5 Books I’m Reading This Month

5 Books I'm Reading This Month

Having finished up most of the 11 books I was reading several months ago, a few new ones have been added to my list.  So far I’m loving all five of them, each for a different reason. Here’s my new list, with a few thoughts on each title.

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Sally Clarkson’s The Mission of Motherhood is my favorite parenting book, which I can prove by  my dogeared copy filled with underlining, highlighting and notes in the margins.  I keep it right next to my Bible, at the ready on a moment’s notice (ie, whenever I’m feeling like a complete failure as a mother, or when I need some encouragement to “keep on keeping on,” or when I need to be reminded that what I do day in and day out really does matter and is having some sort of effect).

A dear, newish friend recently gifted me The Ministry of Motherhood, which is sort of like the sequel to The Mission of Motherhood.  It’s been on my list for some time, although I was sort of waiting until my children reached “the next stage” after toddlerhood and preschool years.

The timing turned out to be perfect.  Although I’m only a few chapters in–I’m trying to go slowly enough to make some attempt at absorbing Sally’s advice and the Scripture she so adeptly applies to motherhood–it’s already served to challenge, encourage and bless.

I continue to give thanks for this mentor of sorts whose reflections on Christian motherhood have so shaped my own mothering.  While Sally would be the first to admit her own imperfections, she continues to set forth a standard of excellence that both challenges and stirs my soul to reach for greatness.  She clings tightly to the Truth of God’s Word and fails to settle for mediocrity.  Anytime I sit down to read even a few pages of her books, I am renewed and inspired to give myself more wholeheartedly to this task of raising up children to know and respond to their Maker.

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God Space is recommended reading material for a class we attend every Sunday morning at our church.  We’re so fortunate to sit under the teaching of a wise and articulate man whose influence on the life of our family over the past few years has nudged each of us closer to who and what we desire to be–molded more closely to the image of Christ.

I’d be lying if I said this book were not challenging us to analyze our priorities (and our interpersonal skills!).  At the same time, we’re eager to grow in the area of sharing our faith more frequently–and more naturally–with those around us.  As the head of Athletes in Action, Doug Pollock has literally traveled the world, sharing what matters most with folks of all shapes, sizes, colors and walks of life.  I’m eager to learn more from his experience and his passion for sharing the Good News.

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I requested this title from the library, without having seen the actual book.  I’ve been on a decorating kick and was looking for inspiration, and the description seemed to fit the bill.  When Mr. Native Texan (my handsome library-book-picker-upper) brought it home, I thought Oh great, it doesn’t have any photos.  Because really, what good is a home decor book with no photos?

But then, Oh my goodness, this is quite possibly one of the best home decorating books I’ve ever read!  Why?  For starters, it’s incredibly well-written.  From what I understand, the author–Deborah Needleman–boasts quite an impressive resume within the magazine publishing industry.  Are you familiar with Domino magazine?  (I wasn’t, but am now!)  Needleman was the founding editor-in-chief.  This translates into a decorating book that holds its own as a work of prose, as well as…well, a decorating book.

Her decorating philosophy is so spot-on and well-expressed that certain parts of the book got me all fired up.  I even took a picture of a specific quote and messaged it to Mr. Native Texan.  It’s that good.  In fact, I may have to do a separate, future post in order to share more of what I’ve loved about this book.  Stay tuned…

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Have you heard of their blog?  My sister-in-law turned me on to this DIY Duo-turned-blogging-sensation.  I love their thrifty, can-do attitude that doesn’t sacrifice style or good looks in the home decorating department.

With a slightly smarmy writing style–no doubt a feature that works well on their blog, but makes for hard-to-follow chapters in a book…although I have to admit it’s sort of endearing, and definitely amusing–this husband and wife decorating team offers practical, real-life projects and tips.  243 of them, to be exact.

The best part of the book, other than the photos, of course, is that you can find more details and elaborated instructions on their blog.  Isn’t that smart?  And if you happen to be a fan of Chihuahuas, you’ll find even more to love about this family and their new book.

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Good novels are hard to come by.  This author, Gary D. Schmidt, was recommended by a friend who happens to be a middle school English teacher.  A professor at Calvin College in Michigan, Schmidt has authored several Newbery Award winners (all of which are on my request list at the library–this book was available first).  Incidentally, there is a brief and humorous interview of Schmidt which you can read on Amazon by clicking on the book’s image to the left.

His target audience is junior highers, but I never let something like that bother me. 🙂  As C.S. Lewis famously said No book is really worth reading at the age of ten which is not equally (and often far more) worth reading at the age of fifty…  Lewis also pointed out that …a children’s story which is only enjoyed by children is a bad children’s story.  (Of Other Worlds)

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I’m only in the first chapter, but I was delighted to note–before even beginning the book itself–that the plates of John James Audubon’s Birds of America* play a major role in the story’s plot, as well as provide the illustrations for this award-winning novel.  I’m hooked already!

Update: A few days after I wrote this post [I write most posts about a week in advance] I actually read the remaining 352 pages during one nap time, which was about 2 hours and 15 minutes.  It really hooked me, and I had to find out how it ended! 🙂

*Older Brother and I have enjoyed learning about John James Audubon, America’s greatest painter of birds, namely through a wonderful children’s biography called The Boy Who Drew Birds: A Story of John James Audubon, pictured to the right.

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 What’s on your reading list?

5 Books I'm Reading This Month
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Kathleen Henderson

Let's get real! I’m Kathleen Henderson, your Natural Living Mentor. I’m on a mission to help families see the joy in real food, while finding natural remedies and creating a nontoxic home. Learn more about my story >>

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