So here’s what I finished reading in August:
The fiction was on the lighter side, while the nonfiction was not. These books get progressively serious as they go. 🙂 Let’s get right to it!
Confessions of a Domestic Failure
This fictional story contrasts the messiness of parenting with a deceptive, perfect-looking mommy lifestyle. It does this through the main character, Ashley, a stay-at-home mom who is striving for perfection and getting everything hilariously wrong.
And I mean hilariously.
Because she is destined to show all her weakest points, you are going to LOVE and identify deeply with at least one or two of her struggles. Reading this book is like seeing your worst days mirrored back at you, but watching it happen to someone else. And you get to laugh about it all.
To be fair, there will be moments in the first half of the book, when Ashley criticizes an area of motherhood that you may love or excel in. If you are crafter, for example, look out! That is not Ashley’s strong suit, and in the beginning of her journey she takes some jabs at it.
Confessions of a Domestic Failure is a great read for a new mom or any mom. If you’re looking for more perspective on your own life as a mom, or inspiration to lift up the moms around you, pick up this book. It’ll have you cheering on every mom who is making an effort in the bond of motherhood.
“I need another sister in failure. Someone who not only fails to achieve resolutions but forgets she even made them. Yeah. Someone like that. A leader.”
My advice is to read it with a light heart and a sense of humor, and you’ll probably love it as much as I did. One more quote for the road:
“You’re just a mom,” cut in Gloria. “You feel useless and essential at the same time. You feel like everyone is doing a better job than you and that nobody understands what you’re going through.”
Yes. We’ve all been there. Moms, unite!
I am living proof that you don’t have to be a foodie to love a book like this. Delicious! is a fictional tale written by the former editor-in-chief of Gourmet magazine. It is a lovely, light read, but it has heart and boy, does it ever have flavor.
“I smelled garlic and tomatoes and, somewhere, the rich ancient scent of olives. Bottles of clear green olive oil and dark-purple vinegar glistened like stained glass, while hams and salamis dangled from hooks in the ceiling. Huge loaves of bread balanced precariously on the shelves behind the raised counter, and great bunches of herbs hung from the rafters. It was like walking into a small Italian village, a kaleidoscope of scent, sound, and color that shifted each time another person came in.”
Delicious! is full of amazing ingredients like wartime tales, romance, humor, drama, and even a little mystery. My favorite thing about it was the way the main character developed over the course of the novel.
I loved the last half of this book immensely. The characters worked their way into my heart and thankfully the author gave me the kind of closure I was hoping for. Delicious! left me wistful and wanting to bake. There’s even a recipe at the end for the famed gingerbread that is almost like another character in the book.
This truly is a novel to savor. I really was close to giving this five stars, but the first half was a little slow for me. However, I ended up loving it!
How We Love Our Kids
As the wife of a therapist, sometimes I find some amazing resources through my hubby that are very helpful for keeping mentally and relationally healthy. This is one of those times.
How We Love Our Kids is a book that Ry uses constantly for parents in his practice, and one that I’d recommend to anyone and everyone. It discusses five different relational styles that we can have as adults, and that our kids have too. It’s focused on how we relate to each other and is not a book about personality types.
Before you read this book, you’ll need to take this little 15-minute online quiz.
There are basically five unhealthy patterns of relating, while there’s one healthy approach. You will have a dominant style and be able to focus on making progress towards the healthy one.
Things to note:
- This is not a breezy little uplifting book. It’s challenging.
- It will give you a ton of insight into yourself as well as your kids.
- The styles are discussed in extremes, to create a full picture of how they operate. You will be able to identify with so much of your style, but you are probably not 100% in your category. That’s a good thing.
- It’s possible to read this book and think, “Oh NOOOOO, I’m not healthy!” or “my kids are messed up ALREADY!!!” but you can relax. We’re all imperfect, and this book will help you be a better parent.
- The first quarter of the book is focused on you as a parent, while the middle zeros in on how to parent specifically for your child.
- There are loads of fantastic tips for parenting your kids in here, once you know what their relational style might be. (And there are amazingly accurate descriptions for each style according to age.)
- Beyond relational styles, there’s a section called Unique Children that describes different temperaments and how parenting looks for them, whether your kid(s) are Introverted, Free-Spirited, Determined, Sensitive, or Premature.
- The last quarter of the book discusses seven gifts you can give your kids, no matter who you are or who they are.
I’ve highlighted so much of this book that it was almost hard to know where to start in sharing a quote for my brief review. I thought this one, from the first third of the book that focuses on your own relational style, was absolutely brilliant.
Perfect parents we are not. But if we can face ourselves truthfully and realize where we’ve missed the mark, we can overcome our deficiencies as parents. We’d all love to live without ever hurting our children, but a better goal is to use our mistakes to admit where we’ve failed and to model personal growth. The great news is, kids don’t really need perfect parents. They need parents who say, “I messed up. I have weaknesses in me that cause hurt in our relationship. But I’m committed to growing and changing.
And this is definitely a book for growing and changing.
If you want to know how I get my books, I wrote a guide to borrowing e-books online. I’m nerdy that way. What have you been reading lately?
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