Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Zombie Apocalypse

You know, my husband has gotten chuckles from others for his eclectic music tastes. He enjoys listening to classical as much as hip hop and any style in between with the exception of country. I'd say he's well rounded in his music (even though he didn't know who Adele was until a month ago).

My book tastes are not quite as varied as his music tastes, but I do enjoy reading a wide spectrum of literature. I read mostly in the Christian Living section with some departures into the classics and historical fiction.

I guess you could call my most recent read 'historical fiction'..... L picked up my book from the library and took it to Hubby and said, 'Daddy's book'. He took a look at it and thought that I must have accidentally checked it out. But when he found out I'd checked out World War Z on purpose he was totally confused. I explained it was for my book club.

I've been a part of this women's book club for a few years and have enjoyed reading books, discussing them together, and widening my spectrum. So, while I probably wouldn't have just picked up a book about the future zombie apocalypse, it did make for some good discussion.

The book was set up as a series of post-war interviews with many different survivors, and only rarely were there any repeats of the same person giving an interview in a later chapter. It was an interesting concept but it did ultimately make the book more difficult to follow.

My general impression of the book was that it was an interesting concept and a non-threatening way to look at what the end of the world might look like, albeit, death by zombies. Since we all know that zombies are not real we were able to read the book from a distance and not be horrified at the possibility of millions of people actually dying. There was also some morbid humor and ironic twists as the book cataloged how different nations prepared for and handled the war (hint: don't plan any visits to North Korea, but you'll do great in Cuba). You also got to see how a crisis makes people realize what is really worthwhile. For example, in the recovery time skilled tradespeople were more in demand than business executives.

The end of the world is a future reality from a Christian standpoint. We believe that Jesus will come back one day and that life on earth only has a limited time span. I think we all have the truth within us knowing that life on earth is not all there is. It's understandable that non-christian books pop up on how the world will end and I find it interesting to explore what people think that will look like.

So, while I can't say that I 'liked' the book all that much, there was too much violence (though not gratuitous) and colorful language for me. However it was an interesting read and gave me more of a pop-cultural knowledge about how to survive an outbreak of zombies. You never know when that will come in hand.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

5 Ongoing Conversations

I recently finished two books that Kevin got me for Christmas. 5 Conversations You Must Have With Your Daughter and 5 Conversations You Must Have With Your Son, both by Vicky Courtney. The books had a similar format and some of the discussions overlapped, but not so much that you felt like you were reading the same book twice. If anything I thought that the repetition was good for me so that the important facts were engrained into my head. In both books I thought she gave great perspective on parenting: the goal is not to produce a perfect child, but to be a faithful, albeit sinful, parent. They were both very good, and simple quick reads. I'd recommend any parent (even dads) with kids of any age to read these books as a starting point for thinking about how to cover tough topics with their kids.

I started out with the one for daughters since our little girl is the oldest. I've been wondering when to have 'the talk' with her as she's getting older and starting to ask questions. Honestly I thought it would come up when we had L, but she never did pursue the conversation so I am just waiting until she is asking the questions. I remember hearing about a 'tween' event coming to town for 8-12 year olds and I refused to think of my little girl as a 'tween'. But I want to be prepared for her questions when they come and this book was helpful in thinking about how to discuss the 'talk' when it came time.

But it stressed that the sex talk is not the only important talk we have with our daughters and it's not a one time event to check off your parenting to do list. There were four other discussions that she said moms need to be in continual conversations with our daughters, instilling her with truth because the world will feed her a bunch of lies.

Her '5 conversations' were:

* Your are more than the sum of your body parts.
* Don't be in such a hurry to grow up.
* Sex is great and worth the wait.
* It's OK to dream about marriage and motherhood.
* Girls' gone wild are a dime a dozen - dare to be virtuous.

The books are geared toward a Christian audience, but non-Christians would find them helpful also. I appreciated her honesty and transparency and non-judgmental attitude toward parenting. She openly shared her own past mistakes and did not equate herself to a parenting expert, but as one who'd been there and was trying to do the right thing with her own kids.

The book for boys was great for moms to read, but I've told my husband he needs to read it too, because I want him to take the lead in discussing most of these subjects with our sons:

* Don't define manhood by the culture's wimpy standards. It's OK to be a man!
* What you don't learn to conquer may become your master
* Not everyone's doing it! (And other naked truths about sex you won't hear in the locker room.)
* Boyhood is only for a season. P.S. It's time to grow up!
* Godly men are in short supply. Dare to become one!

I found her treatment of such topics like internet pornography to be discouraging but empowering. She paints a real picture of what our boys will face growing up in today's technology age, but also reminds the reader that parents are still the most influential models in a child's life. So while the task may be daunting she helps us have the tools to meet the challenge head on.

Parenting is a big task and books like these help me to have wisdom about how to do the best I can as a mom. One quote that stuck with me from the boys book was, "It's harder to be a godly mom than it is to be a good mom." She was pointing out that we can't just address behavior with our sons, but we have to get to the root of issues. Just like we can create an exterior 'good mom' without being a godly mom. We can't just get our kids to shape up on the outside and ignore the inside and the 'why' behind the behavior. It was a side comment in her book but it stayed with me. I can make my kids behave and be 'good' kids, but my ultimate goal is that they would become a godly men and women and that takes a lot more time, effort and study on my part.

What are some of your favorite parenting books?

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Recent Reads

I love reading new books and hearing about what other people are reading. I have a list of the books I've read over the years on my computer and I've typically averaged about 20 books a year. That is, until last year. I don't know if I just forgot to enter in the books I read or I just was so busy adjusting to having a 3rd child in the house but I only have down 4 books I read the whole year!

So to make up for the lack of books last year I've been checking out the books on my list and getting back into my regular reading routine. I also wanted to use my blog to review the books I've been reading. So if I find a book I think is of interest I'll try to write about it here on my blog. Feel free to let me know what books you've enjoyed also. I'm always looking for a good book.