Category The Family Squeeze

Rescuing Julia Twice

Rescuing Julia Twice
By  Tina Traster and Melissa Fay Greene
Chicago Review Press
Retail Price $24.95
Amazon Price: $18.09

Book Description: 

In moving and refreshingly candid prose, Rescuing Julia Twice tells Traster’s foreign-adoption story, from dealing with the bleak landscape and inscrutable adoption handlers in Siberia, to her feelings of inexperience and ambivalence at being a new mother in her early forties, to her grow­ing realization over months then years that something was “not quite right” with her daughter, Julia, who remained cold and emo­tionally detached. Why wouldn’t she look her parents in the eye or accept their embraces? Why didn’t she cry when she got hurt? Why didn’t she make friends at school? Traster de­scribes how uncertainty turned to despair as she blamed herself and her mothering skills for her daughter’s troublesome behavioral is­sues, until she came to understand that Julia suffered from reactive attachment disorder, a serious condition associated with infants and young children who have been neglect­ed, abused, or orphaned in infancy.

Hoping to help lift the veil of secrecy and shame that too often surrounds parents struggling with attachment issues, Traster describes how with work, commitment, and acceptance, she and her husband have been able to close the gulf between them and their daughter to form a loving bond, and concludes by providing practical advice, strategies, and resources for parents and caregivers.

Review

 This was a well-written, honest book where an adoptive parent shares her ups and downs, joys and sorrows, pain and hope.  This is not a clinical work, a but real, loving and in the end affirming look at the power of commitment and love.  For anyone dealing with RAD, this book will give you insight into the world of parents who adopted from overseas and was faced with an unknown.  You will find encouragement and hope.

~Reviewed by David H.

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    Empty Nest: Marci Seither

    Empty Nest: Marci Seither
    By Marci Seither
    Nazarene Publishing
    Retail Price $14.99
    Amazon Price: $11.71

    Book Description: 

    ‘All of a sudden, the nest is empty. The birds have gone, and what had been a constant blur of activity is now nothing more than a few discarded feathers. Silence mutes all that was colorful and it is time to reestablish our significant place in an ever-changing world.’ Getting ready to launch your kids to the next stage of life? Like it or not, this transition is inevitable- a natural changing of seasons. With wit and insight, author Marci Seither will give you a spiritual perspective and the practical tips you need to thrive in the midst of change. Through the practical insights found in Empty Nest parents will learn how to help younger children cope as they miss their older siblings and discover how to help their children succeed as they transition to their next phase of life. Whether their child is leaving for college, the military, or returning to live at home, Empty Nest will help them approach this season of life with confidence.

    Review

    This book was extremely helpful and insightful as the author lays out simple strategies for making the transition from having a full house to one that is without children. The author lays out plan for this transition while your kids are years from flying the coop.  The best thing I gleaned from it was not to rush into anything new just because the children have all left the home. Take the time to figure out what you should be doing, think about what you’re good at and most of all pray through the whole process! Using advice from parents and launched children, Seither provides real world perspective.

    ~Reviewed by Missy K.

     

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      Her Next Chapter

      Her Next Chapter
      By Lori Day and Charlotte Kugler
      Chicago Review Press
      Retail Price $16.95
      Amazon Price: $12.23

      Book Description: 

      Mother-daughter book clubs are a great way to encourage reading, bonding, and socializing among mothers, daughters, and their friends. But these clubs can do more than that, suggests educational psychologist and parenting coach Lori Day. They can create a safe and empowering haven where girls can freely discuss and navigate issues surrounding girlhood. In Her Next Chapter, Day draws from experiences in her own club and her expertise as an educator to offer a timely and inspiring take on mother-daughter book clubs. She provides overviews of eight of the biggest challenges facing girls today, such as negative body image, bullying, gender stereotypes, media sexualization, unhealthy relationships, and more, while weaving in carefully chosen book, movie, and media recommendations; thoughtful discussion questions; and group activities and outings that extend and enrich conversations and make clubs fun. Her Next Chapter outlines how mothers can use the magic of books to build girls’ confidence and sense of possibility as leaders, allies, and agents of change. A list of further resources and reflections and observations from Day’s now-adult daughter, Charlotte, round out this indispensible resource for anyone who cares about, teaches, or works with girls.

      Review

      This is a great resource for mothers looking for a different and valuable way to connect with their daughters. Just leafing through the pages of this book will inspire you to consider how fun, meaningful, and engaging a mother-daughter book club can be.  It provides moms with all the information they need to start, maintain, and spice up their book clubs.

      ~Reviewed by Clarice K.

       

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        Happy Habits for Every Couple

        Happy Habits for Every Couple
        By Kathi Lipp
        Harvest House Publishing
        Retail Price $12.99
        Amazon Price: $9.68

        Book Description: 

        When was the last time you flirted with your husband? Was it before you had kids?Do you spend more time on the couch with your wife watching movies or with a bag of chips watching The Game?Does your idea of a hot date include a drive-thru and springing for the extra-large fries?What would your marriage look like if for 21 days you turned your attention to happy habits that will better your relationship? Plenty of books describe how to improve a marriage, how to save a marriage, even how to ramp up intimacy in a marriage. In Happy Habits for Every Couple, Kathi Lipp and husband Roger show you practical, fun-filled ways to put love and laughter back into your marriage.

