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3 Books I Finished Last Week (+ 1 book I quit)

Welcome to my weekly book update post where I share what books I read this past week + my honest thoughts and star ratings of them.

A Word on My Star Ratings

The star ratings I give the books I read are based on a 5-star rating system. I rarely will ever give a book a 1-star rating (maybe never?), because my philosophy is that if a book is only worthy of one star, I’m more than likely going to quit reading it. 🙂 In the same vein, you’ll also notice that I’ll rarely give a 5-star rating as I reserve those for only my very, very favorite books.

Want to see all of the books I’ve read so far this year? Check out my Good Reads page.

Get Your Life Back: Everyday Practices for a World Gone Mad

I knew within reading just a few pages of this book that I was going to love it. I’m only vaguely familiar with John Eldredge and had never read any of his other books, but I truly found this book valuable and inspiring.

In fact, I found it so helpful, that Jesse and I recorded a podcast together with some of my initial thoughts from the book last week. Then, we invited John to come do an interview with me where he shared even more about what first prompted him to write this book (he was feeling burnt out and addicted to his phone and email) and daily practices that have helped him to regain his perspective, renew his soul, and refresh his spirit.

We recorded the podcast episode with him today and I can’t wait to share it with you next week! I think you’ll find his thoughts on caring for your soul, the power of the one-minute pause, and cultivating beauty in your life to truly be an inspiration!

And, if you can’t tell, I also definitely recommend reading this book! 🙂

Verdict: 4 stars

I Choose Brave: Embracing Holy Courage and Understanding Godly Fear

Katie asked me if I would endorse her book a few months ago. I rarely say yes to endorsement requests, but the book title and subject intrigued me and I’d heard so many wonderful things about Katie.

It was an honor to get to endorse her book. My only critique is that I would have loved for her to share a lot more of her journey and story, because I feel we could all really benefit from hearing more of what she has walked through.

Here’s what I wrote about her book:

If you are walking through a hard place in your life, struggling with fear, or feeling overwhelmed by a mountain ahead of you, Katie’s book will serve as a welcome reminder to you to fear God and walk in faith. Her words challenged and convicted me to say “yes” to boldly believe God and choose bravery, in spite of my own fear.

This book is slated to release in August (thus the reason I don’t have a pretty book picture to show you; what I read was a collection of coiled bound papers that were her book’s final draft!)

Verdict: 3 stars

Raising Worry-Free Girls

Whether you have sons or daughters, I think this is a valuable read. Yes, all of her stories, anecdotes, and advice is more girl-driven, but I think much of it applies to boys (and adults!), too.

There is an epidemic of anxiety going on among our youth. This book will give you some starting places, great tools, and lots of food-for-thought to help you combat your kids’ anxiety.

I found so many new insights, wise advice, and practical ideas for us to implement in our home through the pages. This book is not a replacement for counseling or therapy, but it would be a fantastic starting place if you feel like your child might be struggling with anxiety.

Verdict: 4 stars

Book I Quit: Things You Save in a Fire — I started listening to this because I enjoyed one of the author’s other books. About 4-5 chapters in, I felt like it was just too fluffy and felt sort of soap-opera-ish (not to mention that it had quite a bit of language), so I returned it back to the library on my Libby app. Life’s too short to spend it on books that aren’t feeding your soul!

What did you read this past week? Any books you think I really need to add to my long to-read list??

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  • Jennifer says:

    I’m reading “The Good Neighbor: the Life and Work of Fred Rogers”. I am enjoying learning more about Mr. Rogers and his life, his kindness brings tears to my eyes!

  • Deanna says:

    I just read The Deepest Well Healing the Long-Term Effects of Childhood Adversity by Nadine Burke. Fascinating and and her studies make so much sense! I read it in 2 days – it’s one of those non-fiction books you can’t put down.

    Also just finished Finding Chika by Mitch Albom and am almost done with Girl’s Club by Sally, Sarah, and Joy Clarkson!

  • Sarah says:

    I’m reading Mama Bear Apologetics. It is so good! I usually don’t keep books in my purse but I make sure it’s with me so I can sneak in reading whenever. I love that it isn’t fluffy and superficial. It is giving me so much to chew on, pray through. Highly highly recommend, especially if you’re writing parenting books. 🙂

    • I have never heard of this book. I just went and checked it out on Amazon and it looked so good that I bought it! I think it will be great for my own parenting and it might help me as I’m researching a few sections for my book I’m writing. Thank you for sharing!

      • Sarah says:

        I hadn’t either before a friend recommended it. First couple chapters are more basic but then it really delves in deep. I hope you like it!! It isn’t fluffy at all!

  • Lacey says:

    Memory Making Mom by Jessica Smartt is one of the best books i have read in a long time. It encourages you so much versus making you feel like you aren’t doing enough.

    Also, Lisa Leonard (Lisa Leonard Designs) wrote a memoir called Brave Love which dives deep into her personal struggles and how God has proven faithful through them all. Definitely worth a read.

  • Elizabeth H. says:

    Love John Eldridge! I’m totally going to have to listen to that podcast. I just actually got this with the free Audible trial credit so now I’m even more excited to listen to it.

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