Saturday, July 5, 2014

June Reads

Hooray for more time to read this month!  :)  Here is what I have been reading:

The Inheritance by Louisa May Alcott: This is actually Alcott's first novel written when she was only 17.  It tells the story of Edith Adelon, an impoverished orphan whose beauty and loyalty win her the patronage of wealthy friends.   I found it charming and enjoyed it very much.

Balancing It All: My Story of Juggling Priorities and Purpose by Candace Cameron Bure: In this book Candace Cameron Bure (who played DJ on Full House) shares how she strives to find balance in her life.  I really enjoyed reading about what it was like growing up as a child actor and about her marriage to a Russian hockey player.  Personally I didn't find the aspect of her book about balancing life that helpful.  (I find books that ask the reader more questions a bit more helpful.)  Overall I did enjoy reading this book.  It was the first one that I have checked out from my library as a digital copy and read on my kindle.

Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robin & Joe Dominguez: After the book Radical Homemakers mentioned this book many times I had high hopes.  Perhaps it is the fact that I read the updated edition that I found myself not that impressed.  It's good but any book by Dave Ramsey is better.  My favorite aspect of the book was how the authors encouraged the reader to calculate your real hourly wage.  This means figuring out how many hours a day you really spend in relationship to your job.  Included here are your actual hours of work and hours that you might spend doing the following: commuting, eating at work, getting ready, decompression, escape entertainment, job-related illness, etc.  (Some of these of course might not apply to you.)  Then you look at all of the expenses related to your job.  After this you figure out what your hourly wage really is.  I did find the book thought provoking and it did encourage me in our pursuit of a frugal, simple life.

Sharing Christ With the Dying: Bringing Hope to Those Near the End of Life by Melody Rossi: Let me start by saying that I do not have a close friend or family member on their deathbed.  I do realize that one day that will be a reality in my life and since I enjoy being prepared (or at least thinking I am prepared) I chose to read this book.  This was a great book about a very difficult topic.  The author does an excellent job of encouraging the reader to share Christ in loving ways.  I really enjoyed how Rossi held the sovereignty of God in one hand and all of the things that believers can do to point their friends to Jesus in the other.  Please note that I did receive a free copy of this book from Bethany House Publishing.  

Radical Homemakers: Reclaiming Domesticity from a Consumer Culture by Shannon Hayes: This book was much different than I had expected.  For some reason I thought this was a Christian book about stay at home mothers.  Actually it is a feminist book about women and men who choose to focus on their home instead of the many pressures of a consumer culture.  I am not a feminist in any shape or form but I did glean a lot from this book.

The Great American Slow Cooker Book by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarborough: This book is not your mother's average crock pot cookbook.  It includes zero recipes that call for cream of something soup and does an excellent job of using real foods.  The cookbook is filled with over 500 different recipes that use a wide array of ingredients.  It contains the usual beef, pork, and chicken dishes but also includes seafood, duck, etc.  I really liked the fact that the cookbook uses a wide variety of meat cuts.  Instead of every chicken recipe using boneless skinless chicken breasts there are recipes for chicken drumsticks, chicken thighs, chicken wings, and chicken leg quarters which are all cuts of meat that are about 1/2 the price of boneless skinless chicken breasts.  So far we have eaten the chicken, rice, mushrooms, and cranberries on page 242 and the honey-barbecued chicken drumsticks (page 259).  They were both excellent and the happy husband raved about them.  The other great aspect of this cookbook is the fact that each recipe is given in 3 different sizes based on the size of your slow cooker.  The smallest size recipe will feed our small family with minimal leftovers.  If we want to have friends over I can easily make the same recipe in just a larger size.  Overall this cookbook is really neat.  If you think of yourself as a foodie than I am sure you will really enjoy it.  Please note that I did receive a free copy of this book from Blogging for Books.

Money Secrets of the Amish by Lorilee Craker: This book was not at all what I thought it would be.  I thought the book would be more about "finding true abundance in simplicity, sharing, and saving" as the subtitle suggests.  This book chronicles Craker as she interviewed a few Amish families and tried out some of the financial habits that the Amish share.  In my opinion the author is pretty wimpy when it comes to her frugal ways but perhaps that is because she is a New York Times best selling author.  :)  I do admire the Amish and how they are thriving while the rest of America appears to struggle.  This book really only skims the service of Amish frugality in my opinion.  It's not that the book is bad, it is just the fact that I expected more specifics.  For example one family Craker mentions managed to save $400,000 in 20 years while raising 14 children.  I would love to know exactly what their budget looked like, what streams of income they were using, exactly how they use things up, etc.  This book was interesting.  If you consider yourself new to the world of frugality you will probably enjoy the book.

What books did you read in June?  I really do love recommendations so please share!  


  1. "love idol" by jennifer dukes lee was really good, i read that this past month

  2. Do you own the book? If so could I borrow it when I see you in August?