Tuesday, September 23, 2014

What's on my side table? Episode 4

So it's been months since I last updated my reading list and that's only because I've been in a bad reading slump. Getting several hours in an airport and on an airplane by myself has allowed me to finally finish enough books to write something spectacular. Or at least something.

No bedside table is complete without some dust and matchbox cars.
Here's what you'll currently find on my side table:
To Be :
  1. Hands Free Mama by Rachel Macy Stafford (currently reading)
  2. Love Does by Bob Goff
  3. One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp
  4. Passion: The Bright Light of Glory by Louie Giglio & others
  5. How Your Church Family Works by Peter L. Steinke
  6. A Million Little Ways by Emily P. Freeman
  7. A Billion Reasons Why by Kristen Billerbeck
On the iPad (to be read also)
  1. Believing God by Beth Moore
  2. Jesus: the One and Only by Beth Moore
  3. When Godly People do Ungodly Things by Beth Moore
  4. Praying God's Word by Beth Moore
  5. The Explicit Gospel by Matt Chandler
  6. What Did You Expect? by Paul David Tripp
  7. Crazy People by Jennifer Cruse
So a while back, I read Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn and contrary to popular opinion, I just wasn't a huge fan of it. I realize I may be the only person in the United States of America to think this way. I felt it was hard to get into, that the real page-turning didn't come about until I was over one-third of the way through the book and then the last two-thirds were far-fetched and vulgar. It seemed to get increasingly more vulgar as the book progressed and I'm just not a fan of mindless and overused expletives. The narrator changes with every chapter, which sometimes was more confusing than helpful (maybe that's just my easily confused preggo-brain). All in all, I just found this book hard to get through and as I finished the last paragraph, I found myself wondering why I endured the previous 431 pages. Despite not loving the book, I'm interested in how the movie will turn out. Final Grade: C

Next, I read Jesus > Religion by Jeff Bethke. It was FANTASTIC. I seriously cannot recommend it highly enough. Jordan and I were lucky enough to see Bethke at a leadership conference back in April and enjoyed him way more than we both expected to. He's the guy with the youTube video, "Why I hate religion but love Jesus."  Originally, I was looking for a book to read with my Sunday school class during our summer break from the typical curriculum. It proved to be challenging and broke down so many walls and barriers in our class. Between reading it for myself and reading it to prepare for sunday school, I've probably gone through this book at least 4 times. The concepts are not difficult and Bethke tells many humorous stories from his own life making this book a quick and easy (but awesome) read. Final Grade: A

Most recently, I've read Grace Filled Marriage by Tim Kimmel. Just like I really enjoyed Grace-Based Parenting, I also really enjoyed this book. It wasn't as easy or light hearted as Jesus > Religion, so between feeling burned out on reading and having a little drier material, it took me a while to get through this book. This doesn't mean, however, that it wasn't a great read. I'd totally recommend it to all married couples and especially engaged couples. Kimmel does a fantastic job breaking down the needs of relationships into practical and easily explained concepts. And in the end, he brings it all back to Jesus, the author of marriage and our primary example to follow. I hope I can convince my hubby to read it also! Final Grade: A-

Currently, I'm reading Hands Free Mama by Rachel Macy Stafford. I think I can go ahead and write a basic review of the book without even finishing it. Mostly because there's a chance I won't finish it all the way. I think it's a great concept that could be a blog post (and I think it was... I'm sure at least a few of you have read her ├╝ber popular Huffpost blog, "The Day I Stopped Saying Hurry Up"), but maybe not a full-fledged, 230pg book. It's an encouragement to parents (or anyone who has some sort of meaningful relationship with another human being) to put away the phones, lap tops, to-do lists, etc. and make a genuine effort to be present in your child's life. Or spouse's life. Or {insert meaningful relationship here}'s life. Each chapter looks at another small way to "unplug" from the unnecessary and engage the people around you. Mostly, the author presents her point, tells a charming little story about her own life and how she lives out her own concepts and then includes a few questions and talking points before moving on to the next chapter. It's certainly some food for thought and I hope plan to curb my own phone, laptop, and other unnecessary distractions in favor of quality time with my son & husband. Midterm Grade: B

What great books have you read recently???


Susan said...

I just read If I Stay. Somewhat mindless, but not vulgar or hard to read. I'm a nurse, so I quite enjoyed the concept of a patient in a coma witnessing her own care, family and friends, and everything happening to her.
I also read The Fault in Our Stars. Another ok book based on a medically situation. This one specifically around pediatric heme/onc which is my field. While I enjoyed reading it...I'm realizing I may need to broaden my reading horizons!
So...I just purchased Gone Girl. I'll crack the cover and take my chances. I've heard mixed reviews, but I'm the type who prefers to form my own opinion. Althought...vulgarity is not my favorite as I read. I'll let you know what I think.

hollie marie said...

Susan-- Definitely form your own opinion! My feelings regarding Gone Girl are definitely in the minority. I am interested in reading The Fault in Our Stars one of these days, but it's obviously not even on the list yet, much less close to the top! :)

Emily Gentry said...

I like these glimpses into your reading! I keep meaning to review some of my more favorite reads from the past year. I read The Astronaut Wives Club and really liked it. Non-fiction, very interesting. The latest Emily Giffin was terrible. I don't remember the name, and I don't recommend it. Wild by Cheryl Strayed was sad to me because a lot of it was about being hopeless and lost (in both a literal and spiritual sense.)

I will be interested to see what you think of Love Does. I checked it out from the church library (we still have one!), and my thought was: "cool story, bro." Really lukewarm reaction. I probably shouldn't admit that, but there it is.

I'm going to look up How Your Church Family Works, because that sounds very interesting. :)

On Gone Girl: when everyone was reading it on social media, I researched it and decided that I would probably not like it. You validated every reason I haven't picked it up.

Were you at Metro in April? One of my great friends was there!

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