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Welcome to my weekly book update post where I share what books I read this past week + my honest thoughts and star ratings of them.

If you want to see what I’m currently reading or what I’ve read so far this year, you can check out my GoodReads account.

A Word on My Star Ratings

The star ratings I give the books I read are based on a 5-star rating system. I rarely will ever give a book a 1-star rating (maybe never?), because my philosophy is that if a book is only worthy of one star, I’m more than likely going to quit reading it. 🙂 In the same vein, you’ll also notice that I’ll rarely give a 5-star rating as I reserve those for only my very, very favorite books.

Here are the 5 books I finished last week…

No Better Mom for the Job

I really loved this book! While it was written more for moms of younger kids, it was great to read as I gear up to be the mom of a baby and toddler and preschooler again!

If you sometimes question whether you are really cut out to be a mom or you sometimes wonder if your kids are getting short-changed because your mothering style and strengths are so different than other moms you know, I think this book will really encourage your heart.

Becky writes from the trenches as a mom who has experienced the exhausting stage of mothering three young boys who were very close in age. In this book, she shares what she has learned as a mom. She shares her story to embrace her gifts, lean into her strengths, and rely on the Lord in the middle of the mundane and messes of motherhood.

For more on how this book inspired me, read this post I wrote based upon one of the quotes in the book.

Verdict: 4 stars

100 Words of Affirmation Your Wife/Husband Needs to Hear

These books, by Matt and Lisa Jacobson, are a quick but impactful read. If you need some practical ideas and encouragement to speak words of life to your spouse or you just would love to glean from the wisdom of a couple who have raised 8 kids and been married for 27 years, I think you’ll find these books insightful.

I think it would be especially fun to read them together as a couple and to compare notes. (Some of their suggestions sparked good conversations between Jesse and me the past two weeks!)

These books  a good reminder to me of how important it can be to take the little bit of extra time to express how much we appreciate our spouse. It doesn’t cost any money, it takes very little extra effort, but it could make a huge difference in our marriage.

Verdict: 3 stars

Great Escapes of World War II

I read this book aloud to the family last week. It’s fairly short and each chapter covers one specific story of POW escape during World War II.

While some of us knew parts of some of the stories, we all learned new things. And it was one of those books that made you want to dig deeper into the stories shared.

It also was interesting to read at the same time I was listening to Killing the Rising Sun. The contrast between how different countries treated POWs was really sad and fascinating.

I think the thing I was most struck with was how much effort the POWs expended to try to escape. And in almost every case, dozens (or even hundreds!) of POWs worked together for just a few to escape. It was an inspiration to think of their sacrifices on behalf of others.

Verdict: 3 stars

Killing the Rising Sun

Last week, I told you how I didn’t enjoy Killing Patton. Well, this book certainly redeemed that reading experience.

I listened to this book on the free Libby app and am so glad I did. It is well worth listening to — especially if you enjoy history.

This book chronicles the backstory leading up to the end of World War II. A lot of the content surrounds the creating and dropping the atomic bombs.

While it mostly focuses on facts and history, it does bring up a lot of valuable ethical questions surrounding the use of atomic bombs. It made me think long and hard about these decisions people made and the longterm ramifications of them.

Verdict: 4 stars

Classic Movie We Watched This Week

The kids decided — all on their own — that they want to start watching one old classic movie per week together as a family in 2020. They are helping me choose the list of movies and I’ll be reporting here what we watch each week and their thoughts on it.

I plan to do a big classic movie round-up post at the end of the year with their verdict on the best and favorites of the ones we watched. (Thank you for all the great suggestions for must-watch classic movies!)

The Sound of Music

This movie was on our list from the get-go this year. I have watched it a few times in my life, but it’s been a long time.

The girls had watched it once before, but they had forgotten parts of it. Silas just kept having his eyes grow wide when they’d start singing one of the songs. “Whoa! That song came from this movie, too??” he’d say. (I think the songs were actually originally from the musical that was turned into the movie, right?)

Many years ago, I read the true story account that the movie/musical was based on. The kids enjoyed hearing me share what I remember was fact and what was added to the storyline.

While the movie is long and a little slow moving in parts, we overall enjoyed it. And now I’ve had all the Sound of Music songs in my head all week!

What did you read this past week? Any books you think I really need to add to my long to-read list??

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