What I’m Reading – 2015 Summer Book Reviews

I love to read… I always have, but lately my time reading has decreased dramatically haha! But I thought it would be good to start leaving short book reviews of what I have read lately just in case anyone is looking for something to read themselves. So here are the books I have read over the last few months. Hope you enjoy!

Let’s All Be Brave. Living Life With Everything You Have. – Annie Downs
I started reading this when I was pregnant with our second son. I follow her blog and this was a book she had just read and recommended it. I liked the idea of this book because at the time, we were pursuing a possible VBAC and I needed all of the courage to be brave I could get!

I liked this book, it was an easy read and very clean. I didn’t agree with everything she said, mainly just differences in views about some things, but she made a lot of good points in going through some of the hard decisions she made in her life to do things she never imagined she would do. I found a lot of encouragement from reading it and enjoyed her upbeat positive attitude.

Husband Coached Childbirth – The Bradley Method of Natural Childbirth – Robert A. Bradley
I also started reading this during my second pregnancy. My first birth was a little on the rocky side, so my husband and I made some drastic changes and efforts to have a better birth this time around. And we did! But I have to contribute a lot of our success to the ideals in this book. I wanted to take the Bradley Method classes, but we decided to hire a doula instead and read this book on natural child birthing methods. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to manage the pain and be successful in natural unmedicated child birth, but I also knew I wanted to try as hard as I could to not get an epidural since it kind of messed things up the first time. 

This book has a TON of great information if you are interested in natural birthing methods, but even if you aren’t, it is a good read. Obviously you don’t get an epidural after your first contraction, so being informed and educated on ways of managing pain to get you through a portion of your labor would be helpful. The book talks a lot about how medication effects babies during childbirth, and he is VERY opinionated about this, just to warn you. I saw a significant difference in the alertness of my two sons, so I lean to the side of agreeing with him, but you could be easily offended by how forward he is I think. This book is definitely worth your time though if you are pregnant and looking for a good explanation of the stages of labor, managing pain and involving your husband in coaching your child birth.

Your Two Year Old: Terrible or Tender – Louise Bates Ames and Frances L. Ilg
Y’all… we are deep into the year of TWO with our toddler. My little Jackson can be so incredibly sweet sometimes, showering me with kisses and telling me “I love you mommy!” a thousand times and then in a second can turn on a dime and become this crazy dinosaur man that runs away from me constantly yelling “NO!” as if it’s the only word in his vocabulary. You could say this age is a little on the emotional side and I was left thinking some days, “What is going on with this kid???” I talk with my friend Jessica pretty much daily about our kids (She has a daughter a month older than Jackson) and she recommended this book to me. 

It was really a beneficial read, and I like that the author has a whole series of books, each one focusing on a different year/age. People, this book was spot on. I mean, they said things verbatim that Jackson does or says. It was almost a little creepy how accurate these two ladies were on the age of two. The book covers general characteristics of the age, how two year olds interact with each other, techniques in managing them, accomplishments of the age, setting routines, their mentality and how they view the world and their individuality. It you have a two year old, I think it would be a good read for you… at the very least would make you feel less crazy about your kiddo’s behaviors haha… it gave me a few good ideas to help our days run smoother, that’s for sure!

Effective Parenting in a Defective World – Chip Ingram
This book has SO many good things to say. I downloaded this on my Kindle app for my iPad, so I was able to highlight parts of the book as I went, and there are just SO many highlights! I wanted to share some with you but had so much trouble even deciding! This book just truly does such an amazing job explaining discipline from the perspective of our relationship with God. It is so basic and straight forward… yet deep and articulate. I cannot say enough good things about this book, it is so encouraging and practical in helping you think about and examine your methods of disciplining and parenting your kiddos. Here are some of my favorites…

“Over the course of their lives in your home, our children will see the habits of your life. If your acts of love toward God are habitual, your kids are much more likely to learn to love God too.”

“Your children need to know that they will suffer. Jesus even guaranteed it. (John 16:33) – but that God is good and He is ultimately in control. Whatever injustice they face, God will vindicate them eventually. Whatever hardship they go through, God can bring fruitfulness and blessing out of it…”

“But in your attempts to be a godly parent, remember God’s great dreams for you too. Being a good parent is part of the package. He is intensely involved in the endeavor you’re going through. Just as it’s a learning process for your kids, it’s a learning process for you. And God is with you every step of the way.”

Muscle and a Shovel – Michael Shank
I began reading this book after my sister in law and mom told me about it and then we ended up doing a Bible study over it at church. It is an amazing story about a man who found his way to Christ. It is the conversation between him and a co worker, and how they worked through their different beliefs about Christ. It was really interesting to read, and to go through all of the different thought processes he experienced trying to make sense of everything. Lot of scripture is involved in this book!


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