Friday, June 3, 2016

May Reads

I think you can always tell if I have been on a trip during the last month based on the size of my book stack!  I did indeed go on a wonderful late spring break trip to Florida at the beginning of the month. Reflecting back on the past month's reading I am reminded of wonderful evenings spent reading along the beach and early mornings reading on the covered porch that overlooks a lake.   

Own Your Life: Living with deep intention, bold faith, and generous love by Sally Clarkson: This book is simply fabulous and exactly what I need for this season of life.  Especially now that summer break has officially begun.  One of the things that I really want to focus on this summer is my walk with the Lord and evaluating different priorities in my life.  As I mentioned a few weeks ago I actually started journaling through the questions after I read the first few chapters.  I knew that this book had the potential to really pierce my heart and that's exactly what it did.  God radically used this book to lovingly speak to my heart about a myriad of things.  The 25 pages of journal entries are a testimony to just how powerful this book is.  I am so thankful at how God has used this book in my life the past month.  Clarkson does an excellent job speaking with such warmth and encouragement.  It felt as though I had my own wise mentor speaking to me on every page.  I simply cannot recommend this book enough. Own Your Life is probably my favorite book this year!

Reaching Milennials by David Stark: As a millennial myself I felt like the author had a good understanding of what makes millennials tick.  I really appreciated his critique of the subculture that often develops within a church.  One of the biggest dangers of this little subculture is becoming too comfortable or too busy doing church activities that you don't develop relationships with unbelievers.  Unfortunately I really felt like Stark missed the mark when it comes to this book.  If we really want to reach millennials then where we really need to start with is prayer.  This was completely lacking in the book.  The entire tone of the book also really annoyed me.  Please note that I did receive a review copy of this book from Bethany House.  All opinions are my own.

surprised by motherhood: everything i never expected about being a mom by Lisa-Jo Baker: I loved reading this down to earth book about a lady who never planned on having children.  She shares about loosing her mother as a teenager and what it was like to grow up in South Africa.  So much of her book is spot on.  "One, motherhood is hard.  Two, motherhood is glorious.  Three, motherhood is very hard."  This memoir was a beautiful story but the organization and flashbacks in time did drive me a little bit crazy.  The last quarter of the book just didn't seem to fit with the rest and almost undermines its message.  Overall it was a nice read but not one I hope to add to my personal library.

Indian Captive: The Story of Mary Jemison by Lois Lenski: I have no earthly idea how this book ended up in our weekly library bag!  It was intriguing enough that I did find myself picking up the book and reading the entire thing one afternoon.  The book itself is actually very good and tells the story of young Mary who is captured by Indians.  Although she later could have returned to live in the settlements of the white men she chose to stay with the Indians.  I'm fairly certain that I read this book as a child because it was so familiar.

The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night At A Time by Arianna Huffington: One of the things that have probably changed the most in my life over the past decade is amount of sleep that I get each night.  For years I thought I only needed six hours of sleep and I spent years and years only sleeping six hours.  Almost every night of college I went to bed at midnight and woke up at six.  This continued throughout seminary until I became pregnant with my first child.  All of a sudden I was exhausted and realized I couldn't keep pushing my body to such extremes.  Since then I have grown up and realized that six hours isn't enough sleep.  Huffington agrees wholeheartedly and I found her book insightful and amusing.  A good portion of her book includes the sleep habits of highly successful and famous people.  Not surprising at all, many successful people sleep eight hours a night and go to bed early.  I thought it was really interesting to hear how many companies are now installing nap rooms and encouraging their workers to take an afternoon siesta.  After a terrible bout with mono in college I also changed my attitude towards taking a nap.  I absolutely adore them now and think they help increase my overall productivity.  Huffington also included many good tips for people who struggle with falling asleep at night.  Sleep plays a vital role in a person's overall health and I hope that more people will realize its importance.  Please note that I did receive a review copy of this book from Blogging For Books.  All opinions are my own.

A Sure Guide to Heaven by Joseph Alleine: I heard it said once that for every modern day book you read (or two) be sure to read a classic.  I've noticed lately that I have been slacking in this area so this book was my attempt to get back on track.  There is so much wisdom to be gained by reading fellow believers who have gone on before us.  I especially enjoy reading the Puritans.  This was my first introduction to Joseph Alleine and it was great.  The title might be slightly odd to us in 2016 but remember this book was first published in 1671.  This book was such an encouragement to me personally and a great reminder of the importance of sharing the Gospel with others.

Children's Read Aloud
Attack at the Arena (Imagination Station #2) by Marianne Hering and Paul McCusker:  My children and I are all enjoying reading through this series.  (I only wish our library had them.)  In this book Patrick ad Beth end up in ancient Rome where they must find a special cup.  Along the way Beth is enslaved to the emperor.  This was a great introduction for my kids on what life was like in Rome.  If you aren't familiar with these books they are easier to read books (2nd grade) that are similar to Magic Tree House books.  Personally I enjoy them a lot more than the Magic Tree House books.  We read most of this book while on vacation snuggled up at night after a packed day at the beach.

What books did you read last month?  Do you tend to read more or less during the summer months?

1 comment:

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