One of my New Year's resolutions was to read one book per month in 2013. Here is what I've read so far + reviews... :)
C I guess I just have a different sense of humor, but I stopped reading this about half way through. Just not that good.
C Again, maybe I wasn't in a the right mindset, but I didn't really get a lot out of this one either. If you are really new to mothering or children, then you might get a lot out of it; it just seemed really basic, maybe, and not super well-written. I also did not finish this one, so I counted both of these for one month. :)
A This book will reeeeally benefit you if you have sugar issues, meaning, if you are constantly craving sweet foods or refined carbohydrates. It also talks about how sugar sensitivity is linked to alcoholism and other addictions. (After all, alcohol turns STRAIGHT into sugar in the bloodstream, and many alcoholics cannot succeed until the also give up sugar.) Cutting WAY back on sugar is something we ALL need to do, no exceptions, and I have recently done that. (Search for "Sugar: The Bitter Truth" on Youtube for an excellent video on the subject.) But if you are very sugar sensitive (which I found out I am not really, even though we all are affected by it), then you have to get rid of ALL of it, plus all sweet things, even Stevia. This book takes you step by step through the process without beating you over the head about it.
A+ This book is amazing, wonderful, glorious, and all the other good adjectives in the dictionary, lol! It's the perfect eating plan/weight loss/ healthy eating for life book. It's written by 2 Christian moms with large families who did a ton of research on nutrition (one my FAV topics as well). One even used to be a Vegan. It follows pretty closely the philosophy of Weston A Price/Nourishing Traditions if you're familiar with that. I was always a fan of that farm fresh, whole food philosophy myself. It's not strict in that you can use some convenience and processed foods (or not if you so choose); you don't have to make everything from scratch and spend hours in the kitchen. You never go hungry or count calories. The books has lots of recipes, but once you learn the concept, you can adapt almost any meal to make it fit and research and find tons of recipes. The basic premise is separating your fats from your carbs and then getting rid of processed sugars and starches (simple carbs). There are very few "off limits" foods. It also has chapters on other health topics as well which I found enlightening: hormones, sex, exercise, etc. Love it. I use it all the time for reference, and even though I cheat way too much, I have lost 7 lbs! woohoo.
A+ This is an excellent book! I highly recommend it!
B I have not seen the movie yet, but this is an incredible story. The book does have some slow parts, and I personally thought the husband was pretty, ummmm, slow to learn in dealing with his wife. It seems like common sense to me that if your wife doesn't remember who you are, you have to woo her all over again and try to get her to fall in love with you, not push her away by making sure her physical therapist is pushing her EVEN harder than he normally would have and trying to be her coach and father. Yet someone had to tell him all this. Maybe it's just because I'm a woman that I think this way. Still a great story.
B This book is full of tips for running a household, and it's not just for large families. I do think you need to go into it realizing that her EXACT methods may not work for you, and you may need to tweak a lot. I wish her tone was less "the is THE way to do it" and more like, "These are some ideas that have worked well for me." That's my only complaint about the book. It has a legalistic tone even if that isn't the author's intent. I really enjoy her blog, so I don't know that it was intentional. Just read it with the mentality to take what works for you and leave the rest. I do think it's a valuable resource!
A+ This book is excellent! It's not a practical tips book (although there are some of those) but gets to the heart of issues moms deal and struggle with. While it probes deeply, it comes off with grace rather than condemnation. It's challenging and encouraging at the same time. Each chapter is so short you could read it as a morning devotional. I need to go through it again. It was so good I wanted to finish it quickly, but I need to read it more slowly to be able to digest the points she makes.
A+ This is a Bible study I did with some friends. It goes through various issues like fear, discontent, anger, etc and teaches us how to deal with them by seeking Christ and His power to overcome them. It's full of grace and void of striving/try-harder theology that really cannot lead to lasting change. I like that she keeps the correct focus and gets to the real heart of these issues rather than sticking a behavior management strategy on them.
B+ I was excited to do this study, as I love Jen Hatmaker's blog and listened to a seminar she did that literally changed my life. Her story of how she and her husband left "churchyness" and the Christian, comfortable sub-culture and moved to South Austin to start a church which focuses on meeting people where they are and helping the "least of these" is amazing. I think that the book that goes along with this study tells that story. We only did the study. It was good and challenging in a way unlike most studies I have done. It will stretch you! The reason I gave it a B instead of an A was because it didn't seem to come from the grace standpoint I wrote about in the previous review, but from a, "we're doing it wrong, we simply need to do better," standpoint. It also was not nearly as well written as some of her stuff I've read, included almost everything in her blog. The other reason was because she is misinformed about some political things and wrongly equates liberal politics with Biblical practices. She doesn't harp on it or speak very much about it, but some things written in passing I was shaking my head at. Overall, worthwhile, though.