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Tag Archive: Books I’m Reading in 2015

The 4 Books I Read on the Plane to South Africa (& the 2 books I didn’t read)

4 Books I Read on the Plane

A few of you have asked me what books I ended up reading on the long 15-hour plane flight to South Africa and back. So I thought I’d give you the rundown of the four books I read (and two I didn’t read):

First off, I read two marriage books: this one and this one. I also read half of this one. {And yes, there’s a reason I’m not writing out the names here — because I don’t need to attract people here who are searching for not-so-great stuff on the web! :(}

This year, one of my Christmas gifts to my husband was my commitment to read at least one marriage book per month. Because I’ve found that it’s helpful to have regular refreshers and tune-ups regarding a healthy marriage.

4 Books I Read on the Plane

I also read The Devil in Pew Number Seven. This book came highly recommended to me and while it was pretty good, I felt like it was one of the those instances where the story would have only filled a few chapters, so they added unnecessary filler information just to make it a complete book. However, I thought the story of forgiveness was really moving.

And finally, I read When God Doesn’t Fix It. I was unfamiliar with Laura Story’s background and struggles and really found this book engaging and encouraging. If you or someone you know is going through an ongoing medical situation that you never could have imagined and that there isn’t a real cure for, I think you’ll be very blessed by reading this book.

I had planned to read Still Alice and Big Little Lies. I discovered that the plane had the movie Still Alice available so I ended up watching it instead. I thought it was rather depressing and discouraging and didn’t make me want to read the book. However, it was a good look at what Alzheimer’s is like and what families deal with. The ending felt off and I kept thinking maybe it wasn’t the actual ending… but the credits kept rolling so I finally realized that it was, indeed, the ending — even if it didn’t feel like it should have ended where it did.

I ran out of time to read Big Little Lies, but am hoping to get a chance to read it in the not-too-distant future.

4 Books I Read On the Plane

I’m currently reading a pre-release copy of Breaking Busy by Alli Worthington and really being convicted by it. Watch the end of the video here for two of my favorite quotes from chapter one.

4 Books I Read on the Plane

We also just finished reading The Sign of the Beaver aloud as a family this morning. We really enjoyed the story and it was very engaging and interesting for all the kids!

In a sort of related note, in case you missed this post on Instagram, I’d love your help to pick next week’s Book Club Book.

What have YOU been reading recently? I’d love to hear!

4 Books You Should Read This Summer (July edition)

4 Books You Should Read This Summer

In June, I started a little mini summer series with recommended reads. If you missed the first post, read the 4 Books I Think You Should Read This Summer (June edition).

1. Undone: Making Peace With an Unexpected Life

Do yourself a massive favor and read this book! I cannot recommend it highly enough. Michele is one of the most gifted communicators I’ve ever met, but more than that, she’s one of the most Jesus-filled people I’ve ever known. Michele’s story will inspire you, move you, and leave you feeling empowered that you, too, can face overwhelming odds and unknowns with courage and bravery.

You can read more about Michele and her journey here. I’m so grateful for her.

4 Books You Should Read This Summer

2. What Alice Forgot

I really enjoyed this book. While it wasn’t written from a Christian perspective and had some swear words in it, the book was well-written and really caused me to step back and examine my own marriage and relationships to see if I’m making small choices that would, over time, have devastating consequences. Highly recommended if you like novels that will really make you think and dig deep.

4 Books You Should Read This Summer

3. Anchored

Okay, confession time: I haven’t completely finished this book. But I’ve enjoyed it so much that I had to recommend it to you in this post. It will probably make you both laugh and cry… and you’ll wish you had enough time to read it in one sitting. But then you’ll want to make it last so that you can savor it, too! 🙂 You can read more of my thoughts on this book here.

4 Books You Should Read This Summer

4. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh

This book starts out a little slow and then quickly picks up the pace and becomes incredibly engaging. In fact, this has been one of our all-time favorite read alouds ever. Every single member of our family enjoyed it and was sad for it to be finished. Yes, even Jesse. 🙂 It’s a great book to read aloud and savor and enjoy as a family.

