December212012.info
FREEBIE LIBRARY!
Join my email list and get FREE ACCESS to the MSM Freebie Library, including my top printables & eBooks.

Tag Archive: Book Reviews

Books Read in April and May: Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, Life On the Wire + more

So, I have to confess something to you all: I kind of had a bad attitude about . I know that sounds weird, but it’s true. I’m someone who tends to go against the grain instead of just following the pack, so I figured there’s no way this book could really live up to the over-the-top rave reviews everyone kept giving me. And, because of this, I had a negative bias from the get-go.

But (you knew this was coming!) I loved the book. I read it in one setting and have been itching to bake crusty loaves of bread ever since. The book made it sound so easy, so doable and so delicious.

I’m sold — and I’ve not even made the bread yet! Provided the bread turns out as well as the rest of the world proclaims it does, this book is a blue-ribbon winner. Stay tuned for later this year when I share about my adventures in baking Artisan Bread as part of my Do-It-Yourself Experiment series.

Also read in April and May:

— I picked up this book because Dave Ramsey recommended it and it looked like a great book on balancing — an area I can always improve in. I loved the first few pages of the book, but it grew somewhat tiresome to me after that. I think perhaps the book’s method of presentation just didn’t appeal to the way I process and organize my life. That said, if you feel like your work and life balance needs some serious help, this book might be very beneficial to you.

— This is a book for Christian women on finding God’s purpose for your life and not trying to be superwoman. While there were some helpful thoughts, overall, I didn’t find the suggestions or ideas to be earth-shattering. And, like Life on the Wire, it seemed to drag on and I felt like I was slogging through it, at times.

— Read my review of this ebook here. (In my review, I failed to mention that this ebook is written for Christian stay-at-home moms primarily. If you work outside the home, you might not find it as helpful. I’d also love to see the book professionally edited as I did find some typographical errors, as well as structural dissonance. But overall, I loved it and think it would be a great encouragement to many stay-at-home moms who are feeling overwhelmed.)

— I wouldn’t agree with all the ideas and methodology presented in this book and, like 31 Days to Clean, it’s written for Christian, homeschooling, married stay-at-home moms. However, even though we don’t have a large family, I was very inspired by this book and the suggestions and practical tips the author outlined. I’ve been seeking to implement some of them in our home organization with great results. Now I just need to read a book on having discipline to follow through with all my good intentions! 🙂

— A friend loaned me this book and it was excellent. If you’re a Christian who struggles with how grace and truth are to be lived out in our lives, this little volume is packed with food for thought. It was my first Randy Alcorn book and now I want to read everything he’s written!

— The children and I were mesmerized by this book’s tales of surviving a frigidly cold winter. It’s hard to imagine what that would be like as we sit in our comfortable air-conditioned home. And I realize I probably can never complain about the weather for the rest of my life!

24 Books I Plan to Read in 2011

Business and Financial Books I Plan to Read and Review This Year:

January — 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think
February —

March —
April —
May —
June —
July —
August —
September —
October —
November —
December –

Other Books I Plan to Read This Year:
January — Calm My Anxious Heart: A Woman’s Guide to Finding Contentment
February —
March —
April —
May —
June —
July —
August —
September —
October —
November —
December –

What books have you read recently? Any you’d highly recommend?

(Note: The Amazon.com links in this post are affiliate links. Read our .)

Books Read in March: Becoming a Person of Influence, The Possibilities of Prayer, ReWork, By the Shores of Silver Lake


I feel like so many of the books I’ve been reading recently I’ve dubbed “excellent”. It’s becoming a bit redundant or overused, but seriously, is yet another superb book.

I was inspired to listen more, encourage others more and go out of my way to build up and believe in other people. While I love to motivate people, I sometimes can become so focused on my projects and to-do list that I don’t make people as much of a priority as I should in my life.

This book challenged me in many ways. The biggest? If I want to make a difference in others’ lives, I have to take the time to invest in their lives.

I look back at some of the people who’ve had the greatest influence on me and I know it was because they weren’t too busy to listen, to help, to encourage and to take time for me. I want to be that kind of person for others, as well. This book truly inspired me to do so and gave me ideas for how to practically implement this.

