Books read in March, April, and May 2016

Posted on May 24, 2016 by Sarah Brown | 0 Comments

Looking at this list below, it was a very good few months of reading. I should not wait 3 months to update my book reads, as it makes for quite the long list to go through. Some amazing books, some really good books, and then some just-okay books these past few months…a few I would even deem as some of my favorite reads in a LONG time. Make sure to check out my full list of books read so far this year.


Favorite reads in March, April, and May

Unhurried Life by Alan Fadling: This book was life changing for me. I liked it so much I convinced my Bible Study to read it together over the summer. Made me question, and continue to question, how my hurry fits into God’s plan for me, and why I believe that hurrying is going to speed up God’s work and answers in my life. 

Hope Heals by Katherine and Jay Wolf: Powerful, powerful read. Made me re-examine my life, priorities, and made me think hard about my marriage. This is a great read for anyone - men, women, old, young, married, not married. Excellent.

A Mother’s Reckoning by Sue Klebold: I almost had to stop reading this multiple times; the best word I can think to describe this one is “harrowing." From the mom of one of the Columbine shooters, this book was an eye-opening look at parenting, how well you know your kids, tragedy, and grief. I’m very glad I kept at it and finished it.

A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin: Quite a weighty tome but one I thoroughly enjoyed. The character development and simultaneous movement of multiple stories…superb! Looking forward to reading the next in the series.

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi: Finished this book in less than 24 hours and immediately wanted to go back and read it again. When I tell people the gist of the book (a young doctor coming to grips with his fatal cancer diagnosis), many friends turn up their nose at it sounding so sad…I’d disagree - sad parts, but extremely hopeful.

Flora & Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo and KG Campbell: Such a fun middle grade reader book. I loved it - wonderful characters, laugh-out-loud funny, and great illustrations.

So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson: This book was eye-opening. Looking at the ways that social media has reinvented public shaming, the stories and accounts of people ransacked in social media were extremely interesting (and awful). Glad I read this one.

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson: Finished this one in less than a day. Loved it! A big part of the book takes place in Greenville, SC (where I live!) so loved that as well. What a wonderful, easy-to-read story about growing up African American in the South.

Roots and Sky by Christie Purifoy: Lyrical and hopeful, the author painted such vivid pictures of her life through the changing seasons. It was a beautiful way to weave a Biblical perspective into the everyday. A wonderful read. 

Peace Like a River by Leif Enger: This was just fun. I really loved the characters and found myself really cheering for the Land family. Just an easy and enjoyable read.

I Want it All by Gwen Smith: This book kind of ebbed and flowed for me, but found myself highlighting big sections and going back to them after the fact. Really enjoyed her idea of holding your words up to a KUT test (kind, useful, true).

Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh: Listened to the audio book of this one and really, really enjoyed it. I found the chapter on company culture especially good. It changed my perspective on why I’m working and why I’m doing what I’m doing.

Life after Life by Kate Atkinson: This was an interesting read - the story keeps re-starting, playing out different scenarios based on the main character making different choices in life. With a plot like this, it is hard to really root for someone, as the main character’s personality changes based on the way her life plays out; but, I found the whole idea fascinating, as such truth in the way our decisions can affect so much in life. 

Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger: An easy but weighty read, with an added element of mystery. Really great character development, especially the two brothers and their understanding of life and tragedy. Find myself thinking on this one long after its been done.

The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom: How have I missed reading this book for so many years? I don’t typically enjoy fiction about slavery, but I could not wait to pick this up every time to read it. Such a wonderful story. 

The Martian by Andy Weir: This book has received so much hype, and I felt doubtful it could live up to the expectations - after reading it, I definitely get it. Such great sarcastic humor throughout that I thoroughly enjoyed!

Other books read these past 3 months (many were excellent!):
• Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates: Eye-opening look at growing up African American.
• My Year with Eleanor by Noelle Hancock: Taking the example of Eleanor Roosevelt, a young woman decides to do one thing that scares her every day for a year.
• Live Original by Sadie Robertson: Very teen-focused Christian inspirational on living out who God made you to be.
• Take This Bread by Sara Miles: Had high expectations for this one but not my favorite. 
• Curious Faith by Logan Wolfram: Really loved her idea of praying backwards for those that really bug or bother you.
• Girl Meets Change by Kristen Strong: A focused look on what to do and how to react to life-change from a Biblical perspective.
• Circling the Sun by Paula McLain: I really enjoyed the beginning of this book, but felt like things started to drag pretty quickly.
• Looking for Lovely by Annie Downs: I adore Annie Downs and loved the beginning of this book.
• In the Name of Jesus by Henri Nouwen: Always love a great Nouwen read; quick and very insightful.
• Wild and Free by Hayley Morgan and Jess Connolly: Some of the visuals painted through this book were especially good and really stuck with me, especially the idea of wild horses.
• I Said Yes by Emily Maynard Johnson: I unabashedly admit that I enjoy the Bachelor, which made this a fun read. The last chapter was by far the best one.
• Never Broken by Jewel: Did the audiobook on this one - Jewel’s life is very interesting; she has a very open spiritual practice, making me wish she knew Jesus.
• Crucial Conversations by Patterson, Grenny, McMillian, and Switzlier: A re-read of an excellent book about how to enter difficult conversations.
• The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater: This received such hype on social media but was a tad too far "out there" for me? Can’t decide if I’ll continue the series.
• The Son by Phillip Meyer: A long read, but overall, I enjoyed it. Interesting look at family dynamics and learned many interesting things about Native American tribes.
• The Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard: The follow up to the Red Queen; a tad more slow, but think I’ll still read the next in the series.
• No One Knows by J.T. Ellison: A suspense thriller that kept me reading. Would be great for the beach or a long car ride.
• Just Show Up by Kara Tippetts: A great and practical guide on how to be there for friends going through extreme tragedy or sickness.
• Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff: Jury is still out on this one. I finished the first half of the book and could not figure out why I was still reading; the 2nd part definitely helped redeem the read. 
• The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner: Wished this one had rounded out some of the characters more and wrapped up some story lines. 
• All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven: A really good read looking at teen suicide and young love; heartbreaking.
• Wisdom Distilled from the Daily by Joan Chittister: Found myself underlining and underlining again. 
    What have you been reading lately?

    Posted in Books, What I've Been Reading



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