a reading list and some links for a good start to 2012


It’s already January 6 and so far it has been a wonderful  year, having spent most of it with most of our children and half of our grandchildren! I am trying to get organized and my own goals for the coming year include lots more reading and writing.  Here are some links to share and I would love to hear what is on your reading list for 2012, too!


The Containerization of Our Children…lots of food for thought in this article.



And here is another article that discusses the importance of play for children.



Here is a sweet idea for your garden or yard and a lovely way to keep track of how quickly your children are growing!


Looking for cooking inspiration?  Look no further than this series of articles on creative ways to use your crock pots!


Mark Driscoll and his wife have written a new book on marriage that is being discussed from one end of the internet to the other. Since I do not intend to read this book myself, here are some insightful thoughts by Rachel Evans.  You also might appreciate the thoughts of the friendly atheist blogger who seems to get it better than many Christians who are endorsing this book!


I really appreciated this poignant story, especially in light of the fact that I received a copy of my original birth certificate during the holidays and,  to my disappointment, my birthmother’s name was missing from it.


I so love reading Wade Burleson and appreciate his thoughtful perspective on women and ministry.


When our kids were here during the holidays, it was fun to hear them talk about books they were reading and their goals for their reading lists in the coming year.  It inspired me to read more intentionally in 2012 so I have started a list and am stacking these on my end table in the library. Some of them are books I have read in bits in pieces already but plan to read straight through, taking notes. There are even a couple pieces of fiction, which is unusual for me!   What is on your list for the coming year? Why? I would love to hear about it!


Slaves, Women & Homosexuals: Exploring the Hermeneutics of Cultural Analysis


Moonwalking with Einstein:  The Art and Science of Remembering Everything


Influence:  The Art of Persuasion


Paul Through Mediterranean Eyes


Junia: The First Woman Apostle


The Hermaneutical Spiral: A Comprehensive Introduction to Biblical Interpretation


Give Them Grace: Dazzling Your Kids with the Love of Jesus


The Help


Things As They Are (Amy Carmichael)


Pilgrim at Tinker Creek


The Underground History of American Education




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  1. says

    I, too, hope to do more reading in 2012. I’ve added some ideas off your book list to my own!

    I’m off to a good start, having already read Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand this week. It really takes off about 1/4 of the way through and I couldn’t put it down! Great way to break in my new kindle.

    Also want to read:
    Evolving in Monkeytown
    Half the Church (started this awhile ago but need to finish it!)
    Half the Sky (ditto…)
    Kisses from Katie
    On the Incarnation
    Evidence Not Seen
    The Blue Parakeet
    Jesus Among Other Gods

  2. Jerzy says

    Great links, Karen. Glad to see you back among the blogging!

    My hubby and I made stepping stones last summer for our landscaping. It was his idea and we made them with colored cement and a hexagonal frame (there are lots of hexagons in our house). We couldn’t find any at the “Big Box” stores so, being the engineer he is, he decided to make his own. We needed a lot so we did hands and feet of everybody, even the dog! It was great fun! Now whenever I step on them, I get warm fuzzies.

    Kudos to you for starting intentional reading. I have a question, though, about kids’ reading. We’ve made our way through “Honey for a Child’s Heart” (up to now, I’ve allowed them to pick their own books, even if it was twaddle, with the understanding that they would also read ones that I picked out for them). But I lost my copy, which is okay since we were almost done with it anyway, and I think it’s time for them to have their own book lists. They are 14 (girl) and 12 (boy). When I let them loose, they go to Star Wars and Justin Bieber biographies! Blech! My literature-snobby heart skips a beat. They’ve always loved the books I choose for them but I’d like to guide them to their own sources. Do you have any ideas on where we can find suggestions for books to read for their age group?

  3. Susan T says

    We have done well for those ages, and older & younger kids, by selecting books recommended by both Sonlight and Beautiful Feet catalogs/websites. I have saved old catalogs for the book lists by age & topic. A handful of other good books not found in those catalogs, but also broken down by age, are listed with study guides at Progeny Press. I can’t remember if Susan Wise Bauer has a book list in “The Well Trained Mind” … I borrow that from a friend or library… So can’t look now.

  4. says

    The Underground History of American Education

    I’d read that one carefully. It’s online. I check out the first two chapters or so a while back. Very little footnotes. Many assertions. Still might be thought-provoking.

  5. Kelley says

    Thanks for the link to the review of the Mark Driscoll marriage book. She hits on one of my big concerns for the church today–the influence of celebrity pastors. I look forward to your reading lists! Thanks!

  6. says

    Jerzy, I’m editor of BreakPoint’s book review page for teens and preteens, called Youth Reads. Go to my link and you’ll see it. You can also sign up for our free e-newsletter.

  7. says

    The Driscoll book —

    I must have been living under a rock lately because I didn’t know about the book or the controversy. But after reading that article, can I just say it sickens me that a man would publish that about his wife???? Why???? If the shoe was on the other foot, let’s say his wife wrote the book and told about the “dream” and consequently said she wouldn’t have married him, she would be vilified for speaking “ill” about her husband by the very same community they are both writing for. Why, oh why does it not go both ways????

