The Book Nook {February}

{Five Week Summary}

In the Company of Others: A Father Tim Novel by Jan Karon
There's a quote by Karon on the back of my book which says, "Of all the novels I've written, In the Company of Others is my personal favorite, my dark-haired child." After working my way through the same book, I can't imagine why this is her favorite. If you loved the Mitford series (as I did), I think you might be slightly disappointed in this story. Too many characters and story lines and I honestly couldn't keep the names straight (e.g. who was "Balfour"?). Compared to Mitford, I thought it felt disjointed, and although it turned around towards the end, it would never become a re-read for me.

Who Made God?: And Answers to Over 100 Other Tough Questions of Faith edited by Zacharias/Geisler
Finished. Finally. I purchased this book back in 2010 and started reading it the same year. I can sum up the book in five words: It Made Me Feel Dumb. I re-read passages, straining to understand, but most of the ideas being discussed went right over my head. If you're looking for a book to give to someone (not in academia) who is questioning Christianity vs. all other religions, this is not the book to give. While I love listening to Zacharias, and I've heard Geisler lecture, the majority of authors who contributed to this book appear to have a hard time communicating to people who might not have studied apologetics their whole life. My goal is to read more apologetic books this year so they won't go over my head, but I was still sadly disappointed in this one.

A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: How I Learned to Live a Better Story by Donald Miller
I'll be honest, up to chapter nine, I wondered what in the world people saw in this book. But then things picked up, and I was quite challenged by the idea of creating a story, taking the skills and abilities that God has given you and doing something with them, rather than waiting for something to happen to you. However, as a Christian, I was bothered by much of Miller's theology and his Rob Bell-esque tones, so I have to add a caveat that I read the book much as I would any secular story; testing everything against the Truth of Scripture and using discernment.

One Bite at a Time: 52 Projects for Making Life Simpler by Tsh Oxenreider
I'll be honest, I didn't take 52 weeks to read this book because once I started, I couldn't stop reading! I was so encouraged by some of the simple projects that make big impacts. For example, Project 12 - Clean Your Kitchen As You Cook. It seems like a no-brainer, right? However, we can all use a reminder now and then, and ever since I got mine in One Bite, I've made an effort to clean out the sink each night, keep up on unloading/loading the dishwasher, and making sure that the kitchen stays fairly clean as I cook. OH.THE.DIFFERENCE. it has made in attitude and the whole feel of the house. It was well worth the $5 to download this little treasure!

Home to Holly Springs by Jan Karon
As you might remember, I read Father Tim Book #2 first, and I gave it an iffy review. When I went to my bookshelf, I discovered that I had Book #1 but had never gotten around to reading it, so I threw it next to the bed with very low expectations. Truth be told, I enjoyed Home to Holly Springs (set in Mississippi and Memphis) much more than I did In the Company of Others (which takes place in Ireland). Holly Springs had more similarities to the Mitford series (the characters and relationships), but it still can't hold a candle to Mitford (in my humble opinion).

The Double Comfort Safari Club by Alexander McCall Smith
Back in 2003, a friend suggested that I pick up a copy of The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency since we were planning on working in Africa. I immediately fell in love with the characters that Smith had created, and upon our arrival in Botswana in 2004, everything came to life. I drove down Zebra Drive, visited Princess Marina Hospital (not as nice as it's described in the books), and lived next door to the real-life Dr. & Mrs. Moffet. However, the best feature of these books is that you don't have to travel thousands of miles to Botswana to feel like you are there. Smith has a gift for making real life jump out from the pages of his books, and The Double Comfort Safari Club is no exception.

West with the Night by Beryl Markham
I started this book back in October at the recommendation of a friend who thought I would enjoy it because of my experiences in aviation and Africa. I tried to like the book, I really did, but I found the first 3/4 of it to be tedious and unnecessarily wordy. On the upside, I enjoyed learning about Beryl Markham (whom I had never heard of prior to this book), and I certainly admired her fortitude as she struck out in two fields (horse training and aviation) that had previously been dominated by men. In summary: don't toss the book based on my experience. My friend (who hasn't worked in aviation or Africa) loved the book, so try it for yourself and see what you think!

I'm linking up @ Life as MOM


  1. The One Bite at a time sounds really good! Thanks for sharing! http://homeschoolblogger.com/martha/

  2. I have GOT to get that One Bite at a Time, every time you mention it I get all curious.

  3. Interesting to hear your take on Donald Miller's book...I haven't read it yet but it's on my "to read" list. I truly didn't know exactly what it was about but I like that you mentioned that it focuses on how we can create our own story. I totally agree with that! However, I didn't realize that it had some theological undertones as well. I am curious to see what I think of it now...

  4. Me,too. I think I need One Bite at a Time, also.

  5. To everyone who mentioned "One Bite" - yes, buy it. :-)

    Sarah - I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on Miller's book once you read it.


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