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The Duggars: 20 and Counting!: Raising One of America's Largest Families--How they Do It Paperback – December 2, 2008
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About the Author
Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar married in 1984. Some time after the birth of their first child, they prayed that God would give them a love for children like his love for children and that he would bless them with as many children as he saw fit in his timing. Soon after, Michelle became pregnant with twins! The Duggars currently have ten boys and nine girls, and all their names begin with “J”—Joshua, Jana and John-David (twins), Jill, Jessa, Jinger, Joseph, Josiah, Joy-Anna, Jedidiah and Jeremiah (twins), Jason, James, Justin, Jackson, Johannah, Jennifer, Jordyn-Grace, and Josie.
The Duggars are the #1 program on TLC/ Discovery Health / TLC documentaries and have appeared multiple times on national TV shows, such as The Today Show, Good Morning America, The View, Inside Edition, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Fox News Network, CNN, MSNBC, and others. Foreign television appearances include Italian Public Television, KBS (Korean Broadcasting System), and Discovery Home & Health (UK & Australia). They have been featured in magazine and newspaper articles in China, India, New Zealand, Australia, France, and Germany. As a family project, the Duggars built a seven-thousand-square-foot home. Both Jim Bob and Michelle are licensed real estate agents and conduct the Jim Sammon’s Financial Freedom Seminar in their community. They purpose to live completely debt-free—postponing purchases until they have the cash. Jim Bob served in the Arkansas House of Representatives from 1999 to 2003 and was a candidate for the U.S. Senate in 2002.
Michelle Duggar has been married for more than twenty years to her husband, Jim Bob, and they are blessed with nineteen children. The Duggars have the #1 program on TLC/Discovery Health/TLC documentaries and have appeared on national television shows, such as the Today show, Good Morning America, The View, Inside Edition, Jimmy Kimmel Live, and others.
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Top customer reviews
It was a very easy read; it only took me two nights to read it. It was also very engaging, and easily kept my interest. It did have a lot of information not seen in the show, in particular how Michelle and Jim Bob met and the first years of their marriage. They seem like genuine, honest, and faith filled people and the book is very inspiring for those with one child or many. Even if you don't have any children, but you have a strong faith in God, I think this would be a pleasurable read as it is as much about faith in God as it is in their lives' stories. The two are completely intertwined and you simply can't have one without the other.
I particularly enjoyed finding out many "facts" that I had heard about them, were simply not true. For instance, the biggest lie that I had thought was true was that Michelle stopped breastfeeding at six months so that she could become pregnant again. She usually breastfeeds exclusively until she gets pregnant again and her milk supply goes down. Another silly lie, all the children have to wear the same clothes. While they admit that when they go on a trip they try to have the children wear the same color shirt, it is only for the purpose of being able to keep track of everyone easier, something that most larger (and some smaller) families do. Also, it is helpful to wear similar colors the same day for laundry purposes. They are not rich, they always buy used and save up for items so that they can pay in cash and not have any debt, something I think most people should think about doing.
While the book was very interesting, I did have a little trouble with the organization. The book was mostly told in chronological order, but they also had sections (such as disciplining the little ones, preparing the older children for adult life, homeschooling, and organization) toward the end, yet they were mention numerous times throughout. It was almost like they were trying to put two books (their biographies and their tips and advice) together in one. It was a little distracting at times. The only other problem I had, was that they used the first person narrative to tell the story, which is nice, as it is more personal, unfortunately their were two people telling this story so they would say: I (Michelle)... or I (Jim Bob)... and sometimes I had to go back to reread to see who was talking. I almost wished they used two different type fonts to distinguish who was speaking. While these things were distracting or bothersome at times, I still thoroughly enjoyed the book and I know that they don't pretend to be professional writers so I can forgive them for it.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys watching their TV shows or even those just following them with the Today show. I would also recommend it to anyone with a family and a strong faith, as you will find helpful information about dealing with children, the house, homeschooling, scheduling and how to find ways to live your life more faithfully. I wouldn't recommend this book to those who are only looking for recipes and tips, because while this book includes them, the bulk of the book is really the Duggers life story so far. Also, their website includes some of that stuff that you could check out for free.
I think we can often see the people on TV as somehow more perfect then ourselves. This book breaks this image of the Duggers. They do share what they've learned and done right. They also show where they've messed up and failed. They tell about where they came from and the growth they've been through. I very much appreciate this.
While you can find many recipes that are also on their website, you can also find many helpful tips to make your life easier. I especially liked their system for organizing boxes for moving. She also shared how she found that this system made it easier for other applications as well, like storing items only used at certain times of the year or being able to weed out items you no longer need.
Watching the Duggers can sometimes make a person think they could never be debt free like the Duggers. Or it can make them think that the Duggers much just be wealthy or many other things. But this isn't the case. When you read the book, you see that they aren't wealthy but have used some very wise tips and lessons they've learned to become and stay debt free. They work hard and sacrifice what they want this second and instead save for what they need. At this time, it is a very good lesson for people to learn.
I greatly enjoyed this book.
There is one concern I would pass on that others have also mentioned. There is one aspect of the writing style which can be awkward. They will use I (Jim Bob) or I (Michelle) when talking. This isn't a deal breaking thing but can come off as awkward until you get used to it.
I would recommend this book whether you are quiverfull like the Duggers, a parent in need of advice, a fangirl/boy of the Duggers, or just enjoy some wholesome reading about an interesting family.
I learned a lot about living a good life, relying on God, and how doing the right thing works out in the end. I am so glad I bought this book. It changed the way I view my Christian walk. It is as much a book on finances as parenting. Maybe more so, or maybe that is just what was on my mind when I read it. They are also a ton of practical tips on everything.
I recommend this book to everyone. It should be required reading for newlyweds! :)