Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Off the Shelf

It has been months. . .umm. . .make that a year, since I've listed the books I'm enjoying. The last "Off the Shelf" post was last June. Sometimes it seems that all I get read is prereading books for my children, but I still usually have a book or two of my own that I'm reading.

Here is a glimpse into the books that have captured my attention in the last year.




Made to Crave: Satisfying Your Deepest Desire with God, Not Food by Lysa Terkeurst
I wouldn't normally read a book about weight loss, but, wow, this book is so much more. It made me consider my obsessions, my pity parties, and if there anything I seek to find strength besides God.  I HIGHLY recommend this book.



Upstairs in the White House: My Life with the First Ladies by J.B. West
The head usher shares stories of his job in the White House under five presidents from Eisenhower to Nixon. I felt like I was able to walk the stairs of that famous house. This is an old book and doesn't contain all the sleazy details that a modern book would maybe feel compelled to share.



Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise by Ruth Reichl
I love food writing and this book was a treat as I followed Reichl as she started her new job as restaurant critic for the New York Times and found that her photo was in every restaurant kitchen in NYC. With disguises, she managed to get inside restaurants without being detected. I enjoyed her writing so much that I read Tender to the Bone where Reichl writes of her own personal food history beginning in her dysfunctional home. I loved the insights into growing up in the 60's though Reichl does not at all write from a Christian perspective.



There's Got to Be More by Melissa Eby
But after reading about expensive restaurant meals, this books was a refreshment. A young farming couple in the midwest wondered if there was more to life than a successful business and a happy family. A farming accident took Rueben's leg but didn't stop him from seeking more ways to serve God. Spending time at a home from handicapped children in VA and far-flung spots such as Haiti, Pakistan, Israel, and Bangladesh, a missing limb never slowed down this couple from sharing the love of Christ. An inspiring true story.



84, Charing Cross Road by Helen Hanff
Immediately after World War 2, a small newspaper ad began a correspondence between a money-strapped writer in NYC and an antique bookseller in London. This short classic collects those letters and gives a window into post-war London. To learn the rest of the story, I picked up Q's Legacy by the same author that tells of her writing journey.



Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard by Chip Heath and Dan Heath
I'm fascinated with the topic of habits and how to make permanent life changes. Since I loved the Heaths' Made to Stick, I thought they'd do this topic well. And they did. Their many varied stories and illustrations encouraged me as a parent to work at finding the bright spots, encouraging a growth mindset, and shaping a path to build good habits.



The Day the World Came to Town by Jim Defede
What happens when the US air space is closed and dozens of planes over the Atlantic are rerounted to Canada? On September 11, 2001, the tiny town of Gander, Newfoundland hosted thousands of unexpected guests. This warm story describes events and the people who were caught in the drama of that historic day.



In the Land of Blue Burqas by Kate McCord
The five years that McCord spent in Afghanistan gave her a love from the women of that country and she shares that love with her readers. Full of her conversations around the tea tables behind the tall walls, I gained an appreciation for the hope I have in Christ that so many in this world lack. Though it tells some sad stories, it isn't the kind of book that makes me wish I could scrub a few scenes from my mind. This book was a gift to me from a Home Joys reader who thought I'd love it - and she was right.



David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell
In Gladwell's typical style, he takes us on a journey to visit a familiar Bible story, war-torn Ireland, college campuses, a children's cancer ward, and Birmingham to expose connections that I would have never uncovered. And as always, the trip is a joy.

I haven't been reading a lot of books about cancer this summer. I'm not sure if that is good or bad. A Home Joys reader sent me What Cancer Cannot Do by Phylis Ten Elshof, a small gift book that I found super encouraging. I also read When Cancer  Clouds the Sky by Beverly E. Hannah. Beverly is a local author who recently self-published a book about her personal cancer journey. Since Ed is a printer, he sometimes gets to connect with local authors and it has been a joy to get to know Beverly.

I also bought myself another copy of A Grace Disguised: How a Soul Grows Through Loss by Jerry Sittser. I had given my copy away and this is one book that I thought I needed to reread this summer. Sittser has so many great insights on grief and God's grace. I haven't gotten to far in rereading it since it got on Ed's side of the bed.

