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The 3 Books I Read Last Week

Welcome to my weekly Book-ish post where I share what I’ve been reading and watching recently. If you missed it, you can see my Reading Goals for 2018 and 44 Books I Plan to Read This Year

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And it’s week #6 of reading 3 books in a week! I’m so excited that I’m continuing on with this trend! Here are the three books I finished this past week:

1. Hotel On the Corner of Bitter & Sweet

This was a book I’ve been wanting to read for a few years. I thought it did a great job of giving insight into what Japanese and Chinese families in the US experienced during World War II — a topic that I feel like is rarely covered and is really important.

It was a sweet story. Sad, in many ways. But also very beautiful. It was quite predictable and I had guessed the ending pretty soon into it, but I still enjoyed it.

2. Finding Selah

I thought this would be a great book to read as my Word of 2018 is SLOW. It wasn’t what I expected, but there were some encouraging tidbits and good reminders. It reads pretty memoir-like and is the story of how the author discovered peace in the midst of a lot of grief and unexpected upheaval in her life.

3. Shrapnel

This book has been on my To Read pile for quite awhile. It was written by a reader who sent a long note with it to tell me she was inspired to find the time to write it as a result of reading Money-Making Mom. Those types of notes always humble me and blow me away!

Anyway, it was a pretty engaging read and didn’t end at all like I expected. That said, I thought parts of it were a little bit more dramatic and somewhat unrealistic, but other parts were beautifully raw and real and I loved that.

It’s not at all written from a Christian standpoint and I felt like it was missing so much that it could have because of this. It also has some language and is a little more edgy than most novels I read. However, I felt like it did such a great job of giving insight into some of the struggles that military families go through and I found a lot of insight because of that.

When I Find Time to Read

People are always asking me how I find time to read. Honestly, it’s because I love to read, because I’ve chosen to prioritize it, because I don’t have a lot of other hobbies, and because I can’t not read. Also, when you love something, you usually can find ways to get creative to find time to fit it in — even if it’s in the little nooks and crannies of life.

I wrote a post on 3 ways to find more time to read — even when life is busy. And here are 7 more ways to find time to read.

What did you read and watch this past week? Any books or movies or shows you really think I need to read or watch?

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  • Carol says:

    I’ve been reading Free of Me by Sharon Hodde Miller and it’s helping me get a new (healthier) perspective on many of my insecurities. Definitely recommend this book for anyone who struggles with self-pity or low confidence.

    Also reading Little House Living by Merissa A. Alink, for tips on living simply and frugally by making our own household products and homemade spices mixes, etc. With college only a year away for my oldest, I’m trying to find all the ways we can reduce our costs.

    For my fun book, I’m reading A Rumored Fortune by Joanna Davidson Politano. It’s a Christian historical romance with a bit of suspense, set in England in the 1860s.

    My husband and I started watching Chesapeake Shores for our nightly show. We were so excited when Netflix added the 10th season for Heartland, but quickly blew through those episodes! I think our next binge watch show will be Signed, Sealed, and Delivered on Hallmark.

  • Lauren says:

    Can you explain what you mean when you say that a book is not written from a Christian standpoint? I’ve seen you say that a number of times and always assumed it meant something like language, but now seeing you say you thought the book was missing something because of that, I’m wondering if you mean something more substantive.

    Just curious.

    • I’m not sure if you’re a Christian, so if you’re not, this may not make sense, but in parts where there could have been so much redemption that shone through as a result of Jesus and the Gospel, there was nothing but human efforts — try harder, be better, do more moral deeds. And it fell flat to me because of that and because I know what Jesus has done in my own life through my own broken parts and places that I could never do in my own human effort.

      • Lauren says:

        I’m not a Christian, but am familiar enough with the tenants that I think I understand what you’re saying. I’ll just offer that I’ve found a lot of value from books where the plot or characters don’t necessarily follow the path I would like them to. That can sometimes add a lot of value by leading to introspection as it seems to have done here for you.

        Though I can also understand frustration in seeing unrealized potential in a book. There’s a very popular book that I recently read where I thought the author got a bit lazy at the end and I would have loved to have seen what he could have done to a slightly-tweaked ending.

        Happy reading!

  • Amy Anguish says:

    I also get asked how I find time to read so much. I totally agree that have to prioritize. It’s also important to me as an author because being well-read helps me write better, too. I am like you: I can’t not read. 🙂

  • Ashley Busakula says:

    I just picked up “Half the Sky” by Nichoals Kristof. Heartbreaking, but soo soo good. It’s a little older, so statistics in it might be out of date, but they are still relevant.

  • JoannaT says:

    I have been Reading “The Art of Gathering” by Priya Parker. It is about gatherings of all types — from family get-togethers, birthday parties, to funerals, to work conferences, etc. Subtitle is “How We Meet and Why It Matters.” It’s very insightful and challenges people to be more intentional about the purpose of their gatherings, not just the logistics. I think you might find it a valuable read, especially in light of your efforts to open up to more gatherings that you’ve written about this year.

  • Cassie says:

    I totally agree with you, Shrapnel was so raw and real. I personally am not a fiction reader, however I got hooked right away to Shrapnel and couldn’t put it down! It was SO good! ❤️❤️❤️

  • Brittany McWhorter says:

    I absolutely LOVED Shrapnel!!! It kept me on the edge of my seat. It’s not Christian fiction but sometimes I find those books very predictable. I loved this book because it had such a heart felt and heart breaking twist. It truly left me wanting more!

  • Karina says:

    I need to check out the Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet! sounds really good.
    My kids and I listened to the audiobook -A Boy of Heart Mountain (about a boy in a Japanese internment camp during WWII). It’s one of my favorites…it opened so many doors of conversation and questions with my kids and helped give us perspective.
    Plus, when we were in WY we got to stop at the real Heart Mountain Internment Camp site. Some remnants of the camp are still there along with a fantastic small museum…an absolutely great experience for kids – totally recammend!

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