EU laws require me to tell you if I have cookies. So many jokes there. I have ads installed, so I suppose I have cookies. By using this site, you agree to its use of cookies. Learn more. Sing along.


I'm attempting a 52 in 52 for books this year, but it isn't nearly as flash or exciting as the family movie project. In fact, I'm not really in any way expecting or wanting to read 52 books, particularly not for the sake of having read 52 books, but I do want to read more purposefully and keep track of what I've read. Don't worry; I won't bore you with a weekly update. I plan to just update this old post throughout the year for my own benefit. Unless it's a really good book that I just have to share with you.

Here are the books enjoyed so far this year:

Murder on the Orient Express./
My first Agatha Christie novel.

What on EARTH was I waiting for all these years?? It was fabulous. It was clean and something I can comfortably hand over to the 14 year old to enjoy.

The ending was a bit anticlimactic, but very enjoyable. The verrrrry ending will make some interesting discussions with the boys about justice.

Have you read Agatha Christie? Do you have any favorites? Would you recommend any film versions?

An American Plague
by Jim Murphy

This one was highly recommended by I-don't-know-who and I snatched it up when it went on sale. I was surprised to find it riveting. It's an account of the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793 and should have read like a boring textbook, but it didn't. I swear you could hear theme music in your head when reading it. It was like a biography, with nitty gritty accounts and descriptions of widespread implications. It is a biography of a virus. It read like a murder mystery.

The descriptions of the impact it had on government were also interesting. The plague hit Philadelphia, the center of the newly established, fresh and fragile government of the United States. The Constitution didn't allow for Congress to be called anywhere but in the city and the city was all but abandoned by govt. officials.

Stuff Parisians Like
"Discovering the Quoi in the Je Ne Sais Quoi
by Olivier Magny

I wanted to avoid looking like a goober of a tourist for my upcoming trip to Paris. I'm not certain this book helped a lot, but it was certainly entertaining. It was a hilarious read and I did learn a few important tips.

White socks are apparently a no-no.

"Seeing someone wearing white socks provokes an immediate and brutal reaction inside the Parisian. He is suddenly taken over by disgust and scorn. The white socks wearer is immediately removed from the community of human beings. As lenient as the Parisians would like to be, they simply cannot let some things slide."

I'll be buying dark socks and a pair of Chucks for the trip. I don't know if I can bring myself to wear skinny jeans. Is that even an option for a 30-something woman?

And that is all so far. I'm not sure what book to tackle now. I'm slowly reading through Pursuit of God, but my brain can only digest a couple pages per day. What have you been reading? Any favorites you could recommend?

Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus
by Nabeel Qureshi

Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus is the true story of Nabeel Qureshi's journey to Christ. It is an incredible must "hear". While I'm sure the book is fabulous, I can't imagine it comparing to the audio version, read by Qureshi himself. So many words I could never pronounce, as he shares his Muslim upbringing! But they are beautifully and melodically read by the author. A beautiful story. You can read my full review of this book here. 

by Jane Austen

It has been years since I've read this one! I'd forgotten how good it is. It's one of Austen's earliest works, its original drafts being her first attempt at a full length novel. The writing is excellent and the story superb, but I realized this time through that the youth of the author did show through. The "heroine" of the story displays some subtle arrogance that doesn't seem to be recognized by the author. Also, this same character is sickeningly perfect, her story being that of the tragic, selfless martyr. These points didn't occur to me when I was reading it in my younger days. They certainly didn't slow down my enjoyment of the book! If anything, they increased it, making Austen seem all the more human. I wonder if I can convince the family to watch the movie version for our Family Movie Night.

Andy Stanley

A short, but powerful little book. It really is NOT what you think. It is more a book recognizing God's blessings and recognizing our need for giving...for living generously.

Chris even enjoyed this one and he rarely finds time to readA few pages in, he announced (without looking up): "He referenced Bryan Adams in the first page. I like it."

It's a tiny little book, but it packs a good punch.

The Virgin Diet
JJ Virgin

I really don't like fad diet books. This one does reek of a fad diet, due to the layout. I suspect this has more to do with the combination of a zealous author and unfortunate editing to fit a standard style. The diet plan itself is beautiful. It fully fits in with everything I've read over the last few years. It's food education that makes sense. It falls in nicely with Paleo eating, but at the same time explains why Paleo doesn't work well for everyone, particularly if those individuals have a sensitivity to eggs.

The idea is that food sensitivities (not to be confused with allergies) cause an inflammation response and make weight loss difficult, not to mention discomfort and lethargy. Avoiding the top 7 inflammation foods for 21 weeks allows your body to heal. Pounds are promised to drop quickly. After the 3 weeks are up, the foods should systematically be reintroduced to gauge the body's response. It is basically an elimination diet.

I've been on it for exactly 7 days now and I have lost 5 lbs. I was having a hard time getting motivated to stick to what I know works for my body and this book reminded me of why I need to do it. Only 5 more pounds before I'm comfortable posing for Paris pictures!

I did skip about a gazillion testimonials and the recipes, which make up about half of the book.

The Princess Plan: Shrink your waist. Expand your beauty.
by Dr. Jennifer Hanes

This was a free kindle offer and I really enjoyed it. This book also falls in line with much of what I know about paleo-friendly eating. It offers much more though. This was a joy to read and the author genuinely seems to be trying to reach out and encourage a friend.

She offers tips on quick workout bursts and how their timing with meals is key to boosting metabolism. She offers tips on how to wear clothing that accentuates the beauty of the female body. She offers shopping tips, cooking tips, and more. She also shares pinterest boards and other helpful tools to help you on your journey. I love this one.

A Fortunate Grandchild
by Miss Read

I discovered Miss Read's Village School series last year and love it. They are clever and subtle and gentle and enjoyable. This book is her memoir of her grandmothers. It is a sweet book and just as enjoyable as her fiction stories.

If you haven't discovered Miss Read, I recommend giving it a try the next time you have a chilly day and a cup of coffee. These are excellent stories for a day when you could use some calm entertainment.

Curly Girl: The Handbook
by Lorraine Massey

I do NOT have curly hair. Quite the opposite. But my youngest daughter has the odd combination of curly, wavy, and straight hair. The bottom layer comprises a mix of pure Botticelli Curls and Wavy Hair. It is covered by a thin layer of straight hair. The end result is a ratty looking mess. To top it off, her hair is thin and fine. It comes to her rear and is a perpetual mess. No matter how perfectly we brush it, it looks completely unbrushed, unwashed, and unloved within minutes.

The book identifies may different hairtypes and offers tips for handling each individual type. It is well written and I found myself reading about other curl styles that I will never have the opportunity to style. I suppose it was a waste of time to read, but it was interesting all the same.

The book offers lots of recipes for treatments and things to look for in products for your unique hair type. I hope to shop this afternoon for a shampoo and conditioner for my daughter's hair.

Parisian Chic
by Ines de la Fressange

This was a fabulous read! Fressange shares simple tips (with pictures!) to help you work out a basic Parisian wardrobe. She also offers fabulous stores, restaurants, and much more to check out during a visit to Paris or a shopping trip online.

I've bookmarked about 20 pages in the book and started my capsule wardrobe with many of her suggestions. A wool blazer was one of the first things she mentioned, but I didn't imagine it was something I would get use out of. But I Found one at the thrift store for $3 and gave it a try. I love it! Paired with a t-shirt, jeans, and ballet slippers, a blazer is actually kind of cute! Now for the perfect scarf...

No comments:

Post a Comment

"Man lives by affirmation even more than by bread." - Victor Hugo