Also read in March:

— I’ve read a few of E.M. Bounds’ books before and have always been blessed by them. While this wasn’t my very favorite book of his and I disagreed with some of the theology, it was full of encouragement regarding the necessity and blessings of prayer.

— Hands down, this is one of the best business books I’ve ever read. In fact, if you know me well in real-life, you’ve probably heard me blabber on about it the past few weeks since I loved it so much. I read it in one sitting because I just couldn’t put it down.

The premise? Break all the rules of the “experts”. Think way outside the box. Be a teacher: if a business idea works well for you, share your secrets and people will respect you more. Stop worrying about your competition and start being a trend-setter. Keep your company small for as long as you possibly can. Don’t grow until it hurts.

(Note: There is a quite a bit of language in the book and I was disappointed because it somewhat hampered my excitement about the book. And I know some disagree with me, but I always find four letter words in books bothersome because I feel like they are unnecessary and crude.)

— The children and I loved reading this together. We’re almost sad that we’re nearing the end of the Little House series because we’ve enjoyed reading it together so much!

24 Books I Plan to Read in 2011

Business and Financial Books I Plan to Read and Review This Year:

January — 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think
February —
March —

April —
May —
June —
July —
August —
September —
October —
November —
December –

Other Books I Plan to Read This Year:
January — Calm My Anxious Heart: A Woman’s Guide to Finding Contentment
February —
March —

April —
May —
June —
July —
August —
September —
October —
November —
December –

What books have you read recently? Any you’d highly recommend?

(Note: The Amazon.com links in this post are affiliate links. Read our .)

Books Read in February: Organized Simplicity, Pour Your Heart Into It, On the Banks of Plum Creek

I was excited to read by my friend, Tsh, from . I’ve long followed and loved .

Truthfully, though, I figured the message of this book would probably be something I was well familiar with. And I figured the book would be filled with  ideas I was mostly already living out.

Well, I was wrong.

In fact, it’s hard for me to describe in words how reading impacted me. The beauty of the book drew me in, but the message of the book convicted me more than I ever imagined it would.

(Me reading while on a trip with my husband this week — more on our special getaway tomorrow! Chapter 7 was my very favorite chapter of the entire book.)

As many of you well know, I love simplicity and I strive to only have a things we love and use in our home. But in the last few months, consumerism and busyness has inched its way into my heart and life — without me even realizing it.

Reading was a wake up call for me. It forced me to examine my life, stuff and to-do list in a whole new light. I realized that maybe I wasn’t as much of a minimalist as I thought I was — especially if you were to open some of my closets and cupboards! 🙂

I usually go through our whole house from top to bottom twice a year and aggressively eliminate things which we no longer love and use. And while this book inspired me to do another total house overhaul, more than just eliminating stuff, it caused me to dig down deeper and examine my heart and what simple living really means for our own family.

Tsh’s thoughts in chapter seven on streamlining your life so you can savor the moments that matter especially hit home for me. Life can become so busy. really challenged me to be purposefully intentional and prioritize my life so I don’t miss out on those precious fleeting moments.

Want to get a copy of Organized Simplicity for free? Go here to enter to win one of ten copies.

(Pages of notes I took from )

Also read in February:

— This was an interesting book written by the CEO and Chairman of Starbucks on how Starbucks was born and the company philosophies and practices which have made it so successful. It’s a story of hope and perseverance and one which I found inspiring, though the book did drag a little at times. (Note: There is a little bit of language in the book. And I know some disagree with me, but I always find four letter words in books bothersome because I feel like they are unnecessary and crude.)

— Finished reading this next Little House book aloud to the children. We loved this book, though, after a few weeks of cold and snow here, I cannot imagine what it would be like to live without modern conveniences in the long, cold winter blizzards!

24 Books I Plan to Read in 2011

Business and Financial Books I Plan to Read and Review This Year:

January — 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think
February —

March —
April —
May —
June —
July —
August —
September —
October —
November —
December –

Other Books I Plan to Read This Year:
January — Calm My Anxious Heart: A Woman’s Guide to Finding Contentment
February —

March —
April —
May —
June —
July —
August —
September —
October —
November —
December –

What books have you read recently? Any you’d highly recommend?