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A Few Good Reads

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Don’t you love the feeling of a stack of new books from the library? And don’t you hate the feeling when you realize your dear, efficient children have returned two books you haven’t even cracked open yet?


Anyway, I thought I’d share with you about some recent books I’ve read and enjoyed.

Bloom: Finding Beauty in the Unexpected–A Memoir

Do you read Kelle Hampton’s blog? It’s one I really enjoy. I first heard of Kelle when I was pregnant with Apollo and she had just given birth to her second daughter, Nella. Her post about Nella’s birth was floating around some of my photography circles, because Kelle is a professional photographer. Nella was born with Down Syndrome, something Kelle and her husband didn’t know until she was born. She writes about her feelings with such a raw and brutal honesty…it’s simply amazing. Anyway, I’ve been reading her blog regularly for the last few months. I enjoy her beautiful photos and the fact that she tends to focus on the positives in her life…Something that, amazingly, has brought her criticism. I thoroughly recommend her book. It is filled with her beautiful photos and is not just a rehash of her blog (something I was a bit concerned about).

Immortal Bird: A Family Memoir

For obvious reasons, I have an interest in reading about kids with congenital heart defects. Immortal Bird is the story of a boy named Damon who has a heart defect and eventually gets a heart transplant. The books is written by Damon’s father and is a memoir of his life. Doron Weber is a talented writer and this book definitely has appeal whether your child has a heart defect or not.

A Hypoplastic, Cogenitally Defective, Transplanted Tale

This book is, obviously, the story of a boy with a heart defect. This is much more of an “in the trenches” kind of book than Immortal Bird. It’s something I wish I would have had before Apollo’s heart surgery, but is very useful even now. It is written by Henry’s mom and is all about raising a child with a heart defect. This is a quick, easy read.

When Did I Get Like This?: The Screamer, the Worrier, the Dinosaur-Chicken-Nugget-Buyer, and Other Mothers I Swore I’d Never Be

This book is clearly a tale of all the unexpected moments in parenting. And who doesn’t have those? This book is humorous, fun and exceedingly accurate. My favorite quote is: “Breastfeeding isn’t really successful unless we do it exclusively and for a full year. (Not for one day more though; then you’re a hippie freak).” I hope you can read the sarcasm in that quote. Moms, let’s give each other a break and not be convinced that there is only one right way to mother our children.

Okay, now, your turn, recommend your favorite recent reads to me. Cause now I’m out of books again.

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  1. Josie

    The Seven Daughters of Eve, by Bryan Sykes. It tells the tale of the seven female ancestors that most european (and north americans whose DNA roots reach back to Europe) share. They, themselves, had a mother, grand-mothers and great-grand-mothers, but they are at the top of the only lineages to reach our era. Others had the misfortune to get extincted through a lack of female descendants (a bit different from what we traditionnaly hear about the importance of giving birth to sons to perpatuate the name). The author was the first scientist to test DNA on old bones found in different places. He has traced back the origins of today’s inhabitants of Polynesia (were they from Asia or from South America?). His work focusses on a particular section of the DNA sequence, which is solely transmitted by the mother. A fascinating piece of scientific work explained in a very palatable manner. In other words, it’s a read for anyone with or without a scientific mind. I am aware the subject can be a little touchy in some circles, as it it a scientific take on the history of mankind. Nevertheless I highly recommend it!

  2. Carrie

    I LOVED Bloom and read Enjoying the Small Things daily, or at least check it everyday to see if Kelle has posted a new post. Aside from Bloom, can’t think of anything else I have read lately, The Help, but that was a few months ago.

  3. Leah Y

    I LOVE ‘One Thousand Gifts’ by Ann Voskamp. I got it when I was pregnant and it is truly a book worth reading. I have bought 3 more as gifts. She also has a blog.
    I also love Lilla Rose! So much so that I signed up with them.
    And one last tid bit. My husband was born with a hole in his heart. He didn’t have his open heart surgery till he was 17….23 years ago. His dr. was Dr. Heartman. I have been following since before u were pregnant. You are truly an inspiration.

  4. Lou

    “Okay, now, your turn, recommend your favorite recent reads to me”
    How much space do I have? I read and read and read. I’m about to start a job I have to drive to and am devastated about the 1 hour of lost reading time per day! The last few or current ones:
    * Currently non-fiction: The Man who Loved China; Farthest North (a long kindle single); Child Language Acquisition: contrasting theoretical approaches; Alex’s Adventures in Numberland. All GREAT so far.
    * Current fiction: The Marriage Plot (hardly started but love the author); Ella Minnow Pea (just finished, for kids, ABSOLUTELY brilliant. And I think suitable for your older kids.) The Beginner’s Goodbye (liked quite a lot); Tiger’s Wife (loved).

    Just a few.

  5. Erica S.

    I am in the middle of Come of Age, by Angus Buchan. If you saw the film Faith Like Potatoes, he is the man the film was about. I am not one to just read anything, but this is one I’m devouring. Started reading One Thousand Gifts, and can see why others like it, but it wasn’t quite my taste. I’m also enjoying my older boys’ world history books I bought for the coming year. :0) And I’m reading through Paul’s letters in the NT.

  6. liz

    All non fiction..

