Oh my…it’s been a while. This year has been filled with so many things - and I just don’t quite know where I am with it all right now. I have given myself a big break from feeling obligated to blog or post on social media - because of that, I have been quite absent all around. The Lord is doing some serious work in my heart, and to be honest, I don’t quite know what that means. But, feel like more will be coming soon here on the blog.
In the meantime, it’s been a slower reading year for me and will continue to be for this season. For one, I can’t stay awake at night! I read about 2 pages and am out like a light…it’s just a season of little sleep and lots of work, so just can’t stay up. And second, I’m giving myself a break from feeling like I have to read all the time - I love it, but sometimes can feel pressure to “keep up the pace” - so just taking it slower this year for many reasons.
But, I did read some GREAT books the past two months, and I am excited to tell you about them. Make sure to check out the updated Books list and let me know what I need to check out in the next few months:
Favorite Books read in January & February:
When Helping Hurts by Steve Corbett: Recommended by my pastor, this book was unbelievably eye-opening to how our efforts to “do” missions might actually be perpetuating the cycle of poverty and need, instead of helping. My whole perspective was rocked with this one.
Fervent by Priscilla Shirer: I really loved the War Room movie and feel like creating the Praying for your Husband journal came out of my desire to pray fervently for my husband. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this continuation of the movie, and LOVED this guide…we are in a battle but have such power within us. Grab this one!
Frozen in Time by Michael Zuckoff: As a history buff, I loved reading this one about what happened to multiple planes in Greenland during WWII and the continued effort to recover those planes, and their crew, today. Author did a great job going back and forth in time, keeping my interest piqued.
Strong and Kind by Korie Robertson: I’m a Duck Dynasty fan so was looking forward to reading this one. I really enjoyed the book - it gave me SO MUCH ENCOURAGEMENT in making decisions right now about how we are going to raise our two boys. The writing is simple and to the point (no fancy, lyrical prose here), but her overarching message was very good for the soul.
Walkable City by Jeff Speck: This book really blew my mind in some regards, as I just had no idea about how cities are designed and how simple decisions make a HUGE impact on how people use spaces and the businesses that thrive (or die) in those spaces. Living in a highly walkable downtown (go Greenville!), I was pretty fascinated by the info.
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: It took me a while to get through this one, mainly due to its more serious nature, long length, and my extreme tiredness. But, so glad I stuck with this one, as it was very good. Really eye-opening look at some race issues going on in America; I had truly never thought about what it means to be “black” in America when you might actually immigrate from another country and not consider yourself “black” at all.
Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon: This is teen fiction at its finest - you’ve got love, a tough family situation, difficult circumstances, and the possibility of death. Not necessarily the finest of reading, and I guessed the “twist” pretty early on, but from a “keep your attention” standpoint, it was an enjoyable read that went very quickly.
The Enduring Community by Brian Habig and Les Newsom: A wonderful book about church…why it’s important, why we shouldn’t choose when and how we go to church, and why being in a messy church situation is actually quite good. Really good look at the church today.
The Cruelest Month & A Rule Against Murder by Louise Penny: More in the Gamache mystery series, I am still really enjoying these. There are slow parts in both books, but definitely a fun series that I’m looking forward to continuing.
2 a.m. at the Cat’s Pajamas by Marie-Helene Bertino: This book was highly recommended by a great Internet friend who has good taste in books. I ended wanting to know what happened after the very end of the book, which is a sign of a good read.
All Joy and No Fun by Jennifer Senior: Being a mom to small kids, I could definitely relate to this one - looking at the happiness and woes of parenting and where that leaves us. Interesting read with good research.
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein: Another teen read, enjoyable and quick reading. Liked the twists and intrigue throughout. This would be a good read for teens as they think about friendship and what it could mean.
Accidental Saints by Nadia Bolz-Weber: I really enjoyed her first book, and I found this one even better. A great look at how loving those around you and even in your church can often be hard and not fun…but how the Lord calls us to love in so many different situations. (Disclaimer: Nadia is not afraid to cuss…a lot! Refreshing?)
Other books read this month:
• Searching for Sunday by Rachel Held Evans: I read this right after reading The Enduring Community, and the books are pretty opposite in viewpoints. I think I would have enjoyed this more if I hadn’t read the two books in that order, but I just identified with the argument in Enduring Community much more.
• Learning to Walk in the Dark by Barbara Brown Taylor: Also read this while reading Walkable City, and you could put these two arguments right up against each other too. Great points, but not as much Christian connection as I was hoping for.
• #Girlboss by Sophia Amoruso: Did the audio book on this one. I didn’t know anything about her company but was seriously impressed. It felt a tad heavy on cliche business advice, but an enjoyable listen.
• Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo: This bestseller was good. I need to declutter majorly, and so many great thoughts on how to do it. I couldn’t get into the “socks have feelings” part of it, but overall good.
• It was Me All Along by Andie Mitchell: A good memoir about a blogger’s struggle with weight gain and then weight loss through her many life changes and tragedies.
• H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald: I enjoyed this, but it was a bad season for me to be reading this one - too serious for when I’m so tired. I think I would have liked this more at a different life stage.
• See Me by Nicholas Sparks: Quick, easy read - great for the beach or just when you need something fun.
• The Good Girl by Mary Kubica: Easy and quick read on this one too. Not really quite sure what I’d say on this - I read it quickly and wanted to know what happened, but not entirely satisfied with how it all wrapped up?
What would you recommend for the coming months??