Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Winter Reads

Some of the books that have been on my stack this winter...



The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey
I had heard much about this book and thought I knew its message without reading it. But I enjoyed it more than I expected. Ramsey gives a simple step-by-step method for managing your money. If you don't know where to begin, he makes it very simple (but maybe not easy) to get control of your spending.

If I would state one thing that I didn't care for in The Total Money Makeover it would be the self-centered attitude. (Please don't attack me all you Ramsey fans!) I'd still recommend the book.

Reading about finances made me interested enough to pull another book off our shelf that I had never read.



Kingdom-Focused Finances for the Family by Gary Miller
To me, Miller went one step further than Ramsey. Through stories of his financial counseling experiences and real life examples, Miller approaches finances through a vision of stewardship. Much of his advice echos Ramsey's but this book is from a deeply Christian (Anabaptist) perspective. I'm not sure anyone could read this book without being convicted in some area. This book also went in far more detail than Ramsey's in areas like communicating with your spouse about money. Highly recommended.



Life in a Global Village by Gary Miller
My parents gave us this short book for Christmas. If all the world were shrunk into one village of 100 people, what would they look like? Where would you fit? Through photos, charts, and simple graphics, this convicting book will open your eyes to the reality of the world's economy. If you ever are tempted to compare yourself to your neighbors and feel like you are lacking, read this book. Simple enough for your children to understand. After enjoying two of Gary Miller's books, I'm looking forward to reading more by this author.

And on the financial topic...

Pennywise published by Keepers at Home
The Keepers at Home magazine occasionally prints what they call a Keeper's Book - a single topic book with a feel of a magazine with articles and stories from various authors. Pennywise is the latest addition to the Keeper's Book. The authors are Amish and Mennonite who bring a variety of perspectives on money managing. Some of the articles ramble and (in my opinion) are poorly written. Other articles are well written such as Sheila Petre's perspective on giving in "Ledges of Joy", Crystal Steinhauer's shopping tips and Florence Fox's funny account of her first budget. Stephanie Leinbach, Regina Rosenberry, and Dianna Overholt also have excellent articles as well as some others. In an attempt at full disclosure (though I find it sorta embarrassing - how do authors talk about their own books?) I'll mention that three of my articles are printed in the book. I'll let you decide which of the two categories they fit. I did enjoy most of the book. Since Keepers at Home are Amish, they have no website but you can find Pennywise here.



My Heart in His Hands by Sharon James
I have always been fascinated by the story of Ann Judson, who followed her husband to Burma to be on of the first American foreign missionaries. I can't imagine the trials Ann suffered to share Christ so far from all comforts of life. Though her life was short, Ann Judson influenced a generation of missionaries. I liked this book because it quoted a lot from Ann's letters and journals. Read if you want to be inspired by her example of surrender.



Good to Great by Jim Collins
Some great books are worth revisiting. I had read Good to Great over ten years ago but found it as good as I remembered. In Good to Great, Collins shares his huge amount of research on what made some companies go from mediocre to outstanding. The answers were not what Collins expected. Though this book is relating to the business world, I found a lot of co relations to church, family, and relationships. If you ever wished to leave mediocrity behind, the insights in this book are worth considering.

(To my local friends - I own all these books - and I love to share books - so just ask if you'd like to borrow one.)

What good reads did you find this winter?

This post contains affiliate links. If you click through to Amazon and purchase any item (not just these books) a small amount is shared with me at no extra cost to you. Thank you.


15 comments :

  1. I love to read but hardly ever read books these days! I think it's because I know I won't have the self-discipline to put the book down and get my other work done so I just don't start one :) I did read a couple of good books this winter though: Atlas Girl by Emily Wierenga - I read her blog and got the book for a friend and read it first :) It is her story of her journey with anorexia and finding God to be the answer. Also No More Strangers by Mary June Glick - she and my mother were friends for years and this book reminded me so much of my mom and the
    book she always wanted to write about their early years in AR...brought tears lots of times for me. It is the story of the Glick family's years as missionaries in Belize, very good!

