Saturday, January 02, 2010

December 2009 Reading List

Anna's Books

Completed This Month:
  • Biblical Womanhood in the Home edited by Nancy Leigh DeMoss - This book, with articles from 7 different women, is a refreshing and thought-provoking look at God's calling for women. It explores everything from true beauty, examples of Biblical womanhood, our relationship to God, and a woman's relationship as wife and mother. Definitely a good read!
  • On Writing Well by William Zinsser - Funny, thought-provoking, and well-written, this has become one of my favorite books on writing. With 5 double-sided pages of quotes and notes from reading the book, I can't possibly cover all of its aspects. If you like to write, I highly recommend this book. Even if you don't particularly enjoy writing, this book is an enjoyable read just for its humor and excellent way of phrasing things - and you're bound to learn a thing or two along the way. I did find a few feminist, evolutionary, and anti-Christian remarks in the book, but on the whole, it is a great read.
  • The Family Meal Table and Hospitality by Nancy Campbell - This is an excellent resource for ideas to make your meals delicious, healthy, and unique, while uniting the family and reaching out to others. Quotes, poems, and stories are woven throughout to give inspiration and warmth. There are also discussion questions and lots of Scripture to start you thinking. It's a book I'll want to revisit when I have my own home one day.
  • Where Yesterday Lives by Karen Kingsbury - This novel follows a family as they grieve over the sudden death of their father and share memories - both good and bad. It tells the story of reconciliation, as each sibling has to work through their personal problems and the tensions between them. I wouldn't really recommend it, though. The story was gripping, but I didn't like the way one of the women reconnected with a lover from the past while having problems with her husband. No, they didn't go too far, and she ended up being recommitted to her husband, but it still wasn't the best story, in my opinion.
  • Sacred Singleness by Leslie Ludy - Having enjoyed many of Leslie's books, I was excited to get this book for Christmas (thanks, Miriam!). It left me with mixed feelings and a lot of questions, however. On the one hand, I was inspired by the stories of women living passionate, set-apart lives for God and serving Him in their singleness. Yet, sometimes it seems as though the examples in the book and experiences of the author are put forth as something all girls should do - when God has different things in store for different people. Its emphasis on finding contentment in Christ is good, but while holding up the opportunities of singleness, it seems to downplay the great way God can use women in marriage, as a wife and mother. I know that the balance between the two is hard to find, especially in writing when you want to say a point. Preparing for the practical aspects of marriage or helping your current family during this time didn't seem to be encouraged, but there was a good call for us to help the poor and outcast. The book also quoted from Get Married by Candice Watters (which I've read) and Getting Serious About Getting Married by Debbie Maken (which I haven't read), and refuted their encouragement of women to pursue marriage. I agreed with some of her reasoning, but also agreed with things Candice Watters had written - and some of the quotes (having read the entirety of Get Married) seemed out of context, making the author seem more radical and pushy than they really were. So, all-in-all, this book has left me a bit confused, caught between two authors I admire, seeing both of their points of view. It's a subject I hope to continue studying - from God's Word.
  • For the Love of God Volume 1 by D.A. Carson - This devotional book took you through the Old Testament once and the New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs twice over the course of a year. With approximately 4 chapters to read a day, and a 1-page reflection on one or more of the passages, it was an enjoyable guide.
  • My Utmost for His Highest (Updated Graduate Edition) by Oswald Chambers, edited by James Reimann - With different topics and a short devotional for each day, this was a nice supplement to my personal devotions. There are many insights I'd never noticed before, as well as challenging questions to think through. While his insights were good, sometimes it seemed as though some of the short verses he based his thoughts on were taken out of context. But, as a whole, I enjoyed these daily thoughts.
Currently Reading:
  • John Adams by David McCullough
  • Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs
  • Faith Alone by Martin Luther, edited by James C. Galvin
Miriam's Books

Completed This Month:
  • The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy - I was so happy to receive this book as a gift (thanks Gabrielle!). A most amusing piece of British literature and a most enjoyable reread.
  • Freefall by Kristen Heitzmann - A college friend highly recommended this book and I was glad I read it. A young woman has fallen down a waterfall and maintains little memory of what happened. As days pass, incidents help her remember little by little what happened and who she really is.
Currently Reading:
  • Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens
  • Get Married by Candice Watters
  • When God Writes Your Love Story by Eric and Leslie Ludy
What have you recently read? Any you would recommend?


