I finished seven books during the month of March: Uncle Tom’s Cabin plus six others. Read on for my impressions of each title.
The 7 books I read in March
Before You Hit Send by Emerson Eggriches
Subtitled “Preventing Headache and Heartache,” Emerson Eggerichs’ Before You Hit Send encourages readers to evaluate every email, status update, online comment, or any other piece of written communication in light of four simple questions:
✅ Is it true?
✅ Is it kind?
✅ Is it necessary?
✅ And is it clear?
If the answer to any of those questions is no, Eggerichs suggests tweaking it until it passes the test, or trashing it and leaving it unsaid.
As Olivia Nuzzi observes, we should “dance like no one is watching; [but] email like it may one day be read aloud in a deposition.”
Although the book is meant specifically to address digital forms of communication, the principles apply to our spoken words, as well.
The Copywriter’s Handbook by Bob Bly
Enter Bob Bly’s books on copywriting. The one I read is actually a companion volume to The Copywriter’s Handbook called Bob Bly’s Best Kept Copywriting Secrets.
Copywriting Secrets was offered as part of a recent Ultimate Bundles promotion called Create. Launch. Convert. and is not for sale anywhere else that I can find. Nor is this bundle still available.
Nevertheless, Bob’s background and experience assures me his original The Copywriter’s Handbook would likewise prove a valuable investment for anybody interested in improving their writing skills or turning their love for the written word into a profitable home business.
Dietrich Bonhoffer: In the Midst of Wickedness by Geoff and Janet Benge
The thing that impressed me most about the story of Bonhoeffer’s life is how quickly Hitler rose to power, how effectively he stripped citizens of their rights, and how vehemently he worked to silence anybody and everybody who opposed him.
It’s very sobering to consider how close history has come to repeating itself. But what an inspirational example Bonhoffer was of a resolve to walk in integrity despite the danger of persecution and a resolute willingness to proclaim the Truth even at great personal cost.
If you’ve never read any of the Benges’ books before, you should! And their biography of Dietrich Bonhoffer would be an excellent place to start.
Loco Sudoku by Djape
It took me nearly 8 months to do it, but I finished my Loco Sudoku book in March. For years, I’ve done one sudoku puzzle a day. But these five-grid puzzles take me a little longer to complete.
I love the challenge of their mathematical variations: consecutive numbers, non-consecutive numbers, arranged by inequalities, grids within grids (like sudoku inception), etc.
I don’t know whether “A puzzle a day keeps Alzheimer’s away,” but I am hoping the daily cognitive exercise will help keep my mind sharper than it might otherwise have been as I age.
Steve McQueen by Greg Laurie
Written by pastor Greg Laurie, it’s entitled Steve McQueen: The Salvation of an American Icon.
Both the author and the star shared a similar upbringing: both were abandoned by their fathers and raised by alcoholic mothers. So it’s easy to understand why Greg Laurie felt such a connection to a man he never met but with whom he became intimately acquainted while doing research for this book. He retraced McQueen’s path to stardom, interviewing many of the people who were close to McQueen while he was still alive.
I normally don’t read celebrity biographies. But I’ve always loved McQueen’s performance in The Great Escape, and I found the story of his journey to faith fascinating, albeit profoundly sad in parts.
Steve McQueen fans won’t want to miss this little-known but vitally important facet of the star’s life.
The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall
Subtitled A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy,the first book in the Penderwick Series follows a widower and his four young daughters as they go on vacation, meet up with some very interesting people, and have lots of adventures (and misadventures).
We brought the first two books of the series with us when we, too, went on vacation the last week of March and first week of April.
Chapter after chapter after chapter, my husband read them aloud to us each evening in our hotel rooms.
We finished the first four days into a 16-day road trip and were wishing we’d brought the entire set.
If you enjoyed Little Women, you will likely love The Penderwicks, as well.
Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
It has been over 20 years since my husband first read Uncle Tom’s Cabin aloud to our (then) young family. He and I cried through the entire book during that first reading.
Fast forward to the present, and we just finished listening to an audioversion of Uncle Tom’s Cabin while driving across the US on an extended road trip. And we cried so much again it made it difficult to see the road signs.
There is such a broad range of characters Harriet Beecher Stowe’s classic tale. Some loathsome, some dearly loved. The author paints such a moving and detailed account of the atrocities of slavery, it’s little wonder Abraham Lincoln reportedly quipped upon meeting her, “So you’re the little woman who wrote the book that started this great war.”
If you’ve never read Uncle Tom’s Cabin, you are missing out. The book is now in public domain, which means you can listen to the audiobook for FREE on Librivox. To download your no-strings-attached copy, simply follow this link: Uncle Tom’s Cabin
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