My goal is to read 40 books this year. Check out my progress here.
I thought it would be easiest to have one post at the end of each month telling you about all of the "other" books I've read for the month. And by "other" I mean books not given to me for review by a book review website. I thought it would also be beneficial to tell you where I got the books, mainly to show that I'm not spending tons of money every month on books. In fact, I only bought one of the five books listed below and that was a Kindle version so it wasn't too expensive. The others were either given to me, borrowed from the library or something I already had on my shelf.
Permanent Pain Cure by Ming Chew
If you've been following my blog for any length of time, you know that I've been dealing with Myofascial Pain Syndrome (MPS) for a little over a year now. As the name indicates, MPS deals with problems in the fascia, the connective, web-like tissue that holds all your muscles, blood vessels, lymph system, and organs together. Pretty much everything under your skin is held there by fascia and it's all connected. Meaning when you have pain in your heel, the problem may not be in your heel. It may really be that the fascia at your hip is too tight and it's pulling it all the way down in your heel.
I spend a good part of my day doing therapies and stretches to limit the amount of pain that I'm in and I'm always looking for new ideas that just might work to decrease my pain level. This book was recommended to me by someone who found fascial pain relief. I thought it looked promising so I put it on my Christmas list. Thanks to my mom, I got it.
Synopsis: Ming Chew discovered the importance of the fascia years ago while working as a physical therapist and has been perfecting a system to help those in fascial pain. The book outlines a 4 step process for getting out of pain: increase your water intake to make the fascia more pliable and take anti-inflammatory supplements while limiting your intake of foods that inflame; stretch your spine using Ming's spinal decompression stretches; stretch your fascia using his fascial stretches; finally, strengthen the muscles around the fascia that should be stretched out and pliable now.
My Thoughts: The method outlined in the book sounds very promising. His reasoning behind everything seems to be in line with what I've learned about my condition. There are some things I am skeptical about, such as the systemic enzymes that he recommends. He calls them little roto-rooters that go in and eat up all your scar tissue. I'm not sure I'm ready to unleash little roto-rooters on my insides just yet. But, I am going to try his plan minus the roto-rooters. It starts with drinking 2 quarts of water a day for 10 days, then adding the next step. I've already increased my water but I'm going to measure it out starting at the end of January to really see if the plan works. I'd love for you to help me with this by praying that this plan helps my pain.
7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker
This book has been recommended by about a bazillion bloggers over the past year. It has received 158 5-star reviews on Amazon. I've had it on my wish list for a while and after getting some Amazon gift card money for Christmas, I decided to go ahead and buy it.
Synopsis: Jen Hatmaker, Christian author, speaker, pastor's wife and mother of 5, decided she was going to take almost a year and proclaim it to be a fast to God. She chose 7 areas of her life that were filled with excess and limited each of them for a month. During her purposeful fast of clothing, food, media, possessions, shopping, stress and waste, she found new words from Christ and a new perspective on all the "stuff" in her life.
My Thoughts: Oh. My. Word. This was an incredible book. I can see why it got all the great reviews that it did. The book is written in a very easy-to-read format - more of a blog than a book. There are a lot of statistics in it and some quotes from others, but they are presented in a way that didn't bog it down. Jen is hilarious and real-life and when you finish reading the book, you feel like she is a friend that you want to run up to and hug. However, if you think you can read this book and not be convicted about your over-consumption of "stuff", than you are wrong. This is conviction city. This book makes you examine your life and your witness to others and see if it measures up to God's Word. This is a must read for everyone!
Emilie's Creative Home Organizer by Emilie Barnes
This is one of my "list" books for this year. It's been sitting on my shelf for years and, judging by the underlining in it, I've obviously read it before. Since I don't remember a thing about it, I thought it was time to read it again.
Synopsis: Organizational expert, Emilie Barnes, compiles a list of her favorite tips on subjects such as cooking, cleaning, shopping, gardening, staying healthy and raising children.
My Thoughts: I read the first chapter straight through, then I started skimming. After reading/skimming the first few chapters I had only found about 3 tips that seemed to be helpful to me. Then a tip showed up that said - Consider buying a small home computer to keep track of home expenses. I immediately turned to the copyright date. 1995. Um, yeah, no wonder I couldn't find much that applied to my life. This book was written 17 years ago and life today is very different from life 17 years ago.
According to Amazon, there is an updated version of this book published in 2005, so maybe it's better... Overall, I wasn't impressed with this book and don't plan on keeping it.
Kisses from Katie: A Story of Relentless Love and Redemption by Katie Davis
I have wanted to read this book for a long time. I have followed Katie's blog and been amazed by her work. Luckily, the local library finally had this book in and I could check it out and read it.
Synopsis: When recent high school graduate, Katie Davis, decided to spend a year in Uganda teaching Kindergarten, her life was forever changed. She fell in love with the Ugandan people. Motivated by her love for Christ and her mission to change the life of the person God sets in front of her, Katie started the non-profit organization Amazima to help alleviate some of the poverty and starvation that she sees every day. Led by God, Katie decided to adopt 14, yes, you read that right, 14 girls from her village. Katie's work continues today and this book tells how it all started.
My Thoughts: This was a wonderful, yet convicting book to read. Katie writes with such maturity and grace that I forget she is just 22 years old. Her initiative to start her own ministry and to figure out more ways to help those around her is inspiring to me. Instead of coming up with reasons why I can't help somebody, I should take a page from her book (no pun intended) and just go help them. Katie's book does a great job of conveying her whole-hearted devotion to Jesus and to telling others about Him. She obeyed his command to go to Africa and she still obeys his command to just help the person in front of you. In doing so, she has changed countless lives. I highly recommend this book.
Honey for a Woman's Heart: Growing Your World through Reading Great Books by Gladys Hunt
I was so excited when I got this book for Christmas. It's been on my wishlist for a long time.
Synopsis: Honey for a women's heart is more of a reference then a book to be read once and forgotten. In it, Gladys Hunt tells about the greatest books that help you grow as a person. Divided into genres with an index of all books and authors mentioned, Honey will help guide you in choosing books that inspire and change you.
My Thoughts: As mentioned above, this isn't so much a book to be read as it is a reference on choosing which books to read. That being said, I did read it cover to cover. Hunt definitely loves books and her love is shown in every page. In particular, she loves books that change you as a person. Although she writes from a Christian perspective, the books highlighted are by no means "Christian" books. They are books from all genres and all kinds of authors. I love the index in it and have penciled in marks next to books that I'd like to read. I think this is a great resource for any book lover (male or female) and, especially, for any reading group. You could pick a different book from here to read every month and not get through them all for years.
I was excited to read 9 books in January. I certainly don't think every month will be that productive. I'm encouraged to see what February brings.