Happy Thanksgiving & Favorite Books Lists Start Tomorrow!

Favorite Books by The Deliberate ReaderBeginning tomorrow, I’ll be posting about some of my favorite books in various categories, and I’ll have some guest posters sharing their favorite books as well.

Until then, if you’re looking for biographies or other nonfiction, I featured 31 great choices in October.

I hope you’re all having a wonderful Thanksgiving. Or, if you don’t live in the United States, I hope you’re having a lovely Thursday. 🙂

Book Review: Call the Midwife

Book Review of Call the Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times by Jennifer WorthCall the Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard TimesBook Review of Call the Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times by Jennifer Worth. by Jennifer Worth

I first highlighted Call the Midwife as an additional read for people who enjoyed Baby Catcher during my 31 Days of Great Nonfiction Reads series, although I admitted that I hadn’t read it.

If I had read it, I think this one would have been tapped as the “great read” and Babycatcher relegated to the additional reads section.

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Book Review: Food, Faith & Fun

Book Review of Juvenile Nonfiction Book Food, Faith & Fun: A Faithgirlz Cookbook.Food, Faith & Fun: A Faithgirlz! Cookbook

A bright and appealing cookbook aimed at tweens or young teens. The spiral binding makes it easy to refer to the recipes, and every recipe includes a gorgeous photo. Some of the recipes are more of the “assemble” variety instead of actually cooking or baking, but for the target audience I don’t think that’s a problem.

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Why to Track The Books You Read

Why to Track the Books You Read via GoodreadsIn the comments for a recent post about using Goodreads, Elizabeth asked why should you keep track of the books you read.

I’ve got to admit, the question floored me a bit. Why should you? Why wouldn’t you want to?

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Book Review: The Blue Door

Children's Book Review of The Blue Door by Christa KindeThe Blue Door (Threshold Series)Children's Book Review of The Blue Door by Christa Kinde by Christa Kinde

I love fantasy tales, and I read lots of children’s and young adult books, so the first book in a new series by Christa Kinde sounded like a perfect fit for my tastes. Unfortunately, the book itself didn’t live up to my hopes.

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Book Review: My Life in France

My Life in France by Julia Child with Alex Prud'Homme - Nonfiction book review by The Deliberate ReaderMy Life in FranceMy Life in France by Julia Child with Alex Prud'Homme - Nonfiction book review by The Deliberate Reader. by Julia Child with Alex Prud’Homme

I picked this book up on a whim – I love biographies, but I tend to shy away from celebrity biographies. Julia Child was a celebrity, but I decided to give this book a chance because, in a way, she got her start as a writer before becoming famous. And I am so glad that I tried the book – it’s a delightful account of her years in France, written by Child and her grand-nephew in the last few years of her life.

Because the book is based in large part on the letters that Julia and her husband Paul wrote to friends and family, it retains a contemporary feel and minimizes the retrospective analysis some biographies or memoirs have. I loved Child’s account of her first meal in France – how eye-opening it was and how it led to her eventual status as an American cooking icon.

I always love behind-the-scenes details, and the stories about what all went into the publication of her masterpiece “Mastering the Art of French Cooking Volume 1” are fascinating. The years of work, the struggles with her coauthors, the difficulties in finding a publisher – even though I know that eventually it is published to wide acclaim, I still found myself wondering how on earth she stuck with it and persevered.

The joy and exuberance with which Child approaches life is infectious, and her love for her husband is heart-warming. Overall it is such a wonderful read: light, amusing, and fun. I highly recommend it.

Find the book: Print | Kindle | Audible | Goodreads

Publisher’s Description:
Julia Child single-handedly awakened America to the pleasures of good cooking with her cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking and her television show The French Chef, but as she reveals in this bestselling memoir, she didn’t know the first thing about cooking when she landed in France.

Indeed, when she first arrived in 1948 with her husband, Paul, she spoke no French and knew nothing about the country itself. But as she dove into French culture, buying food at local markets and taking classes at the Cordon Bleu, her life changed forever. Julia’s unforgettable story unfolds with the spirit so key to her success as as a cook and teacher and writer, brilliantly capturing one of the most endearing American personalities of the last fifty years.

Book Details

Title: My Life in France
Author: Julia Child with Alex Prud’Homme
Category: Nonfiction / Biography
My Rating: 4.5 Stars

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

Two Great Christmas eBooks

Christmas Ebook Truth in the Tinsel: An Advent Experience for Little HandsIf you have young children, Amanda White has written the very helpful ebook Truth in the Tinsel: An Advent Experience for Little Hands.

It’s got 24 days of Scripture reading, ornament crafts, talking points and extension activities. Plus fun printables and templates!

This year she’s also added printable ornaments as a separate download. I haven’t got those, but if they’re at all like the ebook, they’ll be fun and very doable, even to a non-crafty person like me. I really appreciate that the ebook makes it all very clear, and that she includes a separate shopping list. I also appreciate that it’s possible to do the other stuff and skip the crafting. No, that’s not really the way the book is designed, but if it were only possible to use the book if you did every. single. craft. I would never manage. Instead I can pick and choose what I tackle with my kids. 🙂

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Book Review: Perfectly Unique by Annie Downs

Perfectly UniquePerfectly Unique: Praising God from Head to FootBook review of Perfectly Unique: Praising God from Head to Foot by Annie Downs by Annie Downs.

Don’t miss yesterday’s interview with Annie Downs where she discusses which chapter in Perfectly Unique was her favorite to write, as well as the one big take-away she wants readers to get from the book.

