In September, I only read a few new books; I was mostly doing re-reading. So this list is shorter than usual! But here we go:
*The Daniel Plan: A good friend of mine challenged me to do the 10 day Detox from this book. So I thought I should probably read the book. The book does a good job talking about faith, nutrition, fitness, and how having a good support system can help you through any sort of weight-loss plan. Rick Warren is one of the authors, so I knew he and I would have a radically different "faith" plan; I skimmed most of that chapter. However, I did take from it the idea of spending at least 10 minutes a day with the New Testament--something that was also laid on my heart during my retreat this past weekend (more about that tomorrow). So That's a benefit!
The book also has a lot of recipes. Some of them, like the strawberry chocolate protein shake, are keepers and are in my regular rotation. Some of them were just not well-written and you ended up with seriously uncooked or overcooked food! So that was a mixed bag. But I did learn a few good things from this book and I like the focus on whole foods and reducing sugar. I've actually cut out soda almost completely as a result of this. The one thing remaining is the Diet Chocolate Cokes from Johnny Rockets. Because those are just good.
*The Fringe Hours: I've been hearing good things about this book forever, but it's nearly impossible to find a copy! So when I found one I immediately snatched it up. It's sort of along the lines of The Best Yes (although that book is better)--it talks about the need to find "fringe hours" in our lives for self-care, creativity, etc.
Honestly, though, I didn't like it as much as I hoped I would. One of the things that deterred me was that it seemed written mostly for working moms. So that, alone, didn't help me all that much. The other thing was that it seemed aimed at well-to-do working moms. One of her suggestions is to have someone come clean your house regularly so you can do "you" things.
Now, I'm not against having someone clean your house! There was a time in my own family's life when we had someone clean the house regularly. Sometimes you just need that extra help. But the way the author was suggesting it, it came across as "spend the money that you're working yourself to death to earn on cleaning the house so that you can spend more time on you so you won't feel guilty about not having a clean house. Or spending time on you. " It seemed odd to me, and not sustainable. If, as the book suggests, you're going to work these new habits into your daily life (to prevent burnout, etc.) is having a housekeeper sustainable? Forever? Probably not. So you're stuck when the housekeeper is gone and you're back to square one.
I thought The Best Yes did a much better job talking about this from a much more solidly Christian perspective. But that might just be me.
*Michael Vey: The Fall of Hades. I'm a big fan of Richard Paul Evans, and Michael Vey is his YA series. Michael Vey is a teenager from Idaho who has a big secret: He has special electrical powers. He always tried to keep them hidden, but that's no longer possible when his girlfriend, Taylor--who has the same powers--is kidnapped. Michael and his friends go to rescue her, but soon find out a few things: there are more electric children, and the people who kidnapped Taylor want to use the children's power to enslave the world's population for their own ends.
This is the sixth book in the series, with a seventh coming out next fall. I really love this series. It's well-written, funny, and the characters are morally serious. Just because it's a YA series doesn't mean big issues aren't discussed, which I appreciate.
*Apple Valley: My friend Andrea lent this quartet of books to me. They are her favorite books in the world, and she insisted I read them. So I did. The focus on a girl named DeLanna Robinsohn, living in Pennsylvania farm country in the early 19th century. The series chronicles her life from early childhood, where she was adored by her father but had a tempestuous relationship with her mother, her inability to follow social convention, early marriage, and eventual move to the Firelands of Ohio (where Sandusky, etc. is today) with her husband.
I didn't know anything about the Firelands' history when I started reading these books, so I enjoyed learning more about the history of my state. The historical aspects are well done. I don't think you can even find these books in print anymore, unless you're in a library that still has them. Sure, sometimes the writing is a bit...strange. But they're really quick reads, and DeLanna is a sympathetic character. If you liked the Little House books as a kid, you'll most likely enjoy these.