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Books Read in April and May: Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, Life On the Wire + more

So, I have to confess something to you all: I kind of had a bad attitude about Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. I know that sounds weird, but it’s true. I’m someone who tends to go against the grain instead of just following the pack, so I figured there’s no way this book could really live up to the over-the-top rave reviews everyone kept giving me. And, because of this, I had a negative bias from the get-go.

But (you knew this was coming!) I loved the book. I read it in one setting and have been itching to bake crusty loaves of bread ever since. The book made it sound so easy, so doable and so delicious.

I’m sold — and I’ve not even made the bread yet! Provided the bread turns out as well as the rest of the world proclaims it does, this book is a blue-ribbon winner. Stay tuned for later this year when I share about my adventures in baking Artisan Bread as part of my Do-It-Yourself Experiment series.

Also read in April and May:

Life On the Wire — I picked up this book because Dave Ramsey recommended it and it looked like a great book on balancing — an area I can always improve in. I loved the first few pages of the book, but it grew somewhat tiresome to me after that. I think perhaps the book’s method of presentation just didn’t appeal to the way I process and organize my life. That said, if you feel like your work and life balance needs some serious help, this book might be very beneficial to you.

The Blessing of Boundaries — This is a book for Christian women on finding God’s purpose for your life and not trying to be superwoman. While there were some helpful thoughts, overall, I didn’t find the suggestions or ideas to be earth-shattering. And, like Life on the Wire, it seemed to drag on and I felt like I was slogging through it, at times.

31 Days to Clean — Read my review of this ebook here. (In my review, I failed to mention that this ebook is written for Christian stay-at-home moms primarily. If you work outside the home, you might not find it as helpful. I’d also love to see the book professionally edited as I did find some typographical errors, as well as structural dissonance. But overall, I loved it and think it would be a great encouragement to many stay-at-home moms who are feeling overwhelmed.)

Large Family Logistics — I wouldn’t agree with all the ideas and methodology presented in this book and, like 31 Days to Clean, it’s written for Christian, homeschooling, married stay-at-home moms. However, even though we don’t have a large family, I was very inspired by this book and the suggestions and practical tips the author outlined. I’ve been seeking to implement some of them in our home organization with great results. Now I just need to read a book on having discipline to follow through with all my good intentions! 🙂

The Grace and Truth Paradox — A friend loaned me this book and it was excellent. If you’re a Christian who struggles with how grace and truth are to be lived out in our lives, this little volume is packed with food for thought. It was my first Randy Alcorn book and now I want to read everything he’s written!

The Long Winter — The children and I were mesmerized by this book’s tales of surviving a frigidly cold winter. It’s hard to imagine what that would be like as we sit in our comfortable air-conditioned home. And I realize I probably can never complain about the weather for the rest of my life!

24 Books I Plan to Read in 2011

Business and Financial Books I Plan to Read and Review This Year:

January — 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think
February — Organized Simplicity: The Clutter-Free Approach to Intentional Living

March — Becoming a Person of Influence
April — Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking
May — Life on the Wire: Avoid Burnout and Succeed in Work and Life
June — Debt-Free U: How I Paid for an Outstanding College Education Without Loans, Scholarships, or Mooching off My Parents
July — Have a New You by Friday: How to Accept Yourself, Boost Your Confidence & Change Your Life in 5 Days
August — Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t
September — America’s Cheapest Family Gets You Right on the Money
October — Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
November — Shift Your Habit: Easy Ways to Save Money, Simplify Your Life, and Save the Planet
December – Personal Investing: The Missing Manual

Other Books I Plan to Read This Year:
January — Calm My Anxious Heart: A Woman’s Guide to Finding Contentment
February — Pour Your Heart Into It: How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time
March — The Possibilities of Prayer
April — The Blessing of Boundaries
May — Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace . . . One School at a Time
June — Honey for a Child’s Heart
July — One With Christ
August — A Charlotte Mason Companion: Personal Reflections on the Gentle Art of Learning
September — Womanly Dominion: More Than A Gentle and Quiet Spirit
October — The Rose Conspiracy
November — Disciplines of a Godly Woman
December –Benjamin Rush: Signer of the Declaration of Independence

What books have you read recently? Any you’d highly recommend?

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  • Amanda Y. says:

    Oh you’ll love it! Your only regret will be having waited this long to read and make it!

  • Patty R. says:

    I’m halfway through “The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin. I was worried that it would be another self-centered journey like Eat, Pray, Love, but I’ve found it to be inspirational, easy to read, and a nice boost to my own happiness. The author focuses on happiness itself (what makes people happy, etc.), how being happy helps others around you, and her own goals to increase her happiness throughout one year. I very rarely buy books, but I’m seriously considering purchasing this one because it’s been so valuable.

  • Linda says:

    I read Holy Discontent by Bill Hybels, and it challenged me to do more with my life than just the mundane living. I am reading another book by Bill Hybels, The Power of a Whisper, about when God whispers to us, and that we are always listening. These books have really changed my life.

  • By far, my favorite discipline books are Dr. Dobson’s Dare to Discipline and Parenting Isn’t for Cowards are two of my absolute favorites. Also, he has written Bringing Up Boys and Bringing Up Girls, both of which I have read and they continue to help me with my parenting of boys and girls. They are fabulous.

  • Niki says:

    I highly highly recommend Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers.

  • K says:

    Another AMAZING bread book is The Breadbaker’s Apprentice, by Peter Reindhart. He has several books, actually, but I like BBA the best. It’s a book not just of recipes but really focuses on technique and learning how to work with bread well regardless of the type of bread you’re baking. I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who is interested in working with yeasted breads!

  • Cortney says:

    You have to read “Heaven” by Randy Alcorn. Growing up in church I think I had this boring view of heaven but this really opened my eyes to all the awesome things Gods word says about it. Its really awesome! I pray your blessed as much as I am by it!
    Mark of the Lion Series by Francine Rivers is also really great you will be so convicted by the characters courage and faith( although they are fictional i’m sure there were many in that time of similar faith.)
    Be blessed!

  • Tiffany says:

    I made the master recipe from the Artisan Bread book today and it was SO good. I’ve never made bread before and it probably cost me .25. I’m totally hooked! Thanks for adding it to your list!

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