What have you been reading recently? What are 4 books you think everyone should read this summer?

4 Books You Should Read This Summer (June edition)

4 Books You Should Read This Summer

{Read the story behind this picture here.}

So, I know I’ve not been posting much about books recently. It’s mostly because I’ve kind of been up to my eyeballs in this thing called launching a course and, oh yeah, finishing up my own book.

I’ve still been reading, but I’ve been reading a lot more of my own words a lot while doing edits for the course and my new book and that’s been keeping me from voraciously being able to read as many of other peoples’ words as I’d love to.

But, the good news is that MY NEW BOOK IS ALMOST DONE!!

Yes, for real. Let’s pause for a moment of silence for that. Because, y’all, writing my third book has sort of gutted me. In a good way.

I feel like some of my lifeblood was shed in the writing of it. And while it may have aged me by a few years, it may have caused my eyesight to go down a little, and it may be the cause of why I now have arthritis in my hands, but it was worth it because I’m thrilled with how the final product is turning out.

(When my chiropractor broke the news to me that the pain in the joints of my hands is actually arthritis I wanted to holler out, “But wait, how can that be? I’m only 17!” And then I remember while I might still think I’m 17, I’m actually almost twice that age!! Yikes!)

4 Books You Should Read This Summer

At any rate, I have the next-to-the-last proof right now and am reading every single word to make sure it’s exactly just so. It is incredibly gratifying to be so close to the finish line with this manuscript.

We’re now in the middle of all of the fun stuff — planning out the marketing campaign, lining up media opportunities, and planning some exciting things for the launch. I can’t wait to share more once September and October roll around (the book hits stores November 3, 2015!)

So all that said, I’m finally coming up for air again and back to reading a lot more of other peoples’ books… and oh how I have missed it!

When I read Lisa-Jo’s Summer Reading List a few days ago, I was inspired to write one of my own. However, I thought maybe it’d be fun to break it up into a few different installments. So for the next few months, I’ll be sharing a post each month with 4 books you should read this summer.

These will be some of my very favorite recent reads, including read alouds our family has enjoyed. I hope it inspires you and gives you some new titles to request from the library this summer. And maybe you’ll even fall in love with them as much as I have. 🙂

4 Books You Should Read This Summer

4 Books You Should Read This Summer

Hands Free Life

Okay, so I’m sort of jumping the gun on this one since you can’t read this one this summer (unless you got a pre-release copy to review like I did!). But I just couldn’t help myself!

This book spoke to me at a deep, heart level. It challenged me to stop hurrying through life, quit worrying about what other people think, and start savoring the ordinary, everyday moments. I smiled through parts, cried through other sections, and came away from the book with fresh resolve to make each day count — not in more efficient productivity but in more meaningful relationships with others. Highly, highly recommended!

Note: Hands Free Life doesn’t come out until September, but I encourage you to go pre-order it or ask your library to order a copy. And while you’re waiting, be sure to read Hands Free Mama, if you haven’t already.

Me Before You

This book made it in my Top 10 Books I Read in 2014 list, but I had to share it here, too. This was one of the most heart-breaking, compelling, and thought-provoking books I’ve read in a long time. I thought it was very well-written and found it hard to put down. In fact, I read the entire book in one day!

Caveat: This book is not written from a Christian perspective, has quite a bit of language, and the plot line deals with suicide in a very raw form. I didn’t agree with the outcome of the book, but it made me dig deep and think hard… and books that do that are ones I feel are very worth my time.

4 Books You Should Read This Summer

Dear Mr. Knightley

Ever read a book that you just don’t want to end and when you finish it, you want to meet the characters in real-life? That was this book for me.

The first part of the book starts out slowly, but once I got to about page 40, I couldn’t put it down. Lisa-Jo highly, highly recommended it and now I know why!

It delves into some deeper issues of how past hurts and rejection can wound people so deeply that they hide their real self for fear of further pain and rejection. It’s a beautiful story of healing and redemption and of how to love and reach out to hurting people.

The Cricket in Times Square

This book was a huge hit at our house with all the kids. It starts out a little slowly but quickly picks up into a fast-paced adventure that all of our kids loved.

