On Becca’s Bookshelf // July 2015 Edition

Recently Updated5 I haven’t done one of these in a while! Did you guys get to read a lot this summer? Sometimes I find that I have less time in the looser, less-scheduled days of summer… and sometimes I have more! July was a good month because we spent two weeks of it back in Virginia with family — and lots of aunts and uncles and grandparents played with our kids while I got to read. ;)

  • Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Ted Tripp Took me 13 months to finish it, but I finally did! In the end, the book challenged and inspired me in my relationship with my children and my attitude toward training up a child in the way he should go. I deeply appreciate that the author’s main message is, “In the final analysis, you must entrust your children to God… the God who has dealt so graciously with you.” Amen to that.  4 stars
  • Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan Such a sweet, heartwarming book! I couldn’t put it down. It’s a lighthearted British novel about a young woman who moves to a little Cornish town to get a fresh start in life, and in her newfound loneliness and spare time, she starts baking bread. Her delicious loaves win her a place in the heart of the town. Polly’s baking, kindness, and determination for a fresh, simple start in life made for a wonderful read.  4 stars
  • American Wife by Taya Kyle I originally decided to read this because the Naval Special Warfare (aka SEALs) wives were reading it for book club, but in the end I’m glad I read it for other reasons, too. It is a sad story of a marriage that went through extremes ups and downs with deployment and the demands of NSW life, but then achieved a level of peace and camaraderie — right before Chris Kyle (of the movie American Sniper) was killed in a tragic shooting. Taya writes about the year afterwards and how she coped, grieved, and matured. I think it is a stunning look into the heart of grief, and it is handled with grace, honesty, and faith. — 3 stars
  • Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin Once again, Gretchen approaches finding joy in her life with a thoughtful and devoted year of goal-setting, goal-adjusting, and goal-achieving. I enjoyed it, just as I did The Happiness Project, but once again it grew tedious at times. Maybe I just feel like her ultimate purpose (to be happy) felt temporal, and so it’s hard to get totally on board. Overall a worthwhile read, and very inspiring about setting goals and accomplishing them.  3 stars
  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury — This is a quick read that — although written in the 1950s — was amazingly insightful for its time. Sadly for us, the author’s predictions about our addiction to screens and disregard of history (the wisdom inside of books) become more and more accurate every year. Compelling and masterfully written. I’m so glad I finally read this one.  4 stars
  • An Old-Fashioned Girl by Louisa May Alcott I’ve loved this book since I was a girl, and I’ve enjoyed coming back to it over the years. It’s the story of country-girl Polly (another Polly!) and her interactions with a city-bred family, showing the ways her values of honesty, mercy, and compassion win out in the end. Always a sweet reminder of remaining true to yourself and good, if old-fashioned, morals. It usually pays off!  4 stars
  • The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness by Timothy Keller Every Christian should read this… probably every week. Such a good reminder to find our true value in Christ’s finished work on the cross, rather than in our own self-fulfillment and self-worth. And because it’s only a very slim 45 pages, it takes just an hour to read!  5 stars
  • Why Christian Kids Need a Christian Education by Douglas Wilson Another quick book, easy to read in an hour. For me, Douglas Wilson is a tough guy to love. However, I do appreciate the case for a strong Christian culture and also that the most important work you have in this life is raising your children in an environment where they witness God’s work in history and goodness in their lives, that they might love and know him always. I am not sure that means you avoid “government schools” (his derogatory term for public schools) entirely, though.  — 2 stars


There are a few hot topics about parenting mentioned in these books! Have you read any of these? Do you agree or disagree with my conclusions?

If you’d like other reading suggestions, check out my book review archives here!

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4 Responses to On Becca’s Bookshelf // July 2015 Edition

  1. Nicole September 15, 2015 at 1:31 pm #

    Hey! I love when you do these posts, because I usually find a few and just put them on my “to read shelf” at the library. I haven’t been reading much lately, I’m just too darn tired and I can only muster about 5 pages a time. Bleh! I started, “The Oregon Trail,” and while I liked it so far, I couldn’t renew it because there was such a long line of holds on it, so I didn’t finish it yet. I was intrigued by your review of, “Why Christian Kids need a Christian Education.” Lew and I have been praying, discussing, and really pondering what to do with Samuel next fall. Probably a lot of discussion has been conjured up because we get asked all the time if Samuel is going to Kinder next year. Anyway, we’re going to meet with a Christian school here and figure out what the plan is. I’m interested to know what you plan to do with Lena! Thanks again for the recommendations, this is lengthy, looks like an email is in order!

    • Becca September 16, 2015 at 9:34 pm #

      We don’t know what to do with Lena yet! Torn between homeschooling and (if we stay in Coronado) our very good local public school that is just a few blocks away. Coronado is such a small town that both the homeschool groups and the school itself are full of our best friends, so that doesn’t make it easy. We don’t know which is the best choice for our family. We need to pray and have more conversations about it as you and Lew are doing! And we also keep in mind that we’ll reevaluate each year, seeking the best fit for our whole family.

  2. Courtney September 16, 2015 at 2:06 pm #

    Hooray!! Another book review post. :) I always get so excited when you put one up!

    I picked up “The Happiness Project” in an airport during a delay, but I can’t seem to get through it. I think Rubin’s intentionality is inspiring, but I find it exhausting! I think a lot of that is my personality. :) I preferred “I Know How She Does It” by Laura Vanderkam.

    I recently started reading several of Tim Keller’s books and, like you, have LOVED them.

    • Becca September 16, 2015 at 9:30 pm #

      I need to read more of Keller’s books. All of them are so rich and uplifting!

      I also loved “I Know How She Does It”! I picked it for my book club’s August read. Book review of that one coming soon. ;)

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