    I think maybe I should try to read a few more books! :)

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  2. We are HUGE Dave Ramsey fans.. and are even in the middle of coordinating our 2nd course. We have gone through his "classes" (initially to get the ball rolling, as a refresher and then either co-coordinating or coordinating) It has seriously changed our lives. I'm glad to hear your thoughts on it... and that you've read the book. And ... truth be told. IT IS HARD... as Dave says; Personal finance is 20% head knowledge and 80% behavior.

    I would be interested in picking up Miller's book - as a co-read.

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    1. Glad to hear from someone who loves Ramsey's books. I know there are lots of you who have benefited from his teaching and encouragement.
      Gina

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  3. Hi Gina,

    Thank you for the terrific book reviews. Although we are not Amish or Mennonite, I subscribe to Keeper At Home (I find most of the articles uplifting and it never contains "questionable" material or subject matters). I've contemplated purchasing "Penny Wise" and now after your review I will eagerly await its delivery.
    Blessings,
    Mrs.B

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    Replies
    1. Is "Keeper At Home" mostly for mothers, or is it just as useful for people who keep house for other people for a living? If it is useful for the latter group, do you have an email address or Website or place I could look up information?
      Thank you.

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    2. Most of the magazine is geared toward mothers.
      Gina

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  4. If you liked Kingdom Focused Finances, you might want to read Gary Miller's "Charting a Course". It's supposed to be more geared toward youth, but is good for everyone. We liked it better than KFF; it really brings out Jesus New Testament teachings... I'd love to have someone to sit down with and discuss some of these things! (Besides Tony, which we do all the time!)

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    Replies
    1. Charting a Course is the next one I'd like to read. Thanks for letting me know that it is worth while.
      Gina

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  5. I'm about to read a novel which was based on the author's life. It's "A Circuit Rider's Wife," by Corra Harris, and it was originally published in 1910. I don't remember where I learned about this book - - maybe it was here!

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    Replies
    1. Sounds like a book I'd enjoy. I love true stories. I'll look for it.
      Gina

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  6. I think you are the first person that I've heard call Dave Ramsey's book self-centered! :-) I do know a lot about the man as a listener over many years and read a few of his books as well and he is anything but. He spends his life helping others and giving to others. His whole method is to help you get out of debt, so that you can help others - help yourself first, so you can help others.

    We paid off over $81K in debt and then close to $100K in med bills over the past several years. If anything, it helped us to not be self-centered anymore by thinking about laying up for our children after we are gone. The method/plan really does work for getting out of debt and staying out of debt. Just some encouragement from someone who has spent years listening to his advice!

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    1. Bev -
      Thanks for sharing your perspective. I love to hear stories like yours of success in getting out of debt. I know that thousands have benefited from Ramsey's teaching and I do like his goal of sharing with others.

      I guess for me personally, I don't want my perspective to be how can I use my money like Ramsey so I can have his investment portfolio. Instead I want to hold my money with palms open toward God and ask how the Lord wants me to use my money - which is really God's money anyway.
      Gina

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  7. I wish I lived close to you so I could borrow Penny Wise! I just read the sample on line. I'll keep it in mind as a future purchase!

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  8. I think I am having more fun with my reading! I decided a couple of years ago that I would reread all those classics I was forced to read in school and really too naive and young to understand, This has included the '3 Musketeers' and 'For Whom the Bell Tolls' and 'Atlas Shrugged' and this winter I included Corrie Ten Booms' books - they are always inspiring!

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    1. I love Corrie Ten Boom's books too. And I've been reading some classics in recent years too - such as Uncle Tom's Cabin. I'm rather certain that I am enjoying it more now than I would have as a teen.
      Gina

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I'm still learning how to be a joyful homemaker and I'd love to hear from you!

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