I have been on a reading tear lately. Here is a list of what I’ve been reading along with a short review of each.
The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex by Sheila Gregoire
I really enjoyed this book. Even though I’ve been married for 16 years, there were still some things in the book that were new information for me. I also really liked that reading the book gave me the opportunity to bring up topics with The Husband that otherwise may have been to uncomfortable or vulnerable for me to ask about or talk about. Some good discussions resulted. Other good things resulted too (just saying!)!
I highly recommend this book no matter how long you’ve been married. It would also be a good read for those about to get married. If you’re too embarrassed to go into a bookstore and buy it, order it on Amazon and have it shipped or get it on Kindle (did you know you can download a free Kindle app to iPhones and iPads?).
Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay
This was one of the best books I have read in a long while. It has stayed with me for the last few weeks and has made me ponder many things. It isn’t a light read by any stretch of the imagination as it is a story that integrates modern day Paris with fictional events that took place during World War II. In some ways, the tragedies of the book were reminiscent of “Sophie’s Choice”. The story was compelling and drew me in. Though it was haunting and heartbreaking, it was also somehow hopeful. There was evidence of the difference just one person can make through love and a reminder that we cannot stay silent to the injustices happening in our day. The character development was among the best I’ve ever had the privilege to read and the book brought up as many questions as it answered.
If it is a feel-good book you are looking for, this may not be the one to pluck off the shelf, but if you are looking for something that will cause you to look inward, to ask yourself hard questions, to consider life’s big questions, this could be one to grab. Sarah’s Key is contemporary literature at its finest.
The Bridesmaid by Beverly Lewis
I love me some Beverly Lewis Amish fiction! I always know what I’m getting when I read one of these. For me, it’s a guaranteed light read that will leave me wanting to cook and bake and even clean and yearning for a simpler life. This book was no exception and though it wasn’t one of my favourite of hers, Beverly Lewis did not disappoint in providing me a little taste of the Amish life.
This type of book is a simple and easy read which was just what I was looking for. If a step into a simpler lifestyle and a bit of a sweet little romance is up your alley, check this one out.
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
My sister-in-law gave this book to me two years ago at Christmas and has been asking me off and on since then if I’ve read it yet so I decided to dive into it. To be perfectly honest, if I had bought the book myself, I would have set it aside a few hundred pages in. I just found it so hard to get into and was not interested AT ALL. However, as I knew my sister-in-law would ask me what I thought of it and I didn’t want to be disrespectful by not reading it through, I kept going. Even at more than 300 pages in (it’s more than 800 pages!), I was not liking the book but somewhere between there and 400 pages in, I got sucked in and at that point, I COULD NOT put the book down. It became one of those books that I took everywhere with me…propping it open with a can while I cooked, holding it while I did dishes with one hand, keeping it open with my make-up bag while I brushed my teeth!
I have to admit to being one of the Outlander fans now! I don’t normally like historical fiction and I am for sure not normally a fan of romance novels and this is kind of both of those, but it was just interesting enough to make me want to keep reading. There always seemed to be a cliffhanger or mystery of some kind that made me want to keep turning the pages even though the logical part of my brain fought against the complete absurdity that so many incredible things could be happening to one person (not to mention the complete implausibility of time travel in the first place!) but I still thoroughly enjoyed it.
Apparently, there are eight books in this series and I was so close to getting the next one after finishing the first one, but knew that there were books on my waiting stack that I felt were more worthy of my time.
Life, In Spite of Me by Kristen Jane Anderson & Tricia Goyer
This memoir is about a girl who at the age of 17, decided to end her life by laying down on the railroad tracks in front of a train. She miraculously survived but lost both of her legs. The story really takes you through Kristen’s faith journey and walks through her discovery that she is loved by a God who think she is worth more than she ever dreamed and who has a plan for her life. I was expecting the book to be somehow more positive than it was but I appreciated that it wasn’t trite or phoney. It was real and raw and full of truth.
I think the book would be especially beneficial for those who have struggled with depression or wondered about their worthiness.
Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis
Many of you have already no doubt heard about this book and Katie’s incredible story. Katie is a 22 year old American who lives in Uganda, is the single, adoptive mother to thirteen girls and runs a ministry there that is impacting thousands of lives every day.
In all honesty, I put off reading this book. I’ve been reading Katie’s blog for a few years and I knew the book would be awesome. But I didn’t want to read it. I avoided buying it and then once I had it, I avoided reading it. I thought that the book would make me feel guilty. I thought that reading it would make me feel that I wasn’t doing enough. I thought that maybe I would feel like I had to sell everything I owned and move to a third world country or that I had to adopt more children so I avoided reading it.
It did the opposite for me. It was so focused on Jesus and His love for each one of us that it only refreshed me and encouraged me. It also made me very grateful for my blessings, both the small ones and the big ones and it made me aware of the call to serve right where I am, whether that be to just pour love into my children or to help out a neighbour or a friend. I became more conscious of needs around me and being in the moment, concentrating on my relationship with the person right in front of me. I know it sounds cliche and extreme, but I truly believe that reading this book changed my life.
I am feeling more hopeful than I have in a long time and am much more thankful than I was. My faith was strengthened and I was encouraged. I have already begun to implement changes in my own life as a result of reading it. If you read nothing else this year, read this.