Book Review: Switch by Chip & Dan Heath – Simply Convivial

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Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard by Chip Heath & Dan Heath Publication date: 2010 Date read: 2013 Source: Local library. Recommended by: a thread on the Well-Trained Mind Forum My rating (out of 5): ★ ★ ★ 1/2 I recommend it, but borrow it from the library. Summary The authors examine the common denominators in successful change (personal and corporate), telling engaging stories and giving practical, useful advice for making positive individual & group changes. Switch … Read More

Book Review: The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert by Rosaria Champagne Butterfield

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The Secret Thoughts of An Unlikely Convert: An English Professor’s Journey into Christian Faith by Rosaria Champagne Butterfield Publication date: 2012 Date read: March 2013 Source: borrowed from a friend Recommended by: two of my friends, and then also reviewed by Dawn My rating (out of 5): ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Highly recommended. Summary A tenured, happy English professor of Queer Theory is called by God out of that life and into salvation, and she shares of her transformation … Read More

Review: Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin – Simply Convivial

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Happier at Home: Kiss More, Jump More, Abandon a Project, Read Samuel Johnson, and My Other Experiments in the Practice of Everyday Life by Gretchen Rubin Publication date: 2012 Date read: January 2013 Source: Personal library My rating (out of 5): ★ ★ ★ I would recommend borrowing it or watching for a cheap second-hand copy (it’s still new, so that’s unlikely). Summary Gretchen Rubin tries her hand at a second Happiness Project, this time focusing on resolutions targeted at … Read More

Home Organization Book Review: Large Family Logistics – Simply Convivial

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Not only was last week a school break week, but we also had and have a string of hosting commitments that gave me the added commitment and deadline to get the house into a little better shape. Of course I had an unreasonably long list, but if I think about what I did get done instead of what I didn’t get done, I am quite pleased. So, with a couple social hostings down and a few next weekend as well, … Read More

Top Ten Books of 2011

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Gearing up for 2012 book lists, here is my list from 2011, posted here before it is lost forever on my old blog. I read 44 books in 2011, with 6 still in progress. Forty-four was my total for 2010, too. A little short of my goal of 60, but still not too shabby for a homeschooling mom with small children, I think. Actually, most of the reading was done at the beginning of the year, and my reading petered … Read More

Review: Blink, by Malcolm Gladwell

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Read & reviewed in June 2010 My rating: 3 of 5 stars Library. Audio. This was a fun and interesting “popular economics” book to listen to. First, Gladwell sets up to demonstrate that our brains process information, make connections, and draw conclusions very rapidly and apart from our consciousness. In subsequent chapters he shows how such judgments, more intuitions or gut responses, are often more useful and accurate than the conscious, fully analytic reasoning that modernity prefers. However, he also … Read More

Review: Story Craft, by John Erickson – Simply Convivial

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Originally read and reviewed in January 2011. Story Craft: Reflections on Faith, Culture, and Writing by the Author of Hank the Cowdog by John R. Erickson My rating: 3 of 5 stars Borrowed. Interesting autobiographical & cultural reflections from someone who has kept himself away from fiction and television since he started writing. He writes both about his theory on why art labeled “Christian” is bad and why “Capitalized Artist” art is also bad. He explains how his books evidence … Read More

Review: The Mother at Home by John S.C. Abbott – Simply Convivial

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Review written in March of 2011 The Mother at Home by John S.C. Abbott was written in 1833. I have read it before, but it was something like 5-6 years ago — at the beginning of my motherhood journey. There were several times that I realized, “Oh, yes! This is where I got that!” Whether “that” be a quote or an idea or a sentiment. I had completely forgotten everything but the first few pages, which I think I had … Read More

Review: Knowing God by J.I. Packer

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Read & reviewed in February 2011. My rating: 4 of 5 stars Own. This was a good book covering the basics of God’s character and dealings with men, based extensively and exclusively on Scripture. There is no personal anecdotes (except a few as examples of bad reasoning or theology), no specious reasoning. While the presentation is certainly logical, the knowledge presented is solely Scriptural and none merely logical. Packer emphasizes God’s sovereignty, but otherwise shows no partisan or denominational preference. … Read More

Review: Treasuring God in Our Traditions, by Noel Piper – Simply Convivial

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Originally posted in 2010. My rating: 3 of 5 stars Own. Treasuring God in Our Traditions follows in the footsteps of Edith Schaeffer; it is very reminiscent of Hidden Art, I thought. Mrs. Piper shows how traditions (daily patterns as well as holiday customs) communicate to children better and more deeply than words. It was a good read for someone like myself who tends to shrug off and sometimes even scoff at treating special times special as fluff and nonsense … Read More

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