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3 Books I Read Last Week (+ the classic movie we watched)

Welcome to my weekly book update post where I share what books I read this past week + my honest thoughts and star ratings of them.

In the spirit of keeping my goals smaller and in bite-sized chunks in 2020, I decided to just pick the next few books I’m planning to read instead of trying to sort of plan out the whole year!

And then I’m planning to do a book update post every week or every other week here with reviews and thoughts on the books I finished. It’s very possible that some weeks I won’t finish any books, so I’m giving myself permission to skip a week here and there if I don’t have anything to report! 🙂

If you want to see what I’m currently reading or what I’ve read so far this year, you can check out my GoodReads account.

A Word on My Star Ratings

The star ratings I give the books I read are based on a 5-star rating system. I rarely will ever give a book a 1-star rating (maybe never?), because my philosophy is that if a book is only worthy of one star, I’m more than likely going to quit reading it. 🙂 In the same vein, you’ll also notice that I’ll rarely give a 5-star rating as I reserve those for only my very, very favorite books.

1. Awful, Beautiful Life

I love Katherine Reay’s fiction works and picked this book up solely based upon that. I wasn’t familiar with the story otherwise but I thought it sounded intriguing.

Unfortunately, the book fell flat for me. It felt like the story drug out longer than it needed and that there was a lot of filler information included just to reach a word count.

Honestly, while I think there were some encouraging things throughout the story, it seemed to get bogged down by all of the legal and financial information that kind of went on and on. Or at least that’s how it felt when I read it.

While I think it would make for an interesting article or 3-part series, I didn’t feel like there was enough meat to make it a book length work.

Verdict: 2 stars

2. Killing Patton

I was excited to listen to this via the Libby App as I had loved the other books in this series. However, I found this book harder to follow. Maybe it was because I was not at all as familiar with Patton’s story so it didn’t draw me like the stories of Reagan and Lincoln.

In addition, the book starts out by kind of giving away some of the basic facts of how Patton was killed. I felt that this ruined some of the build up and engagement that I found with the other books.

Currently, I’m listening to Killing the Rising Sun and it’s so much better and engaging than this audiobook. If I were to be asked, I’d say to skip this one and listen to Killing the Rising Sun instead (review coming next week!)

Verdict: 2 stars

3. Romancing Your Child’s Heart

Okay, lest you think I just had a really negative attitude all week when it came to life and thus the negative reviews, I saved the best for last! 🙂

Romancing Your Child’s Heart is a book I think every Christian parent should read. In fact, it’s one of the best parenting books I’ve read.

While some of the illustrations might seem a little outdated or not something that are relatable for your family (the author is very much an outdoorsman type of person and he and his wife raised their kids in the same vein), the premise of the book is something I think we all need to hear.

It’s so easy for us as parents to focus on rules-based parenting and spending our days correcting our kids instead of cheerleading them and learning to communicate well with them. And while boundaries and parameters are important, we can miss relationship in the process, if we’re not careful.

I love how the author really challenges parents to take the time and make the effort to build relationships with our kids, to listen to them, to embrace them for who God created them to be, and not to try to make them into something they aren’t or that we think they are supposed to be.

Verdict: 4 stars

Classic Movie We Watched This Week

The kids decided — all on their own — that they want to start watching one old classic movie per week together as a family in 2020. They are helping me choose the list of movies and I’ll be reporting here what we watch each week and their thoughts on it.

I plan to do a big classic movie round-up post at the end of the year with their verdict on the best and favorites of the ones we watched. (If you have suggestions of must-watch classic movies, leave them in the comments!)

This week, we watched 7 Brides for 7 Brothers. The girls thought they may have seen it before, but if so, it had been a really long time.

While it was somewhat cheesy to a few of us, everyone said they were glad that they watched it. We also loved seeing how they were creative with backgrounds back before modern movie technology!

(Kaitlynn did take issue with the references to the Sobbin’ Women bit from Plutarch’s story of the Sabine Women. “Mom, do you know what they did to those women?? It was no laughing matter!” I haven’t read Plutarch, but she has, so she helped us all understand more of the story where this originated. Which led to a great discussion on this… I love it when movies and books lead to great family discussions on important topics.)

If you like lighthearted, old musicals and can overlook some things, you’ll likely enjoy this movie. That said, I will warn you that the songs will get stuck in your head for DAYS!

What did you read this past week? Any books you think I really need to add to my long to-read list??

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