Wow! I am so interested in reading both Why Gender Matters and Simplicity Parenting. Thank you for sharing!
I just finished reading the first three books of a series called Elsie Dinsmore.
I really liked the first two books. The storyline is kind of like a child's Uncle Tom's Cabin. In both books the main characters are truly trying to do anything and everything for the Savior. They both go through tremendous trials and temptations to give in and not live up to their personal code of standards. (Level six thinking--from Teach Like Your Hair's On Fire.) I can see people saying this book was a little preachy, but it was exactly what I needed to read. Here was this little girl who constantly had a prayer in her heart, and truly did love the Savior above everyone else. For example, when people were really mean and unjust to her, if she felt the first stirrings of anger in her heart, she immediately knelt to pray and repent and ask for help for those feelings to be taken away. Her most fervent desire was to be like the Savior. I can't stop thinking about this. Do I ponder and think that much about the Savior? Is He my best friend like He should be? Do I love him above anyone and everything else? In fact, the big test is whether she will love her earthly father more than her Savior or if she will follow the Savior at all costs. This little girl was so completely obedient to her earthly father (When it didn't conflict with her principles) because the scriptures say to honor your parents. And her dad was really strict and sometimes mean. I know that her character was a little too perfect, but I guess I like stories like this because I love Uncle Tom's Cabin and Jane Eyre and Freckles and it is the same with their characters. Oh well. Anyway, I think what I love about it is the symbolism of how obedient we ought to be to our Heavenly Father. I loved her obedience too because it is so different than today's culture. In fact, the next book I read was called In The Palace of the King by F. Marion Crawford. In this book the daughter is not obedient to her father. And I cringed! I don't think I would even have noticed if I wasn't comparing her to Elsie Dinsmore. But both books did a good job of showing how most of the time their fathers had good reasons for any commandments they gave. Heavenly Father ALWAYS has perfect reasons for His commandments. Just because we don't know the reasons, does not mean they don't exist. That is where trust and faith come in. Anyway, both good books. Crawford's book was very well written, but she ruined it with one sentence at the end of the book--grr!