Elizabeth Ellen Moore said...

You both read great books. I appreciate your reviews very much. The only book I have read from the ones mentioned here is When God Writes Your Love Story and it was a big help for me several years ago. I want to read a few of the books you reviewed, so thank you!

Ella said...

Hmmm, I will read that Karen Kingsbury novel anyway....I know they aren't for everybody, but I love to have "broken" characters, so we can see just how much God changes us.

However, I was more intrigued with your comments on Leslie's book. Mom and Dad got me "Get Married" for Christmas and I look forward to reading it. It gets my goat when people seem to promote singleness to the extreme that marriage seems to mean you can't serve the Lord....anyway, that's my opinion, for what it's worth

Marlana said...

I have (or had - not sure if I tossed it or not) On Writing Well. I did become a better writer because of it.

AuthorMama said...

Hi Anna and Miriam,

Just wanted to drop by and thank you for your review of Sacred Singleness. I picked up a copy from the library just before Christmas and was a bit flustered by it. I think your point about a few of my quotes being out-of-context helps explain why!

I especially love your commitment to weighing both against The Standard: God's Word!

Happy New Year,
Candice Watters

Robert said...

Nancy Campbell's book sounds good as I would like to do both family meals and hospitality in my own home one day.

Would you be able to mention some of the reasons she gave for not pursuing marriage? I would've thought she was for marriage.

Recently I've read Home-Making by J R Miller and Romance God's Way by Eric and Leslie Ludy.One book I read that I would recommend is The Ordinary Princess by M.M. Kaye.

Anna Naomi said...

Robert: Leslie Ludy is for marriage - I hope I haven't given the impression that she isn't. I've enjoyed many books that she and her husband have written about their love story, and about waiting for you own. Sacred Singleness is a book about singleness, so that's probably why it's about being content in your singleness, not impatient and doing nothing as you wait for Prince Charming to come. What she takes issue with is pursuing marriage - doing things to try to help it happen. She believes that you should be so content in your singleness and leave it to God to bring the person to you in the right time. I agree with that - to a point. I think the book may have gone a little too far in encouraging singles not to look for marriage too much, however. Yes, God will bring the right man along in His time, but I don't think girls should shun talking about marriage and looking forward to and preparing for it. But, I don't think we should be impatient and not do anything in our singleness, so I agree with her there. It's a fine balance to find between the two, I know, but I do think there's a way.

Hopefully I'm not too confusing - it's hard to put these thoughts into words for some reason.

Joanna said...

I just read "Freefall" as I saw it on your list and you recommended it.
I cannot recommend it at all.

Not only was it improper at times and such, it was also against Biblical standards regarding male and female physical relationships. The fact that the author quoted Scripture and had prayer, etc, in it did nothing to hide the fact it was against God's holy standards.

I was sorely disappointed.

Miriam Rebekah said...

I appreciate your comment. I agree with all that you said regarding the physical part. I'm afraid I overlooked that because I enjoyed the mystery/suspense part of the book.

I don't condone any of the characters' actions and did disagree on many points.

Robert said...

Sorry I took so long to reply.I now understand what you meant.

It sounds to me that she confuses desiring marriage with pursuing it.It's fine for females to think about marriage and develop homemaking skills while being content to wait on God's timing.It's a fine line between the two.As Elisabeth Elliot said "Trusting God to take care of your love life is a rigorous daily exercise of faith".

It seems to follow the modern trend of promoting singleness over marriage as the way to serve the Lord.Like you said,we need to seek God's word.

From another site I saw that Leslie Ludy has a new book out.

Joanna said...


Thank you so much for clarifying! I understand your point now, but in the future it might've helped me if you had mentioned that you didn't necessarily agree with all the book regarding the physical relationships.

But thanks for clearing that up, Miriam! I reallly respect yours and Anna's thoughts on books and recommendations, that's why I was concerned.

God bless you!