My goal for this year is to read 20 “fun” books (any not required for my job!). I will update this list as the year progresses, and hope you find some ideas for books you’d like to read.
1. Thinking, Fast and Slow (D. Kahneman). Finished 1/8/22. Daniel won the 2002 Nobel prize in economics and waxes autobiographical in this explanation of his research career. The central idea is that our two “selves” (automatic, stereotyping System 1 and fatigable, more logical System 2) interact to guide our reactions to and conceptions of the world. System 1 dominates most of the time, but System 2 can be trained to work more consistently to allow true critical thinking.
2. Babywise (R. Bucknam and G. Ezzo). Finished 1/9/22, probably reading a second time this year. The parent-directed feeding approach described is a middle ground between on-demand and scheduled infant feeding. Retrospective studies referenced indicate equal or better weight gain outcomes and nighttime sleep of at least 7 hours by 6-8 weeks of age. Some typos near the end but otherwise an easy, informational read.
3. I Love Jesus, but I Want to Die (S. Robinson). Finished 1/11/22, worth a second read and a spot in my office. Sarah deals with chronic and recurrent depression and anxiety, and offers this book as a "walk alongside" people, especially fellow Christians, who may feel guilt and shame that faith alone does not heal them. Chapters are autobiographical, with comprehensive resource recommendations throughout as well as in an appendix.
4. Mother and Baby Care in Pictures (L. Zabriskie, 1941). Finished 1/12/22, a fun picture-based book. My mother gifted me this book last year after receiving it from her mother-in-law. It’s interesting to see how recommendations and customs for prenatal care through toilet training have changed over the years.
5. What Does This Mean: Principles of Biblical Interpretation in the Post-Modern World (J. W. Voelz). Finished 2/2/22, a decent reference text but not one for a second round of pleasure reading! My husband and I are attending an apologetics class at our church, and this Lutheran text describes how sound interpretation, the foundation of sound doctrine that can be defended, has been done, spanning the postmodern era but incorporating older sources as well.
6. Mama Bear Apologetics (edited by H. M. Ferrer). Finished 2/7/22, a great introduction to worldview apologetics for the Christian, focused on mothers/mother figures. I will read this again in the future as needed. Worldviews include rationalism, progressive Christianity, feminism, and Marxism. The text acknowledges the strengths of each worldview while walking the reader through the “chew and spit” discernment process.
7. The Peter Principle (L. J. Peter & R. Hull). Finished 2/11/22, a satirical inspection of promotion-to-incompetence, the effects thereof, and strategies to avoid this otherwise inescapable phenomenon. My husband and I have had supervisors of varying competence through our careers so far, and my decision to read this book was inspired by one in particular.
8. Grasping God's Word (J. S. Duvall & J. D. Hays). Finished 3/9/22 after my baby was born. This unexpected good find of a college-level textbook was accessible at a trained lay level as an introduction to exegesis of the Scriptures. I intend to reference it, share it, and use it in education and study.
9. Someone to Walk With: a Woman's Guide to Christian Mentoring (D. Paape). Finished 3/17/22, a practical guide to mentoring intergenerationally within a Christian institutional context. Using many biblical narratives including John’s account of the Samaritan woman at the well, Darcy brings the reader along in conversation about aspects of mentor relationships.
10. Single Case Experimental Designs: Strategies for Studying Behavior Change (D. H. Barlow, M. K. Nock, M. Hersen). Finished 3/26/22, an older edition of a classic textbook on experimental methods using one case at a time as opposed to groups in a randomized controlled trial design. This text expands on the basics that I already knew from teaching evidence-based practice courses and taking PhD-level statistics.
11. Seven Things I Wish Christians Knew about the Bible (M. F. Bird). Finished 3/30/22, a surprisingly dense and engaging read by comedic theologian, priest, and seminary professor. Because I enjoy providing theological content, here is the summary (cited from the back cover and appendix)!
- How the Bible was put together
- What "inspiration" means
- How the Bible is true
- Why the Bible needs to be rooted in history
- Why literal interpretation is not always the best interpretation
- How the Bible gives us knowledge, faith, love, and hope
- How Jesus Christ is the center of the Bible
- Psalm 118:22-26
- Leviticus 19:18
- Psalm 110:1, 4
- Daniel 7:13
- Psalm 2:7
- focus on self-care (what makes you, the wife, happy in the moment)
- restore or increased verbalized respect for your husband (even if you disagree!) and his autonomy
- give up controlling your husband (again, because he is his own person)
- receive gifts - simply say "Thank you!" and leave it at that
- learn vulnerability with your husband
- refocus on expressing gratitude for the little and big things