Thursday, September 1, 2011

What I'm Reading

I really enjoy sharing the books that I'm reading because, simply, I love to read.  It is something that was instilled in me as a little kid.  Television was not something we really had growing up except I do remember a black and white one that always sat in the basement.  Rather, we were encouraged to read and, we were read to.  A lot.  Funny story - my parents bought my brothers and I a colored TV, VHS player, and Nintendo one year for Christmas (the "Family" gift)  We were beyond thrilled.  Especially when the annual showing of the Wizard of Oz came around that year.  We so wanted to see the horse of many colors (which we had only seen in black and white) . . .when the movie started, we thought the colored TV was broken.  Why?  We had no idea that the movie started in Black and White LOL  Imagine our surprise when it changed to color when Dorothy arrived in Oz!  Anyway, back to books :-)  I've always had bookshelves of books in my room . .. and now my home.  Just a few years ago I had to consolidate 5 bookcases down to two . . .that was hard.  Some day I might get a Kindle but for now, I still read the cover and pages kind of books :-)

Well, what have I been reading?  Here ya go!

The Daughter's Walk by Jane Kirkpatrick is a book I just finished this week.  My mom actually passed this book on to me recently. 

Synopsis: Nineteen-year-old Clara Estby is hauled by her mother, Helga, on a 7,000-mile walk from Spokane, Wash., to New York in 1896. The fashion industry is looking for promotion of the new, shorter dress for women; Helga is looking for a 10,000 prize to save the family farm from foreclosure. The historically factual walk is only the first half of the book; the rest follows Clara after she leaves her family, becomes a businesswoman, and makes her way as times change for women at the turn of the century. Kirkpatrick has done impeccable homework, and what she recreates and what she imagines are wonderfully seamless. Readers see the times, the motives, the relationships that produce a chain of decisions and actions, all rendered with understatement. Kirkpatrick is a master at using fiction to illuminate history's truths. This beautiful and compelling work of historical fiction deserves the widest possible audience

My Opinion: I've read other books by Jane Kirkpatrick and she tends to be a little deeper then a lot of the current authors I read.  I enjoy the way she tells the complete story; from start to finish.  I think one of the things I enjoy about her writing is simply that not every story has a happy ending or a "perfect" setting.  Her stories are genuinely factual and historically accurate plus they are so much more real than reading about someone whose father coach's NFL, wins parts on Broadway and makes more money in one week than most people do in a year . .. just saying.  I find I can relate better to the characters in Kirkpatrick's book not because my life is all lemons but, rather, because there is often reconciliation or a realization that what you have is good enough. 

My Rating:  This is something new I will start doing, not that my rating means anything HA!  But I will rate it from 1-5 stars, 5 being the best.  Generally anything 3 and above is a pretty good book and one I will keep on my shelves.  Anything that gets a 1 or 2 rating wasn't great and will be leaving my precious shelf space.  So, my rating for this book is * * * *.  Yes, it really was that good.  (To get 5 stars, it would have to be perfect . .. that is hard thing to achieve!) 

Sons of Thunder by Susan May Warren is the book I'm currently reading as I write this post.  I'll share the synopsis, opinion and rating once I complete it :-) 

I'll be starting back up soon with my Good Morning Girls accountability group (I can't wait!) and will be picking up a couple of books I've put down throughout the summer.  I look forward to sharing more about those later.  Also, just the other day I updated by Reading Goal for the rest of the year.  I'm hoping I will have some really good Non-Fiction stuff to share as I read through each of those books! 

Finally, one last book for this post! 
I've shared this book before but I am picking it back up now and just wanted to mention it. It Starts at Home by Kurt Bruner and Steve Stroope is A practical guide to nurturing lifelong faith.  Throughout this past year I've really felt a call . . or maybe a need . . to really dig into information about building faith.  Not the faith and Bible teaching/learning that you get in the pew each Sunday (if you can stay awake . . just saying) but a faith that will last my life time.  I've come to realize that as important as the fellowship and teaching is from being in a local church, church often disappoints and sometimes hurts.  My faith cannot be grounded in the church but rather, needs to be grounded in the word.  This book brings faith back home.  The first section deals with Marriage because without a strong marriage, how can you have a strong family?  I'm excited to be beginning the 120 day challenge for my marriage in September.  The authors give several ideas on what to do for that 120 days and I have chosen the date night concept.  I'll be sharing more about this challenge in a future post but I'm excited about this endeavor.  My husband and I have gone through some tremendous changes over the past year and before that we had kids HA!  Those changes have made us stronger and helped our family but we have also lost the time we used to have to ourselves.  So I'm hoping that by planning some specific date nights (most at home - so be watching for some good ideas too!) we can pull out a few moments from our days to focus on each other.  Yes, this book is that good :-)  Until I finish it, though, I'll keep my Synopsis, Opinion, and Rating to myself.  I do plan on continuing to read this book even as the challenge is going on - I want to read about how to help my kids with this process too!

That's it for today.  I'm usually reading more books at once  . . .don't worry, I'll get more going soon :-)