Weekly Reading – March 8, 2015

IMG_1644 Since we got all kinds of snow here in Virginia, I had a little more time to read online than usual and all sorts of things caught my eye.

– Just for fun, this Thin Mints recipe sounds absolutely delicious! I have a tendency to stockpile recipes and not use them right away, but I’m not letting this one gather dust. 🙂

– I’m all for keeping my children safe (don’t know too many moms who’d say they weren’t!) but I think children need space to learn, have new experiences, and basically learn how to make good decisions and function without my monitoring their every move. Right now we’re in the toddler stage so no one is out of my sight for long, but apparently letting older children walk home from a nearby park is enough to get you in trouble for “unsubstantiated child neglect” up in Maryland. I think this is crazy, but it’s definitely opened an interesting debate on CPS, boundaries for children and the like. What do think of all this?

– I don’t go out of my way to antagonize people or mock their sensibilities. After all, I wouldn’t want that done to me. However, banning the American flag at an American university seems like a bit much. I’ve lived overseas and had no problem with the fact that that country’s flag was flown or displayed in its public spaces.  (Note: The link goes to a page that often has good news stories and commentary, but sometimes less than edifying ad images.)

– Many folks have Tweeted or otherwise linked to this article from Boundless about marriage. If you haven’t read it Carolyn McCulley’s excellent “She’s Your Collaborator, Not Your Competition” yet, you really should. And pass it on. Someday in the closer-than-I-think future, I hope to teach my son these lessons.

– Agewise, I’m caught between generations in a way. I’m from that span of about 4-5 years that runs between the Gen X-ers and the folks who are clearly Millenials. And like most of my peers, I exhibit some traits of both. Among them is having grown up in a culture where I was steeped in a very secular form of feminism. And as a Christian, I have found myself spending years reading the BIble and other books, praying, consulting wise counsel and doing a lot of listening to the whole complementarian/egalitarian debate. I’ve got friends on all sides of the issue and have discovered there’s a lot of interesting reading out there.  On the complementarian side, this week I saw an article from Courtney Reissig that piqued my interest not just because she writes well, but also because I seem to have a lot in common with her in terms of background and so her perspective really resonates with me. I’d urge anyone to read this, but especially the 20s-40s crowd.

– Last but not least, here’s something I read that has do to with books. Bethany House gives hints on reviewing, many of which I personally found very helpful as a writer of reviews. It did raise an interesting question for me, though. What do you think of a publisher telling reviewers what it wants them to be writing? Do you think it helps you write good reviews or do you feel like it infringes on your ability to review independently, without influence/bias?

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3 thoughts on “Weekly Reading – March 8, 2015

  1. I don’t blog but I’ve been reading and commenting on a variety of book blogs(mostly mainstream/secular but a few Christian) for years and I find that review post really interesting. Part of me really likes that the publisher is telling folks what really makes a review useful to readers. And it’s true that saying WHY you do or don’t like something is about as important as knowing how many stars you’d give in a rating.
    Maybe it’s because I’ve been lurking in blogland for so long, but I do get a little uneasy about a publisher telling reviewers what type of review to write. The issue of how bloggers can interact with publishers and still maintain independence of judgment and integrity of opinion has been a conversation in book blogging circles for years. I think publishers are friendlier with bloggers now but there’s still that issue of reviewers needing to avoid even the appearance that their reviews are anything other than their own independent judgment.

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    • Hi Kira!

      I’d thought about what you mention, too. Before I ever started this blog, I spent time brainstorming what it means to be a reviewer and what I want to provide to readers. I don’t want to be that reviewer whose “reviews” are written for the sole purpose of praising everything to the stars. I know that people are reading reviews trying to decide how to spend hard-earned money and so I want to make sure that I’m writing independently.

      All of which to say that, while I find the post I linked to helpful, I do think we reviewers have to be careful to avoid an appearance that we work for a particular publisher. I don’t think what Bethany House posted would do that, but I would be concerned if publishers started trying to impose writing guidelines for reviewers because I think that dynamic would hamper free discussion of ideas.

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  2. Hello from a fellow new blogger, book lover, and sister in Christ 🙂 Thanks for stopping my blog (bfthomestead) today! I’ve enjoyed reading through your posts and reviews, and look forward to reading more! This is going to sound insane, but when I read your “contact me” page I was hit with such deja vu that I swear I dreamed reading your blog long before now. It was so bizarre. Anywho…I can really relate to the struggle between embracing biblical femininity and modern American feminism, particularly when it comes to marriage roles. I’ve really enjoyed listening to the podcasts on Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh Demoss. It cleared up a lot about biblical femininity for me. God bless! ~Rykiel

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