I’ve read Annie Downs’ blog off and on for a few years, and I knew she had book out this Fall, but I’d read that it was geared towards teenage girls. So, while I was once a teenage girl, I am most definitely not one now, and figured the book wasn’t one that I’d read. Too many books, not enough reading time.

And then I heard Downs speak at Influence Conference. Not about her book that much, but about Mocha Club and her work with them. And she was so real and approachable, and the little bit that she said about her book made me sit up and think “I have got to read it.”

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Author Interview with Annie Downs

I’m thrilled today to welcome author Annie Downs to the blog to answer some questions about her book Perfectly Unique (which I’ll be reviewing tomorrow), as well as questions about her reading habits and writing routine.

Perfectly Unique Author Interview Annie Downs - The Deliberate ReaderHow do your family and others ‘in the story’ feel about the book?
There wasn’t much in the book that my family and close friends didn’t already know. I was given advice early on that before my people read my book, they should know it all. So I set out to tell those stories before they saw them. My real people deserve that.

What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?

I love the chapter on Feet. I really love encouraging young women to serve locally, regionally, and globally. I think it is life-changing for everyone involved.

How did you come up with the title?
When I self-published the book in 2010, it was called From Head To Foot, to go along with the set up of the book. But when Zondervan acquired it, we brainstormed up a new title that really embodied me and my story that is woven throughout this book. I think Perfectly Unique is exactly right. I love it.

Can you share about other books you read – fiction or nonfiction. Or, what books you read when you were a teen?
I read tons. I love reading. My favorite teen series was The Christy Miller series by Robin Jones Gunn. Christy was one of my dearest friends growing up (even though she was fictional). 🙂

How do you balance your writing and your speaking schedule? Do you think they complement each other, or is it a challenge to switch gears between them?

Barely? Is that a good answer? 🙂 No, it’s all seasonal. When I’m writing a book, I try to stay home more and focus on living life well so I have lots to write about. And I’m an extreme extrovert, so I gain life from being around my people. So if I’m pouring out in writing, I need to be in Nashville where my people are. Right now, with Perfectly Unique being new on the market, I’m loving traveling all over the country and meeting readers. It’s amazingly fun.

What is your writing environment? Laptop or longhand? Quiet room, coffee shop, music or silence?
Laptop. Coffee-shop. Music. Currently I’m listening Taylor Swift’s new album. I can’t quit it.

What is best writing advice you can give?
Write every day. Writing is like a well, the more you pull from it, the more there is for you.

What’s the one big takeaway you want people to have after reading your book?
God made you on purpose.

What’s the best part about being an author?
Meeting readers. It is such a joy to work on some project in the quiet of my own laptop and then have thousands of people read that work and care about it and want to talk about it. It’s really sweet. And my readers are so amazing- teens, moms, single girls. I just love meeting them all.

Can you tell us about your upcoming book?
Nope. 🙂 Very soon though. Very soon.

Want more about Annie or Perfectly Unique? Come back tomorrow for my review, and also visit Annie’s blog and Facebook page.

Disclosure: I received a pre-release copy of the book from the publisher for review. I was not required to write a positive review, and all opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

Book Review: Dinner: A Love Story

Dinner: A Love Story by Jenny RosenstrachDinner: A Love Story: It all begins at the family table by Jenny Rosenstrach

I have never read Jenny Rosenstrach’s blog Dinner A Love Story before, so I didn’t pick up her cookbook with the same name because of familiarity. I saw the book title somewhere so I decided on a whim to grab it from the library, and I am so glad I did.

It’s a cookbook, yes, but it’s almost equal parts memoir. There are details of Jenny’s story, and her “dinner diary” which shows the changes in her life as her dinner table changes from just her and her husband to accommodate her two daughters as well.

I haven’t tried any of the recipes (although many of them sound delicious, and eminently doable even in my current stage of motherhood.) I adored the cookbook because of all the extra information Rosenstrach includes. The memories she shares, and the tips she includes for how to manage getting dinner on the table and getting your family to eat it.

If you enjoy reading cookbooks or food memoirs, do yourself a favor and take a look at this one. It’s a gem.

Publisher’s Description:
Jenny Rosenstrach, and her husband, Andy, regularly, some might say pathologically, cook dinner for their family every night. Even when they work long days. Even when their kids’ schedules pull them in eighteen different directions. They are not superhuman. They are not from another planet.

With simple strategies and common sense, Jenny figured out how to break down dinner—the food, the timing, the anxiety, from prep to cleanup—so that her family could enjoy good food, time to unwind, and simply be together.

Using the same straight-up, inspiring voice that readers of her award-winning blog, Dinner: A Love Story, have come to count on, Jenny never judges and never preaches. Every meal she dishes up is a real meal, one that has been cooked and eaten and enjoyed at least a half dozen times by someone in Jenny’s house. With inspiration and game plans for any home cook at any level, Dinner: A Love Story is as much for the novice who doesn’t know where to start as it is for the gourmand who doesn’t know how to start over when she finds herself feeding an intractable toddler or for the person who never thought about home-cooked meals until he or she became a parent. This book is, in fact, for anyone interested in learning how to make a meal to be shared with someone they love, and about how so many good, happy things happen when we do.

Book Details

Title: Dinner: A Love Story: It all begins at the family table
Author: Jenny Rosenstrach
Category: Nonfiction / Cookbook
My Rating: 4 Stars

This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!