November & December Reads

15 Jan
I love reading.

I love reading.


Grace Transforming by Phil Ryken:  As someone who tends to be a bit performance-driven I found this book so helpful.  It really isn’t about what we do but instead it is all about Jesus and what He has done for us.  Phil Ryken is the president at Wheaton College-a college known for producing great Christians such as Billy Graham and Jim & Elisabeth Elliot.  The book itself is very small and only about 100 pages.  I personally love little books as they are great to carry around in my purse.  This book would also be perfect for the person  who is easily intimidated by the average theological book.  Although I would claim this book is filled with great theology I wouldn’t call it a theological book.  It’s really a simple book that it’s all about what Christ has done for us and not what we have accomplished.  Excellent!  One I hope to revisit in the future.

The Air We Breathe by Christa Parrish: This book is about a 17-year-old girl whose life is ruled by fear.  Although she wants to break free from her past she is held back until a former friend finds her again six years later.  The only thing I disliked about the book was how it switched back and forth in time and with chapters involving three different characters.  It was definitely confusing for the first couple of chapters.  Overall I really liked this book and look forward to reading other books by Parrish (this was my first).

What Your Husband Isn’t Telling You by David Murrow.  I should have known by this book’s title that it wouldn’t be one of my favorites.  Although he does make some good points he is completely off base in other areas.  Way off base!  I discussed parts of the book with my husband and he agreed this book is crazy.  I would not recommend this book at all!  Please note I did receive a free copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers.  

Past Darkness by Laurel Woiwode: Hands down this was my favorite book I read in the past couple of months.  It chronicles the life of fifteen year old Chicago native Gabrielle Larson who is forced to relocate to rural North Dakota when tragedy strikes.  The book follows her as she learns to cope with the various trials that come her way.  I really enjoy reading fiction and usually read Christian fiction (in order to avoid anything spicy).  This book was refreshingly unlike most “Christian Fiction” books you will find at the bookstore.  It is not preachy or tacky in any sense.  If you enjoy reading fiction I highly commend this book to you!  Please note I did receive an advanced reader copy in exchange for my review from Crossway.  Unfortunately it won’t be released until April but it is available for pre-order.  I cannot wait to read more works from this author!

Rocks, Dirt, Worms & Weeds: A Fun User-Friendly, Illustrated Guide to Creating A Vegetable or Flower Garden with Your Kids by Jeff Hutton.  When I came home with a stack of books from the library a couple of weeks ago this was the book I was looking forward to reading the most.  It was also the biggest disappointment!  The title is catchy but the information throughout the books makes me wonder if the author has ever planted a realistic garden with his kids.  I’d pass on this one!

Dirt Cheap Gardening: Hundreds of Ways to Save Money in Your Garden by Rhonda Massingham Hart.  This book was such a welcomed respite after reading the previous book.  It was really good and did exactly as the title says-provide lots of ideas on saving money in your garden.  The book also includes helpful lists in the first few chapters about plants and various growing conditions.  There are a number of ideas in this book that apply to landscaping, and flowers.  I’m hoping to grow a large variety of flowers in my garden this year.

The Sound Mind Investing Handbook by Austin Pryor.  I have always felt that I am clueless when it comes to investing and planning for retirement.  This book was incredibly helpful for me and I was so thankful that my hubby bought it for me.  (I shared the highlights with him.)  I really appreciated the author’s Christian perspective on managing your money from a biblical perspective.  The book is very well researched and laid out.  It answered a number of questions that both Brandon & I had about money.

50 Ways to Master Your Sewing Machine by Linda Denner.  Although dated (the book is 17 years old) it holds a wealth of information that is still relevant today.  It was packed full of helpful hints.  I learned so much and I have been sewing regularly for 15 years!  My biggest take away was the encouragement to really use all of the features that my machine has.

I’m still working on my list of books to read this year and would love your suggestions!  


2 Responses to “November & December Reads”

  1. Renee January 15, 2013 at 5:33 pm #

    grace transforming sounds good! i will add that to my to-read list =) i love these reviews–they give me so many ideas for what to read next!

    • emersonfamily January 15, 2013 at 10:55 pm #

      Yes it was great! If you want to borrow my copy let me know and I can send it with Melinda. 🙂 I’m so glad you enjoy the reviews. They are such a fun way to keep track of what I am reading. I really enjoyed reading the list of books you are hoping to read this year. I also want to read one of Sally Clarkson’s books. 🙂 I tried to comment on your blog post the other day but had trouble. For what it is worth I have read Created to Be His Helpmeet (more than once). Although I wouldn’t say I agreed with absolutely everything in the book it is well worth your time to read. I personally learned A LOT from reading it. 🙂 Another great wife/marriage book is The Excellent Wife.

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