Thursday, April 07, 2011

Book Review

Oh my there are a lot of books to review this month so sit tight. I've found that it is rare that I don't like a book (a few instances I didn't such as here and here) and it's kind of fun to me when I find one I don't. I don't know if that means that I'm interested in many subjects or if I don't like being critical or what but either way here are all the books I enjoyed this month....

The Color Purple was last month's book club pick and we all got together to watch the movie Tuesday night whilst we discussed it. I really enjoyed this book and it's a fast read because of the style it's written in. The subject matter might be hard for some people to read and it will stir lots of emotions in you, but overall I liked it. I thought the movie was good too but we didn't realize how long it was so we skipped around some. I give the book an 8.

Snowflower and the Secret Fan was a book recommended to me by book club members since they all had read it and enjoyed it before I was in the club. It's about a woman in 19th century China recounting her life and the special friendship she had with her "old same" Snow Flower. I would call this a historical fiction book (even though the characters are completely made up) because of how in depth you learn about a woman's life in that era of China. From footbinding to staying in an upstairs chamber pretty much 24/7 it wasn't an easy life but it sure was fascinating to read about. (So unreal to me that they were still binding feet in remote parts of China only 60 years ago!) Anyway I loved this book not only for the historical facts but for the wonderful tale of friendship. I wanted to start calling my best buds "Old Sames" after this but none of them have read it so I didn't. I give it a 9.

The Girl Who Played with Fire is the second in the Millenium series and I think I liked this one better than the first. I"m really looking forward to the third. Lots of characters again so it didn't start connecting them and getting interesting until about 100 pages in but I at least expected it from the last book. There's a girl in my Zumba class that I picture Lisbeth Salander as. The only thing I don't like about the book is how much he names certain streets and towns and specifics of Sweden. I can't figure out if that's just his style or because he was an actual journalist or if it's so Swedes would be like "Oh cool I know where THAT is" when they were reading it, but since I'm no swede it's lost on me. I give it a 9.

Saving Sammy--Curing the Boy Who Caught OCD was a fascinating read. It is the true story of a boy who developed OCD and tourettes syndrome seemingly over night when he was 12. After dealing with some horribly rude professionals, this mother did her own research and found the right specialists to help her son. Apparently there is a connection to some compulsive behaviors and the strep A bacteria (PANDAS). After 3 years of being on a high dose of antibiotics this boy was cured of all his extreme compulsions. My heart broke so many times reading how much this family sacrificed and how many people they were up against in the medical community. So many doctors who didn't even want to listen or help. But it was inspiring to read how much this mom stood up for her beliefs and for her son. Even if you disagree with the prognosis or how she handled it, I thought it was a great book about trusting your mother's instinct and I always love a true story! I give it a 7.5

Parenting can skip this last part if you have no interest in discipline methods

Liv has become a typical toddler who is testing her limits left and right and I thought I'd brush up on some discipline books to see if there are some other creative methods out there that might work. The trouble with discipline books is that according to the authors their methods work 100% of the time and always work the first time and then they never have that problem again! And they usually don't take into account that the methods that work for one child may not work for another, but anyway the first book I read is floating around our play group and is called To Train Up a Child (see their ministry page here). I liked a lot of things this guy had to say about training your child so you don't have to discipline, but a lot of it is about "the philosophy of the rod" and how spanking with a willow switch will cure EVERY kind of issue you could have. I don't think spanking is wrong (I do believe there is a wrong way to do it) but I also don't think it works for every scenario. He also liked to call all public educated people brainwashed socialists and said that if you play with Barbies you will grow up to be a sex goddess ('ll have to ask my husband if my Barbie playing days helped in the bedroom but I don't think so) Anyway I'm really not wanting to go on and on about these books so I'll shut up now. I'll give it a 5 since I thought maybe half of it was helpful!

The other parenting book I read and found to be a little helpful was the Love and Logic for Early Childhood. The whole love and logic philosophy is to teach kids natural consequences for their actions (within reason) and they had many helpful examples to treat common behavior issues but I'll have to read this again when Liv is a bit older because most of it wouldn't work for kids her age. But they did offer tips for toddlers too. Once again I was annoyed how the authors thought their genius methods would work 100% of the time for 100% of the population but whatever. This seemed a bit more practical and I give it an 8.

Can't get enough of child rearing books?....oh there will be another in the next post don't you worry. What are you reading?


Anonymous said...

Randy Alcorn's Dominion and I'm reading the Elm Creek Quilters series by Chivirani. I could run to the bedroom and see if I spelled that right, but I'm too lazy. Reading her series makes me want to learn to quilt like my Mom and Grandma did. And by the way, you are doing a great job raising sweet Olivia. She's just a baby and all this too shall pass. I love you all, Mom aka Gma

Leslie said...

Oh man. Reading your reviews are always a special treat, but getting to the Barbie correlation with bedroom shenanigans just about had me peeing my pants!


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