Book #26 was a re-read, Susan Howatch's Absolute Truths, the final book in her Starbridge series. (I wrote a bit about that series in this post.) These characters, rascally as they sometimes are, demonstrate beautifully the way God works in our lives, redeeming the tragedy and suffering and intermingling them to bring good from them.
Book #27 was another re-read, Parenting Through Crisis: Helping Kids in Times of Loss, Grief, and Change, by Barbara Coloroso. Coloroso's book Kids Are Worth It is probably my favorite parenting book. I like the way she clarifies issues and makes parenting about treating people the way they should be treated. I like the "scripts" she gives for dealing with daily events (her chapter about alternatives to "no" is especially good). This book isn't as readable as Kids Are Worth It, and probably most people wouldn't read it straight through the way I did. I liked the more general sections the best, as those were the ones which related the most to my circumstances (the word "earthquake" was mentioned once in the book but, for obvious reasons, helping children recover from an earthquake wasn't its main focus). Other parts of the book take on topics such as death, illness, divorce, adoption, and step-parenting. At the end of the book there is a section called "Responding to Crises Large and Small," and here Coloroso discusses school shootings and bullying; she is from Littleton, Colorado, so she has some first-hand experience. I'd recommend reading Kids Are Worth It for parenting philosophy, and then dipping into Parenting Through Crisis more for the specific issue that interests you. I do love Coloroso's emphasis on optimism (she says that every crisis must be met with Time, Affection, and Optimism) and on giving children the tools to move on from difficult experiences, rather than being flattened and forever defined by them. (My sister-in-law wondered whether the title was advocating "crisis" as a parenting method.)
Book #28 was Small Island, by Andrea Levy. Levy grew up in a Jamaican family in Britain, and the book is about Jamaicans in London in 1948. She brings their world alive. After finishing the book I listened to this program(me) from the BBC, where Levy discusses the book and does wonderful readings of bits of it.
Here's today's Saturday Review of Books.
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