They would beg me to read extra every day because they enjoyed it so much. And we were very sad when we finished the last chapter.

What I’m Reading Right Now

4 Books You Must Read This Summer

What are YOU reading right now? What would be on your list of 2-4 books someone must-read this summer? Tell us in the comments!

Two books I read this past week + the BIG stack of books I’m currently reading

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I’m SO excited that this gem showed up in my mailbox this week! Rachel’s book, Hands Free Mama, was a game-changer for me as a wife and mom and I can’t WAIT to dive into this pre-release copy of her brand-new book. I’m prepping myself to be highly challenged and convicted again!

2 Books I Read This Week

How Do I Get It All Done? And Still Have Time to Enjoy It? — This was not an “I have it all figured out, come learn from me” book, but a “Come learn alongside me as I’m figuring it out” kind of book. And I found it inspiring and thought-provoking.

It’s a quick read and there are some typos in it, but overall, it’s a great book if you’re struggling with prioritizing and time management. Lots of great refresher ideas and motivation. I especially loved these three quotes:

So the first step in getting it all done is to define ‘it all’. This is the act of very purposefully defining your priorities, as well as discovering your unique gifts and talents and how God wants you to use them. It’s all too easy to get distracted into doing those things that are not for you to do. You must know what it is that you are to be about in order to do those things well.
—-
When God gives you an assignment, he doesn’t leave you alone, he equips you with whatever you need to accomplish what he had called you to do.
—-
Whenever you choose to do something, you choose not to do something else.

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Lizzy & Jane — I really enjoyed this book. It was well-written, engaging, and just an all-around great read. It makes you want to read Jane Austen and become a better cook!

Speaking of which, I’m not a foodie and have only read a little bit of Jane Austen, so if I enjoyed the book, I think those of you who love Austen and/or food-related books will especially find this a good read.

As I’ve just walked through Michele’s cancer journey with her, I found the sections on chemo and the losses and grief related to cancer to be very authentic and real — and something that would be helpful to those who are trying to understand what it’s like to go through chemo treatments and to experience the heavy losses and hard burdens that cancer can bring.

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11 Books I’m Reading This Week:

The Green Ember — This read aloud has come highly recommended to us by multiple sources and, so far, we’re really enjoying it. It is well-written and keeping all of my kids on the edges of their seats.

Dear Mr. Knightley — My friend, Lisa-Jo, says that I must, must, MUST read this book. And considering how much I enjoyed Lizzy & Jane (by the same author), I’m pretty positive she’s right. 🙂

The Meaning of Marriage — I’m reading through this with my friend, Allison, as part of our weekly accountability meetings. We’re aiming for two chapters every week and then we’ll discuss it when we meet.

Galatians for You — And another Tim Keller book! This one is what we’re going through in our new Community Group. Again, we’re doing just a few chapters every week and discussing them when we meet. So far, it’s been really good.

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Their Lives and Your Life — This is a devotional I’m currently reading with the kids. My mom gave it to me awhile back, if I’m remembering correctly.

Parenting the Wholehearted Child — Can I be really honest with you? Parenting books aren’t my favorite genre. In fact, I typically steer clear of them.

I was raised in an age and culture where many families followed parenting books and discipline plans to a tee and, well, much of the fruit from all that didn’t turn out so great. It left a bad taste in my mouth for the whole “follow steps A, B, and C as a parent and you’ll be a Godly family/good parent” etc.

So yes, I kinda prefer to stay far away from anything that remotely resembles a system or method of parenting. Because I truly have come to believe that there are no one-size-fits-all plans.

At any rate, I was hesitant to start this book because it fell under the “parenting book” genre. But I’m so glad that I did. I’m two chapters in and it is honestly turning out to be one of the best non-fiction books I’ve read in a long time.

I just want to sit and read the whole thing in one sitting. But on the other hand, I want to process it slowly so that I can take it all in!

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She Reads Truth Lent Study/Bible — I am loving the Lent study so far… as I have loved all the She Reads Truth studies. Seriously, one of the best things I’ve invested in for my personal spiritual development and relationship with God ever.

