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Books Read This Week: A New Kind of Normal, Angel in the Rubble, The Cabin Faced West, Sarah Witcher’s Story

Many of you have asked me to share reviews of the books I read. I used to do this on a monthly basis, but I decided it might be simpler for me to start doing this on a weekly basis instead. So, each Friday, I’ll be sharing a little synopsis of the books I’ve read that week.

Personal Reading

A New Kind of Normal by Carol Kent — After reading When I Lay My Isaac Down, I wanted to read this follow-up book. It has some overlap from When I Law My Isaac Down, but also a lot of new material and tells more of the continuing story of her son’s imprisonment.

Carol’s testimony of trust in the Lord even in the midst of very traumatic circumstances was such an encouragement to me. After reading her story and the other stories in the book, I feel like I never have anything to complain about.

I appreciated the author’s raw honesty. She doesn’t act like she has it altogether, but shares very openly about the struggles and how God has been faithful. This book would especially be a great source of comfort to those who have had very difficult life-altering situations come into their life.

Angel in the Rubble — This was an interesting read of a woman who was the last survivor to be pulled out of the rubble 24 hours after the twin towers fell. The story is riveting and I made the mistake of starting this shortly before bedtime one night and then stayed until until 11:30 p.m. reading it (I know, I know, I really should read boring books before bed so that I fall right to sleep and stick with my goal of going to bed early!).

I would recommend the book as it’s a good read and it’s always helpful to consider if we’re living our lives in a way that we would want to live if we were to die today. However, I will mention that the last few chapters felt like they were just stuck in to make the book long enough to be a book. Or, maybe I was just tired at that point? At any rate, I ended up skimming those. I checked this out from the library so hopefully your library has it, too.


The Cabin Faced West — This is the story of Ann, a pioneer girl who is struggling to be content in her new home in the wilderness. The children and I really enjoyed this read-aloud and it provided opportunities to talk about being content and how blessed we are with our modern conveniences.

Sarah Witcher’s Story — The children were mesmerized by this story, even though we’ve already read it in the The Bear Who Heard Crying.

Currently reading: EntreLeadership, He Heard Hannah, The Rose Conspiracy, and listening to Purple Cow audiobook. You can see all of the books I’ve read in 2011 so far here. Read all of my book reviews here.

Have you read any good books recently?

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  • Nicole says:

    Yay, you have just totally made my day! I LOVE these kinds of posts, and will be eager to read them each week. 🙂

    Thanks Crystal!!!

  • I’d love to read Angel in the Rubble. I’ll have to see if my library has it! I just finished reading “Thunder Dog” The story of a blind man and his guide dog that made it out of the WTC before it collapsed.

  • Jennifer says:

    You should check out the book “The Reading Promise”. Its written by a girl who’s father made an initial pack with her to read to her 100 nights in a row. After they finished the first 100 nights, they decided to go for 500 nights, thus “The Streak” was born. He read to her for over 3,200 nights in a row – from age 9 until she left for college. It also has a great list of books they read at the back. Its inspired me to keep reading to my kids (they are only 4 &5, so we of course read each day now) long after they don’t want me to – as well as write down all our favorites!

  • tracey says:

    i love books on CD for in the car. You can listen well above your reading level. We have listened to so many great books while driving around. On long car trips, you could hear a pin drop for hours on end. For younger kids Magic Tree house series was short enough, and Junie B. Jones. We have listened to Nancy Drew, so many ALA winning books. Especially good was Hatchet, Harry Potter, War of the Worlds, and best of all (for older students) The Count of Monte Cristo!

    • tracey says:

      And we got them all from the library! you will find that when you listen to enough books, you can tell that the classics really do stand out!

    • Stacy says:

      I drive a lot for work and I love books on CD. I borrow them from the library since they’re expensive to buy. The selection oat our library is a bit slim (especially when I was listening to cassette tapes) so I have listened to some books that I never would have chosen to read!

  • Michelle Johnson says:

    I just read Introduction to Permaculture by Bill Mollison. It had great ideas related to gardening. My favorite was the idea of zones. Put things you use the most in areas that are the most convenient. Such as put herbs and salad greens next to the path that is traveled the most (such as right outside your door). I advise everyone to get familiar with Permaculture over the internet. The more I research it the more I am amazed. (plant companionship, self sustaining food source, perrenial plants that come back year after year, beauty)

  • Joy says:

    Our read aloud this week was the Courage of Sarah Noble. My kids really loved it and we finished it in record time. The two children’s books you posted look really good! We just may be checking them out from the Library!

  • Bethany says:

    Love the book recommendations. Keep it up!

  • Jennifer C. says:

    I am reading Living Sacrifice by Dr. Helen Roseveare. It is her book about her life as a medical missionary in Africa. (She was a Dr. and helped build a hospital there). VEry compelling! It is helping me learn what sacrificing for God and my family looks like. I also want to read the Reading Promise. I need to read more to my kids but it is hard to juggle them all sometimes- they are 4, 3,2 and 1 right now so the 4 year old loves to sit and listen and the one year old eats the books! 🙂

  • Stephanie says:

    I love it when you share your book reviews. I always seem to miss them when you do them monthly!! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • In my 37 years of life I have never been a reader. However through inspiration on Money Saving Mom and an urging from God I am trying to learn to love it.

    I started by joining a class at Church knowing that I would have to read 8 books including daily bible readings. I have made it halfway through this class and have enjoyed it much more than I imagined.

    In the last 3 1/2 months I have completed 4 books and I am working on 2 more right now. This is more reading than I have done in the last 20 years. (not including baby books when my girls were little)

    Thank you for your encouragement! 🙂

  • Thank you Crystal! I am enjoying it very much and I have learned a lot over the last few months.

  • deborah says:

    I recently read “Made to Crave” and “Do You Know Who I Am?”. They are both very good. I am currently reading, “7 Things He’ll Never Tell You, But You Need to Know”. I am blessed to have a library that is part of the interlibrary loan system and will get books for me if they don’t have them. Sometimes it’s nice to read a book and then if I really, really like it, purchase my own copy.

  • Donna says:

    I would like to suggest a book for you and your littles 🙂
    It’s called The Day Momma Played.
    So cute!

  • My Boaz's Ruth says:

    When did your girls start enjoying being read to? What books did you start with? My 4 year old is JUST starting to graduate above picture books (sandra Boynton, Mike Mulligan, Hungry Caterpillar, etc). But we are having problems finding books. Ms. Piggle-Wiggle is too long of chapters and I lose him 🙁 We are reading a lot of Dr. Seuss (the big books, not the board books) — but they are not chapter books.

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