Thursday, May 30, 2013

Recent Reads

     One of my favorite activities is to sit outside in the lovely sunshine with a cup of tea or coffee and read a book. On occasion, my husband has even joined me. I really enjoy those moments of peacefulness. 

      In the past I've written an entire post reviewing the book upon completion (see: Hidden Art of Homemaking, What Women FearLiving With Less). However, I've finished several books since the last book post. For the purposes of covering all of them at once, the formal individual writings will be exchanged for quick summaries.

     The latest reads are: 

Left to Right: "The Resolution for Women" by Priscilla Shirer, "Cent-sible Homemaking" by Jean Clark, "Faith Begins at Home" by Mark Holmen, "The Reluctant Entertainer" by Sandy Coughlin, and "The Eat-Clean Diet for Family and Kids" by Tosca Reno"
1) The Resolution for Women by Priscilla Shirer
       This book can be described in one word- phenomenal. I reserve that label for truly exceptional material, and this book was just that. I read this book over the course of several months because it was the kind of material you need to read and then really let it sink in. The book covers womanhood across all it's seasons in life. It's equally applicable to the mom as the non-mom. The book is organized in parts and then in smaller chapters. I enjoyed the brevity of the chapters as that allowed me to read a chapter even when time was limited. At the end of each chapter are a few reflective questions or statements, each intended to challenge the reader towards growth. The parts conclude with a "resolution" statement. The book is about growing personally, and recognizing the implications of that growth. All content is grounded in a Biblical foundation. I highly recommend this book to every woman!

2) Cent-sible Homemaking by Jean Clark
         This book was like sitting down with an older woman and listening to how she managed her home through each season of her life. The author provides a plethora of money-saving techniques and home management advice. Although the suggestions are of value, I felt that the material was inadequate for a published book. For instance, out of the 336 pages only 90 of them were on the topic. The large majority of the content was recipes. Furthermore, the writing itself was somewhat disorganized and prone to repetitiveness. While I cannot assert that the work was devoid of any worth, I also cannot honestly give a full recommendation. 

3) Faith Begins At Home by Mark Holmen
          I love the premise of this book! The author discusses the various influencing individuals/ places in an individual's growth and walk in faith. Would you believe the church is actually pretty low on the list and may not contribute as much as it believes it does? Correct! The greatest influence on an individual's faith walk is actually...the family. Holmen examines the place of responsibility for the conveyance of faith being that of the parents/family or that of the church/programs ("ministries"). He discusses the growing role the church has assumed, and asserts that the church is meant to merely supplement the teaching within the home. Instead, it has come to replace it.  Moreover, with a growing prevalence of separate ministries and/or worship for adults and children the church is actually contributing significantly to division within families instead of unity. Holmen  supports the significance of home and family on faith development in returning the place of responsibility to it's primary place. The book presents ideas and perspectives that are some what contrary to that which is commonly accepted, which ought to prompt the reader into deeper thought. I personally agree with the author and his work, and would highly recommend the book. 

4) Reluctant Entertainer by Sandy Coughlin
        Of all the materials on hospitality, this book is supreme. It approaches the subject from a place that is very real to many women. For me, I've read and agreed with all the "whys" to the practice of hospitality, but yet still have a tremendous time overcoming the hurdles to actually incorporating it into my life. Coughlin discusses each and every "joy" and "joy buster" surrounding hospitality. She focuses so much on developing a confidence in the reader for the heart of the matter instead of the details. I highly recommend this book for anyone with a heart for hospitality but yet also a hard time practicing it. 

5) The Eat-Clean Diet for Family and Kids by Tosca Reno
          The premise contained in the "eat-clean" or "clean eating" movement is to consume food as close to the source as possible. While I agree with this foundation, I don't necessarily agree or adopt the other tenets (as I wouldn't for other "diet/lifestyle" plans). Nonetheless, the notion of combating the "kid food" mentality with real foods was intriguing. The content of the book was rather superficial however. Reno established the need for introducing and implementing real foods as a normal way of eating for children. She provides generalized steps for achieving this goal like eliminating processed foods, packaged foods, fast foods, sweets etc. The material and suggestions did not, in my opinion, reveal anything new to the topic. I recognize that I may be biased as we already strive to consume real foods in our home. Yet, I would have liked to have seen the author further discuss issues such as real foods on a budget and transitioning a picky-eater. At the conclusion of the book were several recipes, which I did find to be quite tasty. All in all, I would hesitantly recommend it for someone who is starting at the ground level in transitioning towards real foods in her home for her family. I maintain caution out of concern for the issues such as taste preferences and expense which would undoubtedly be encountered and perhaps result in discouragement. 

*Note: Reviving Homemaking is not an affiliate of the authors, books, or publishers. As such, Reviving Homemaking does not receive any compensation in any form for the reviews of these materials. The opinions shared are entirely my own and have not been influenced or solicited in any particular direction in any manner. 

What is a book you've read recently and would recommend? I'm needing a new book and would enjoy hearing what you would have to suggest!

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