Friday, March 4, 2016

February Reads

Side by Side: Walking with Others in Wisdom and Love by Ed Welch:  I'm working through one of Tim Challies' reading challenges this year.  (It's such a neat concept that you must take a chance to check it out.)  One of the categories is to read a book that your pastor recommends and my pastor (husband) recommended this one.  It was wonderful!  Friendships (and especially Christian ones) have always been important to me but this book challenged me in a new way.  I'm ready to build more friendships and dig in deeper.  I was blown away at just how solid this book was while also being incredibly practical.  Welch gives the readers baby steps of what it actually means to walk alongside others.  He also includes a number of helpful "what not to say" sections.  As I was finishing up the book I felt such an urge to call up a number of my friends as I continue walking alongside them.  (I didn't at that exact moment since it was 11:30pm.)  *Smile*  I'd highly recommend this one!

The Witches: Salem, 1692 by Stacy Schiff: When I first laid eyes on this book at a bookstore I knew that I had to read it.  I have been mesmerized by the Salem Witch trials since high school.  Unlike most of my AP English class I loved reading The Crucible.  This has to be one of the most extensive books that I have ever read on the Salem Witch trials despite majoring in history.  I've always been a bit fascinated with this tragic period of history.  Although the book was a bit adventurous at over 400 pages I am glad that I read it.  The last chapter "The Dark and Mysterious Season" is one of the best chapters in the book.  If you end up short on time be sure to read the last chapter.

The Bee-Friendly Garden: Design an Abundant, Flower-Filled Yard that Nurtures Bees and Supports Biodiversity by Kate Frey & Gretchen LeBuhn: As an amateur gardener I have been interested in the role of bees and pollination for the past few summers.  This book was interesting and dove right into many of the questions that I have had about planting a bee-friendly garden.  I really appreciated the numerous photographs and how many specific examples the authors provided.  I have always tried to plant a few different varieties of flowers to attract beneficial bees to my garden but I do worry about being stung.  This book encouraged me to set those fears aside and fully embrace growing a bee-friendly garden.  The back of the book also includes a regional plant list with specific varieties that grow well in each region.  I thought this was incredibly helpful.  I plan on planting the following flower varieties this year which are all bee-friendly: bachelor button, cosmos, poppies, and sunflowers (the pollen type).  Please note that I did receive a review copy of this book from Blogging For Books.

Call the Midwife: Shadows of the Work House by Jennifer Worth: This is my second book by Jennifer Worth and I must say that I just adore her writing.  I previously read her book Call the Midwife.  This book is a sequel to her memoir and includes background details to the characters in the PBS show Call the Midwife.  This book focused on how the workhouse affected the people in the East End.  A few of the stories were a little troubling to read but I enjoyed watching the resilience of the human spirit.  Overall I really enjoyed this book and I have already begun reading the next one in the series.

Children's Read Alouds:
Little House In The Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder: The children and I had a delightful time listening to this book in the car this month.  This was one of the first read aloud books that I remember my mother reading aloud to me so it holds a special place in my heart.  We loved discussing the first Little House book together this month!

Who Was Davy Crockett? by Gail Herman: Eli was absolutely engrossed in the tale and saga of Davy Crockett.  I play the ballad of Davy Crockett on the piano from time to time so Eli was especially interested to learn that Davy wasn't born on a mountaintop!  This book was easy to read and we finished it quickly.  I'm sure Eli will read it for himself in just a few years!  This year I am intentionally exposing Eli to a number of easy to read chapter books.  Once he is reading independently I look forward to re-introducing them to him.

Who Was Daniel Boone? by Sydelle Kramer: We all enjoyed reading the tale of Daniel Boone.  In KY history Daniel Boone is one of the most famous Kentuckians since he built the Wilderness Road and Fort Boonesborough.  (I actually live in KY and have been to a number of areas in KY that are mentioned in the book.  I've also visited his grave.)  I'm hoping to take the children to visit Boonesborough sometime in 2016.  This book was a great read aloud and I look forward to reading others in this series.

What books did you read this month?  Do you spend time reading chapter books to your children?  

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