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7 Books I Read in August (+ my really honest reviews)

Want to know what books I finished in August? In 2019, I’m sharing the books I read each month and what my honest thoughts were on those books. If you love books, you don’t want to miss this post! (You can see all of my book reviews for this year here.)

I set a goal to finish 80 books in 2019 and a second goal that 40 of those books will be books I already own. (You can see which books I picked to read from those I already own here).

By the way, I’m truly loving using GoodReads to track my reading. You all were right! It is really motivational to see my progress! And I’ve been ahead on my goal for the last month!

I finished 7 books in August —- yay! Here’s what I read + my honest thoughts on each of the books:

Killing Reagan

I didn’t enjoy this one as much as I enjoyed Killing Lincoln and Killing Kennedy. Honestly, I was expecting for there to be a lot more in the book about the assassination attempt. As it was, it felt like that was a very small part of the story and the bulk of the book was devoted to Reagan’s earlier years.

That said, I did find it fascinating to hear that there is belief that the assassination attempt contributed to Reagan’s Alzheimer’s disease and that his Alzheimer’s disease was already beginning to show up during his presidency. I had not heard either theory before and found that part of the book very interesting and intriguing.

Verdict: 3 stars

Rhythms of Renewal

I loved this book enough to ask Rebekah Lyons (the author) to join me on a podcast episode! (Listen to that episode here.)

In this book, she shares 4 rhythms she believes everyone should prioritize in their life, why they should prioritize them, and practical ways to make them a reality.

In a world where “hustle harder” can often seem the over-arching message, this book is a welcome message to make time for play, rest, creativity, savoring, and more.

Verdict: 4 stars

The Healing Compass

This book was sent to me by its author and she had kindly mentioned my courses, Make Over Your Mornings and Make Over Your Evenings in it.

While it had a lot of good suggestions and ideas, I didn’t find a lot in it that was new to me — maybe because I’ve read a lot of similar books in the past?? 🙂

If you are someone who feels overwhelmed with life or is struggling through a health crisis, though, I feel like there could be some helpful and encouraging information in it. The author’s story is moving and she definitely has lived out what she encourages in the book!

Verdict: 2 stars

The Terminal List

If you listen to our podcast, you know that Jesse loved this book and encouraged me to read it. I found that I could download it for free on Libby so decided to try it out.

Let’s just say, Jesse’s taste in books and my taste in books are VERY different, I quickly discovered. This is a thriller, supposedly, but to me it seemed more like a “Let’s kill as many people as possible all while using a lot of bad words” book. Which is not really my type of book, ahem.

But hey, I read it. I finished it. And I survived. And now I know that when Jesse recommends a book, it’s probably safe to say I can steer clear of it. 😉

Verdict: 2 stars

The Ministry of Ordinary Places

I truly loved this book. I shared this quote from the book and posted this on Instagram:

It’s easy to talk about ideas. It doesn’t take a lot of work to criticize systems. It’s pretty simple to point fingers.

It’s a lot harder to get in the game and do something to actually make a difference… but that’s what’s going to change our world.

Smile at that person. Befriend the neighbor who is struggling. Show up for someone who is lonely.

Lean in and love those who are hard to love. Choose kindness instead of condemnation.

Don’t stay where it’s safe and comfortable. Step out and offer a hand. Open your door and your heart. Listen more than you talk.

Don’t just surround yourself with people who are similar to you or who believe exactly what you do or who think just like you do. Love and befriend those who come from very different backgrounds, beliefs, and political parties. If you’re anything like me, you’ll discover you have a whole lot to learn from them!

Instead of giving out lofty-sounding solutions, let’s go start being the solution — one person at a time. Let’s be hope-givers with mud on our shoes.

Verdict: 4 stars

Paris Letters

I had big hopes for this book. What’s not to love about a book set in Paris with the subtitle, “One woman’s journey from the fast lane to a slow stroll in Paris.” And while there were a few parts of the book that I thought were insightful, most of it fell flat for me.

Verdict: 2 stars

The Four Tendencies

I’d wanted to read this for a long time, so when it came available to download for free on Libby, you better believe I downloaded it.

