Recommended Books

Books I Read in April

This month the last day of the month happens to fall on a Monday, so this week’s blog post is simply my monthly book report/review. Hope that’s not a disappointment.

Good news everyone: I actually was able to finish three books this month! Actually, I was very close to four, but didn’t quite finish the fourth one in time. It will give me a head start on May though, so I’m not complaining.

The books I read this month were all very different (though two where kind of autobiographies). They were all very good though and I would recommend all of them. As usual, there are links to each book available if you want to check them out yourself.

Pioneer Girl by Laura Ingalls Wilder

 A few months back, I read through the whole Little House on the Prairie series. I should say I re-read through them because I’ve probably read through the whole series at least 5 times in my life. I found out during that time that they had recently printed Pioneer Girl. It’s the original autobiography that Wilder wrote, but which had never before been published.

 

I’m a history nerd and a generally nosy person, so I loved this book. It had tons of information about the Wilder/Ingalls families, the places where they lived, and the things that she changed when she wrote the books as children’s stories. I was also encouraged by the journey she had to go through to get published, even though her daughter was a published author and had tons of connections in the publishing world. (PS: her daughter was kind of a sneak and wrote “true” stories that she embellished so much that the people she wrote them about ended up suing her in several cases, fun fact for today)

 

I found it really interesting that she omitted certain things from her life or moved events around in sequence. She had several reasons for this. Sometimes because they weren’t appropriate for a kid’s books, sometimes because they interrupted the flow of the story, and sometimes because real life was just too sad. It was really interesting.

 

 

Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

I’m not going to lie, reading Bonhoeffer can be challenging because he’s a very deep thinker. This is one of his shorter and more practical and therefore easier to read works. Even then, there are still a few places where you have to read through a sentence once or twice to really let what he’s saying sink in.

 

Life Together is basically his manual on what Christian community should look like, whether that’s in the context of family, church, or some other community type. It was based on the rhythm of life he developed while he ran an illegal seminary during Nazi Germany. The book stresses the importance not just of community, but also how one cannot truly live in community if one cannot also be alone with God. It’s both a very practical book, giving suggestions on how certain things like family/group morning devotions should be spent, but it also contains a lot of deep theology too.

I really enjoy this book and would highly recommend it to anyone who is wanting to explore a little of Bonhoeffer’s works. It’s also great for anyone interested in building Christian community, either in a church or family setting.

 

Cheaper by the Dozen by Frank B. Gilbreth and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey

I read this book for school when I was in maybe 4th grade. My mom actually read it out loud to my sisters and I and we all thought it was hilarious. My mom recently sent me a copy of it, so I got to re-read it as an adult. I actually found it much more humorous this time around. I think many of the jokes in the book went over my 4th grade head.

 

The book is about a family of 12 children that were the raised by their motion engineer efficiency expert father and psychologist mother. It’s actually a true story.  Their parents had a company where they advised factories and other businesses on how to make their workers more efficient. The parents often used their kids and guinea pigs and tried out their ideas on their family. Some things worked well and allowed the family of 12 to run like clockwork, other things, not so much.

 

The book is written by two of the twelve children. It chronicles many hilarious hijinks and mischievous maneuvers of various members of the family. They grew up in the very beginnings stages of the jazz age. Some of the stories about changing fashions and changes in what was socially acceptable are pretty funny. I highly recommend it.

 

Side note: The book was made into a movie of the same title  in the 1950’s. The Cheaper by the Dozen movies that came out a few years ago have nothing in common with the book besides the title.

 

Photo by Daniel Alvarez Sanchez Diaz on Unsplash

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4 Comments

  1. Okay, I’m jealous that you have time to read three books, let alone at least ONE book, in a month. I’ve been working on the same one, slowly but surely, since November. Anyways – I’m fascinated with all three and may need to add them to my list! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Ashleigh Rich

      Well, it helps that I don’t have any kids and I only work part time so I have more free time than a lot of people. Plus I’ve been told I’m a fast reader (my husband likes to point this out because he’s a slow reader and fascinated by how quickly I can read through books). Still, it’s been more of a struggle than I thought to make it through three books a month when I made that goal in January. I try to pick a few books that I know I can breeze through (mostly fiction books because I don’t have to think as much and I’m not making any notations as I read). I also pick a few shorter ones (Life Together is deep, but it’s very short) so I know I can get through them quickly. Thanks for reading! I’m glad you found some books to add to your reading list!

  2. I wish I had time to read more. Thanks for sharing these books. I’m also pinning it for further reference.

    1. Ashleigh Rich

      Thanks! And thanks for reading!

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