Monday, January 13, 2014

Weekly Book Post: Superior Wives, Talking to Teens, Serving with Grace, and Squire


Another week in to the year, and I've finished another four books.  (I'm still on track with my 14 x 14 in 2014 Reading Challenge!)

The first was a disappointment, and I'm sorry I made myself keep reading it, just hoping it would get better: The Superior Wife Syndrome: Why Women Do Everything So Well and Why - For the Sake of Our Marriages - We've Got to Stop by Carin Rubenstein was a series of anecdotes gleaned from responses to one single internet survey mixed with personal opinion and a snarky tone.  The final advice basically boiled down to "stop doing that" but lacked any really helpful tips or practical solutions.  I thought the sarcastic title would just be to catch the attention of bookstore browsers ... but no, not so much.

A much better book was How to Talk so Teens Will Listen by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish.  Faber and Mazlish were required reading in graduate school, and I hand out copies of their books to volunteer teachers and parents at my church.  This book updates their work to include teenagers and some of the special concerns (sex, drugs, etc) that parents have with teens.

Serving with Grace: Lay Leadership as a Spiritual Practice by Erik Walker Wikstrom is a new group read for the leadership at my congregation, and it is a lovely book.  This is a different way of looking at the work that needs to be done ... that the journey is the point of it, the growth and the relationships along the way, not the outcomes.

And then we finished our family read-aloud: Squire by Tamora Pierce.  We all love Pierce's wonderful heroines and the magical medieval world she created in Tortall.  I grew up on the Lioness Quartet, and loved Alanna.  But, much as I love Alanna, I think Keladry (the heroine of Squire) may actually be my favorite.  She is just so darn real ... just a real honest to gosh, good-hearted, brave, solid character.  And I love that my kids love her too.

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