Stepping Heavenward — My friend, Allison Burr, loaned me this book and said it was one of her very favorites ever. Can you believe I’ve never read it? I’m working on remedying that stat.

Love Without Limits – For years, Nick Vujicic has been a huge inspiration to me. I was excited to see that he had gotten married and is a dad now and am looking forward to reading this book from he and his wife.

Long Walk to Freedom & Kaffir Boy — I’m slowly working through these as I seek to understand more about South African history.

See all the books I’ve read so far in 2015 here.

What did you read this past week? Any must-read book recommendations?

4 Books I Finished This Past Week + What I Plan to Read Next Week

Books I Read This WeekI was SO excited to get these 3 books in the mail last week! I’ve already read a pre-release copy of Do Over (it’s fantastic!) and can’t wait to dig into Savor and Safely Home!

I decided against setting any ambitious reading goals this year, but I don’t think the plan has backfired on me. Instead, I’m finding that I seem to be enjoying reading more — and getting quite a bit of it done, too.

So far, I’ve read 26 books this year — yay! (Okay, so it does help that I’m adding the books I read aloud to the kids to my list of books read in 2015. But I figured since those are chapter books they should count, too, right??)

4 Books I/We Finished This Past Week

The Imagination Station: Book 16 — All the kids were anxious for me to start this one ever since it showed up in our mailbox! As usual, we enjoyed it. I loved the fact that Silas was the one who really got into it. Since it seems many of our read-alouds are more on Kathrynne and Kaitlynn’s level, it’s fun to read one that’s for a bit of a younger audience so he can get all caught up in the story!

Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing — We L-O-V-E The Jesus Storybook Bible so I had high hopes for this one by the same author. Unfortunately, we didn’t love it as much. Some of the stories were a bit “off” from straight Scripture. If you want a good kid’s devotional, I’d skip this one and stick with The Jesus Storybook Bible.

The Relational Soul — This book came highly recommended to me by a friend. I found it thought-provoking and insightful to consider if I’m living out of my true self or acting out of a false self. That said, I loved Brene Brown’s books — Daring Greatly and The Gifts of Imperfection — and would recommend those if you want to read some really good books on authenticity and vulnerability.

For Married Women Only — This small book was thought-provoking and the catalyst for some great discussions between Jesse and me that I feel will ultimately cause our marriage to be stronger.

Books I Read This Past Week

11 Books I’m Reading This Week:

The Green Ember — This read aloud has come highly recommended to us by multiple sources so we’re excited to dive into it.

The Meaning of Marriage — I’m reading through this with my friend, Allison, as part of our weekly accountability meetings. We’re aiming for two chapters every week and then we’ll discuss it when we meet.

Galatians for You — And another Tim Keller book! This one is what we’re going through in our new Community Group. Again, we’re doing just a few chapters every week and discussing them when we meet. So far, it’s been really good.

Their Lives and Your Life — This is a devotional I’m starting with the kids. My mom gave it to me awhile back, if I’m remembering correctly.

Parenting the Wholehearted Child — Can I be really honest with you? Parenting books aren’t my favorite genre. In fact, I typically steer clear of them.

I was raised in an age and culture where many families followed parenting books and discipline plans to a tee and, well, much of the fruit from all that didn’t turn out so great. It left a bad taste in my mouth for the whole “follow steps A, B, and C as a parent and you’ll be a Godly family/good parent” etc.

So yes, I kinda prefer to stay far away from anything that remotely resembles a system or method of parenting. Because I truly have come to believe that there are no one-size-fits-all plans.

At any rate, I was hesitant to start this book because it fell under the “parenting book” genre. But I’m so glad that I did. I’m two chapters in and it is honestly turning out to be one of the best non-fiction books I’ve read in a long time.

I just want to sit and read the whole thing in one sitting. But on the other hand, I want to process it slowly so that I can take it all in!

Screen Shot 2015-03-19 at 3.44.26 PM

She Reads Truth Lent Study/Bible — I am loving the Lent study so far… as I have loved all the She Reads Truth studies. Seriously, one of the best things I’ve invested in for my personal spiritual development and relationship with God ever.

