Saturday, December 12, 2015

November Reads

What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast: A Short Guide to Making Over Your Mornings--and Life  by Laura Vanderkahm: I really enjoyed reading this book filled with tips and ideas for maximizing one's time.  Although I'm not clocking in at a paying job every morning I do take my job as a stay at home homeschooling mom very serious.  There is so much that I hope to accomplish each day and I must say that this book was so helpful.  The book itself is concise and could easily be finished in one sitting.  At one point last month I even caught the happy hubby reading this book which actually fueled some great discussions.  I am so thankful that he took the time to also read this book!  We talked of course about productivity but also had a great conversation about how we were spending our family time.  One part of the book includes a discussion on what successful people do on the weekends.  It was incredibly helpful for me to read through this section and really determine some goals for each weekend.  I am more encouraged to make our weekends fun family times rather than times to catch up on housework.  (Weekends matter so much more to me since our life has taken on a more hectic schedule with all of Eva's many appointments each week.)  I must say that I have been so satisfied with the way that the last few weekends have played out in our family thanks in part to the encouragement to be intentional with my weekend time.

The Boy in the Alamo by Margaret Cousins: After hearing an excellent discussion of this book at our local co-op I ordered a copy to read with Eli.  The story chronicles the tale of twelve year old Billy Campbell who makes his way to the Alamo.  Characters in the book include Davey Crockett, Jim Bowie, and Santa Anna.  I read this book aloud in November to Eli and he absolutely loved it.  Historical fiction does an excellent job of helping to solidify history in one's mind.  This is such a great read filled with excitement that I would highly recommend to elementary or middle school age children.

Surprised by Suffering: The Role of Pain and Death in The Christian Life by R.C. Sproul: This book has been on my bookshelf for the past few years.  I can't remember exactly why I purchased the book but I do know that it is a book I have been putting off.  I knew when I saw it last month on my shelf that I needed to read it.  I am so thankful that I did.  The past few months in my own life have been difficult.  My family and I have been walking a difficult road as we wrestle with Eva's chiari as well as other things which are beyond the scope of this blog.  I have also had a heart that has just ached as I have walked alongside a number of families in our church who are experiencing grief and heartache.  This book has been a healing balm for my soul the past few weeks.  I needed to be reminded that as Christians we should NOT be surprised when suffering comes our way.  I was reminded in this book that "because of Christ our suffering is not useless."  We really should expect sorrow and pain in this life.  As believers we do not despair when the hard things in life come our way because we have redemption before us.

My Pantry: Homemade Ingredients That Make Simple Meals Your Own by Alice Waters: Throughout this book the author shares her philosophy of cooking at home and includes a plethora of interesting recipes and tips.  I am looking forward to trying a few of the recipes but there are many recipes that call for such expensive ingredients that I doubt I will ever make them.  I had high hopes for this book since the back cover mentions preserving.  You all know how much I enjoy an afternoon of good, old-fashioned canning!  That section of the book proved to be a huge disappointment.  There were few canning recipes and none that I plan on trying.  I also think the title of the book is very misleading.  I would really have appreciated actual detailed lists of exactly what the author's home pantry includes.  That said the book itself is beautiful both inside and out.  It would make a beautiful book to use in decorating one's kitchen.  I also really enjoyed the illustrations which were drawn by Walter's daughter Fanny Singer.  I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

What books did you read in November?  What are you reading in December to help prepare your heart for Christmas?

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