Oops! We’re already halfway through September, and I haven’t yet told you about Love and Respect or any of the other books I read in August. Sorry for the delay!
That’s partly because I spent much of the past month proofreading the first draft of my friend Abbie Halberstadt‘s new book. As good as her bestselling first book (M is for Mama) is, I like this next one even better. But I’ll wait to tell you any more about that one until it is actually published sometime next year.
So that leaves me with only four books to review for August. Read on for my impression of each title, in the order I finished them:
4 of the 5 books I read in August
The Penderwicks in Spring by Jeanne Birdsall
The fourth book in this series finds the Penderwicks growing, both in size and number.
Baby Lydia has joined the family, and is already two years old. And Batty, still shy at almost-eleven, is planning a big birthday surprise and slowly coming out of her shell.
But she’s also in the process of grieving over the death of a beloved pet and struggling with guilt over things that were in no way her fault. Yet, instead of talking these matters over with the family who loves her, she keeps everything pinned up inside until she makes herself quite sick.
As usual, this book had us in tears several times by the end and prompted some important family discussions.
The Penderwicks at Last by Jeanne Birdsall
In this final installment of Jeanne Birdsall’s delightful series, the oldest Penderwick sister is getting married, but the wedding plans do not go as smoothly as hoped.
A second sister decides to make it a double wedding ceremony, a third breaks up with her boyfriend shortly beforehand, and the persnickety Mrs. Tipton shows up to throw everybody into a tizzy with her wild and unfounded accusations.
Despite the fact that most of our questions were resolved by the final chapter, we’ve grown to love the Penderwick family and were just a little sad to see their story end.
Free Up Your Time by the UB Team
This was a free ebook offered through Ultimate Bundles. In it, 23 successful content creators share their secrets for streamlining work and getting more accomplished in a shorter period of time. Many of the suggestions are things I’ve been doing a long time already:
–> batching similar tasks together for efficiency
–> ordering groceries online (and adding to list as things get used up)
–> rising early to work while house is quiet
–> creating self-imposed deadlines for your projects
Some of the suggestions were theoretical in nature or dealt specifically with writing or content creation. Others were broad and would apply more universally, regardless what kind of work you do. A couple of tips generated an Aha! moment for me — hacks I’d never thought of before that I’m definitely going to try.
Sadly, this book is no longer available, but the UB team puts out similar free ebooks fairly regularly. If you’re interested in knowing when the next one drops, sign up for their mailing list, and they’ll send you an announcement as soon as it is ready (along with other occasional freebies), plus information on an amazing assortment of curated bundles on a variety of topics.
Love and Respect by Emerson Eggriches
I finally got around to re-reading Love and Respect by Emerson Eggerichs last month. I read it back in 2004 when it was first released and remember really enjoying it at the time. But a couple of years ago, the book came under fire from a popular blogger who has decided its message is so dangerous and so problematic that she has been leading a charge ever since to get it pulled off the market.
Her extreme fixation on this classic marriage book made me curious to read it again. And do you know what? I liked it even better the second time. The author’s observations are Biblically sound and incredibly helpful. I’d go so far as to say that some, like his “crazy cycle” diagram, border on brilliant.
The crusading blogger claims the book’s teachings have been twisted to justify bad behavior. She may be right. (The same can be said of the Bible itself.) Yet that was clearly not the author’s intent.
Instead, Eggerichs calls husbands to love their wives as Christ loves the church (a goal of which, by his own admission, he has repeatedly fallen short) . He also urges wives to show respect for their husbands. Eggerichs pulls both these injunctions straight out of Ephesians 5 and offers thoughtful suggestions for putting them into daily practice.
But you don’t have to take my word (or the word of any other blogger) for it. Love and Respect is definitely worth reading yourself — the sooner, the better.
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