Thursday, May 29, 2014


I've actually finished 3 books in the last month.  And I thought I'd review them for your reading pleasure!  :-)  It's a service I dutifully perform for my faithful followers and fellow readers.  (Note the sarcasm?  I read because I like to read.)
So.... Let's start with Conform: Exposing the Truth About Common Core and Public Education by Glenn Beck.
This book is an easy read.  It is clearly written and logically argued.  Many liberals may disagree with this book and try to sabotage it.  Their take is that the only problem with public education is that we are not "investing" enough in our children.  They believe that we need to spend more money to improve our kids' educations.
Unfortunately, statistics paint a different picture.  Despite increasing educational spending, the U.S. has witnessed drops in SAT scores since the 1950s.  The goals of education have been perverted to that standards have been lowered so that everyone is able to perform well and "no child is left behind."  The truth is that academic excellence is no longer pursued.  We are "dumbing down" our education.
Glenn Beck does a great job of dismantling common education myths.  And after reading this book, I am SOOOOOO glad that I home school my daughters!  Glenn Beck said it best:  "The more the federal government has inserted itself into public education over the years, the worse our kids have fared."
For Mother's Day I received the book, I Hate It When Exercise Is the Answer: A Fitness Program for the Soul by Emily Watts.  I read the book in two days... and LOVED it!
I had heard Emily Watts speak at TOFW and her book read just like she spoke - funny, entertaining, and uplifting.  I especially liked the "Exercise" suggestions at the end of each chapter.  They helped me want to better myself.
I especially liked the "Exercise" in chapter 3:  Write down 5 things your mom has done to help you become the person you are today.  Share the list with her if possible.  So here are my 5 things:
     1.  Mom taught me how to pray.  She introduced me to my Heavenly Father.  Her prayers are always so sincere and I know she has a personal relationship with God.  I want to be like her.
     2.  Mom taught me how to create.  My mom is one of the most creative people I know.  She taught me how to use band-saws, markers, scissors, and glue!  I love making things with my mom.
     3.  Mom taught me how to be polite.  I remember once, she spent an entire afternoon teaching my brothers, sister and I how to answer a phone politely.  "McCallisters residence.  Sundy speaking."  :-)
     4.  Mom taught me to keep learning.  Mom is an avid believer in continual education.  She loves learning and has instilled that value into all of us siblings.  Her example with her continual reading, getting her masters degree, etc. is invaluable.
     5.  Mom taught me that "cleanliness is next to Godliness."  Mom LOVES a clean house.  I'm not near as good as she is.  But I do value cleanliness and try to keep my home "mom worthy."  :-)
Most of the time when I read a novel, it is entertaining and I enjoy it, but then I move on.  Not with Brandon Sanderson's book, Words of Radiance.  This book has changed my life and the lives of my family.  We have listened to the first novel in the series and just finished the second book.  This story just keeps getting better and better.
Roshar is an amazing and compelling fantasy world.  The characters are dynamic and vibrant.  And just when you think you've got someone figured out, another piece of the puzzle emerges and everything you thought you knew shifts and refocuses.
Throughout these epic novels, my family has learned about love, hope, honor, betrayal, fear, anger, revenge, mercy and justice.  We have had marvelous discussions about the characters and their choices.  Not only are these wonderful stories but they are wonderful learning opportunities too!
I can't recommend this book series highly enough!  I'm soooooo grateful my little brother recommended them to me, I've recommended them to everyone else.  :-)  We cannot wait for book 3!


  1. I might need to barrow some of these :) lol Sound good!

  2. Way of Kings and Words of Radiance are the best. It has been fun to listen to them together as a family and discuss them. There are so many principles to get out of them.

  3. Okay. I just realized there are two blogs to read - our lucky Friday! And there are three books to think about as Sundy reviews them for me. (and your reviews do make a difference to me.)
    After reading what you wrote about Conform I'm thinking: I don't think I'll read this one because I bet you have condensed it for me very well. I also think I would agree with your assessments and Beck's. Goodness, I have 16 GRANDchildren and only one of them will be in the public school's this fall!
    Exercise: The title is hilarious! Just exactly my thoughts about the subject. :) But I did go to the pool today!!!
    Word of Radiance: Ben is going to get me familiar with an IPOD so I can join you. I need to reread the first book before going on with the second though. My memory...
    Love you, Mom/Mil