Thursday, May 1, 2014

April Book Report

So much good reading this month! There's something so exciting about having a stack of gems like these on your nightstand, wondering which to read first.

This was a re-read for me, but I loved it as much as I did the first time. Peterson has such a genuine, peaceful faith; gospel-centered and full of love. This memoir recounts some of his early memories of ministry, each one an intricately weaved tale; often surprisingly funny. This is one of those books I want to read over and over because his life, ministry, walk with God is one worth emulating.

I am not a foodie, but I love food writing. I'm a walking contradiction. So when this came highly recommended, I dashed to library and snatched up a copy. It is well-written, the stories bizarrely entertaining. I'm glad I read it, but it wasn't quite what I expected. I think I prefer my food memoirs lush and excquisitely European (a la Julia Child's My Life in France) as opposed to the 1960s California scene. But that's just me.

I was so darn tickled when my friend let me borrow this book - I've been dying to read it since it came out. And it didn't dissapoint. I was happily surprised to find that this didn't read like a "how-to" book. It wasn't an elongated blog post or a set of points, it was pure story. Oxendreider chronicles her and her family's ongoing quest for simplicity and a slower lifestyle - something they've been working at for years, as opposed to a random "Hey, I bet I could write a book about this!" experiment. There's nothing revolutionary about this family's lifestyle, and that's what I love about it. It's descriptive rather than prescriptive. I have to admit, some of the chapters were hard for me to relate to, as the bulk of this bulk is about motherhood. But overall it is a beautiful book, well-written and quietly inspiring.

I like Annie Dillard. I couldn't read her for hours and hours on end, but I like her. It's kind of funny that her Pulitzer Prize-winning classic is the last of her books I've read, but I'm glad I saved it for this quiet, rainy spring. While I've always heard so much about it, I never realized that it was such a profound spiritual work; though she's talking bugs and parasites half the time, it's really all about the Gospel. Some parts of it dragged on a little, but just as I was thinking, "Is she seriously talking about muskrats again?" she went and blew my mind with some deep spiritual truth. Read it, you won't regret it. 

I think I am the only person on the planet who did not love this book. Don't hate me. To be fair, I am not the biggest fan of young adult literature; witty, snaryky teenagers falling in love with other witty, snarky teenagers just isn't my thing. There were a lot of things that I appreciated about the book, including the way Green handles the characters' cancer. Realistic, not overly dramatized. But by the time I finished the last page I was left wondering what all the fuss was about. It's worth picking up if you're looking for a quick read or something to talk about with your thirteen-year-old niece.

Happy reading, friends!


  1. So glad to hear a review that did not favour The Fault in Our Stars! I'm with you on that one.

  2. I loved this review of The Fault in Our Stars

    And I liked the book because to me, it was more about Hazel's relationship with her parents than her relationship with Gus. Being with Gus made her realize that she wasn't a time bomb - that it was a gift just knowing her at all. It gave her peace about dying. That her parents would rather have a sick Hazel than no Hazel at all. Yeah, it was cheesy at times, but I think it dealt with young death in a delicate and insightful way.

  3. if you like food writing, you have to read A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenburg. She is the author of the amazing blog, Orangette. AND her new book comes out this weeK!!!

  4. I've been considering reading the Oxenreider book, but had the same reservations as you. Glad to hear it's not a how-to book!

    I haven't read FIOS yet because I have a feeling I'm not going to like it either! My husband is reading it very slowly and said it's better taking it in small doses. I'm a read-a-book-in-one-afternoon type of gal, so I don't think that will work for me :)


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