sunset at Semiahmoo
I was able to read quite a bit, again, this month, but I have low expectations for the coming couple months ahead. We're moving into Canada at the end of June, and that has most of our focus right now. Leave me a title if you had a great read this month! I hope you can find a good read here.
*Blood, Bones, and Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton I actually finished this book on the tail end of March. Nearly 10PM on March 31st, if I remember correctly, but I had already written up a March Reads post and I wasn't about it edit it that night. Ergo. Hamilton's memoir had so many great reviews that I jotted it down last year for 2014, slotted firmly in the 'foodie memoir' slot. Or so I thought. This wasn't a foodie memoir, complete with recipes of traditional family dishes and gushing over comfort food. This was a life memoir, where waitressing, preparing, catering, and owning a restaurant always happen to be in the background. This book was gritty, with very visceral images, especially the story about the lobsters. It's the story of the author starting around when she was an early teen, lied about her age, and got herself a job in a kitchen. I would recommend this book to a lot of people. If you love a bootstrap picker-upper, a coming-of-age after a lot of mistakes, a story with a strong female character, you'd like this book.
*Hands Free Mama by Rachel Macy Stafford This book had been all over blog-land (well, the blogs I read, anyway) and I saw a Skype interview that I enjoyed before I added this to my library list. I enjoyed reading this book, as it's part memoir, but I didn't know that I connected with it as much as I'd heard others had. I don't have a cell phone apart from an emergency phone, and I have set limits on the computer (before kids are out of bed, during their quiet time, and during the evening) although I'm comfortable getting online if I feel it's necessary throughout the day. Technology is something I do not struggle with, but I can see how this book would be extremely helpful for those who consistently feel frazzled, run-down, and distracted by technology.
*Praying for Boys by Brooke McGlothlin I listen to Kat Lee's Inspired to Action podcast every week, and Brooke was interviewed about a month ago about her book and ministry dedicated to praying for boys. I really liked the message she shared on the podcast, so I decided to have the library purchase this book so I could read it. This book is very short and the format is more like a devotional. The 'prayers' are broken into topics and then there are about 10-15 scriptures to pray with your child's name in the blank. I thought this was a really easy and great way to pray for my kids during the week I read it. I'd recommend this for others looking for a bit of direction in how to pray for their kids, and wanting some solid scripture verses to hold onto and continually pray over their boys (and girls).
*Say Goodbye to Survival Mode by Crystal Paine Wow, I really hit the Christian women's memoir titles this month, but I think I got that out of my system because my next number of books aren't that genre. Crystal's MoneySavingMom.com is a great website and has awesome tips to help you save money, tidy up your budget, and save for big goals. This book was her story of how fatigue and exhaustion took over, and the disciplines and principles she used to help her out of that hard season of her life. I like Crystal's books because they are clear and to the point, and she always has great resources that I find I like, too.
*I Feel Bad About My Neck by Nora Ephron Good golly, I just love Nora. I plan to read all her books in my lifetime, and I'm certainly on my way to reaching that goal. This was another 160+ page book that had me laughing so hard, and shaking my head 'yes', knowing that although she is completely different from me (like happily getting her hair done every few days in uptown New York City for exorbitant cost), she still writes universal women truths, and helps her readers laugh during the ride. I don't expect to give any less than 4 stars to any of her books.
*Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott This book was lovely. Anne is one of my all-time favorite authors and this non-fiction work is her book on writing. She wrote down every chapter just like she teaches a class, and somehow it works, even though there is never a writing prompt to be seen. In true Anne appeal, just about each chapter has something profound or hilarious to offer, and makes you just want to write down all her quotes and try to emulate her. She even has a chapter on that. I've really enjoyed writing through books this year, as a practice and a discipline, and I'd recommend this book also if that's your cup of tea.
*Owls and Other Fantasies by Mary Oliver Oh, look, another Mary Oliver poetry book! This should not surprise anyone. She is one of my favorite poets, and I generally like just about every poem in every collection. There were a few essays in this book and I do not regret skipping them. Life is too short. I want to read poetry, not essays. So. I just read the poetry. And I liked it!
*Smart Money, Smart Kids by Dave Ramsey and (daughter) Rachel Cruze I can't even wait to shout "We're Debt Free!" at some point in my life, and with Dave's advice it'll hopefully be sooner than later. We've lived without credit cards for many years and we'll never own one again (and yes! we have excellent credit). We've followed Dave's steps for a good portion of our married life, and with this new book of his (theirs), I wanted to see the practical steps for teaching kids wise financial principles. This book was very easy to read and very blunt. I like both of those qualities, especially if I'm going to recommend it to others. I really liked how they broke up certain age groups and had different, practical ideas to teach wisdom with money with each bracket. I'm totally on board, Dave.
*currently reading Learning to Walk in the Dark by Barbara Brown Taylor