2012 Books

I read this book in an afternoon, and it is a great faith-refresher and thought-provoker.  It is the true story, written by Don Piper, a Baptist minister from Texas.  He was in a terrible car accident and was declared dead.  For 90 minutes, as his body laid - without a pulse - in his tarp-covered car, he was in heaven.  This is his account of that experience, and the story of his journey of healing his physical body.  A moving, remarkable story. Worth reading if you need a spiritual reminder of present-day miracles.


"This is the story of a year in which we made every attempt to feed ourselves animals and vegetables whose provenance we really knew . . . and of how our family was changed by our first year of deliberately eating food produced from the same place where we worked, went to school, loved our neighbors, drank the water, and breathed the air."

This was a book that forced me to take a good, hard look at the way our family ate.  Kingslover and her family took on the challenge of eating only local foods and ingredients for one year.  They grew and raised their own food.  They shopped only at farmer's markets and got produce from their neighbors.  The concept of eating seasonally is something that is lost on Americans now, but it wasn't always.  This beautifully written book reminds us to think about where your food came from, and what went into making it.  Great book.

This was a free downloaded book I read on my Kindle.  It is a memoir written by a woman who was a teen mom. The story itself is anti-climatic and the book left me wondering about what has happened to the main characters since the story took place (in 1980). The writing feels immature and leaves a lot to be desired.  It is written as if directed to perhaps a teenage audience, although the book is not marketed that way.  I read the entire book because it was a moving story and I found it to be something I could relate to. I would recommend the book to someone with a teen daughter or a teenage girl herself.  It brings to light a lot of the young journey that mothers and daughters sometimes fail to consider in the situation.

What a beautifully written book.  I felt a strong fondness for it immediately, as it was set in Indiana - my home state.  The book isn't exactly a story, rather a collection of stories that read like one continuous childhood.  The stories are written in a childlike manner, explaining young Zippy's reasoning and thought processes behind the little things girls do - namely little girls from small town Indiana in the 60's who hated to wear shoes.  Somehow this story sucked me in, beginning to end, and I was so, so sad when it ended in the sweetest way.  I wanted to read just a little more.

"I have since discovered that all men of a certain age tell this story, and they give themselves away by always using the same fruit.  I have yet to meet the father who will look his child in the eye and say, "I was happy just to get some seedless grapes." But whatever the motive for this general fiction, it works.  So what if my stuffed dog molted and gave me an upper respiratory illness?  At least Santa had remembered me, and at least I didn't have to eat it."  Was Kimmel's (Zippy's) thought process after her father told her he was happy to just get an orange for Christmas, a familiar story.  

This is a great book. You should get a cup of tea and a blanket and a cat at your feet and sit quietly and read it. Turn off your cell phone. Go. 

D and the boys got me a Kindle Fire for Mother's Day, which was an awesome gift, maybe one of the best in the history of history.  This was the first book I completed on it, and I was not disappointed.  

David Bruno wrote this book, documenting his year-long journey doing the 100 Thing Challenge.  The challenge, which he created, was to live for one year with only 100 personal possessions. David is a married, Christian man with a wife and three daughters who weren't participating in the challenge.  An active outdoors man, he had quite a bit of difficulty whittling down his adventure gear, but he did it, recognizing that things were just things. Taking inspiration from the Bible, (The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps." {Proverbs 16:9})  his family ("Bloom where you are planted" -Leanne, his wife), and his creative mind, Dave successfully completed the year and came out an enlightened and changed man. 

"Sooner or later, if we hope to grow up, we have to confront the opposite imperative: that our rights and the realization of our desires are limited by human nature, by human community, and by the nature of the places in which we live." - Wendell Barry, Another Turn of the Crank

This book was inspiring.  It brought to light a lot of unsettling habits the American consumer falls into, myself included.  It taught me a lot about why we buy, buy, buy, and how the economy is designed to be basically self-sustaining, to the detriment of our own closet space.  It has changed my way of thinking and made me a much more conscientious consumer. It was an easy read, heartfelt and attached. 

"I have come to believe that contentment is a virtue we can aspire to rather than a state we can achieve." -Dave Bruno
100 Thing Challenge

I'm proud I finished and comprehended this book.  I have referred back to it and used the website as a tool several times since I finished it, and I have to say that it completely changed my relationship with money.  Being a single mom for 6 years made my relationship with money a strained, directionless one for a long time. Marrying D and having to go from that to managing an entire household's money was very rocky at first, frighteningly so.  Dave Ramsey is a Christian man, with morals and values similar to our family's, so his approach to managing money was not only emotionally fitting for me, but made sense.  It was in plain English.  This book mapped out a simple plan for our family's finances that I have followed and seen results.  I could go on.  I want to go on.  I'll just say that if you're in debt or if you don't have a healthy relationship with your money, read this.  Learn how to 'live like no one else so you can live like no one else.' You will feel empowered and prepared in every way to make the changes you need to make with this book in your hand and God on your side. If you pay bills, you should read this book.   -S.

I finished this book in about 2 days, which is a feat for anyone with a baby.  As difficult as it was for me to not look up who played whom on iMDb, I really wish I would have read it before the movie came out.  Still, it was a moving story, well written and an easy read.  -S.

Heft drew me in the moment I started it.  Written by a woman, in first person, as two different men, it was amazing to me how accurate it seemed to depict how the two men might feel or behave in their unique situations.  This book was extremely well-written and moving.  I felt lonely when the characters did.  I felt relief when they did. I was sad, scared, and felt angst when they did. For me, the true test of a novel is whether or not it makes me feel anything. Heft did. My only complaint is in the way the ending wasn't quite an ending, but I can deal with that. The story was beautiful. -S.

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