Stepping Heavenward — My new friend, Allison Burr, sent me this book and said it was one of her very favorites ever. Can you believe I’ve never read it? I’m working on remedying that stat.

Love Without Limits – For years, Nick Vujicic has been a huge inspiration to me. I was excited to see that he had gotten married and is a dad now and am looking forward to reading this book from he and his wife.Lizzy & Jane — So far, I’ve found this to be really engaging!

Long Walk to Freedom & Kaffir Boy — I’m slowly working through these as I seek to understand more about South African history.

See all the books I’ve read so far in 2015 here.

What are YOU reading this week? Any great books to recommend?

3 Books I Read This Week & What I Plan to Read Next Week (+ win a stack of books!)

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3 Books I Read This Week:

Unstoppable — All in all, there was a lot of food for thought, motivation, and inspiration in this book. I think it would be especially encouraging for those who feel called to do something but are struggling because it’s hard, and heavy, and discouraging, at times. It encouraged me to keep going, keep running the race I’ve been called to, and keep persevering even on those days when I really want to give up.

This was one of my favorite parts of the book…

3 Books I Read This Week

Help Me, Jesus! I Have Nothing to Wear! — I heard the author speak at a conference not too long ago and loved her suggestions and tips for dressing well. I was so inspired, in fact, that I went and bought her book and had her do my color analysis at the end of her session. This book is a fun read with lots of pictures and practical application.

I didn’t necessarily agree with all of the conclusions, but I love how it helped me further formulate what my style is and how I can put outfits together in a way that compliment my shape, height, and personality. And it’s a good thing I had this help because I had to spent quite a bit of time working on putting outfits together this week (see my Instagram picture here for more details!)

The Cricket in Times Square — This book was a huge hit at our house with all the kids. It starts out a little slowly but quickly picks up into a fast-paced adventure that all of our kids loved. They would beg me to read extra every day because they enjoyed it so much. And we were very sad when we finished the last chapter.

3 Books I Read This Past Week

9 Books I’m Reading This Week:

Parenting the Wholehearted Child — Can I be really honest with you? Parenting books aren’t my favorite genre. In fact, I typically steer clear of them.

I was raised in an age and culture where many families followed parenting books and discipline plans to a tee and, well, much of the fruit from all that didn’t turn out so great. It left a bad taste in my mouth for the whole “follow steps A, B, and C as a parent and you’ll be a Godly family/good parent” etc.

So yes, I kinda prefer to stay far away from anything that remotely resembles a system or method of parenting. Because I truly have come to believe that there are no one-size-fits-all plans.

At any rate, I was hesitant to start this book because it fell under the “parenting book” genre. But I’m so glad that I did. I’m two chapters in and it is honestly turning out to be one of the best non-fiction books I’ve read in a long time.

I just want to sit and read the whole thing in one sitting. But on the other hand, I want to process it slowly so that I can take it all in!

She Reads Truth Lent Study/Bible — I am loving the Lent study so far… as I have loved all the She Reads Truth studies. Seriously, one of the best things I’ve invested in for my personal spiritual development and relationship with God ever.

3 Books I Read This Week

Stepping Heavenward — My new friend, Allison Burr, (who is not only been a huge blessing to my life by helping me with some business projects but is moving from Minnesota to just 15 minutes away from me this very weekend — I’m so excited!) sent me this book and said it was one of her very favorites ever. Can you believe I’ve never read it? I’m working on remedying that stat.

The Imagination Station: Book 16 — All the kids have been anxious for me to start this one ever since it showed up in our mailbox!

Love Without Limits — For years, Nick Vujicic has been a huge inspiration to me. I was excited to see that he had gotten married and is a dad now and am looking forward to reading this book from he and his wife.

The Relational Soul — This book came highly recommended to me by a friend. It looks intriguing and I can’t wait to start it.

Lizzy & Jane — So far, I’ve found this to be really engaging!

Long Walk to Freedom & Kaffir Boy — I’m slowly working through these as I seek to understand more about South African history.

See all the books I’ve read so far in 2015 here.

3 Books I Read This Past Week

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