Friday, June 19, 2015

More Good Books

I've been at it again.  I simply love to read, and love passing on the good things I read to
others.  With that in mind, I just finished another round of books that I've found enlightening and enriching that I thought I'd pass on for anyone looking for a good read.

The Intentional Family: Simple Rituals to Strengthen Family Ties- This is one of the books that our Modern Parenting book group at church read, and I thought it was definitely worth the read.  The title really says it all, because this book is chock full of practical and realistic examples of simple ways to incorporate ritual into our family's everyday lives.

As author William Doherty explains, ritual is what makes a family intentional, because a ritual is something that has meaning and is repeated over time.  He includes ideas for mealtime rituals, bedtime rituals, and even rituals for date nights and family celebrations.  The book was affirming and reminded me that it's ritual and intentionality that holds families together and helps pave the way for our kids to have the healthy, productive life that, as parents, we want them to have.

A Spool of Blue Thread- Though this book took a little while to get into, it did not disappoint.  Anne Tyler did a great job of developing the characters-- there was nothing exceptional about them, but that's what makes them so real.  It's as though you could imagine running into them on the street or knowing one of them in your own life.  To me, that is the mark of a good book, because though it is fiction, it gives glimpses into real life and what makes people tick, and the sociologist in me loves when this happens.

The Road to Character- I was introduced to the Road to Character by David Brooks through a show on MPR.  He was a guest at the Westminster Town Hall Forum, and if I wasn't driving as I listened, I would have been taking lots of notes.  One of the reasons I appreciated what he had to say so much is probably because the values that David Brooks lifted up are ones that are important to me too.  In a society that is so driven by success and wealth, Brooks "challenges his readers (and himself) to rebalance the scales between our r'esume virtues' and our 'eulogy virtues"" and to me, it is those virtues-- kindness, bravery, honesty and faithfulness-- that our world needs a lot more of.

Bridge to Haven- I haven't read a book by Francine Rivers since I read Redeeming Love, which is a fictional take on the book of Hosea.  That book was great and so when this one was passed on to me, I decided to give it a try and I'm glad I did.  I had a hunch early on how the story would end, but there were a lot of pages yet to go and a lot that happened before the story came to its close.  It reminded me of an author once saying that as important as it was to figure out how two characters would get together, it's just as important to sometimes keep them apart.  Something I didn't expect from the book was how much it would make me think about trusting God- how difficult that sometimes is but how necessary it is too, all at the same time.

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