Monday, August 27, 2018

2018 - Books 35 and 36

I challenged myself to read the Bible in 9 months this year.  I finished in 8 months! I count the Old and New Testaments each as a book because there are a lot of pages.  I use the Reader's Bible in ESV most of the time.

I am doing a Bible study in John in the Fall and so I have been focusing on some deep reading of that.  I'll start reading through the Bible again towards the end of the year.

Pages: 1800

Monday, August 20, 2018

2018 - Book 34

Back in June we went to DC for three days.  It took 4 and a half hours to get home (that isn't normal). We listened to all of Paddington (read by Jeeves).  It is a cute story and I look forward to reading it again to my boys when they are a bit older and reading more in the series.

Time: 3 hours

Monday, August 13, 2018

2018 - book 33

Pages: 191

Look, another book written just for women.  How do I keep finding myself reading these? 
(I read this book as part of a group study. )

You all know I don't like books written just for women... but this was the best book written just for women that I have read this year.  The best benefit I can see of this book is the discussions that could be have after reading this book as a group.  There are lots of ideas for weeping with those that weep and rejoicing with those that rejoice.  I would like to put some meat on the bones and discuss it with people that have been through situations that they needed someone to rejoice with them or weep with them. 

Overall I liked the book for what it is.  However, I couldn't help but think about all the books she quoted from and wishing that I was reading those instead. It is an overview of friendship books.

These are two of my favorites off the list (and they could be read by men or women):
Life Together - Bonheoffer
Relationships a Mess Worth Making - Tripp

I thought those two books were both excellent resources on friendship and working together in the body of Christ. She quotes from those two more than any other.  I highly recommend them both!

She also quotes from (I have read some of these and some I want to read or have in my to-read basket of books):
Jerry Bridges (True Community)
Phillip Graham Ryken (The Communion of Saints)
Tim Keller (The Reason For God)
Francis Schaeffer (The Mark of A Christian)
C.S. Lewis (Letters)
J.I. Paker (Knowing God)
Ed Welch (Side by Side)
Jonathan Edwards
John Calvin
Charles Spurgeon (Sermons)
Susan Hunt
The Westminster Confession
Joel Beeke (How Should We Develop Christian Friendship)

Lots of good information. It was well put together. It isn't a bad little book.  I read it in two days.  It is an easy read.

Note: The study I read it for is a Sunday School class.  Big surprise here: I don't like books for women and I also don't like Sunday School classes only for women. The men are doing their own class and a different book.  I think it would have been more beneficial if we had both read the same book on friendship (either the Bonheoffer or the Tripp book would have been my votes). That way we would be able to discuss it with one another on the way home or as we saw each other during the week.  Reading different books takes away the camaraderie. It makes us on different pages (literally). 

Monday, August 06, 2018

2018 - book 32

Pages: 358

This book! Add this to the pile of books that will be required reading for my children when they get older.

It will join these others:
King Leopold's Ghost
The Shallows - What the Internet is Doing to Your Brain
The Color of Law
Alone Together
I'm probably forgetting some...

I knew nothing about how the American Indians were treated in our nation. It was never mentioned in any of my history.  I picked up a couple books about the Trail of Tears from the library and browsed through them before settling on this one.  It was a bit dry in parts, but overall did an excellent job of covering the history of the Cherokees and the US government.

The way the US government treated the American Indians is disgraceful.  They double-crossed them and lied to them over and over and over again.  It is interesting reading history because you start to see people in a different light.  We tend to group all the early presidents in a group and think of them as "good".   But we are all sinners in need of a Saviour and without Him we are hopelessly lost.

I fell like I need to read a biography of each of our American presidents to get a better picture of their lives. There are so many things I want to read about.  A book gives such a better picture then a wikipdia page article. 

Monday, July 30, 2018

2018 - book 31

Pages 244

I liked this book.  There are no perfect parenting books (other than the Bible).  I find it helpful to read a bunch of different ones and pick things that apply to my children and me.  A friend lent this one to me and I learned a few things.  I passed it on to another friend when I finished. 

Monday, July 23, 2018

2018 - Book 30

Pages: too many

I don't have a problem with much of the content.  I found the authors writing style annoying.  The most obnoxious thing about the book is the formatting.  My eyes hurt from looking at the various fonts and sizes.  The bold and the italics and the underlining...

It bothers me when authors underline, highlight, italic, and bold parts of Bible verses that back up their ideas. The visual clutter really gets in the way and makes my brain distracted from the text. 

So, the book was okay... not my favorite...not the absolute worst.  There is good material mixed in with a bunch of extra words.  It isn't one that I will be buying lots of copies to give out to friends. 

I can't think of anything that I learned from the book.  I give it a mheh review and add it to the donate pile. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2018


I pick a book for my staff each year. This is one of my favorites.

In previous years I have given out:
* When Helping Hurts
* Dispatches From the Front - Tim Keesee

I haven't decided what I will give out next year.  It will depend on what Westminster Theological Seminary's bookstore has one sale. Do you get their emails? I want to buy all the books they recommend.

Monday, July 16, 2018

2018 book 29

Charlotte’s Web
E. B. White
Pages 180

I bawled my eyes out reading ahead in the book while the boys played when Charlotte is left at the fair to die alone. This (and the Hobbit) are enjoyable children’s books to read. They are so well written that I would gladly read them again. I love all the characters in the book, Wilbur, Fern, the sheep, the geese, Templeton, and of course Charlotte. How can you feel so much for a spider? The boys seemed to like this one too. They had lots of questions.

As a comment... I think growing up on a farm has advantages. There is so much to learn about life from observing the seasons and crops and life and death of animals. Our children are so far removed from the food cycle and mating cycle. I don’t know what I am trying to say. Something about how computers and technology don’t always make the quality of life better. Things are more sterile and compartmentalized. I want to expose my kids to real life as much as possible (hiking in the woods, exploring creatures at the beach, catching snack, collecting eggs from chickens, hatching tadpole eggs, etc.). I don’t want them to just read about thing. I want them to see them and touch them and smell them. We lose something when it is all flashing lights in a screen. In some ways we lose closeness from God in technology. Sure, there are tons of resources on the web. But there is something awe inspiring about nature and the stillness of sitting on a porch watching a sunrise or watching a frog swim or observing a plant growing. It helps me focus my mind on who created it.