Have you read anything good recently?
I’m always looking for great books to read, and I know many of you are, too.
So every once in a while I share with you short, casual reviews of books that I’ve recently read or are on my bookshelf. Join the fun at Modern Mrs. Darcy’s for this month’s #twitterature.
Also, want to win books? Take the One Thing Alone 2014 Reader Survey, and be entered to win one of 6 of my favorite reads from 2014. Sweet!!
Good News for Weary Women: Escaping the Bondage of To-Do Lists, Steps, and Bad Advice, Elyse Fitzpatrick*
Exactly as the title states, this book has been my life-line for the past 6 months. Honestly, I did not fully understand the gospel or how it applies to my life as a 21st century woman until I read this book. If I would recommend just ONE book from all I read this year, it would be this one (followed closely by Astonished).
24/6: A Prescription for a Healthier, Happier Life, Matthew Sleeth
Good-natured and lacking a condemning tone, Sleeth shares not just the reasons we should take a “stop day” every week but also shows us why we should WANT to. Made me reflect on my on Sabbath-keeping and make some life-giving changes that put me in front of God more and in front of the computer less. Lots of great quotes, but here’s my favorite:
Passion Pursuit: What Kind of Love Are You Making? Linda Dillow and Dr. Juli Slattery
I’m so SO excited about this book and the topic of marital intimacy from a Christian perspective. Juli and Linda present the material in a candid but sensitive way, and there’s a lot of actionable items for every married woman. I’ll be co-leading an online study for my church on this book this spring, so you’ll probably hear a lot more in the months to come.
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Letters to Grief, Kate Motuang
Written by my friend Kate, this collection of beautiful letters will prove therapeutic to many who have known grief as a constant companion over the years. Find out more about Kate in our video hangout.
Gifts in Jars: Recipes for Easy, Inexpensive DIY Holiday Gifts to Make and Give: Homemade Gifts for Every Occasion, Kristina Newman
If you’re looking for ideas for gifts in a jar, this book has plenty. I like that the ideas are organized by holidays so it’s easy to look up a season and see what gifts go with that season. However I really wanted pictures to go with the recipes.
Christmas at Harmony Hill: A Shaker Story, Ann Gabhart
This was a fun Christmas story to read in December. Though the plot was predictable, the characters were endearing, making the storyline enjoyable. I found the description of shaker culture to be interesting. What I enjoyed most about it was learning more about Shaker communities and beliefs.
Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality, by Donald Miller
I’ve been meaning to read Donald Miller’s iconic book for a few years, and it’s been as intriguing as promised. Written from the perspective of a fundamental Baptist-turned-liberal-Christian, Miller writes about his spiritual journey in non-religious language. Though I might not agree with everything, I applaud him for writing on tough spiritual topics in a way that is accessible to religious and secular crowds alike.
I really wanted to like this book, since I’m all about personality profiles and learning how to work with our unique strengths rather than trying to be someone we’re not. I’m an introvert, and heard such good things about this book, but it failed to deliver. Though it contained several interesting examples of successful introverts, the bulk of the reading was dry and lacking applicational value. I’m disappointed.
This is my second favorite book this year. Mike shops us why we need to become the kind of people who are aware enough, who slow down enough to see with eyes of faith the work God is already doing all around us. And he also gives practical ways how. It’s been a breath of fresh air for my soul.
30 Days to a Life Made Full, Shanti Landon
Shanti packages devotionals, dinner plans, and a doable workout in a 3o-day plan that will jumpstart your spiritual and health goals. This would be a great way to start off the New Year. Read my full review here.
Team Us: Marriage Together, Ashleigh Slater
It was a delight to read this book and interview Ashleigh about teamwork in marriage. Her honest telling of marriage as it is and as it can be will resonate with your heart desire to see the best in your husband and build a strong marriage.
Forgiving Our Fathers and Mothers: Finding Freedom from Hurt and Hate, Dr. Leslie Leyland Fields
Oh, this was a hard book, but SO good. Contrary to popular belief, most of us have reasons to forgive our parents, and until we do so, we won’t be able to embrace the freedom and joy that God intended for us. (I’m writing a full review to be posted on the blog soon. Stay tuned.)
Unwrapping the Names of Jesus: An Advent Devotional, Asheritah Ciuciu
You knew this was going to be here, right? *smile* Join me in preparing our hearts for Christmas by looking at the names of Jesus and what they mean to our lives today. If you haven’t yet downloaded your copy, you can get it here. Or, you can sample the devotional by getting a 7-day preview when you sign up here.
Through artful storytelling and thorough fact-checking, Michelle beautiful tells the stories of women who have impacted the kingdom of God throughout history. If you’re the mom of a girl, get this book. Seriously. (You can also watch Michelle and me talk about the book, role models, and womanhood in our hangout here.)
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