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This is my first post from my phone, hope it works.

This was a great book, much better than I expected! I have read some dry long nonfiction about Africa that feels like a duty more than a pleasure. But this book I couldn’t put down! (Well unless a child was screaming or something and I didn’t have a choice)

I don’t want to give anything away but this book about a boy with a tough time getting to school bears so much hope for the continent, in one boy!

Must read for those with a heart for Africa! 5/5 stars (post by Meghan)

Note, I am sort of switching to Goodreads as my book tracker, but am having a hard time abandoning the blog- that being said posts will probably be short. Follow me at goodreads as well for when this thing eventually dies.


thelacuna

This was sort of one last chance for Barbara Kingsolver for me.  I loved The Poisonwood Bible and then didn’t love Flight Behavior as one of my more recent posts explains.  For me, this was more like the Poisonwood Bible.  Not sure where the other book came from- written differently and completely different tone it seemed.  This one also harkened to One Hundred Years of Solitude, another of my favorite books.

The book follows the main character, Harrison Shepherd, from childhood from Mexico to America back to Mexico and finally back in America.  He is bystander to some significant history, although he is completely fiction.  Written in a completely believable way with what I thought was some beautiful prose.  I love the way she writes (most of the time!).

I did think the middle of the book got a bit long, which is why I haven’t finished a book in several months (last post in September!).  I better get going this year to average one book/month.  Once I got past half way it went much faster to get in to it.  That usually happens for me, but with 500 pages it takes awhile to get to that half way point!

So I’ll keep reading and hope that Kingsolver keeps going with books like these!  4.5/5 stars.  (post by Meghan)

 


lovedoes

 

This book was fantastic.  It was very inspiring to do love better.  The author, Bob Goff, has a pretty amazing life, but writes about it in a refreshingly mundane way- in a way that makes you *almost* think you can also fly around the world and do some pretty awesome things.  Or have a cabin in BC, Canada with waterfalls in the distance and dripping in pure nature.  This story has a lot of chapters of cool stories from Bob’s life and then how he relates that to Christ, his walk with Christ, sharing Christ with others, etc.  Some stories are really amazing things, but a lot are more ordinary.

He’s like a living pinterest board- he is actually DOING all those cool things we just pin.  And he probably wouldn’t be spending time sitting around on pinterest either.  That’s precious living time.  I’m only 30-something and this book makes me tired!  I heard an interview with his on the Relevant Podcast and he just IS energy- I don’t know how some people were given so much!  I have a feeling that cabin in the woods I mentioned has something to do with it.  Work hard, play hard, REST!

I think this book would be good for anyone to read, just to see a different way of doing life than most of us are doing.  Not to do the things he is doing exactly, more just to see a different way.  It is easy to get used to life and they way it is where we live, with the people mostly similar to us, and the expectations that we and others have on what our life should look like.  This book reminds you that it is actually YOUR life and you can make it look like whatever you want.  And if you follow Jesus, you can make a radical difference for Him by doing it.  I found this book much more radical than the book Radical I reviewed earlier.  Yet this one isn’t necessarily a call to action- maybe it is, just one put in different terms.  And by a guy that most certainly is walking the walk.

Goes without saying I’m sure, but 5/5 from me!  (post by meghan)


flight behavior

It has been a long time since I posted, and frankly, since I finished a book.  I have started several and just not gotten through.  Which is probably the main reason I actually finished this one, despite it not being all that great.  I figure I have to do about 3/month the next several months to catch up and average out-eeks!

I had high hopes for this book as I am a fan of Barbara Kingsolver.  One of those authors that I keep my eyes peeled for new books.  But this one might have changed that.  I just kept waiting for it to get good.  Most books take me awhile to get in to, but with over half done I was pretty sure this one just wasn’t really going to get there.

The story takes place in Appalachia where (fictionally) all of the monarch butterflies have decided to come migrate instead of Mexico because of landslides and global warming.  I am not against global warming, but I was surprised at how agenda-y this book was.  And frankly, just sort of boring.  The main character does make some personal revelations that were intriguing, but all could have taken place in about 200 pages or less, not the over 400 that this one was.

