Week in Books

The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom with John and Elizabeth Sherrill.

August’s bookclub pick, and I’m so glad it was. I read this years ago (maybe in high school? Sometime around then) and had forgotten many of the specifics. Holocaust memoirs and biographies are a subgenre in which I’ve read extensively, and this is a fantastic one. It’s also great because the detail level keeps it more appropriate for younger readers than some others in the genre.

I’m really looking forward to the meeting next week and the discussion about the book. I’m curious to know what everyone else thought about it!

Give Them Grace: Dazzling Your Kids with the Love of Jesus by Elyse Fitzpatrick and Jessica Thompson.

I wanted to love this book, because the premise is terrific. But the examples given are so far from how I can imagine actually speaking to my kids that the usefulness was diminished. It may just be because my kids are so little, but a lengthy response preaching the gospel to my son when he whacks his sister won’t really accomplish much in my opinion.

But again, he’s only three, so I’m not sure that it’s completely a fair complaint. It’s just not right for our stage yet. I do think I’ll reread it when my children are a little older, because I really liked their emphasis on Christian parenting verses moral parenting.

Urban Pantry: Tips and Recipes for a Thrifty, Sustainable and Seasonal Kitchen by Amy Pennington.

I’ve read so many cookbooks and food blogs, so a three star / “good” rating seems worse than it really is. The book was fine, and if you’re new to really making use of your pantry you may find it much more helpful. There were details about some ingredients that I don’t use all that regularly, but none of her recipes for utilizing them really tempted me. The best part of it for me was the reminder that you don’t have to have an enormous pantry or endless amounts of space to take advantage of a pantry. The author lives in New York; I am 100% positive that I have gobs more available space than she does, so what am I doing to use that storage space wisely?

Drop Dead Healthy: One Man’s Humble Quest for Bodily Perfection by A. J. Jacobs.

I wish I hadn’t bothered with this one. It wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t really worth the reading time. I liked his The Year of Living Biblically more, but this one had more what had annoyed me in the other. Some aspects of his personality annoy me and make me less interested in reading about a project that’s all about him. I was also somewhat upset by the end of the book when a relative of his develops leukemia (specifically, AML) and he tosses out the stat that she only has a 10% chance of still being alive in 5 years even if chemo succeeds in putting her into remission.

Yeah, my brother has a very rare combination of leukemia – both ALL and AML. I have specifically NOT been researching what his odds are, and the 5 or 10 year survival rate. It was a smack of reality I didn’t want to read. I do realize that this is an unfair reason to not like the book, but I wasn’t crazy about it before getting to that part. It just more of a final “why on earth did I bother reading this?” kind of moment.

The Magic of Thinking Big by David J. Schwartz
Although it’s extremely dated, I still enjoyed it overall. Lots of inspirational ideas and motivation; you just have to look beyond the gender stereotypes, and the jarring dollar amounts. Oh, inflation, how you have changed what is a high salary or stretch price for a home.

I think it must have been really revolutionary for its time, because it’s so often included on recommended/life-changing lists that I’ve seen. And I think a lot of Brian Tracy and others work is better, but perhaps they’re just building on the foundation that Schwartz laid.

{This one was actually read earlier, but I forgot to include it in the appropriate week. And I don’t want to neglect it. :) }

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