        Here are just a few of the results you’ll see when you put Happy Habits for Every Couple into practice:

        • new levels of warmth and tenderness in your relationship
        • a deeper sense of security with your spouse
        • a marriage filled with fun and flirting

        If you haven’t given up the dream of being head-over-heels with your spouse again, following this 21-day plan will give you just the boost you need to bring you closer together.

        .

        Review

        This is the best relationship books I’ve ever encountered. It helped me see how my marriage was getting into a really negative pattern.  Because it focuses so much on what you SHOULD be doing, instead of the negatives, it helps you to connect and bond as a couple.  By applying the principles in this book and making them habits, our relationship is more positive, fun, and even exciting.  I decided that I would use this to teach a marriage class at church so others can benefit as I did.   This book can literally save your relationship.

        ~Reviewed by Chris M.

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          Not With My Daughter!

          Not With My Daughter!
          by Terry Vaughan
          Skyhorse Publishing
          Retail Price $16.95
          Amazon Price: $13.56

          Book Description: 

          Every father experiences the anxiety of knowing that one day his daughter is going to do the inevitable and start dating. In addition to cleaning his shotgun, he can become her date’s worst nightmare by also arming himself with the body language and interview skills necessary to figure out who the potential boyfriend is in less than ten minutes.

          In Not with My Daughter!, Terry Vaughan gives dads vital information on how to decode the gestures, facial expressions, and verbal statements of all prospective boyfriends. With two daughters of his own rapidly coming of age, Vaughan realized he couldn’t water-board every new boyfriend who came through his door. He came up with strategy that all dads can use to effectively “interview” and accurately assess the new men in their daughters’ lives. With Terry’s help, dads will learn how to

          • Master the checklist of items that will accurately assess the boyfriend within seconds
          • Recognize how his utilization of space and volume could be indicators of aggression
          • Uncover words that are used to hide something and those that reflect sincerity

          Based on his extensive military training, Vaughan provides dads with the skills and information they need to interpret what kinds of signals boyfriends are sending out, and then do something smart and positive with the information.

          Review

          This book was a hoot!  The author just says what every parent is thinking!  He gives great advice on reading body language, which can be used in a variety of situations.  While the book was worth while just from the content alone, it was also a very fun read.  And while the title indicates this book is for dads, it is really for anyone who wants to be able to read people better.

          ~Reviewed by Vincent E.

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            Clutter Free

             

            Clutter Free
            By Kathi Lipp
            Harvest House Publishing
            Retail Price $12.99
            Amazon Price: $9.75

            Book Description: 

            If you’ve ever wished you could clear out your clutter, simplify your space, and take back your life, Kathi Lipp’s new book has just the solutions you need. Building off the success of her The Get Yourself Organized Project, this book will provide even more ideas for getting your life and your stuff under control.Do any of these descriptions apply to you?

            • You bought a box of cereal at the store, and then discovered you have several boxes at home that are already past the “best by” date.
            • You bought a book and put it on your nightstand (right on top of ten others you’ve bought recently), but you have yet to open it.
            • You keep hundreds of DVDs around even though you watch everything online now and aren’t really sure where the remote for the DVD player is.
            • You spend valuable time moving your piles around the house, but you can never find that piece of paper when you need it.
            • Your house doesn’t make you happy when you step into it.

            As you try out the many easy, doable solutions that helped Kathi win her battle with clutter, you’ll begin to understand why you hold on to the things you do, eliminate what’s crowding out real life, and make room for the life of true abundance God wants for you.

            .

            Review

            I really enjoyed this book. It has practical, simple steps for organizing your home.  It moves you from disorganization to organized step-by-step and helps to keep you from being overwhelmed with the process.  I like the easy tone of the author’s writing.  She is direct and enthusiastic without being saccharin.  This book is the most polished presentation of organizing your life and home that I have found.  It is a treasure that you will use and appreciate.

            ~Reviewed by Quella S.

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              Being Mortal

              Product DetailsBeing Mortal(Unabridged)
              by Atul Gawande
              Macmillan Audio
              Retail Price $14.95
              Amazon Price: $14.95

              Book Description: 

              In Being Mortal, best-selling author Atul Gawande tackles the hardest challenge of his profession: How medicine can not only improve life but also the process of its ending. Medicine has triumphed in modern times, transforming birth, injury, and infectious disease from harrowing to manageable. But in the inevitable condition of aging and death, the goals of medicine seem too frequently to run counter to the interest of the human spirit. Nursing homes, preoccupied with safety, pin patients into railed beds and wheelchairs. Hospitals isolate the dying, checking for vital signs long after the goals of cure have become moot. Doctors, committed to extending life, continue to carry out devastating procedures that in the end extend suffering.Gawande, a practicing surgeon, addresses his profession’s ultimate limitation, arguing that quality of life is the desired goal for patients and families. Gawande offers examples of freer, more socially fulfilling models for assisting the infirm and dependent elderly, and he explores the varieties of hospice care to demonstrate that a person’s last weeks or months may be rich and dignified.Full of eye-opening research and riveting storytelling, Being Mortal asserts that medicine can comfort and enhance our experience even to the end, providing not only a good life but also a good end.

