Book-Club Catch-up

We’re officially out of boxes, settled into our new abode, and back to the grind of schooling-at-home and pinballing around town to kids’ activities. New house sneak-peekaboo: Forget formal dining, we’ve elected instead to opt for an in-home library/school space. Translation: ROOM FOR MORE BOOKS.

The following’s a smattering of recent titles we’ve enjoyed, beginning with our homeschool read-alouds:

After the delight we discovered in re-reading Little Women in anticipation of the recently released movie, we gave Jane Austen’s latest film adaptation of Emma the same homeschool treatment with a literary field trip to Highbury [via the movie theater] with sister/auntie. Consensus: Four thumbs up!

For Little Man’s sake, I dove back into Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House world– he cannot recall our first go-round, as he was merely a toddler.

We finished the first two LH books before pausing to spend some time getting to know local Oregon-fave, Ramona Quimby. We’re now on book two of her anthology. I suspect we’ll dance betwixt the two series for the rest of the school year and into summer.

I devoured Trevor Noah’s memoir, Born a Crime, which I found to be soberingly illuminating and hugely educational.

I’m the last one to the proverbial party on this next one, but Where the Crawdads Sing was SO lovely, so poetic and romantic and skillfully crafted, one can hardly believe it’s the author’s first.

A practical, timely nonfiction I picked up online to aid in my inaugural year of homeschooling high-school:

This one was recommended online somewhere, and is the apparent first installment of a series. I’m not generally one for mystery, but after picking it up at the library I gobbled it up in almost one fell-swoop. I adore the sincere young, precocious heroine and have even thought about suggesting the book to my teen/tween girls. I’ll be looking into book #2 for sure.

More formally, I was invited to join the launch teams of these two newly released books, from a pair of authors whose previous publishings I’ve also supported.

You might recognize Kristen Welch’s name as I’ve reviewed several of her books before (Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World; Raising World-Changers) and she’s the passionate visionary/founder of Mercy House, which provides dignified work, education, and shelter for women around the world escaping unthinkable circumstances. Here’s my review of “Made to Move Mountains (How God Uses our Dreams and Disasters to Accomplish the Impossible)”:

Kristen is once again the humble author-friend we’ve come to know and trust; the champion for justice and faithful steward of Mercy House ministries. I loved how this latest tome of her tale was more others-focused, as she’s simply sharing the fruit of the good work God has done in her and imploring others to similarly step up for the downtrodden, to wring out our lives in service of others and for Christ’s glory. Kristen is never pious, always approachable, always encouraging, and always honest in her writing. This new format with helpful closing questions at the end of each chapter really aided me in applying the principles/truths to my own life as I seek to glorify the Lord, allowing Him to level and transform seemingly immovable mountains. Don’t miss this book. I read an advanced copy as a part of her launch team but plan to re-read the pre-ordered paperback that just came in the mail!

The other is Anne Bogel’s latest, Don’t Overthink It. Two years ago I read & reviewed “I’d Rather be Reading” and the year prior “Reading People”… she is blogger/podcaster/literary-matchmaker Modern Mrs. Darcy, and she’s as witty and insightful as always here:

As usual, incredible, insightful Anne has given me pause. Like the author, I’m a chronic overthinker– her pointers and encouragement here have already been put to good use. In addition to her candid, real-life examples and extensive research on each facet of over-thinking, the end of each chapter includes helpful questions for personal reflection. I read an advanced digital copy of the book, but I’m going to go through the whole thing again now that my pre-ordered hard copy has arrived. I think the problem of otherthinking is culturally systemic and so with Anne’s advice I’m hoping to break free of some of these stress-inducing, unfruitful overthinking habits.

What are you reading?


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