    Right now finishing up “Heaven Is Here” by Stephanie Nielson. She has a blog “Nie Nie dialogues.” Her and her husband were in a terrible plane crash leaving her in a medically induced coma for several months. She was burned over 80% of her body. Her husband was the pilot. Amazing story. Great blog.

    “Choosing To See” by Mary Beth Chapman(wife of Steven Curtis Chapman)..Story starts out before she is even married. She writes a lot about struggles and marriage before her husband became a well known Christian singer. The book flows her adoptions and how each unfolded.Then of course there is the terrible death of her 6yr old daughter..who was killed when her 16 yr old son was pulling in the driveway.

    I would say this is the best book I have ever read. Touched me on so many levels.

    “Unplanned” by Abby Johnson…”The dramatic true story of a former Planned Parenthood leader’s eye opening journey across the life line”
    This book was amazing. The way Abby was able to justify things in her mind as helping these women when the whole time as a reader (and she herself admits) is full of contradictions between what she believes and the career choices she makes. All the way to being a Director.this book actually impacted my life deeply. I ended up getting involved and participated in “40 Days for Life” this spring just weeks after we adopted our fourth child.I plan to participate in the fall….

    “I will Carry You” is about a family who finds out the baby the wife is carrying will in all likelihood die before or at birth. They were told the baby was in pain etc..The chose as a couple to carry the baby to term even with pressure from others and medical professionals to terminate the pregnancy.Not the best writing and I hate saying that. However a beautiful story told in a time that most would not see any good or hope in.

    I bought all these on Amazon…I need to start going to the library and get over my germ a phobia…:)

    • liz

      Oh.. also.”He HEARD Hannah” by Lynette Kraft….great amazing story at how someone else’s tragedy changes the trajectory of someone else’s life .

      This is a story of a couple who lose their young daughter with a heart defect of sorts while on the phone with a 911 dispatcher. His life was not exactly going well. He was very depressed, stressed. life had little meaning. The day he answered that call changed his life forever.The book actually is co wrote by the dispatcher. His name escapes me.. Every other chapter style.

      I won this book on a blog and am so glad I did. It is so inspiring at how these families didn’t even meet for yrs after. A true testimony.

      • bakersdozenandapolloxiv

        Liz- bought this for my kindle and am in the middle of reading this…have you seen her blog, Dancing Again? Obviously as the mom of a child with a heart defect this is touching and difficult to read. This family has suffered so much. Just, wow…

      • liz

        No I didn’t know she had that blog/website. I also forgot about her other losses. I read the book awhile ago. I can’t even imagine! I also didn’t realize she had so many children. I only remembered from the book a couple of them being the focus. Or maybe I am remembering wrong…Wow…

        Sometimes I think people think i am a “debbie Downer” by the books I chose to read. i find them inspiring. Heartbreaking of course..but to see that there is life on the other side. At times when I cry about our oldest and wonder how another minute i will survive this…i can draw from these books and remember that things CAN get better..and usually do. they may not be what you envisioned…but you survive and often times THRIVE! I need all the hope I can get!:)

  7. Maddi

    Not inspiring or probably something you would read but, I just finished The Silence of the Lambs.

    While it is ‘scary’ it didn’t bother me mentally and I am going to go read Hannibal by the same author.

    It was thrilling, but the writer was amazing. Worth the read if your into murder mysteries.

    It also was ‘harder’ to read that most books in the sense of how many words per page and the choice of words used. Took me much longer than most books, probably 7-10 hours total. I read it in 3 days.

  8. jo

    The Education of Little Tree is my favorite book in the entire world. It is an education for anyone who reads it, and it changed my life completely. I already saw the world around me as valuble and worth caring for. I already lived by the Way but learned so much about The Way that I now can never deviate. My children have had this book read to them so many times, they can now quote parts. I can ask them, what would Grandpa do and they know how to deal with the harder aspects of life. I think that Grandpa was listening to the earth that God created, and helps man to understand the earth from a human standpoint. God is most important in our lives, but for children there are many books that can help them relate to God and his earth on a child’s level.
    Next would be Prodigal Summer. Not christian based, and not for my children. My children can read this book when they are grown, it does have some “grownup” behavior, not all of which is appropriate from a christian point of view. However, it is another book that helps one see the big picture of our earth and the damage that we do to it. It is the best example of the circle of life that I have read after the first book mentioned.
    And of course, I read the little house books, To Kill a Mockingbird and Where the Lillies bloom over and over. Each month I read these again. We read The Giver, Gathering Blue and The Messenger to help us remember what freedom is and how easy it is to lose it without even recognizing the loss until it is too late.
    We are reading the entire chapter book section under Alaska in the children’s library here. Some of the books were written in the late 1800s/early 1900s and those are our favorite.

  9. Ann Kietzman

    Wild: from Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed is so interesting I couldn’t put it down besides being very well written. After her mother’s death from cancer, Cheryl hikes the trail to find herself. It’s been on the best seller list for several weeks now and I can easily understand why. Renee, your children who plan to hike the Appalachian Trail would really enjoy it!

    • Michele P

      If someone is planning on hiking the Appalachian trail, you need to read Hiking Through. It is a great book. We read it after my daughter did a mission trip for Damascus Days on the trial.

  10. Echo

    I am currently reading and enjoing “it happened on the way to war” by Rye Barcott. I recently finished “Unbroken” and truly felt inspired by the story.

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