Category Archives: Books, Book Reviews, & Book Club

My book club of 7 (currently) meets around someone’s table with our kindles and books highlighted; we carry journals filled with quotes and observations. We are ready to discuss philosophy, love, and world. Although we share a passion for books, I think we’ve come to enjoy the friendship even more. Literature-lovers are a rare and beautiful kind of people, if I do say so myself. Our first year we only read C. S. Lewis. (See the C. S. Lewis Book Club Category!) After that, we branched out.

The Myth of Equality

I read this book in a few days, and books about race are not my normal fare. I have rarely been so impressed by a book that deals with race and inequality, and I’ve never read anything that addressed the issue of white supremacy in a non-Neo-Nazi way. And I’m a bit ashamed to admit that I’ve never even considered the concept of “white privilege.” Yes, I realize I’m blessed, and I’ve always been aware of it, and I’m really not a snob or a racist. But ignorant, yes. I have been that.

Ken Wytsma addresses white privilege as the underlying cause for racial tension in a fresh honest, and non-judgmental way. His context provides a logical and researched reason for our country’s inability to erase prejudice and  discrimination, despite massive legislative agendas. It lays responsibility squarely at the feet of those in charge–yes, the white-skinned Americans.

I grew up in the Midwest as an average respectful middle-class American white girl. I was the norm and the majority. I did realize that there were stigmas attached to our Native Americans and our Mexican migrant workers, yet I never considered the dichotomy of opportunity and privilege between these races and myself. Altering this perspective changes everything.

Wytsma made so many profound and challenging comments throughout the book. I highlighted and starred many statements. I found this book to be a persuasive, compassionate, non-offensive, and well-informed threats of a national problem. This achievement is remarkable when addressing issues of race and equality. I am looking at my culture and my personal life differently now, and I’m grateful for the challenge. This book also made me want to read his other books. I highly recommend it.

Here are some quotes to get you thinking about race, inequality, and white privilege. Feel free to leave comments:

“If the church becomes an empire unto itself,  self-interested institution concerned with its own power and influence (as the temple had become in Jesus’ day), it is capable of slipping into direct opposition to the kingdom of God–the very thing it is supposed to be nurturing, spreading, and protecting.” (92)

“It’s tempting to think that when we’ve learned a little bit of something that we’re really learned it.” (321)

“An excess of privilege plus a surplus of guilt equals an outflow of compassion.” (162)

“Faith looks outside itself. Fear looks to itself.” (171)

“Justice isn’t just about doing; it’s about being. It isn’t just about changing the world; it’s about changing ourselves.” (188)



Till We Have Faces

Or in this case, Till We Have Facials. Yes, my book club discussed the book Till We Have Faces under facial masks. (They would not let me post a picture of us!) No surprise: while tight and awkward, the masks restricted movement but not our ability to interrupt one another, talk at the same time, and laugh at each other. And they made us feel a bit like the book’s main character Orual, who wears an emotional and physical mask for most of the story. Sort of a modern Phantom of the Opera.

And our skin felt great afterward.

This month, we read C. S. Lewis’ last novel, an allegorical fantasy re-telling of the myth of Cupid and Psyche. The book was un-stereotypical Lewis, told in first person narrative, from the eldest sister Orual’s perspective. Orual is the cunning, obsessive, conflicted child of an abusive king, with an ugly face and massive insecurities and control issues. She grows up with the knowledge that she is too ugly to be a woman, that she will never marry, and that her two beautiful sisters deserve admiration as much as she deserves to stay hidden.

Psyche, Orual’s youngest and favorite sister, is angelic in face, form, and personality. She garners everyone’s attention, admiration, and love. Oral is especially protective and caring of her–Psyche is almost her alter-ego, even though Orual is a character who transforms into a self-aware and charitable leader. Continue reading

10 Parenting Quotes from Books You Should Read

There’s a million parenting books on the market. Actually, according to Amazon, there are over 228,000 parenting books. But I’m pretty sure a lot of them say the same thing, and most of them are probably at best cliche, and at worst, garbage.

Obviously, I haven’t read all of them, but I’d like to quote from 9 of my favorite parenting books. There were so many good ones in these few books, that I couldn’t move on to a 10th book or beyond. Maybe next year! By that time, though, I’ll need to review these quotes again.

If you like these, write these nuggets of truth down on 3×5 cards and plaster them around the house, preferably in all the places where you get frustrated at your kids. Perhaps over the kitchen sink or on their bedroom door. Better yet, by the shoe basket where no one puts shoes, the bathroom where nobody hangs up towels, or the kitchen table that nobody cleans off before dinner. Those sorts of places.

I find that when I’m reading and re-reading helpful information, it actually does start to sink in, and I parent with more grace, love, and perspective.

Alright, enough suspense. Here they are (but feel free to add yours in the comments section):

from Age of Accountability by Paul David Tripp



from Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp








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