              Review

              Wow.  This book was enlightening.  I have aging parents and have a deep interest in the topic of elder care.  I want to make sure my parents are comfortable in their old age.  I want to repay them for all they have done me as their child by making sure they die with the greatest amount of dignity possible.  This audiobook was quite an eye opener for me about what really goes on in nursing facilities and other long term care facilities and how modern medicine sometimes fail those who need it most.  The author doesn’t spend time pointing fingers, he just lays out the truth for us to see, ponder, and then apply what we can to our own lives.  His words are honest, but sometimes hard to bear, but they spur us on to help give quality of life to those we love who are aging or suffering from terminal illness, helping them to end their stories on their own terms.   While I wouldn’t say this book is uplifting, I did find it comforting as it inspired me to do right by my parents.

              ~Reviewed by Pat C.

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                Chicken Soup for the Soul: Living with Alzheimer’s and Other Dementias

                Chicken Soup for the Soul: Living with Alzheimer’s and Other Dementias
                By Amy Newmark and Engela Timashenka Geiger
                Chicken Soup for the Soul
                Retail Price $14.95
                Amazon Price: $11.85

                Book Description: 

                Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia? You are not alone. With 101 encouraging and inspiring stories by others like you, this book is a source of support and encouragement throughout your caregiving journey.Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia affect millions of people, and this book is especially for caregivers. This collection, a joint project with the Alzheimer’s Association, is filled with 101 stories of love and lessons from others like you, will support and encourage you as you care for your loved one.

                Review

                 

                I just loved this book and would recommend it to anyone who finds themselves in a caregiving role. Though it targets those dealing with Alzheimer’s and other dementias, it is also helpful to all caregivers in general.  You will find thoughtful stories from the perspective of caregiver that will help you  realize that you are not alone and that you can gain wisdom, strength and courage from someone else’s experiences.  I highly recommend it.

                ~Reviewed by Nancy S.

                 

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                  Hope For the Caregiver

                  Hope For the Caregiver
                  By Peter Rosenberger and Ken Tada
                  Worthy Publishing
                  Retail Price $12.99
                  Amazon Price: $9.33

                  Book Description: 

                  “If you love somebody, you will be a caregiver.
                  If you live long enough, you’ll need one.”
                  –Peter Rosenbergerrt

                  Now the 65.7 million caregivers in America, making up 29 percent of the U.S. adult population, can turn to one of their own for encouragement and renewal. With three decades of experience and immense credibility, Peter Rosenberger offers proven practical help with biblical truths.

                  Review

                  This book is a memoir of sorts written by a man who, after a tragic accident, has been his wife’s caregiver for nearly 30 years.  He shares how he faced his challenges, failed in some ways and gained victory in other, and finds the strength to carry on.  Though it might sound like a downer, this book is actually uplifting and encouraging to other caregivers who are “in the trenches.”  For me personally, it made me realize that my situation could be worse and that God won’t give me more than I can handle.   The author also offers tips and advice on how to care for yourself so you can continue to care for others.  This was an enjoyable, enlightening read.

                  ~Reviewed by Addie H.

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                    Parenting Without Borders

                    Parenting Without Borders
                    By Christine Gross-Loh PH.D (May 2, 2013)
                    Avery
                    Retail Price $17.00
                    Amazon Price: $12.10

                    Book Description: 

                    Research reveals that American kids lag behind in academic achievement, happiness, and wellness. Christine Gross-Loh exposes culturally determined norms we have about “good parenting,” and asks, Are there parenting strategies other countries are getting right that we are not? This book takes us across the globe and examines how parents successfully foster resilience, creativity, independence, and academic excellence in their children. Illuminating the surprising ways in which culture shapes our parenting practices, Gross-Loh offers objective, research-based insight such as:

                    • Co-sleeping may promote independence in kids.
                    • “Hoverparenting” can damage a child’s resilience.
                    • Finnish children, who rank among the highest academic achievers, enjoy multiple recesses a day.
                    • Our obsession with self-esteem may limit a child’s potential.

                    Review

                     

                    Living in America, we classically think the way we do things is the best way, including how we parent.  This book helps us to take a global view of parenting by showing us what parenting success looks like in other countries.  I found this to be very enlightening and actually life changing. The author gives several hands-on examples of how other cultures raise calm, smart, respectful children. I learned a lot and began implementing some of the strategies in my own family with great success.

                    ~Reviewed by Allie B.

                     

                     

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