Literate Getaway - My January Reads
I know it's not January anymore, but I've read some good books already this year, and I want to share them with you (better late than never)! I'm keeping a 2017 list of books I read, and this month gave me a great start. Without further ado:
No More Faking Fine: Ending The Pretending (Esther Fleece)
Author, Esther Fleece, bravely tells readers her story, even though parts of it are hard and raw. I admire that so much. Then, she tells us ways to emerge victorious, by exploring the lost art of lament. This book was equal parts good story-telling and helpful teaching. I'd highly recommend it to anyone who needs to process great loss, or those who have a heart for helping the hurting.
Making Marriage Beautiful: Lifelong Love, Joy & Intimacy Start With You (Dorothy L. Greco)
Dorothy and her husband open wide the doors of their marriage in this one. Using personal examples from their own lives, and other couples' who were interviewed for this book, readers will learn a lot about patience, forgiveness and accepting the whole spousal package you marry. For me, this book offered a lot of teaching on interpersonal relationships of any kind. I thought it went a long way in explaining our behaviors in general. A lot of wisdom here.
Mamaleh Knows Best: What Jewish Mothers Do To Raise Successful, Creative, Empathetic, Independent Children (Marjorie Ingall)
I didn't know a parenting book could be so funny, but here we have it. Marjorie Ingall is a well-established writer who wanted to share the wisdom she's discovered from her Jewish heritage. You'll learn about Jewish history, modern-day Jewish practices and a whole wealth of information about ways Jewish mothers encourage their children to be self-thinking individuals who consider others as well. This book was full of good insight. Ingall's children go to public school, but attend Jewish classes after school on Mondays and Wednesdays. Here are some of her thoughts on this:
I agonized about this decision... even though like many American Jews, we couldn't have afforded Jewish day school for two kids anyway. I loved the feeling of being transported by prayer; I loved the ancient melodies we learned; I had pride about studying Jewish texts; I wished my kids could be as fluent in Hebrew as I was.... they've never even been taught Hebrew script. It pains me.
The End of Protestantism: Pursuing Unity In A Fragmented Church (Peter J. Leithart)
This book is a little heady but I loved the subject matter. He presents the idea of doing church with those we disagree with, and managing to do it well. The ideas presented here went along well with my study of church history, back to a time when we were ONE church. I thought this book could have went into more detail about how to make this church (he calls it the reformed Catholic church) actually happen.
Katharine And Martin Luther: The Radical Marriage Of A Runaway Nun And A Renegade Monk (Michelle DeRusha)
I'm wild about church history, so I was excited about this one. It did not disappoint. The book reads more like a story, showing readers the family side of Luther and his wife, Katharina. The most fascinating part was learning how Luther and Katharina adhered to the ways of their time, and where they pioneered new ways of living. I cannot imagine what a big project writing this book was, and DeRusha did a fine, fine job with it!
Just two quotes: Luther insisted that his aim was not to overthrow or even to undermine the papacy, but simply to suggest that the pope was human - that he could, in fact, be wrong.
The general population decided to support Luther's reforms, and in doing so they ensured that those reforms would be upheld. It was an idea whose time had come.
The Girls In the Garden (Lisa Jewell)
This book was a whodunit of sorts, starting out with an attack on a young lady in a communal park in London. There were plenty of possible suspects. In the midst of this scenario, we read about the families who'd lived around this park for years, and about the new family who moved there recently out of necessity. It's an easy book to get lost in for a while, as any good fiction book should be.
Before the Fall (Noah Hawley)
This one could be a movie. You read it here first. A wandering artist ends up befriending the wife of a ridiculously rich man, at a farmer's market on Martha's Vineyard. Very casual. In conversation one day, the man mentions to the wife that he has an appointment in New York the following day. The wife invites him to join herself and a handful of other people returning to New York on a private jet. Sounds like a good offer, yes? Until the plane goes down, and the only two survivors are the artist and the rich couple's young son. Figuring out what happened will take months, and change the lives of everyone involved forever. So good!
I received a copy of Making Marriage Beautiful, The End of Protestantism, The Girls in the Garden and Before the Fall from NetGalley for the purpose of generating a review. I received a copy of No More Faking Fine and Katharina and Martin Luther in exchange for helping to promote these books through a launch team. I received a copy of Mamaleh Knows Best from Blogging for Books for the purpose of generating a review. Italicized quotes are from the books. The opinions expressed here are my own.