Monday, September 1, 2014
What I Read in August
one of the prettiest houses in Blaine
This month, I did what I never do: I started about five books at one time. So many books I want to read right now, and so little time to give to them. I buckled down and read The Best Yes without interruption and then went on to to Guiliano's book, followed by a slim start on Outliers. I try not to read too many books at one time because then I feel like I stall on all of them. Plowing through one at a time helps me focus, truly, on the message of the book without getting distracted by my nightstand. I almost *never* check out more than one book for myself at a time, simply to keep in line with my silly, self-imposed discipline. I can always go back, right?
*Dorothy Day: A Radical Devotion by Robert Coles was a book I borrowed from a friend when we got to talking about Dorothy Day. This is a book recording the conversations Coles and Day had together over many years, really going into depth in the mind and philosophies behind Day's actions, from early to late. I enjoyed this book but did find it tedious at times, even though it was quite short (170 pages or so). My goal was to learn a little bit more about Dorothy Day and what she contributed during her life. I feel I have maybe 60% more knowledge than I did before. I met the goal, but because this wasn't a biography, I do feel I have some questions still.
*Deconstructing Penguins by Lawrence Goldstone was a really fun book, written from a parent's perspective on getting a kid + parent book club going. I really wondered how there could possibly be 200 pages about such a topic, but it turned into a really entertaining read, and joy of nerdy joys, Goldstone was recently interviewed on my favorite podcast, too. This book is about, literally, how to show a child the deconstruction of a book (things like setting, plot, climax, etc.) in a really fun and interesting way. This book really encourages reading books at slightly higher levels (theme-wise) than the children are currently reading and taking the ball and running with it. There is a lot of time spent on Shakespeare, and two books by George Orwell. It's an accessible read, and I have long had an idea to start a book club for kids when we're more permanently settled with whatever local school we're nearby. Good stuff here.
*The Best Yes by Lysa TerKeurst is her newest book out about people pleasing, practical help on big or small 'no's, and also how to determine if a commitment is the right one for you at the time. I found this book really helpful, and as far as Christian women author/self-help genre (it's there, believe me), I found it to be pretty good. I liked the last 2 books of TerKeurst, so I grabbed it from the library and read it in a few days. The stories Lysa writes about are really helpful in explaining each chapter's point, and I feel this could be a real gem for a lot of women who struggle to say 'no' and are exhausted from obligations.
*Women, Work, and the Art of Savoir Faire by Mireielle Guiliano is a great book I found in the $1 area of the thrift store, practically brand new. I have read at least half of Guiliano's books, of "French Women Don't Get Fat" fame, and I love her tone and clear-cut language. In this book, she talks about the choices she made, and declined, over her working career as a VP for one of the biggest Champagne companies in the world. She gives practical tips for those trying to advance in their career, and excellent advice on everything from thank yous, presentations, and interviews, but also acts like a wise mentor through words, too. I'm kind of biased because I have enjoyed everything she's written, this also being in that category, and I'd also love to read her other books at some point, too. I might give this one away on the blog. Stay tuned.
*Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell (in progress) was a book I've been wanting to read for a long, long time. Actually, I've never read any of Gladwell's books and it's been a shame. He is quoted everywhere. He's kind of like America's (or, ahem, Canada's) nonfiction darling. He's seen as a top-tier everywhere. His writing is accessible, interesting, scientific, and well done. I even put 'a book' of his onto my 29 Before 30 list, ensuring myself I'd get at least one under my belt in 2014. I can't comment much on this book yet as I've just started, but I'll finish it up in September.