I read this on the Kindle and I do really enjoy the portability and the ability to read on my phone when I don’t have the book, but I still am just missing the turning of the pages and for this book, knowing how much book I was getting myself in to would’ve helped– and when I maybe should’ve bailed.  It’s just so hard to get that on the Kindle.

2/5 stars (post by Meghan)

I am also posting this on Goodreads.  I am using it as my new book list and it’s a pretty good site/app- I would recommend it!


 

I got the idea to read this book from this blog- from Steph reading it awhile back- thanks!  It is even getting a new category: chic lit.  Guess I don’t read much of that to have needed the category before…

This is the third (I believe) and last (I believe) in the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series.  I never read the others, but I did see the movies- which makes me wonder- was the second book really called “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2” like the movie? Ok, I couldn’t leave it hanging- it was called “Second Summer of the Sisterhood.”

Anyways, if you know these books, you know they are about four girls, now women, who were friends since birth basically.  They are now ten years older (thirty!?- so old!) and catching back up.  While the other books were quite happy I thought (ok, movies), this one… wasn’t.  I would just say, don’t pick it up if you want a light little read because it really isn’t.  It ends up ok, but takes a lot of reading to get there.  Not like it’s a huge book or anything.

The writing wasn’t maybe as bad as I would’ve expected, since I hadn’t actually deemed any of these worth actually reading before and just opted for the 2 hour film version.  But did seem a little slow.  I’d say 3.5/5 stars (but who really picks this up looking for 5 stars…ok I guess Steph gave it 5 stars). (post by Meghan)


Well, if you follow our other blog at all, then you know we have entered the parenthood stage of life.  So my reading selection is going to start looking like this sometimes.  This book was our last ditch effort to know what to do when our little girl came.  Well, she’s here and we’ve tested the book out- luckily we don’t have a terrible crier (at least not yet) but the tips from this book give us something to do when she is crying, other than just cry ourselves (not to say there won’t be that as well…).

If you are going to have a kid, I think you should read this book before they come.  Not when you’re 3 months pregnant or anything, but before they come.  Maybe I should say, skim this book.  Or have a 10 minute conversation with someone who has read the book.  I think that’s about how much actual content there is, but he manages to stretch it into over 100 pages (I read it on the Kindle, not sure how many pages there actually are).

Here it is:

There are 5 S’s.  Do them the right way in the right order and your baby will stop crying.  They simulate the womb and until 3 months of age, our babies still really would prefer womb-like atmosphere.

Swaddle, put on side/stomach position, shhhh, swing, and suck.

There they are, you’re welcome.

They do seem to work at least so far, so do I give it 5 stars for that?  I’ll say 4 stars/5 because really the book repeats itself nonstop and could probably be only a little longer than this blog post and you’d get about 90% of it. (post by Meghan)


This book has been somewhat popular recently I think.  It is nonfiction, hence it took me a bit longer to get through.  It is about the building and celebration of the World’s Fair in Chicago in the 1890s.  Jeff and I were just thinking about the World’s Fair when we were in Memphis- at some point I guess the fair was there and there is a park of sorts that remains but it was pretty minimal.

This was one of the first fairs- the one after the one in Paris when the Eiffel Tower was commissioned.  The Chicago fair boasted the first ferris wheel among other cool things apparently.  The other half of the book is about a serial killer that preyed upon the popularity of the fair.  It is a book where you expect the two stories to intertwine at some point… but they never really do, except that they both take place in Chicago at the same time.

The part of the book about the building of the fair- the architects, planners etc is moderately interesting but also kind of boring.  The part of the book about the serial killer is disturbing.  It is also written very matter of factly without a lot of suspense that you could maybe put in a mystery-ish type story.

You can probably tell I didn’t love this book.  Another reason it took awhile to get through.  If you like historical murder-mystery types than this book is just right for you, otherwise I’d probably pick a different one.  2.5/5 stars (post by Meghan)