June has been my worst book-reading month this year!
I really only enjoyed one of the books that I picked up, the rest were so-so. I’m hoping that July will be a much better book month for me, because this month left me feeling kind of “meh” about book reading.
The first book I read was called Lessons in Heartbreak by Cathy Kelly. Ummm, I read this at the beginning of June and now as I sit down to write this blog post, I have absolutely no recollection of what this book was about. Like, 0 recollection. But I didn’t hate it. So I’ll just put it under the category of “light and fluffy”, since it obviously didn’t make much more of an impact than that!
The next book I read was Living Well, Spending Less by Ruth Soukup. This one was good! When I checked it out from the library, I was expecting more money saving tips, but it ended up being part memoir/part money saving tips. One thing that I did enjoy about this book was how thoroughly and completely Ruth pointed everything to Christ. I mean, everything. I am so thankful that I am a believer and I can agree with her explanations of contentment, tithing and being good stewards of our money. I kept thinking of non-believers who would be picking this book up and what an incredible witness to Christ it is. Ruth Soukup also has a very helpful and successful blog called (no surprise): livingwellspendingless.com. It has a lot of great tips and resources for finances! Nothing I read in this book was “news” to me as far as budgeting and living on less, but it was still a great read (and easy, too) with a lot of great reminders. I highly recommend it!
I heard Jamie Ivey and a guest talk about this book on The Happy Hour podcast, and as soon as they said the word “foster care”, it was on my list. This book was good. It had a lot of hard moments in it that made it harder for me to read (probably because my emotions are so raw from saying goodbye to Little Miss), but it was a book I couldn’t put down. I loved how it was a novel written by a foster Mom who has an inside look into the emotions and reasonings inside foster children. So often, we write off behaviors in children as “inexcusable” or “too much to handle”, when really they are crying out for something else entirely (love, acceptance, unconditional trust and hope in someone who cares for them).
It’s about a girl who is in foster care and sabotages every placement she has, until the one placement that is working. In this placement, her foster Mom teaches her the language of flowers, or the meaning behind each flower. Of course, she ends up sabotaging that placement as well, and the court removes her from her foster home and places her in a group home until she turns 18. The story then continues into her adult life of homelessness, finding a job, starting a business, finding love and sabotaging that, having a child and then coming full circle to learn how to trust those she loves most. It’s a beautiful story and full of raw emotions. And the language of flowers was fascinating to me!!
A Girl Like You by Maureen Lindley was quite the read! This book goes through the entire life of a Japanese American girl during the second world war. After the death of her father at Pearl Harbor, her and her mother were interned in a Japanese concentration camp. After getting out of the camp, Satomi rebuilds her life by moving to the East Coast and working two jobs until she meets a rich man who proposes to her. After realizing that it wouldn’t work out between them, she then meets a man that she falls in love with and marries him. Not too long after their marriage, he is killed in a tragic accident. She learns to grieve and mourn through that and rebuilds her life by reconnecting with the people she loved most in the concentration camp.
I loved the story up until Satomi got out and started rebuilding her life, and then the I felt like the plot just kept going and going. I wasn’t sure why the author chose to bring in so many main characters, and I think it would have served it’s purpose better if there had been a part I and part II. Although I did appreciate how she expounded on how difficult it was to make a way after getting out of the camps. The history was a bit blurry throughout the story, and it never mentions how long they were in the camps for, so I didn’t feel like I had a better grasp on history itself, but I loved this small look into what it would have been like to be Japanese during WWII. I couldn’t help but think of the middle eastern immigrants and residents in the US now who face oppression and are often seen as outcasts, even though they have done nothing wrong.
All in all, it was a good read, and I one I would recommend!
And that’s all for June! You can see my other monthly reads here:
As always, if you have a book recommendation, I’d love to hear it!