Welcome to my book update post where I share what books I finished recently + my honest thoughts and star ratings of them.
My Reading Goals for 2021
For 2021, I set a goal of reading 3 books per week — 1 fiction book, 1 non-fiction book, and 1 audiobook each week. I know this is an audacious goal, but reading is something I love and it’s a way I learn, challenge my mind, improve as a writer and communicator, and am refreshed and encouraged through inspiring stories.
I have a few shelves full of books (mostly that I’ve gotten free), so I decided to choose 52 books from off my shelf to read this year (see my list of 52 books I plan to read in 2021 here). I’ll also read other books that I find/am sent that pique my interest. Plus, I plan to go through a lot of audiobooks (I get mine free from the Libby app and just started trying out the Hoopla app).
Here are the four books I’ve finished recently…
The Ultimate Book of Outfit Formulas
I have been a huge fan of Alison Lumbatis and her Outfit Formulas, so I was thrilled that she has a book coming out! I feel like this book is the best of everything you learn from her Outfit Formulas program — all wrapped up in one book.
My favorite part was that it was short, simple, hands-on, and so graphic heavy. I’m the kind of person who really needs visuals and this book delivered on that in a big way.
If you want to upgrade your wardrobe and feel more confident in your clothes, I’d highly recommend this book + Alison’s Outfit Formulas program.
Verdict: 4 stars
Hope is a Verb
My sister gave me this book to borrow. It’s the story of one of the survivors of the Oklahoma City Bombing. I found it equally inspiring and sad — inspiring at how she was able to choose to change her life in many ways and sad at her unwillingness to consider forgiveness in certain areas and how she continues to hold onto anger.
The book was self-published and there were multiple typos in it. In addition, it was hard to follow in parts and often felt like it was all over the place.
However, I found enough of it to be interesting that I was willing to finish it, so I’m giving it 2 stars. 🙂
Verdict: 2 stars
Long Way Gone
I struggled to get into this story. And honestly, I was going to give it a 2-star rating. But then, the author’s note at the end changed everything for me. Honestly, I kind of wish he had shared the note at the beginning, because it would have given me a different perspective on the book as a whole.
One of the quotes in the author’s note deeply encouraged my heart. I shared a post on it here. “Only Jesus gets to tell you who you are.” Wow!
Verdict: 3 stars
Foster the Family
If you are a foster family or you are thinking of fostering, this is a must-read book. Jamie’s insights are exactly what I needed to hear and be reminded of!
I had the honor of getting to write an endorsement for the book (thus the reason I got to read a really early copy!) and here’s what I wrote:
Jamie’s honesty and willingness to share all of the beautiful and brutal parts of foster care is so refreshing and encouraging to me as a fellow foster mom. If you are brand-new to fostering or have been fostering for a decade, this book will resonate deeply with you, give you loads of practical advice for the many difficult situations you’ll encounter in foster care, help you feel like you aren’t alone, and point you to Jesus on the really hard and exhausting days.
Verdict: 4 stars
Amrita Angappa says
Those are amazing book recommendations! I would love to read them as well! I can also recommend it to my team at iQuantM.