Does anybody else go in phases of reading all the time or not reading at all? I do. I am not the disciplined read 30-minutes a night, finish a couple books a month girl. Rather, I tend to read 5 books in a week, then don’t read anything for 3 months. Go big or go home. The problem is, I get totally hooked on a book, and basically neglect all of life until I finish it. As you can imagine, this is a difficult way to read books if you have 3 children 3 and under. Or any number of children for that matter. Perhaps, when I grow up, I’ll be a more disciplined consumer of literature.
Be that as it may, I’m currently in a reading-all-the-time phase. Thanks to a bizarre knock out ear infection, I have been lay-on-the-couch parenting this week. Which means I got to finish 2 books and put a few more on hold at the library.
Hold on. What’s lay-on-the-couch parenting, you wonder? You know, where mom catches what all the kids have had and it finally knocks her out and she called the boss for a sick day, but the boss said, nope, sorry, you don’t get sick days. Should you be in that situation, you can borrow my lay-on-the-couch parenting method. Here’s how it works:
- Stumble out of bed when you hear your children wake up.
- Quick – make coffee!! You’ll need it for all your couch-laying.
- Then, make them the easiest breakfast they can feed to themselves.
- Lay on the couch with a comfy pillow and blanket.
- Children will inevitably come to
tacklesnuggle you and want to jump on you.
- Use your sleepiest sick voice to explain, “Mommy doesn’t feel good so I’m going to lay here while you guys play.”
- Watch confused children climb off of you and wander around wondering how to entertain themselves until they realize sick-mom is fun because they can do whatever they want & wreak havoc on the house. Yahoo!
- Read a book, or 2, or 3 while house is being destroyed.
- Microwave hotdogs for lunch.
- Put on a movie after lunch.
- Put kids down for naps and sleep the afternoon away while they sleep.
- Repeat daily for however long is necessary.
Needless to say, I’m glad we’re all on the mend over here! Maybe I’ll tackle that laundry that I’ve washed 3 times now and is still sitting in the washer. Getting Moldy. Again.
End side note.
So, let’s get to it! I’ll give ratings out of 5 stars, but keep in mind that 5 stars are reserved for some of the best books I’ve ever read. So 3 is pretty darn good!
Dear Mr. Knightley
3.5/ 5 stars. Recommend!
Katherine Reay’s debut novel tells the sweet and captivating story of a Chicago girl who grew up in the foster care system and spent life escaping through the great love stories of literature (i.e. Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, etc.). She writes letters to a mysterious benefactor as she tries to figure out how to exist in reality as an adult. I was hooked almost immediately, and although the book initially seemed like brain candy, it turned out to be a good overcomer-story. Plus it was based in Chicago, my favorite city!
Surprised by Motherhood
This was one of my favorite (and most unique) motherhood books I’ve ever read. Lisa-Jo Baker so perfectly intertwines her personal life story (beginning with losing her mom to cancer at the age of 18 and never wanting kids of her own) with the profound, encouraging, and empowering lessons God has taught her through her kids.
I think the reason I loved this book so much was because she articulates in words so many things God has patiently been teaching about motherhood, some of which I’ve written here on this blog. The “marriage of the mundane and the eternal,” as she so eloquently puts it. Glimpsing God’s love for us in our own love for our children. Choosing to see the glory in the monotony. Choosing to see your kids as tiny eternal beings rather than in the way of your to-do list. And on and on.
This book is the perfect combination of warm-and-fuzzy and deep-heart-changing-thought-provoking. While it was particularly encouraging to me as a mom of young children, I think anyone woman is a mom or had a mom will appreciate it! 😉 I teared up at least 9 times while reading it, so grab a tissue and cup of coffee and set an afternoon aside. You won’t want to put it down.
While I’m at it, here are a couple other books I’ve read this year and recommend.
Smarter Faster, Better
I picked this up at because I loved loved loved the author’s first book, “The Power of Habit,” and a friend recommended it. Though I liked “The Power of Habit” better, this book gave very interesting insight into why some people, companies, and cultures are more productive than others. Recommend!
This was an easy-read brain candy novel about a middle-aged Harvard professor, self-defined by her brilliance, who is diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease. This book was beautiful and sad, and seemed very realistic. Apparently the author, Lisa Genova, has created her own sub genre of fiction, writing specifically about various brain disorders and diseases. The book was well-researched and informative without being dry, so I learned a lot about Alzheimer’s! I liked it so much, I started to read another book of hers but didn’t end up liking that one.
This is a really really good how-to parenting book. John Rosemond (who is to parenting as Dave Ramsey is to getting out of debt) addresses parenting philosophies as well as behavior systems and strategies for kids ages 3-13. I highly recommend this book if you have older children you greatly struggle with OR if you have young children and are still forming your parenting approach.
And here are the next few books on my list:
Missional Motherhood: The Everyday Ministry of Motherhood in the Grand Plan of God (Gloria Furman) … reading this slowly for a monthly book discussion with a group of moms
The Fringe Hours (Jessica Turner)
A Man Called Ove (Fredrik Backman)
Hearing God: Developing a Conversational Relationship with God (Dallas Willard)
Parenting by the Book: Biblical Wisdom for Raising Your Child (John Rosemond)
Are you a reader? Readers are leaders! #nerdalert What have you been reading lately?
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