{Books Lately} February 2016

The Open Home 342

Due to computer issues I was too late to link up with Quick Lit over on Modern Mrs Darcy last month. However, I’ve been rather pleased with my reading attempts of late. I’ve been managing to squeeze in lots of reading time despite my toddler dropping her lunchtime nap and I’ve even managed to add in some fiction! So here you have it, some some short and sweet reviews of the books I’ve been reading lately.

Simplicity Parenting Book ImageSimplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne

This is quite simply the BEST PARENTING BOOK I have ever read! It’s full of so much good stuff that I intermittently go back and re-read it to keep things fresh in my mind. Kim John Payne is a Child Psychologist with experience working in war torn countries in south east Asia. He was shocked to discover when returning to the US that many children were presenting with the same symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder as the children he had worked with overseas. The reason for this he discovered was the strain of a life lived with “too much” – too much stuff, too much information, too many choices and too much stress, all at a pace that is unsustainable and leads to burnout. So the answer? Simplify.

This book is not about making parenting simple but about parenting with the goal of simplicity for your child. The book of course tackles topics such as how to simplify your home, which toys to chuck out, how to manage screen time etc, but it is the chapters on rhythm and filtering out the adult world that I found most interesting. I highly recommend this book to all parents and parents-to-be, it’s easier to start as you mean to go on that’s for sure, but it’s never to late to slow things down and make the changes that will enable your child to enjoy a more carefree childhood.

You Are Your Child's First Teacher Book ImageYou Are Your Childs First Teacher by Rahima Baldwin Dancy

I’ve always had a particular interest in earlier years education, probably because my Mum ran a preschool and I too considered this career pathway whilst in high school. I actually ended up going the health and social care route rather than the child care one but my interest remains the same, hence this book. Drawing from her experiences with Waldorf Steiner education, Rahima Baldwin Dancy shows that education starts way before formal schooling. The parents are in fact the child’s first teachers and the home the basis for all learning. I love this view, it definitely resonates with me.

The chapters explaining child development are particularly interesting and I have found them to be of use with understanding the developmental stages of my own girls and how to encourage their learning rather than hinder it. Interestingly this book also focuses a lot on rhythm in family life and how this helps children to thrive in the early years and beyond. Definitely worth a read if you are interested in child development, early years education and home education.

And the Shofar Blew Book ImageAnd the Shofar Blew by Francine Rivers

I always enjoy a Francine Rivers book. I love how her Christian fiction can be so relevant to real life, feeding my faith and recharging my batteries at the same time. This book follows the story of an enthusiastic young pastor who loses his way over the years, neglecting his family and turning from his faith, all consumed by his ambition to grow his church. This was not my favourite Francine Rivers book but it is most definitely a good read and I really got into it. As a young pastor’s wife myself, I could appreciate the many pressures and temptations that the young couple in ministry were facing, having already experienced some of them myself. This book speaks truth for all Christians though, not just those in full-time vocational ministry and is a wonderful illustration of our call to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly.

The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society Book ImageThe Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

As a Guernsey girl I admit I was slightly nervous to read this book in case I was disappointed by it’s portrayal of Guernsey life, but it turns out I need not have been nervous.  The authors have captured both occupied Guernsey and the post war period incredibly well and I found the book hard to put down. Without giving to much of the story away, the main character Juliet finds herself in Guernsey following a brief correspondence with the Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Society members, who are all rather lovable and incredibly quirky. She hopes to write a book about island life during the German occupation from 1940-1945, so is on island to interview members of the society. She inevitably falls in love with the island, just as the author, Mary Ann Shaffer did all those years before. It truly is a delightful read that also touches on some of the heartbreaking truths of the war. This book is perfect for letter lovers and history enthusiasts of which I am both, it will leave you uplifted and in need of your own literary society.

What books have you been reading lately?

6 thoughts on “{Books Lately} February 2016

  1. Those last two books!!!! Have you read Rivers’ book “Leota’s Garden”? That is by far my favorite of hers!!!!

    I’m with Carrie, that cup of cocoa looks like PERFECTION! 🙂


  2. Cherie

    I have three of those books on my shelf and love them all (Simplicity Parenting, You are your Child’s First Teacher, Guernsey Literary Society…). I also love all the Soulemama books on creative family and have been reading The Artist’s Way. Last year I read more fiction – your post reminds me that I need to make a list of fiction for the year. Thanks Jessica!


    1. I have the Soule Mama books too, particularly like the creative family, glean lots of ideas from here. I have to be very intentional about reading fiction, a list is a must!


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