On Becca’s Bookshelf // January & February 2016 Edition

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Here is another series of book reviews, although I am falling farther and farther behind in their timeliness! It’s fascinating to come back to these books months later and remember what stuck with me and affected me.


ALICE’S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND by Lewis Carroll — Stranger than I thought it would be! Still, I appreciated finally reading the book behind so much art, culture, and fantasy. I read this aloud to four-year-old Lena, and I am sure she didn’t retain much of it, so I think we’ll have to read it again in a couple of years. P.S. This is the beautiful edition that we read! Love the illustrations. — 3 stars


BABY CATCHER: CHRONICLES OF A MODERN MIDWIFE by Peggy Vincent — The highly readable, endlessly entertaining account of a midwife who was practicing during the “wild west” of midwifery before a lot of our modern laws came into effect. Made me laugh out loud as well as cry. For those who love birth stories, or even just want to see inside the mind of the assistants/nurses/doctors at childbirth, this is a wonderful read. — 5 stars


CLEANING HOUSE: A MOM’S TWELVE-MONTH EXPERIMENT TO RID HER HOME OF YOUTH ENTITLEMENT by Kay Wills Wyma Easy to read, kind of in the style of Jenn Hatmaker. The author has 4 entitled teens and preteens, so she establishes a year of chores, meal prep, handyman jobs, and other projects around their house and community to teach her kids to take responsibility and learn to be adults. It was inspiring… but harder to put into practice, I know, than to read about it while lying on the couch!  4 stars


THE IMMORTAL LIFE OF HENRIETTA LACKS by Rebecca Skloot — Everyone loves this book and everyone has read this book, it seems, and I am finally catching up. I enjoyed it, but I guess I felt certain parts could have been explained better, and the book seemed to lose some momentum after the initial retelling of Henrietta’s life. Still, very entertaining and informative. — 4 stars


SUMMERLAND by Elin Hilderbrand — So help me, I love this Nantucket dramas. It’s hard to find a better beach read than Elin’s books, although her characters’ depravity always surprises me. As it’s intended to, I suppose. —  4 stars


FARMER BOY by Laura Ingalls Wilder — I read this one aloud to Lena as well, and she enjoyed it, although it is a little less exciting than some of the other books in the Little House series. As always, the author makes a period of American history come to life in brilliant color. — 5 stars


LIFE AFTER LIFE by Kate Atkinson — This one was a little strange. A young woman lives her life over and over and over again, making different choices each time. It is set in England during the start of WWII, and the author draws the character into many national and international historical events. I didn’t love it, but it does offer excellent writing and a fascinating premise. — 4 stars


BOUNDARIES WITH KIDS by Henry Cloud and John Townsend Full of wisdom, but dense. Best slowly digested over time. The book left me grateful that I was raised with clear boundaries (I knew when to say yes and no, what was right and wrong, and felt in control of my life), and I am inspired to continue to pass on structure, expectations, and the peace that comes from them to my children. That’s the goal, anyway!  4 stars


ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE by Anthony Doerr Finally, after everyone told me I should read it, I really did! And it WAS magnificent. However, the story was slow, a quiet unspooling of history, and didn’t grip me as much as I expected. It’s a book I’d like to return to down the road to read again and fully appreciate.  4 stars


Have you read any of these books? Do you agree or disagree with any of my reviews? I’d love to know what you’re reading this summer!

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4 Responses to On Becca’s Bookshelf // January & February 2016 Edition

  1. Poppy September 20, 2016 at 5:07 pm #

    So much makes me want to read Alice in Wonderland again! And whenever I think of Almanzo, I think of how hard he had to work and how special it was to read to you as children so you would think, oh my, we don’t have to do anything nearly that hard! Such wonderful memories of reading those aloud to you and enjoying every second. Now I get to do it with Lena and Gil and, pretty soon, Forest!

  2. Erin R. September 20, 2016 at 7:50 pm #

    Have you read “The Storied Life of A.J. Fickery”? I can’t remember if you have reviewed this one or not. I loved it. I found it to be a charming book, especially for a book lover.

  3. Monica January 23, 2017 at 7:42 am #

    Hello Becca,

    Again I ve been looking at your posts and pictures. And again I must tell you… you don’t have any idea of how much they connect me … my heart with the word and meaning of LOVE !!!
    You are great dear and so inspiring… God bless you and your beautiful and growing family!!!

    Best wishes


    • Becca January 23, 2017 at 9:35 pm #

      Oh thank you, Monica, you are so sweet!

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