Quick Book Notes by Katie

Every week, I post about a book that I enjoyed recently and some things I learned from it. Usually those books center around leadership, preaching or ministry. If you’re curious, you can see them here.

This week, my wife Katie was kind enough to share some books that she’s read over the summer that might be helpful (especially if you are a woman). Men, these are some good books to get for your wife, so update your Amazon cart accordingly.

Here they are:

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Women of the Word: How to Study the Bible with Both Our Hearts and Our Minds by Jen Wilkin

 5 stars: Have you ever had a book meet you right where you are at exactly the right time? This book was one of many along my journey that did just that. I have read through my Bible a few times over the last few years and knew that I wanted to take a book at a time and dig a little deeper… enter Women of the Word. This book is super hands on and goes through how to take a book of the bible and study it inductively. To read the Bible as a book about God, and allow our minds, not our hearts, to guide us in this study is the basis of coming to a fuller understanding of the text and how we should live in light of it. “The heart cannot love what the mind does not know.” This book outlines a simple, straightforward way to study the Bible. If you are looking for a reason and method to dig deeper into God’s word, then I would highly suggest this book.

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How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character by Paul Tough

 This book chronicles how the education system has changed (or not) in response to psychology’s advances in understanding how the mind and character develop. Right from the start Tough (shows) how our early attempts at reform in the education system focused on teaching children their abcs and 123s at an earlier age did little to close the gap of under performing schools/children. The rest of this book follows developments in psychology and understanding how that affects current reform. The conclusion is that children need to learn and develop character traits (executive functions of the brain) that will help them to succeed as their education continues. As a mom of kids from hard places this book gave me quite a bit of hope that the game is not lost… It builds on the reading that I have done for our adoptions. As informative as this book is, it lacks any how to, which as a parent is disappointing. Thankfully the research and application of many of these ideas has really been fleshed out by Karyn Purvis. I feel like they go hand in hand. (PS. Tough is a thoroughly engaging author, his use of explaining what could be very dry studies interspersed with real life stories is brilliant.)

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True Beauty by Carolyn Mahaney and Nicole Whitacre

 This book has good information, but is not engaging. I read it in a series of books about being a biblical woman and where true beauty comes from, specifically about modesty and this was the one that I liked least. There was at least one ah-ha moment in the book, but it seems like the authors were asked to write a book, so they obliged, but it lacks heart.

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Unsqueezed: Springing Free from Skinny Jeans, Nose Jobs, Highlights and Stilettos by Margot Starbuck

This book also deals with finding your identity as a Women of God and where our beauty comes from. Not only did this book take a decidedly different approach to this topic it was a delightful read, filled with great stories and unorthodox conclusions. This book pushed me in ways that I was not expecting. A refreshing read on an old topic.

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Not Who I Imagined: Surprised by a Loving God by Margot Starbuck

As an adoptive mom, I appreciate reading books written by adult adoptees (I have no idea if that is the right way to say that, buy you catch my drift), this book was no exception. I loved the premise of this book, healing from our past and finding our identity completely in Christ and felt as though the book started out really strong. In the end, I felt like it lacked a little in the practical- how to move forward- department. Overall this was a great read, and I would, and did, suggest it to women who are trying to break free from their past.

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