Friday, April 13, 2018

Quick Lit - April

I feel like I've had little time in my life lately to do the things I want to do (because THIS).  Then I made my list of books finished in the past month-ish.  14.  So apparently I have still have time to read.  It's helpful that it's something I can do one handed, often while holding a sleeping baby.  Also, 3am feedings are a good time for listening to audio books, much easier than turning on the tv and more productive than scrolling social media.

I'm on Goodreads here, there a lot!  Between reading and feedings! Linking up with Modern Mrs. Darcy's Quick Lit!

Here's the (maybe) quick reviews of what I've been reading.


Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan
This was a very charming YA novel about a 12 year-old girl whose parents are suddenly killed in a horrible accident (this all happens in the first few pages, not a spoiler).  She has no other family who can take her and ends up finding her own family of sorts.  It was a really enjoyable read about finding your people and accepting who you are.  4 Stars

Funny in Farsi: A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America by Firoozeh Dumas
This was a memoir of the author's growing up in America after moving here from Iran as a pre-teen (or younger, I forget).  She has a lot of funny stories about the culture differences and how her family adjusted to the big change but it's also told with a lot of love for her family and both her countries.  I plan to read the follow-up.  3.75 Stars

The Tech-Wise Family: Everyday Steps for Putting Technology in its Proper Place by Andy Crouch
This is one I did on audio, often while feeding a baby at 3am.  It's heart is in the right place but also a little preachy at times.  I don't know anyone who keeps their kids away from tv until the age of 10 (I thought we did pretty well with no tv until 2...).  But there is still a lot of good to take away from this, even if not quite that extreme.  We do have a major technology addiction in this country (and probably others) that should be closely examined.   3.5 Stars

I Was Anastasia by Ariel Lawhon
I had read and enjoyed her two previous books but was realllly intrigued by this one with MANY viewing of the animated classic over the last two decades.  The structure was a little hard to follow (going forward and backwards in time to the same event) and it was pretty gritty at times.  A bit of a slog in parts but overall, I'm glad I read it.  Although there wasn't nearly as much singing as the movie...  Also, follow her advice for savings the author's note until you've finished the full book.  3 Stars

Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids by Kim John Payne
I read quite a few parenting, decluttering, benefits of living with less books this month and all of it, plus being slightly overwhelmed with life right now, have me on a massive "let's get rid of all the things!" streak.  This is one of my favorite parenting books and so great to reread as we embark on parenting #2.  Less stuff, more unstructured time.  Exactly the kind of childhood we want to give our kids.  Another one I need to reread every few years.  (First mentioned back here) 4.75 Stars

Mustaches for Maddie by Chad Morris and Shelly Brown 
Really sweet middle-grade based on what really happened to the authors' daughter.  She was in sixth grade (pretty sure) when she was diagnosed with a brain tumor and then her friends and community rallied around her.  Apparently middle-school hasn't changed much since I was there, besides adding phones, and all of that stuff felt so true to life.  4 Stars

Secrets of an Organized Mom: How to Declutter and Streamline Your Home for a Happier Family by Barbara Reich
A reread that just reignited my desire for less STUFF.  Something I should reread every other year or so for that reminder. (First talked about here) 4.25 Stars

The Year of Less: How I Stopped Shopping, Gave Away my Belongings, and Discovered Life is Worth More Than Anything You Can Buy in a Store by Cait Flanders
Did this one on audio, listening to most of it during 3am feedings.  It was inspiting, hearing how she worked through some of her problems, learned to live with less, and felt like her life greatly improved.  It was less "these are the things you should get rid of" (a genre I mostly enjoy) but more "here is why I stopped shopping and how it improved my life and led to all sorts of changes" which isn't quite the book I was looking for but still inspiring.  3.5 Stars

How to Talk so Little Kids Will Listen: A Survival Guide to Life with Children Ages 2-7 by Joanna Faber and Julie King
Ohhhhh...this was a good read and one I'd like downloaded to my brain please.  Anyone who deals regularly with that age group knows that they aren't always the easiest.   This had so many helpful tips and strategies for, basically, getting kids to do what you need them to do: put on shoes, go to the bathroom, get out the door, eat their meals, etc.  But also, trying to understand where they are coming from.  So helpful and one I need to reread every few years until we are out of this age range!  4.5 Stars

The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay
A reread that I didn't LOVE as much as my first time through but still really really enjoyed it.  Full review back here4.25 Stars


Blue Ridge Sunrise by Denise Hunter
I've both enjoyed and not really cared for her previous books so I went into this one a little leery.  A pretty standard Christian Fiction romance.  Felt a little Nicholas Sparks-y at time, so do with that what you will.  I've stopped reading his books but I will very likely pick up the next in this series.  2.75 Stars

A Family Shaped by Grace: How to Get Along With the People Who Matter Most by Gary Morland
Based on the subtitle, I thought this book would be more "dealing with difficult people in your family" and less...what it was.  Which I don't entirely remember right now.  I liked it but didn't love it.  And barely remember anything less than a month later so...take with that what you will.  3 Stars

The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
Ohhh, this book.  It was a slog at times, most of it.  Based on the story in the Bible of Jacob's sole daughter.  But it takes a lot of liberties.  A LOT.  And probably largely based on the culture at the time but I just...didn't care for it.  2.25 Stars

When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing by Daniel H. Pink 
I've been really interested in time management the last few years and this book played right into that.  It was about figuring out YOUR best times to do certain activities, when do to things that take more thinking, when to do things that take less mental space, etc.  Which is great knowledge to have but maybe not SUPER applicable to me, since so much of what I do right now is dependent on other's needs (i.e. baby doesn't care if I need to be doing high thinking activities right now, he just wants fed).  But certainly good knowledge to have.  3.75 Stars

What have YOU been reading??

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