Wednesday, March 6, 2013

February Books

These are the books that I've read in February, my "other" books.  Feel free to read the list of 12 books that I'm planning to read in 2013.  You can also see all the books I've read this year and find links to their reviews on my Pinterest page.

6 Ways to Keep the Little in Your Girl

My wonderful husband gave me this book and the one below as Christmas gifts.

Synopsis:  Written for mothers of tween-aged girls (ages 8 - 12), Six Ways helps mothers of girls navigate all the tricky things in her girl's life.  It tells clearly how to tell your daughter about puberty and how to keep her from becoming too boy-crazy too young.  Gresh speaks about modesty, appropriate clothing and toys as well as appropriate media that your young daughter should and should not be exposed to.  

My Thoughts:  This is a must read for every mother with an 8-12 year old daughter!  There are so many things that scare me about this world for my daughter.  I want my her to have every chance to be pure and innocent for as long as she possibly can.  I want her to love pretending and reading books and playing with her doll right now instead of thinking about clothes or makeup or boys.  This book gives very practical advice on how to keep your little girl a little girl.  I love Dannah's easy to read, conversational style and I love how current the book is (talks specifically about celebrities such as Mylie Cyrus and Lady Gaga).  You can bet this will be kept and used as a resource in our house for a quite a while.

8 Great Dates for Moms and Daughters

Synopsis:  Written as a companion book to the Six Ways book (listed above), 8 Great Dates lists out 8 places to take your tween daughter and 8 things to teach her on those dates.  Studies have shown that a daughter's relationship with her mother is the single most important relationship that she has in her tween and teenage years.  Gresh gives 8 ways to keep the conversation open with your child while affirming her individuality and teaching her about the beauty that God created in her.

My Thoughts:  Another great book by Dannah Gresh.  Finding ways to connect to your tween daughter and finding great, unique ways to teach her how beautiful she is, is very hard.  Luckily Dannah created a cheat-sheet for us moms.  The dates listed in the book include visiting an art museum to learn how men look at women's bodies and subsequently, why we should dress modestly; getting a facial done at a local spa to learn how lovely and unique every human face is; and going on a special, fancy date with both mom and dad to learn how important purity is.  I think Julie is a little to young to appreciate these dates right now, but I will be coming back to this book in a year or so and following every word.  (Both Dannah Gresh books correspond with her SecretKeeperGirl website.  Feel free to go there for more information.)

When the Snow Comes, They Will Take You Away
This book is so old, it's not currently being sold on Amazon and there is no picture of the cover.  This was a recommendation from Honey for a Women's Heart in the biography section.  I checked it out of our local library.

Synopsis:  This memoir by Eric Newby follows him through his imprisonment in a POW camp in Italy in WWII and his journey through Italy for 4 months, after his release.  Throughout the story, Eric is helped numerous times by the Italian people in the countryside, people he had formerly thought of as his enemy.

My Thoughts:  This was a very unique book.  I learned so many things about WWII that I didn't know.  I never realized that Allied POW's in Italy were released at the time of the Italian surrender in Sept 1943.  However, no one came to get them because Germans were swarming the country.  So those prisoners had to either survive in Italy and hide from the Germans (or those loyal to the Germans), escape over the mountains to Switzerland or make their way through Italy to the south and cross the battle lines to where the Allied forces were fighting.  Newby does a great job of helping the reader realize that the Italian people were not really the enemy.  Their government was the enemy, but, like everyone around the world, the Italian peasants just wanted the war to end and for their sons to come home.

While the subject matter and storyline were unique, reading the book was a little tedious.  There were a lot of descriptions of mountains and trees and ridges.  There is a map at the beginning of the book which helps as you're reading, but it still took a while to wade through the imagery.  That being said, I still wanted to keep reading.  I still wanted the story to go on.  And I still enjoyed it.

The following are all short e-books that I got free on Amazon.  The titles pretty much give a good description of the books, so I won't include a synopsis on these.  They really only take an hour or so each to read.  If you are looking for free Kindle books like these, visit  She lists all the best of the free fiction, nonfiction and kids books for the day.

Real Clever Solutions and Ideas

If you could see all the bookmarks that I saved from this book on my Kindle, you would know that there really are clever solutions and ideas in this book.  I found great ways to remove soap scum and to make nontoxic drain cleaner.  This is a very useful little book.  (Look for it to pop up free again on Amazon or pay the $0.99 for it.  It's worth it.)

55 Things to do for $5

Don't waste your money on this.  I thought there would be good, cheap entertainment ideas in here.  But no, the ideas were things like people watch, exercise or do your gardening.  I really don't consider those things entertainment.  From the title, I thought it was going to be more creative.

25 money making businesses you can start in your spare time

This e-book lists 25 ideas for online business.  Each chapter includes a few paragraphs about what the business is and how much it costs to get started.  Then there are a bunch of websites listed that you can visit for more information on the subject.  If you are really wanting to start an online business and have no clue of the business choices out there, then this book would be helpful.  If you are aware of the business options out there, then this book won't help you much.

How to become a successful work at home mom

This one was just OK.  It was aimed at someone who formerly had an outside job and wanted to transition that job to home.  It's not really for a mom trying to start up a home business.  Also, the author is based in the UK so some of the things she wrote about did not apply to Americans.

The Makings of a Young Entrepreneur

Written by a 5th grader - a 5th grader! - who has a successful online jewelry business, this book is very impressive.  Aimed at children, I found Gabrielle Williams to be very well spoken and very relevant.  She talks about not only the fun part of a business but about the hard work involved in starting and running one.   Not only is she a successful businesswoman at such a young age (she started her company when she was 7), she is a sought after motivational speaker.  This is a great book for any child who has ideas of becoming an entrepreneur.

Making Money on the Internet - 197 Ways to Increase your Income from Home in your Spare Time

I thought this was one of the worst books I've ever read.  I almost didn't include it on the list because I so disliked it, but I figured bad reviews are just as important as good ones.  It looks like this book is long and might have good info, but no, really the author just uses really big fonts for the chapter titles.  There is hardly any real information in any of the chapters.  Pretty much it's just a list of websites to visit, those that promise you money for one reason or another.  Most of the chapters end with the author admitting that he hasn't visited that site and doesn't know much about it and that you should do your research.  Really?  I could have figured all this out with one Google search and a little common sense.  The crowning jewel in this bad review was when the author mentioned writing an e-book for money.  He says to be sure to check and double check the book for errors.  Then he has both a spelling mistake and a grammatical error in the next chapter.  Guess he doesn't practice what he preaches.  Don't bother with this book...ever.  (Hmm... I can't find this on Amazon anymore.  Just know if you do see it out there, don't get it.)

I help measure how useful a non-fiction book is to me by how many bookmarks I save.  This book had a lot compared to the length of the book (which wasn't very long).  The author divides the book up into washing, drying and removing stains.  Then tells you ideas on 3 levels, depending on how frugal you really want to be. I like the choices she offers and I like her organization.  It makes it easy to go back and reference.  If you need some help saving money in the area of laundry, pick this up today.  It's totally worth $0.99.

I read 4 full-length books in February (3 listed on this post as well as Echoes) and 7 shorter e-books.  That brings my total up to 13 books for the year (I didn't count the e-books).  I'm well on my way to reaching my 40 book goal.  See all the books I've read on my Pinterest page.

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