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July Titles // 2018

Although this stack was technically (mostly) read in June, it was a pretty picture that I wanted to post. The peonies were in full bloom and I had the whole summer ahead of me. Now, at the end of July I'm pooped! A lot of camping, trips, play dates, swimming, and just general outdoor mayhem of summer here leaves me feeling unbalanced and depleted. You feel like you waste it if you don't use it (the summer that is) because it rains so much of the rest of the year. Right now I'm desperate for 1-2 days of rain, but although that's not in the forecast, I'm just going to have to black-mark with an X a few days on the horizon to recover from so much going! That's where I'm thankful I'm a reader.

*Parenting Chaos by Shawna Wingert - This is a short and independently published book about explosive children. I'm going to be honest, I just needed to read this for comparison's sake. I have one child who, to me, feels equal to about three children, and I just needed a breather and for someone to tell me it'll get better. It did that a little , but I hope there will be another, longer memoir-ish book about this period when this author's child is older, as the whole story hasn't unfolded yet.

*Off the Clock by Laura Vanderkam - One of my favorite authors who is articulate, smart, and direct (#INTJlove) in her writing, has put forth her best book yet. Off the Clock is all about how our full lives can feel content rather than chaotic with savoring, remembering, and enjoying. If you're a business book reader or someone who loves a good growth nonfiction book, you might really enjoy this one!

*Calypso by David Sedaris - Another of my favorite authors, Sedaris' last few books have been misses with me, but his older stuff is genuine gold. This book of short, humorous essays is much more cohesive, in my opinion, than any of his other books, and it's laugh out loud funny. Just like the old days. Loved it!

*Return to Dignity by Marilyn Skinner - This book shares the story of 10 women who have started working for or living at Living Hope within the Watoto ministry in Uganda. Their stories are so hard to read, but these women are so brave and strong. I saw Watoto's children's choir earlier in the month and wanted to know more, and bought the book at their vendor table.

* The Reason You Walk by Wab Kinew - This is the memoir, really, of two generations, Wab (Kwekwekipiness kidizhinikaaz), and his father, Tobasonakwut. Tobasonakwut survived the residential school he went to in northern Ontario, and Wab is the child of a survivor--the awful experience touching more than just one generation. It is also about the interaction between the media (Wab works for CBC, etc.) and Canada's Truth & Reconciliation commission in it's first few years, which I found really interesting. I love memoirs, so I was pretty sure I was going to enjoy this one. A friend recommended this book to me as I mentioned I'd like to read more stories from First Nations authors, and a memoir is a good place to start.

*Making Life Rich Without Any Money by Phil Calloway - This is a collection of short, funny essays that show 'the stuff' of life that is priceless: memories, family, friendships, etc. The stories aren't connected except in topic, but honestly I didn't find them all that different from principle 1 to principle 6. The main point? Love your family and friends, and spend money on things that matter--people and save wisely (without greed) and you'll be balanced. I heard Calloway speak at our church and he was very funny. I bought two other books that I have yet to read, one about parenting, and one called "Tricks My Dog Taught Me" that I plan to read to my kids as a devotional.


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