It was very thought-provoking in parts and I had fun trying to figure out which tendency I am. I went into it thinking I was a questioner, but of course I had to question that for the entire book… because, hello, I’m a questioner! 😉

I did feel like some parts were redundant and that I would prefer to read this book over listening to it because I think I’d get more out of it by reading it (I’m more of a visual learner). But I do feel like it was valuable to listen to and I’d like to go back and read it in the future.

Verdict: 3 stars

What have you been reading recently? Any books you think I really need to read soon? I’d love to know!

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  • Theresa says:

    I’m actually reading The Four Tendencies right now. It is interesting but I’ve only just started it.

  • I just finished Maybe You Should Talk to Someone! I found it incredibly delightful, funny, insightful, and all-around interesting. I’m not a therapist but still enjoyed it immensely. I will warn you, however, there is bad language. I didn’t care for that at all, but I understood in context. I listened to it on Audible, so that made it a bit more “in my face”, language-wise.

  • Bethany says:

    I just finished Rachael Denhollander’s What is a Girl Worth? It is awesome. One of the things I most appreciated about it is that it gives a behind-the-scenes view of the obstacles and lies that victims face when they consider disclosing their abuse. I think most people never understand those dynamics. I love her heart for Jesus, for truth, and for victims.

  • Akaya says:

    I’m really interested in your courses that you linked here – Make Over Your Evenings and Make Over Your Mornings. Will there be a sale on these anytime in the near future?

  • Randi says:

    I also listened to the Four Tendencies this month and I NEVER listen to books. I always read them so I find it humorous that the one book I decide to listen to seems like it would hold more value actually being read. My thoughts on the book were basically the same as yours 🙂

  • Barb says:

    Yea, Nancy Reagon was pretty much President there for awhile, for anyone who understands the natural progression of that disease.

  • Carol says:

    I just finished Prodigal Daughter by Rob Koke and his daughter Danielle Koke Germain, about Danielle’s descent into addiction while away at college and her subsequent rehab and recovery. The book is written back and forth between father and daughter, and it’s very eye-opening about the reality and struggle of addiction. Also good to be aware, as a parent of children leaving for college soon, that this stuff happens even in close-knit Christian families and at Christian colleges.

  • Aimee says:

    Have you read Liturgy of the Ordinary? I downloaded it as an audiobook and it spoke straight to my soul. So much so that I bought it in paperback so I could re-read it and revisit at various times. I think you would enjoy it.

    One note…while the author and I are both Christians, we do not have the same theological beliefs BUT that didn’t keep me from getting tremendous value from the book.

    “In Jewish culture, days begin in the evening with the setting of the sun. (We see this in Genesis 1 with the repetition of “And there was evening and there was morning.”) The day begins with rest. We start by settling down and going to sleep. This understanding of time is powerfully reorienting, even jarring, to those of us who measure our days by our own efforts and accomplishments. The Jewish day begins in seemingly accomplishing nothing at all. We begin by resting, drooling on our pillow, dropping off into helplessness. Eugene Peterson says, “The Hebrew evening/morning sequence conditions us to the rhythms of grace. We go to sleep and God begins his work.”
    ― Tish Harrison Warren, Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life

  • Dot says:

    I just want you to know that I read your suggestion on The Tatooist of Auschwitz. Our family enjoyed many WW II books because we have survivors of concentration camps that lived in our neighborhood. So we had living history. I had never given thought to the person that had to tatoo the numbers on each person coming in.

    On the flip side, The Heavenly Man. Many lessons on truly trusting that the LORD is speaking and being obedient.

    • I’m so glad that you found a book I recommended interesting! Thank you for sharing!

    • Lisa says:

      Oh, my daughter has read The Heavenly Man & shared parts of it with me. She was a Chinese exchange student & has been to China 3 times, so it was particularly fascinating to her. God is certainly Almighty!!

      The Tatooist sounds intriguing – I will have to read that one!

  • Lori says:

    I have been trying to read 100 books a year for the last 5 years. I have not done it yet, but I think I will this year. I have read 80 so far. I get my books from the library and as a “Friend of the Library” member, I pay no late fees. I reserve everything online and stop by once a week to pick up the books. I rarely buy books and if I do it is at garage sales or at thrift shop. Good luck on making your goal.

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