a gap in Holocaust literature (English language at least; I can’t speak for what might be available in other languages), but I was extremely disappointed, and would not recommend it.

June Reading Goals:

  1. The Magic of Thinking Big
  2. Ruhlman’s Twenty: 20 Techniques 100 Recipes A Cook’s Manifesto
  3. Telling God’s Story: A Parents’ Guide to Teaching the Bible (Telling God’s Story)
  4. Food Blogging For Dummies

And, a notice: Because my monthly book review/goal posts are so long, I’m going to try something new in June. I’m going to have a weekly books post with smaller reviews of the books I finished the previous week. I may go back to how I’m doing it now, but I’ll see how June goes.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.