Book Recommendations & Reviews

Good Reads (Novels)

"The Shack" Wm. Paul Young
I have loved God for as long as I can remember, but this book moved me in a way that no other book has ever done. I suppose it is the unique take on the persona of God. I am sure there are some fallacies in the theory, but, for the most part, this man's way of putting his ideas into words touched me & rang so true that I have begun to evaluate my feelings & "idea" of God somewhat differently. I was comforted by this book, and feel that anyone who has difficulty in relating to God should definitely read this book.

"Crowned at the Cross" Gelina Gilbert
When I picked up this book, it was with a critical mind & an eye searching for mistakes. You see, I know the teenaged author of this book. In fact, I have known her since she was a very small girl. She has just graduated from high school & this is her first published novel although she has been writing prolifically for years. My daughter is friends with her & got the book right away. So, I started reading it with a chuckle in my heart ("isn't this cute?"). My inward chuckles turned to awe & eager anticipation for the next time I could sit down to immerse myself in her pages! This book is a WONDERFUL novel set in Rome during the years of Christian martyrdom. Again, I was touched by the lives of the characters & was given pause to think about how I would handle the situations they found themselves in.
I spoke with Gelina this past weekend & told her we were eagerly awaiting a sequel! A great addition to your family library...also a good read-along with your kids...discussions on faith are sure to follow!

"The Christmas Sweater" Glen Beck
This book moved me. I thoroughly enjoyed this semi-autobiography by the popular talk show host. Although it is written from a young boy's viewpoint, it is a very poignant tale of gratitude. I have made this book required reading for all 3 of my oldest kids. My son, aged 10, read it (begrudgingly at first)and was eager to discuss it when he was done. My girls were the same way!
*Note* We were fortunate to be able to see Glen Beck dramatize this story when he was promoting it. It made men & women alike laugh as well as cry! Then, we all went out & bought the book, read it & shared it!

Help Yourself Grow

"Five Love Languages" Gary Chapman
I believe this is a must-read book for ages 13 & up! I have already had my 2 teenaged daughters read it & have seen where they have benefitted in their relationships with others, including their siblings. Each of us has a "language" of love; something that translates love to our hearts. If we only show love to others in the ways that make us feel most loved, chances are, we aren't getting our affection across to them in a way that they can understand. I do believe this is the first book I remember reading that truly changed my life & my thinking, and...for the better!

"Created to be His Helpmeet" Debi Pearl
This book is so convicting that I have yet to be able to read it all the way through. I find that I must stop & work on what I've just read about before I can continue. Even if you & your hubby have a great relationship (as we do), there is ALWAYS room for improvement. The author describes the different types of men, and you will easily be able to find your spouse in the descriptions. Then, she goes through & very specifically talks about how to be the wife your type of husband needs in order to best help him meet his responsibilities.
Although I have yet to have a daughter get married, I am planning to give this book to each of them upon their marriages...and maybe even my daughters-in-law, too!

Raising Your Kids

"What to Expect When You're Expecting"
I was unsure whether to catagorize this one here or under 'Growing Yourself' *snicker*. My mother gave me this book when I found out I was pregnant with my first child, and it quickly became my "pregnancy bible". I turned to it's pages with ALL 8 pregnancies, and learned something new everytime. Since I am pretty sure we are done, I have packed it away to pass on to my daughters. I have given this book to many young moms-to-be. *Hint* Look for this book at children's resale shops & thrift stores as it is very popular & also a little bit pricey. I often pick one up when I see it second-hand & pass it on. Also, look for the companion books "What to Expect the First Year", and "What to Expect the Toddler Years". All are very handy to have around.

"On Becoming BabyWise" Gary Ezzo & Robert Bucknam, M.D.
This book was my infant bible! The premise of this book is in training your infant to have a healthy eat, wake, sleep cycle. Following the principles in this book is what helped me to keep my sanity in the days & months following the births of numbers 5-8! It was especially a joy with babies number 7 & 8 since they were only 10 1/2 months apart. While I know many parents believe that scheduling a baby isn't right (I was once of that belief, too), my answer to that thought is that, "You just haven't tried it!" If you put forth the effort to put the plan into action, the benefits you will have include, but are not limited to: A happy well-rested baby & parents, a dependable day, knowledge of why your baby is fussing, & how to meet your baby's needs.
*Note* This book can sometimes be hard to find. I recommend searching your local thrift stores & children's resale shops.

To Train Up a Child" Michael & Debi Pearl
This book, in conjuction with the Bible, is the cornerstone of our parenting. Given to me at a time when I was truly struggling as a new parent, it opened my eyes to the differences between training & disciplining children. The Pearls outline how consistent parenting helps a child to feel secure & loved. Some of the ideas were hard to swallow as a new parent, but the longer I have been a parent, the more I have turned back to its pages & gleaned more wisdom from these old-time, Bible-believing, God-loving parents. In putting these truths into practice, we enjoy a peaceful, loving home with 10 people in it! Not to toot our own horn, but utilizing the principles laid out by the Pearls has earned us & our children numerous compliments by perfect strangers in situations where children usually aren't well tolerated! I regularly give this book as a baby shower gift.

"The Birth Order Book" Dr. Kevin Leman
I found this book truly fascinating, and maybe even a little eerie! As the author goes through the firstborn, secondborn, youngest child, etc. character traits, you cannot help but compare his findings to anyone you may know in those familial positions. More often than not, he is dead on! This book has helped me understand my kids much better, and, even some adults close to me. If you have any questions as to why your child, spouse, sibling, parent, friend...behaves the way they do, you might want to pick up this book & gain some insight into their thought process.

"Bringing Up Boys" Dr. James Dobson
Being raised with only 1 female sibling, I had pretty much NO idea what to expect when my 3rd child was born a boy! Quite frankly, he scared me! From the get-go, he was different, and he still is (as are his brothers), from his sisters. Being a reader, I turned to this book which had just come out around the time of my son's birth. This book was a fascinating study of how a boy is made up. God has designed the male child with the leadership abilities he will need as an adult from the very beginning. I was so relieved to know that the confrontational spirit my son had towards me was normal (although it was not tolerated), and that he has an innate natural NEED to spend time with his dad & brothers. Male bonding is legit! As a result of reading this book, I have been able to "read" my sons & their needs for "Dad" time, physical release through rough housing & extreme play (only allowed when mom isn't home, please!), and a chance to work & be "in charge". This book should be on the bedside table of any parent of boys!

Kid's Reads

"Preparing to be His Helpmeet" Debi Pearl
I must admit that I have not actually read this book...yet. However, I wanted to include it while I was thinking about it. Both of my teenaged daughters have read this, and have raved about how helpful it was to them. In fact, my eldest daughter devoured it in about a day! I will read it & give more detail soon.

Appropriate for: Girls ages 13+

Miscellaneous & Other Good Stuff