Thursday, May 31, 2012

Off the Shelf - May

This is the beach edition of Off the Shelf. I spent more time reading this past month than usual, mostly because my other distractions were not available. I'll probably balance it out next month by reading nothing!

Children's Picture Books

Snowflake Bentley - Jacqueline B. Martin
Wonderful illustrations tell the story of an amazing man with the dream of sharing the Vermont snowflakes with the world.

The Good Garden - Katie Smith Milway
A great story about another culture,  good gardening techniques and how one man made a difference in a community.

Mittens - Clare Turlay Newberry
An old classic story - perfect since we acquired a kitten last week.

The Bear that Heard Crying - Natalie Kinsey-Warnack
The true story of Sarah Whitcher. We love Ted Rand's illustrations.

And we had to read some books about lighthouses after our vacation to Outer Banks...

Birdie's Lighthouse by Deborah Hopkinson
Keep the Lights Burning, Abbie by Peter and Connie Roop
Both these books describe the life of a lighthouse keeper from the perspective of the light house keeper's daughter.

Beacons of Light Lighthouses - Gail Gibbons
Descriptions of lighthouses and the work they do.

Adult Books

Dangerous Minds - Lou Anne Johnson
A teacher of an inner city high school seeks to inspire her students to care about their education. Enjoyable book on the positive impact a person can have by showing love and encouragement. Not from a Christian perspective.

Still Alice - Lisa Genova
A novel that vividly shows the progress of Alzheimer from the perspective of the one who has it. Well written, beautiful story though heart rending. It brought back many memories of my Grandma who died several years ago. Though not from a Christian perspective, I'd recommend the book if you know someone with Alzheimers, especially early onset.
On the same subject, A Promise Kept by Robertson McQuilkin is a wonderful God honoring book on Alzheimers from the caregiver's perspective. Ed and I read it together before we were married and it was a wonderful example of a true commitment in marriage.

Shaking Hands with Mr. Parkinson - Gary Miller
Another book about a terrible disease, this time Parkinson's. The author shares his journey with the disease as well as introduces you to many others who have "shaken hands" with Parkinson's. This book shares the hope and courage that can be found by faith in Christ. I found Gary and his wife Marie's testimony inspiring though the subject is bleak.
If this book whets your appetite to learn more about Gary and Marie, read Awaiting the Dawn. A story of the terrifying night when Guatemalan terrorists took the life of Marie's first husband, John Troyer and wounded Gary.


Heart of Anger - Lou Priolo
Did I tell you that I found a lot of good books this month? This is a  practical, Biblical, toe-mashing how-to manual on defeating anger in your children. I've finished reading the book but it will be much longer until I assimilate all the information in this book. This book takes child training far beyond discipline into reaching the heart. Highly recommended.

Together, Growing Appetites for God - Carrie Ward
Have you wanted to teach your children the Word of God but don't feel well grounded in the Word yourself? Carrie had the same burden and decided to do something radical, read the Bible, from start to finish, with her four pre-school aged children. Carrie is very real and I didn't feel that she was a spiritual giant but just a normal mom with a vision. Short but inspiring book.

I would love to hear what you are reading! And maybe add a few more books to my "must read" list!

This post contains affiliate links, which means if you follow the link to Amazon and make a purchase, a teeny tiny fraction will be given to me. Thanks! 


  1. Thank-you for mentioning Still Alice. I shall look that one up. My father is well into his dementia now, and I am reading everything I can on the subject.

    1. I'm so sorry for your dad. That is so very hard to watch.

  2. Thanks for all of the recommendations, Gina! It's good to get your take on these books. Sometimes it's hard to tell what a book will be like just from a description or even from browsing in a bookstore. I will have to look for Shaking Hands with Mr. Parkinson, as I have had several relatives afflicted by this dreadful disease.

    As a side note, you will find these facts interesting concerning two of the children's books -- the incident involving Sarah Whitcher and the bear took place just a half hour or so from here, and Sarah Whitcher was an ancestor of a friend of mine. Also, I have visited the museum in Vermont (Fairbanks Museum in St. Johnsbury) where many of Snowflake Bentley's photographs are displayed. It was some years ago, when our children were young, but they had read about Snowflake Bentley and we were all in awe at the beautiful photos he managed to get of snowflakes.

    1. Mrs. T
      How neat that you live in the area that those books describe! Thanks for sharing!

  3. I love all your book recommendations: Here's a few of my favorites.
    "The Waiting Child"- How the Faith and Love of One Orphan saved the Life of Another- Cindy Champnella (A sweet, sweet story of children adopted from China.)
    "The Gypsy Girl"- Trolli Wulff (Haven't we all wondered what would happen if a peasant and a princess got switched? This one has some good lessons.
    "Foreign to Familiar"- A guide to understanding hot and cold climate cultures.- Sarah A. Lanier
    "Teach Like Your Hair's on Fire"- Rafe Esquith -An amazing public school teacher in LA.
    And for your children- "Edith and Mr. Bear"- not sure about the author, we get it at the library
    Happy reading!

    1. Wendy-
      Thanks for the book suggestions! I'll check them out!


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