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Three books I read last week (+ the classic movie we watched)

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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.

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.

Want to see all of the books I’ve read so far this year? Check out my Good Reads page.

Here are the three books I finished last week…

Counterfeit Gods

The premise of the book is such a needed topic: we all have things we worship and this worship drives our decisions and actions. So often, we don’t even recognize that we are worshipping at the altar of success, money, power, approval, or lust. We often spend so much time trying to fill the holes in our hearts with things that will never satisfy. Only Jesus can satisfy.

I really, really wanted to like this book. It’s one that one of our pastors has recommended over and over again in our Discipleship Program in our church. Unfortunately, while some of the content is fantastic, I felt like the writing fell short. I haven’t read much by Timothy Keller before and I’m wondering if maybe he’s just a better speaker/preacher than writer?

Verdict: 3 stars

Eat That Frog!

I read this book back in 2011. I remember it being a worthwhile read, so when I saw that it was available to download on the Libby app, I was excited to listen to it again.

It’s a quick read, but it packs a punch. If you are looking for some actionable tips and suggestions for how to get more done and enjoy your life more, I definitely recommend this book.

One of the key takeaways is if you start the day out by doing the things you like least first, you’ll get them out of the way so you can enjoy your day more and be more productive and fulfilled.

Just for fun, I thought I’d share what I wrote about this book way back in 2011:

Eat That Frog is an excellent read and it challenged me to go into my day with the goal of doing the hardest things first. When I get the most dreaded things out of the way right off the bat, it gives me so much momentum for the rest of the day!

I’ve been trying to apply this idea to my laundry pile. Instead of letting it sit and grow to an overwhelming size, I’m trying start a load of laundry first thing in the morning, switch it to the dryer before breakfast, and then fold and put it away mid-morning. So far, I’ve not been successful at doing it this way every day, but on the days that I have done this, I’ve been amazed at how well it works.

And honestly, when I just do one load a day, I’m able to stay on top of the laundry, it never gets out of hand, and it really takes no more than 15 minutes a day to keep up with. Why has it taken me almost nine years of running my own home to figure this simple principle out?

Verdict: 4 stars

Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids

I have very mixed feelings on this book. On the one hand, I think it’s a book that every parent should read. It’s packed with food for thought and insightful research and perspective.

On the other hand, I felt like it was missing so much because it’s not from a Christian perspective. I agree with much of the author’s suggestions to focus on discipling your kids and loving them well instead of constantly saying no and punishing them. (This is something we talked about a lot in our foster care training and I thought it was a very valuable focus.)

However, without an understanding of the Gospel and the reason for why we teach our kids to make good choices and model wise responses, I think there’s a big gaping hole in this message.

In addition: the author takes a pretty strong stance against sending your kids to daycare, which could be discouraging for moms who truly have no other choice but to work.

These cautions aside, I do believe it is worth reading — just take what can encourage you as a parent and leave the rest!

Verdict: 3 stars

Classic Movie We Watched Last 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. (Thank you for all the great suggestions for must-watch classic movies!)

This past week, we watched the old version of Yours, Mine, & Ours. The kids were skeptical about it, but we all really ended up enjoying it and some of the parts were genuinely laugh-out-loud funny. They said it was one of their favorite classic movies so far.

Do note: I was surprised at how much vague innuendo was in the plotline, there is some drinking in it, and there are a few raunchy photos on the wall in a few places (you couldn’t see much; but the insinuation is there.

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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