  8. says

    I agree that Sonlight is a great place to start! I also try to keep my eyes open for “real” books that expand on various interests of my children. (I still do this with older ones!) Also keep a running wish list on Amazon so I won’t forget when they have mentioned something that interested them.

  9. says

    Susan, did Bauer recommend the book by Francis Schaeffer’s daughter…title escaping me now? That has some good ideas as well. Family read-alouds also tend to insight readers so don’t shy away from books that are too hard for them. They will look back and remember the family reads and want to read them later.

  10. says

    Becky, thanks for reminding me about Half the Sky and Half the Church….need to reread all the way through with sticky tabs. Its not really reading a book to me without the sticky tabs. Ask Susan….she has borrowed my books before! 🙂

  11. says

    Lindsey, the double standard is breathtaking is it not? But not really surprising. Writing a whole blog entry along these lines today.

  12. Susie says

    I had not yet heard about the new Mark Driscoll book, either, but just reading the blog posts related to it, and watching a video promo of the book by Driscoll and his wife is enough information for me to know that I wouldn’t want to read it or recommend it to anyone else. I just visited the Pyromaniacs blog, where Phil Johnson wrote that after reading the book himself and being asked to write a review of it, he can’t write about it without breaching the boundaries of propriety and chaste conversation. So…no review. You can read more of his opinions of the whole larger topic under his blog post, Evangelical Exhibitionists. On this topic, I’ll stand with him in his camp.


  13. Susan T says

    Susan Schaeffer Macaulay “For the Children’s Sake”?… Don’ t know if it is on SWB list.

  14. jen oliver says

    “The final and most important characteristic of a redemptive-movement hermeneutic is its focus on the spirit of a text. . . . The coinage “redemptive-movement hermeneutic” is derived from a concern that Christians apply the redemptive spirit within Scripture, not merely, or even primarily, its isolated words. Finding the underlying spirit of a text is a delicate matter. It is not as direct or explicit as reading the words on the page. In order to grasp the spirit of a text, the interpreter must listen for how the text sounds within its various social contexts. Two life settings are crucial: the broader, foreign ancient Near Eastern and Greco-Roman (ANE/GR) social context and the immediate, domestic Israelite/ church setting. One must ask, what change/improvement is the text making in the lives of people in the covenant community? And, how does the text influence the larger ANE/GR world? Through reflecting upon these social-setting questions the modern reader will begin to sense the redemptive spirit of the text. (p. 53, Slaves, Women & Homosexuals: Exploring the Hermeneutics of Cultural Analysis by Webb)

    …Huh? I am all for understanding and closely examining the cultural setting of a text to get at a better interpretation (and application), but not for subjective interpretation as a hermeneutic. Go by what I am sensing God REALLY meant? Who gets the final word on that? Webb? Celebrity pastors? Bloggers???!!! Gagh. I hope this isn;t your favorite book on the list… If I were to buy into Webb’s prescribed methods, I can honestly say my next step would be to leave the Church altogether and just quit reading a Bible I obviously couldn’t trust.

  15. says

    Just a comment about Rachel Held Evans. Excellent communicator and gifted writer, however, her book Evolving Monkey Town speaks volumes about her. Her dad is Dr. Peter Held, Professor of Christian Thought and Biblical Studies, Senior Fellow Studies for Christian Worldview.

    scroll down to middle of Faculty: Dr. Held, Th.M Dallas Theological Seminary

    In her book, she cannot understand why God would allow horrific human suffering or send millions of non-Christians to eternal torment in hell. Rachael having grown up in a very conservative Christian home, with a father who was a theologian.

    Rachel begins to ponder whether only born-again Christians go to heaven. She wonders about victims of Hitler, Stalin, Hussein, and Milosevic. She questions whether hell is eternal or if God will destroy it for good. She admits there are some Bible verses she doesn’t like (ex. I Timothy 2:12). She describes how her faith survived her doubts and challenges readers to re-imagine Christianity in a postmodern context, where knowing all the answers isn’t as important as asking the questions. She (Rachael) concludes that Jesus didn’t teach doctrine, just love. When she was taught to defend her faith, she was being taught answers to questions that aren’t being asked. Instead she should have been taught to love her neighbor. To return to the title, one of the childhood teachings she abandoned was young earth creationism. Instead she has embraced scientific evolution and she believes that faith must evolve as well.

    Pros: A well written story of one woman’s crisis of faith and why she’s still a Christian.

    Cons: The author is quite young and lacks a depth of understanding about Christianity, in spite of her extensive knowledge and obvious intelligence.

    I felt a bit sad for Evans. She doesn’t seem too sure about anything really.. she’s not sure she’s saved (pg.133), she’s not sure there’s such a thing as a biblical worldview (pg.193), and she’s not sure that hell is eternal (pg.224).

    While she writes an excellent section about healthy doubt vs. unhealthy doubt, the Christian life and walk is really about certainty.

    It is sad her father was too busy teaching everyone else that his own daughter missed Christian Thought and worldview.

    “Every social problem that we face today can be traced back to a dysfunctional family life.” Aaron Jeoffrey (father and son duo)


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