What are you reading? By looking at the books I've enjoyed, do you have a book suggestion for me to read next? That is, after I finish the half dozen books that are presently on my bedside.

(This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase at Amazon, I get a small payment at no additional cost  to you. Thanks.)


18 comments :

  1. I wasn't following you last time you did a book post, this makes me want to start buying! What an interesting set of books! I must say you are either a speed reader or extremely organized in order to read with 6 children in the house! Except for the bedtime books we read my husband and 5 children keep me far from the bookcase. :)

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    1. Or maybe I just steal time from other things! I do most of my reading at naptime or before bed.
      Gina

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  2. Thanks for the recommendations. Several caught my interest. Two i've read recently were Hiking Through by Paul Stutzman. He also has one titled Biking Through (i think that's it). Both are excellent though Biking Through was my favorite. One was a paperback so my son enjoyed it too. The other on kindle. Seems i read more on there these days. Are you aware of the Book Bub?

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    1. I've heard of Stutzman's books but never read them. And no, I'm not aware of the Book Bub.
      Gina

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    2. Its something you sign up for and they send daily book ebook deals from Amazon. It might not interest you if you prefer holding a real book. :)

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  3. Always interesting to read other people's reading lists! Ruth Reichl's books are so fun to read. And the white house book is maybe in the same vein - I love "insider" books too. Wish I could think of a good recommendation. All I can think of now is a description of Consuelo Vanderbilt's lavish trousseau which was published in the New York Times in 1895 and which ends by noting the clothing's "simplicity".
    http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=9C07E2D7113DE433A25754C2A9669D94649ED7CF

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  4. I recently read The Lion by Saroo Brierly. It is the true story of a five year old boy from India who gets separated from his family and is eventually adopted by a couple in Australia. When he is a young adult he decides to search for his family. It is an amazing story and a movie was made about it.

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  5. 'The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society' by Mary Ann Schaffer is a lovely book told in letters among different community members on the British island of Guernsey during WWII- this was the only portion of Britian to be under Nazi occupation. Learning about the hardships the small island community faced and their support for each other is heart warming and also includes many laughs!

    Thinking of your family and praying each day for you!

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  6. "When God Intervenes" by Dabney Hedegard is an excellent read. It is a faith-building, encouraging story that I highly recommend.

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  7. My ways Higher" by Maryann Martin. A story of love, grief & victory by the grace of God.

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  8. I have just completed listening on audiobook to The Hiding Place and its sequel, A Tramp For The Lord, by Corrie Ten Boom. What an amazing woman who writes with such inspiration! Highly recommended!!! Prayers to you and your family.

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    1. I have read both of these books too, and I agree that they are very inspiring. You might enjoy the movie based on The Hiding Place, if you haven't already seen it.

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    2. I haven't read The Hiding Place since I was a teen, but I was so impacted that I still remember much of it. I should revisit it and try some of her other books as well. Thanks for the recommendation.

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  9. I loved 84, Charing Cross so mcun that I've read it twice in the last three years! And I had no idea there was a sequel.....may I borrow it??

    Books I've read more than twice (I don't usually even read a book twice) are Zorro by Isabel Allende and Eat Cake by Jeanne Ray. They aren't heavy reads, but they are thoroughly enjoyable.

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    1. Sure. I'm glad you asked! There is actually a book that I haven't read. I have the third.
      Gina

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  10. I love it when you share books you have read. It gives me ideas for book I want to read. Thanks again for sharing.

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  11. I just read "Farewell to Manzanar", a story of American Japanese during WW2. History which is little written about...

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  12. Hi Gina. I read a few Christian books last year, but this year I'm re-reading the Bible in depth, not following a reading plan. Anyone who's craving excitement, adventure, soul-searching, etc. can read the Bible slowly & in depth & satisfy all of that. I'm learning things that I never knew or realized before ... especially about myself ... in really digging deep into each story, parable, nugget of wisdom from our gracious Lord & stopping to really think about what I'm reading & what is being taught. Right now I'm into a new bible study about why people become backsliders. God bless you, Ed & your family! The very best gift we can give our children is the wisdom in the Bible. We love you all! (Carol & Glenn in Phoenix AZ)

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I'm still learning how to be a joyful homemaker and I'd love to hear from you!

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