One of the benefits of working as a nanny is having downtime while the baby naps. I’ve been able to read a lot more than I was able to in college or at my previous job, and I’ve really been enjoying it! Here are some of the books I’ve read over the past few months or so:
1. Bringing Up Bébé
Summary from Amazon: “When American journalist Pamela Druckerman had a baby in Paris, she didn’t aspire to become a “French parent.” But she noticed that French children slept through the night by two or three months old. They ate braised leeks. They played by themselves while their parents sipped coffee. And yet French kids were still boisterous, curious, and creative. Why? How? With a notebook stashed in her diaper bag, Druckerman set out to investigate—and wound up sparking a national debate on parenting. Researched over three years and written in her warm, funny voice, Bringing Up Bébé is deeply wise, charmingly told, and destined to become a classic resource for American parents.”
My thoughts: I loved this book, and I think Scott must hate it because I’ve referenced it so much! I really liked how she had some quotes from leading professionals, but most of the book was based on personal observation. The difference between French and American children and childrearing was fascinating, and I’d recommend this to anyone who is about to have a baby! My biggest takeaways were to encourage your children to be independent (Americans have a tendency to rush in as soon as there’s a problem instead of letting the baby or child try to solve it themselves) and not to make children the center of your life (It seems in France there’s a more holistic approach to the family rather than the kids running the show like what often happens in American families.)
4.5/5 Stars: I loved this book but it wasn’t perfect. Her organization switched from being chronological to thematic halfway through which was very confusing (for example, her daughter went from being 5 in one chapter back to being 2) and I can’t fully get behind the secular mentality of the author (living together before marriage, putting your career above all, etc).
2. Redeeming Love
Summary from Amazon: “California’s gold country, 1850. A time when men sold their souls for a bag of gold and women sold their bodies for a place to sleep. Angel expects nothing from men but betrayal. Sold into prostitution as a child, she survives by keeping her hatred alive. And what she hates most are the men who use her, leaving her empty and dead inside. Then she meets Michael Hosea, a man who seeks his Father’s heart in everything. Michael obeys God’s call to marry Angel and to love her unconditionally. Slowly, day by day, he defies Angel’s every bitter expectation, until despite her resistance, her frozen heart begins to thaw. But with her unexpected softening comes overwhelming feelings of unworthiness and fear. And so Angel runs. Back to the darkness, away from her husband’s pursuing love, terrified of the truth she no longer can deny: Her final healing must come from the One who loves her even more than Michael does…the One who will never let her go.”
My thoughts: I totally expected this book to be cheesy, and I’m definitely not a Nicholas Sparks fan! I’m also not usually a crier, so it may have been the pregnancy hormones, but I cried so much while reading this book! Not only did it help me understand God’s love for me deeper, but also made me really appreciate Scott want to serve him better.
3. The Preacher and the Presidents
Summary from Amazon: “No one man or woman has ever been in a position to see the presidents, and the presidency, so intimately, over so many years. They called him in for photo opportunities. They called for comfort. They asked about death and salvation; about sin and forgiveness. At a time when the nation is increasingly split over the place of religion in public life, THE PREACHER AND THE PRESIDENTS reveals how the world’s most powerful men and world’s most famous evangelist, Billy Graham, knit faith and politics together.”
My thoughts: This book took a while to read, but it was worth it. I really appreciated the authors’ kind treatment of Billy Graham and accurate representation of Christianity. This book provided a fascinating insight into the presidents’ spiritual lives (clearly not every president that says “God bless America” is truly a man of faith). Any Christian who is interested in politics or history should definitely read this book!
4/5 Stars: I thought it was a bit longer than necessary.
4. French Women for All Seasons
Summary from Amazon: “From the author of French Women Don’t Get Fat, the #1 National Bestseller, comes an essential guide to the art of joyful living—in moderation, in season, and, above all, with pleasure. Together with a bounty of new dining ideas and menus, Mireille Guiliano offers us fresh, cunning tips on style, grooming, and entertaining. Here are four seasons’ worth of strategies for shopping, cooking, and exercising, as well as some pointers for looking effortlessly chic. Taking us from her childhood in Alsace-Lorraine to her summers in Provence and her busy life in New York and Paris, this wise and witty book shows how anyone anywhere can develop a healthy, holistic lifestyle.”
My thoughts: I’d heard of the book French Women Don’t Get Fat which this book is a follow-up to, but I also read about this book in Bringing Up Bébé. French Women Don’t Get Fat has a long list of holds at the library, and this one became available first from my request list. I really liked the author’s insights into French daily life and there were a few good recipes to try. My main takeaway was to cook more with leeks and shallots!
3/5 Stars: It’s basically a cookbook with lifestyle tips thrown in- I think I would like French Women Don’t Get Fat better.
5. Blog, Inc.
Summary from Amazon: “With roughly 95,000 blogs launched worldwide every 24 hours (BlogPulse), making a fledgling site stand out isn’t easy. This authoritative handbook gives creative hopefuls a leg up. Joy Cho, of the award-winning Oh Joy!, offers expert advice on starting and growing a blog, from design and finance to overcoming blogger’s block, attracting readers, and more. With a foreword from Grace Bonney of Design*Sponge plus expert interviews, this book will fine-tune what the next generation of bloggers shares with the world.”
My thoughts: This book would be great if you are thinking about starting a blog or if you have been blogging for a while and are ready to monetize it or make it your full-time job. I thought the blogger spotlights were the most interesting, especially as a lot of the book was pretty generic advice.
2/5 Stars: I’ve already started my blog and am not near turning it into a career so I didn’t find this book very helpful.
What’ve you been reading lately?