5 on Friday: Book Review Edition

It’s Friday! And it’s time for my May book review!

Most people will probably wonder how I got so much reading done this month when we added a whole new human into our family, and I think I’ve stumbled upon my secret: I read when I’m stressed. I need to escape my own insane world and enter into a different one for just a few brief minutes. I don’t know if this is a good coping strategy or not, but I’m willing to confess that it’s what works for me! This month I read 5 books and so I thought I would share them today for my 5 on Friday post!

  1. Living Forward. Honestly, this one was kind of meh for me. I liked it at the beginning as it gave lots of goal setting ideas, but after the first two chapters the rest of the book felt more like a gimmick to buy more products from the authors. I felt like I was sitting in an MLM meeting trying to think of ways to say “no” when the answer really is “I just don’t want this for my life.” I didn’t hate the strategies he presented for setting goals and making life plans, but he totally lost me when he said that it was absolutely necessary to take an entire day each year for reflection in a quiet place with absolutely no interruption. Ummmmmmmm, if I had a day like that each year, I would probably spend it doing plenty of other things.  Maybe that’s just me, though. Have you ever read this book? What did you think?
  2. Called for Life. This book will for sure be in my top five for the year! I read this book in just a little over 48 hours and I could.not.put.it.down. I think part of the draw for me was that I distinctly remember the media’s presentation of the Ebola outbreak and the Americans who contracted the disease, and it was so informative to read it from Kent Brantely’s side. The Ebola epidemic was terrifying and so incredibly sad, but I’m so blown away by missionaries and non-profit volunteers who committed to helping those in West Africa battle this terrible disease. I could not put this down– I HIGHLY recommend it. The book is written with humility, grace and truth.
  3. David and Goliath. Ok, I kind of cheated because I listened to this one on audio book while I traveled some this past month. This book just blew my mind and was the perfect road trip audio book! In the book, the author gives several stories of how underdogs rose above and beat the one who was projected to be the winner. Obviously, David and Goliath are the chief example of this, but when he tells the story he gives several reasons that David was able to beat Goliath that aren’t typically told in the children’s Bible story. He then proceeds to tell several other stories of “underdogs” who overcame. For example, a dyslexic more likely to become a CEO. A poor person has a work ethic that can get them to the top. A basketball team employs new strategies because they obviously aren’t tall enough and fast enough to win games the traditional way. It’s FASCINATING. I highly recommend this one!
  4. Surprised by Motherhood. Lisa-Jo Baker is an incredible mom, wife and author. She has a way with words that just draws me in. I’ve heard her speak before and I love this woman. She is honest, genuine and funny. Plus, I feel like I get her third culture-ness as she is actually South African transplanted into the US. Lisa-Jo lost her own mother at 18, and after that she vowed that she would never be a mother. Years later, she does become a mother, and again and again. And she writes honestly and candidly about the highs and lows, the joys and the deep frustrations, the pain and the loneliness. I was crying through several parts of the book because she was writing about my exact season in life. This was an excellent book and one I highly recommend!
  5. True Colors. This is another Kristen Hannah book that I picked up. As you may remember, a Kristen Hannah book was in my top five for 2016. However, this one didn’t quite live up to her other one. It was a good book, but not one I would ever pick up and read again. The plot line spans a family of three sisters across almost their whole lives. They are deeply bonded until love breaks them apart and then they spend the rest of their adult lives picking up the splintered pieces. I though that there was WAY too much detail given in certain areas (like the daily life) and not enough character development going on. Some characters had whole chapters and they weren’t even main players in the story, and some characters were main players but were hardly mentioned. It was a little confusing to me. It wasn’t terrible but I don’t recommend it.


My most Frequently Asked Questions about my book reading:

How do you find the time to read so much? 

Short and simple: I make the time. I also wrote this post detailing how I make it happen: Finding Time to Read as a Busy Mom 

Where do you get all your books? 

I get 99% of my books at the library. This month, I snagged four books at Family Christian Book stores when they went out of business. I also have recently found audiobooks (from the library) and I’m enjoying listening to a book while I drive around.


Previous reviews:

2017: January// February// March// April 

2016 Book Review 


  1. Nancy says:

    I would especially like to read the Brantley book. He was actually seconded to SIM and working in a SIM hospital. Sams purse doesn’t usually mention their connection to SIM in Liberia and their partnership with us during the crisis. I’ve heard that the movie about the Ebola crisis in Liberia doesn’t even mention SIM. But I have heard only good things about Dr Brantley and his humble servant attitude.

    • [email protected] says:

      I’m saving it for when you come this summer! Its actually written by both he and his wife. Throughout the story they mention how they had to hide from the media because so many people were angry with them for coming to the US with Ebola. But they never once attack or defend themselves, just lay it out very factually. I really appreciated that. I don’t think they mentioned SIM, but they did include Nancy Writebol and there was even a paragraph about Joni Byker and a bunch of her pictures were included! I thought that was pretty cool.

  2. Nancy says:

    Mom is just hoping he wears a helmet. 😁 The picture of him trying to warm up is pretty funny though I am sure he didn’t think so at the time.

  3. Angie says:

    I am needing some new books to read, thanks for posting this! Love your blog!! I REALLY want to read David and Goliath! Thanks for your awesome review!

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