January Reading List

I started January off with a bang in my book reading!

I love, love, love going to the library and picking out books. I usually leave with about 10 books. How quickly do I actually get through those 10 books? Haha. About 5 months. But every time I go back to the library to drop off books, I always end up with more books in the car.

Then I have the dilemma of all the books that have been gifted to me over the past few months. I had two that I got for my birthday in May that I still hadn’t read because of my stack of library books (that never gets smaller, remember?).

Another thing about my reading style is that I can NEVER read more than book at a time. And once I start a book, I push myself to finish it, even if I have absolutely no interest in it. I feel like if I give up, I have failed. So finish the book I must. The way I avoid reading boring books is to pick boring books in the first place!

But, anyways, I wanted to record on my blog this year the books that I have read through. I honestly hate book recap blog posts and usually scroll past them when other people post them, but I read some great books this month that I wanted to share!

I finished 2015 Up North with my husbands family. When we go Up North there is no internet and no TV (unless you want to join the children in watching Frozen for the 18,000th time or Signing Time with Alex and Leah), which is wonderful for the book reading habit I’ve been slowly losing since technology and smart phones came along. I finished The Time Travelers Wife (meh. Don’t really recommend it), and then I started this one on the trip back:

This is the story of Gina Dejesus and Amanda Berry, who were kidnapped and held hostage inside a home in Cleaveland for TEN YEARS. TEN YEARS!!! Amanda was impregnated by their kidnapper and her daughter was 8 when they escaped. I could not put this book down. It was heartbreaking and fascinating and I just wanted to read and read and read until the girls broke free. It is written in such a way that makes you feel like you are captive with them. And then when they escaped, I sat there bawling my eyes out for them and with them. I was even more fascinated with the
“ending” of the story and had to learn about where they are today and how incredible these women are who have overcome this incredibly tragic life event. I highly recommend this book.

After reading Hope, I had that book addiction. I had read that one through in several days and I just wanted to keep on reading. So next I picked up this book:

Theo and I had watched the movie based on this book and found it fairly interesting. Basically, Cheryl’s entire life has been shattered and so she decides to hike the pacific crest trail on her own. All by her lonesome. The PCT. It’s hundreds and hundreds of miles. I found the story gripping and the book was fascinating. It’s probably not one of my favorites, but I certainly didn’t want to put it down!
After reading Wild, I remembered that I had several books on my shelf that I had collected from The Influence Conference that I still had not read, so I dove into this one:
To be honest, I was slightly disappointed in this one, but I would recommend it to someone who is very new in their faith and unfamiliar with Christianity. It’s very basic. And I don’t mean white girl basic. I mean…it lacks depth. An American party girl gets broken up with and to cope she goes to study abroad. The two girls that study abroad with her happen to be Christians and in the midst of her brokenness, they lead her to Christ. Upon returning to the States, she finds it hard to follow Christ and returns to her old ways until she goes on another missions trips and re-meets Christ. I think that the premise is good, and I bet if I met the girl in real life, I would completely agree with her and find that there is much more depth to her story. However, after reading this very short book I felt like her only faith experiences were based on feeling and these exotic trips in which she met Christ. I think I am more critical because I, too, have been on these exotic trips and felt Christ on them. And upon returning, I have had a hard time coping with the daily mundane of life. But that is where I have realized that following Christ is made up of many small, mundane moments that bring him glory. Perhaps there will be a sequel to this book that will go more into depth. For what it’s worth, I don’t really recommend this book, but if I saw you reading it, I wouldn’t hate on you.
I then moved onto this book that my Mother in Law gave to all her children:
This is a quick and easy read with a TON of great advice in it. It’s a marriage book and the premise is these five commitments:
The book was short and easy to read, and the Craig Groechel writes with a dry, punny humor. It’s a book that I will be keeping and reading over again, as it had so many points buried within it. The next time I read it, I would like to take better notes and do better at soaking up the information. There is also a study guide and my MIL gave that to me as well. I haven’t gone through that, yet, but I’ll let you know when I do!
I then picked up this book:
There is a LOT of hype in the Christian creative community about this book. Lara writes her personal testimony of complete dependence on herself (and not doing a very great job), to turning her life around to Christ. She is the founder of Southern Weddings and the creative behind Make It Happen conferences. Her testimony is powerful, and it got a lot of wheels turning in my head. The last section of the book is a “guide” to “make it happen” in your life. She encourages you to pursue your dreams based on the foundation of Christ and gives some SUPER practical tips along the way. The whole book has little sections where you are supposed to stop and answer questions related to what she is writing about. To be honest, I read through the book and didn’t do any of the questions. Someday when I’m all alone for an entire day (soooooooo, maybe in 20 years?), I will sit back down with this book and go through all the questions and write out my answers in my journal. I may pick it back up and work my way slowly through the pages. Overall, I highly recommend this book if you are Christian “creative” (s0, basically, everyone). It pretty much lived up to all it’s hype.
The last book I read this month was this one:
Momma’s, stop what you are doing RIGHT NOW and order this book. I could not put it down. COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN. And I pretty much wept the entire way through it. I mean, wept. Kayla’s baby girl Scarlette (pictured above holding the book) was born at 25 weeks. 25 weeks. Did you read that? 25 weeks. Kayla chronicles the entire experience and flings open those locked NICU doors and gives us all a glimpse inside.
Part of me cried along as I remember sitting in the NICU with Little Miss, feeling like a total outsider and yet just taking in all those precious Mommies and babies around me. I didn’t even know Little Miss, but I learned so much about the NICU- about the nurses, the doctors, the other parents around me, and the babies in their little plastic cribs.
Oh, mamma’s- read this book! It is SO good.
Phew! My goal for each month was to read 2 books, so I blew myself away by the fact that I finished 6!!! Granted, two of them were really, really short and two of them had study guides/questions that I did not complete. But, still! We shall see if I can keep up the steam on reading these books. I also have a blog post in the works to be published on Dayton Mom’s Blog about how I find time to read as a busy Mom. I’ll let you know when that post goes live!
What about you? What have you read this month? Do you have any books to recommend to me?
This is what is up next on my reading list:
– For the Love
– What Led Me to You
– To the End of June
– The Husband’s Secret


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