In 2022, I’m setting monthly reading goals and have the goal to finish at least one book each week. So far, I’ve mostly been able to stick with that!
Note: You can follow along with the books I finish this year and my star ratings over on GoodReads. Also, books are rated on a 1-5 star scale. I basically won’t finish a book if it’s one star (not worth my time!) and I’ll rarely give a book a 5-star rating unless it was just absolutely amazing or life-changing.
I’ve gotten a little behind in my monthly reading goals and ended up not setting any book goals for May and June since I was still working through April’s stack. I’m looking forward to setting goals for my reading for July. Look for that post soon!
Here are five books I finished recently:
I started this book and within a few pages, knew I wanted to have the author on the podcast (listen to the episode I did with her here). I didn’t expect a book about celebration would have me uncovering such unexpected things I need to process through in my life.
In this book, Nicole shares her story of having five miscarriages and how those struggles caused her to stop hoping and just constantly live in fear and dread of the unknown. She shares candidly what it looked like to lose hope and feel so overwhelmed with discouragement. She then shares practical suggestions for how to pursue joy and find the courage to hope again.
Whether you are in a dark pit of despair right now or just would love to experience more joy and celebration and hope in your life, I think this book will really encourage you!
Verdict: 4 stars
Any time I can read a book that will better help me understand what it’s like to walk in someone else’s shoes, I want to read it. This book is the very honest story of one mother’s journey to finding out her oldest son had autism and what it was like to process that and live in that reality on a daily basis.
The author doesn’t sugarcoat anything; she shares the really hard and difficult. She also shares the beautiful and hopeful pieces, too. She shares the victories and the progress, the lessons learned, and how much she’s changed as a result of loving her boy who is autistic.
I really appreciated getting a small peek into the hardships and struggles that many families face who have a child who is autistic. This book gave me a deeper understanding and compassion that I wouldn’t have had otherwise.
By the way, if you want to get a little taste of Kate’s story, you can watch the IG live I did with her here.
Verdict: 4 stars
I have loved Ann Voskamp’s other books, so I was excited to read this one. It’s the beautifully raw story of their marriage struggles, health struggles, adoption journey, and walking alongside a medically fragile child. Woven throughout is Ann’s story of learning to trust God and others more deeply and of seeing God’s faithfulness — even when things feel overwhelming and scary.
Because we are on our own journey of adopting a medically fragile child, I related closely to many of the feelings she expressed in walking that road. However, even if you can’t relate to her health struggles or adoption journey or don’t have a medically fragile child, we all have areas in our lives where we are tempted to pull in and rely upon ourselves instead of reaching out and relying on God and others.
Verdict: 4 stars
I struggled through this audiobook and almost quit it multiple times. However, I’m glad I finished it because I ended up learning quite a bit about the Dust Bowl and the after effects that I didn’t know before and those parts will likely stick with me for years to come. The author did such a great job painting a picture of the difficulties so many families faced during those years.
That said, it felt like it was really slow to develop in parts, there were a few scenes that I wish the book would have left out (a few scenes that were PG-13 in nature), and there was a lot about Communism that I definitely wasn’t expecting (and I was left wondering if the author was trying to push an agenda or just tell historically accurate facts… I still need to research to find that out).
Verdict: 2 stars
I really loved the premise of this book — life-transforming grace instead of constantly pursuing self-improvement. And I was privileged to get to interview the author on my podcast where we talk about Living a Grace-Filled Life in a Stress-Filled World.
The book is beautiful — with quotes and art throughout (the author is an artist and everything she does is filled with beauty). And I appreciated the first few chapters especially about the real reason we’re so exhausted. I did feel like the second half of the book was kind of repetitive and I didn’t find it as helpful/encouraging. (Thus, the 3-star review.)
Verdict: 3 stars