Monday, February 1, 2016

Reader Report: January 2016

Over the summer, I began writing "Reader Report" posts, to keep track of what I was reading and share the great stuff I found. Over the past months, those have become exhausting and not fun to write or read. There are some books I just skipped over, didn't post about them. These are, like I said, not fun to write and not fun to read.

However, I do still want to keep track of what I'm reading and share the good stuff. So I'm going to change how I do that. Instead of reporting on every single book, I'll do shorter updates every once in a while and say what I've been reading and what I thought - short and sweet (hopefully).

Here goes!!

 Daughters in My Kingdom, published by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
***** (5 stars)
This book was SO, SO, SO good. If you're a woman, if you're a member of the Church, if you love women, if you care about others - read this book. It covers the history of the Relief Society from Nauvoo to Salt Lake City and then around the world to today. It includes quotes and stories from prophets, Relief Society general president, and women of the Church worldwide. I learned so much reading this book, and was reminded of how much I love the women I've met in the Church. They are numerous, and their influence for good in my life cannot be measured. I have always loved Relief Society, and this book just made me love it more. 

I highly recommend this book. You can order the book for $3, download it as a PDF or MP3, or read online - click here.

Multiple Blessings, Jon and Kate Gosselin
I Just Want You to Know, Kate Gosselin
This books were alright. I watched "Jon and Kate Plus 8" many years ago, and since I love reading, was obviously interested in the book. Both of these books tell about the in's and out's of family life for these folks, at different times. The first discusses how the parents met and what their early marriage was like, their infertility struggles, and how they leaned on God in that time, the birth of their twins, and Mom's longing for "just one more," and how when the ultrasound tech counted SEVEN babies in Kate's womb - they trusted that it was God's plan and decided that life was too sacred to destroy any of them. The second book tells about later parts of their story, how being in the media affected their life, how life was changing with 10- and 12-year-olds, how their family dealt with the divorce. These books weren't spectacular, but not bad, either.

What You Have Left, Will Allison
This novel was about a family: Cal; his daughter Maddy, Maddy's husband Wiley, their daughter Holly; Holly's husband Lyle, and their baby. When Holly was young, her mother (Maddy) died. Wiley brought Holly to stay with Cal for a week or so - and Holly never saw Wiley again. This book is a kind of crazy tale, told in modern time and flashbacks, that describes the rocky road of family relationships. It was really real, true to life. I probably wouldn't read it again, but I don't think it was a waste of time. If you like fiction, it's a good read (I'm not a huge fiction person).

Belly Laughs, Jenny McCarthy
When I picked this book up for about a quarter at my local library, my mom told me it was terrible. She was right. Yes, it was funny, but incredibly boring. The chapters were so short and the topic changed so frequently, it gave me whiplash.

To Train Up a Child , Michael & Debi Pearl
(no stars)
THIS BOOK WAS TERRIBLE. I read it to broaden my horizons, expose my self to other points of view and examine them for clarity. And my decision: these views are bad. Bad. I think, the Pearls had some good ideas, some good reasons; they saw a problem with the way people around them were parenting. But their solution was not a good one. "Training" is basically classical conditioning - treating your children like Pavlov's dogs. You condition them to associate negative behavior with pain ("just a swat on the hand," which is "not spanking"), and to obey every word you say without question. When they aren't obedient, apply the rod - bad behavior leads to a guilty conscience, use punishment to absolve guilt, because they are too young to understand that Christ suffered to rid us of guilt. Basically, when your kids are little, they get the punishment for sin even though Christ already got it for them. You are to act as God, punishing their sin.
Excuse me? 1) My kids are not dogs, they're people. People with hearts and brains and feelings - just like me. They need respect as much as I do. It's my job to teach them how to cope with all these big feelings - sometimes sadness and anger that feel bigger than their little bodies - not to spank the emotions out of them. I'm allowed to have a good cry and it's not called "bad behavior" - so are they. 2) I don't want my kids to do without question whatever authority tells them. I want my kids to learn reason and ask questions and evaluate authority and commands before blindly obeying. They're born with brains - let them use it! 3) My kids don't need to be spanked. Our 7-year-old and my 5- and 6-years-old Primary class understand that Jesus died so that we can be forgiven. They get it.

"Little children are whole, for they are not capable of committing sin . . . little children need no repentance, neither baptism. Behold, baptism is unto repentance to the fulfilling the commandments unto the remission of sins.  12 But little children are alive in Christ, even from the foundation of the world . . . all children are alike unto me; wherefore, I love little children with a perfect love; and they are all alike and partakers of salvation. . . . For I know that God is not a partial God, neither a changeable being; but he is unchangeable from all eternity to all eternity. Little children cannot repent; wherefore, it is awful wickedness to deny the pure mercies of God unto them, for they are all alive in him because of his mercy. And he that saith that little children need baptism denieth the mercies of Christ, and setteth at naught the atonement of him and the power of his redemption."

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