Saturday, July 5, 2008

I Like to Read!

Disclaimer: I am NOT in any way a book reviewer. I am in a neighborhood book club and I like to read. You should only read my book reviews as those of a novice. They are just my thoughts.

With Summer upon us and vacations being planned, I thought I would share what I have read this past year. A friend recently asked for a list, so I wanted to share it with you too!

Until this last year, I honestly had not read more than a book or two a year. With babies, I found it nearly impossible and I was addicted to television for a long time.

In order for me to read this much I have all but stopped watching TV and hardly miss it at all. I really enjoy my reading time. I often read several books at a time. One fiction and a couple non-fiction or life-enhancing books as I like to call them.

Sometimes it takes me a long time to get through a non-fiction book unless it is a study book that I am doing with a group. But fiction books I generally have a hard time putting down. What about you?

Water for Elephants - I really enjoyed this book. First of all, it is about the circus, but not the circus as we know it now. It is about the beginnings of the circus in America and it is not really a pretty story. It is also a love story, a story of redemption, good winning over evil and a very special animal. Book Club Read

The Red Tent - Great book about Dinah from the bible. Fiction story but some great insight to what it might have been like for women back then.

Escaping Into the Open: the art of Writing True - book on writing. Good so far. Recommended by my friend Julie who is a writer.

On Writing Well. The Classic Guide to writing Nonfiction: This is no my bedside table and I read it often. I have not finished it, though. Good information and recommended by one of my favorite bloggers, Musings of a Housewife.

Eat Pray Love Good book. She is a fantastic writer and really draws you into her life. I love the ending the best! Although, I don't think I would be going to her for advice on how to find God. It seems like she took the long way to get to him, but who am I to question ones journey to God, ya know? Book Club Read - Fiction

The Externally Focused Church Kinda kicked me in the behind. Basically, the authors are saying - service is not so much a spiritual gift, but rather a must of every Christ follower. Get up, get out of the walls of your church and help your community/neighbor like Jesus said to do. Hard stuff to read, but definitely valuable to today's church.

Courageous Leadership This is required reading for me from a ministry I am in involved in at church. It is hard to get through, but great way to break out of those things that hold us back from being a leader.

What Happens When Women Say Yes to God This is a great short book by Lysa TerKeurst about being obedient to God and experiencing the abundant life God wants for us. It has been very encouraging for me. I love her realness and humor in all she writes. This would be a great book to study with a group of other women.

Last Child In the Woods Well, you know what? This book is good. It is so right on in that are kids are experiencing Nature Deficit as the author says. I just had a hard time finishing it mostly because it is not my kind of book. I think he says a lot of the same thing in different ways. Get your kids outside. Let them explore. Let them connect with nature in a deeper level. Okay, got it - good stuff. Book Club read

East of Eden. GREAT Classic novel. READ IT! One of my favorite books ever. I wrote about it here if you want to read it. Book Club read - Fiction

Sister of my Heart. Oh, such a good book about friendship, different cultures and love. Book club read - Fiction

Velvet Elvis: Repainting the Christian Faith and Blue Like Jazz: Non-religious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality. What can I say about these books except that you should ABSOLUTELY read them. Christian or not. They will challenge you and help you grow. They are in my top favorite 5 books at this point in my life. I write more about the authors both here and here.

Traveling Mercies. Some Thoughts on Faith I just love Anne Lamott. She is honest, fresh and funny. I find her to be very real and I appreciate that. It is an emotional book but also FUNNY and REAL. Lots of sweet talk about her son and how she gets through some pretty trying times in her life.

I am also finishing up Bird By Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life By Anne Lamott. This is her book on writing. I am Loving this book! This is an especially great book because she affirms that writing is hard work and takes a certain amount of discipline. According to her, it also takes observing others, being in tune with your own self, taking notes - literally and not listening to that inner voice that tells you that you can't write worth a hill of beans.

The Time Travelers Wife Interesting read. Good book of love, but confusing to read at first. I liked it overall and wrote about it here. Book club read. - Fiction

The Kite Runner. Well, you know if they make a movie about it, it's probably a good book. It is a fantastic book. I sat on my bathroom floor until 2 am to finish this book and cried like a baby. Story of friendship, betrayal, forgiveness, different culture, love. All the makings of a good book. Book Club Read - Fiction

Next Generation Leader: 5 Essentials for those Who will shape the Future . Senior Pastor, Andy Stanley of Northpoint Church in Atlanta writes about leadership. It is a quick but good read for anyone in leadership. I wrote some about it here.

If you want to walk on Water, You've Got to Get out of the Boat. Long title for a good book about not being held back by fear.

Just Walk Across the Room: Simple Steps to Pointing People to Faith - Great book about breaking out of your comfort zone to meet others and share the love of God by just being available to others. Being a good neighbor. Sharing your story in a way that is short and interesting.

Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons - I actually never finished this book, but got halfway through it before I had to return it. I would like to finish it, though. Good story of friendship among a group of women that live in the same neighborhood. Set back in the 50's, they grow old together and it tells the story of their lives. Book Club Read - Fiction

Snow Flower and The Secret Fan - Oh, this is just such a good book. A story about friendship, women, China. I loved it. Book Club Read - Fiction

The Shack - An absolute must read. It is just a great book. Oh, yeah it is. Ever wondered just where God is when horrific things happen? What does he really think of us humans? Relationships - how important are they to God? Oh, you just have to read it. The author has a great personal story that inspired him to write this book. It is fiction but also his story in a way.


Traveling Light - Max Lucado. - Good book based on the 23rd Psalm. Great to read about how we are not intended to carry around the burdens of life that we do.

So, I have to pick the book for my book club in a couple months and want to order it from our library. What do you think I should pick? Tell me your favorite!


Kim @ Through My back door window said...

I go with either, The Momory Keepers Daughter by Kim Edwards or The Wednesday Letters (don't kow author - sorry).

See you!

Jo-Lynne (Musings of a Housewife) said...

My husband was telling me about Last Child in the Woods. It's pretty sobering, isn't it?

Thanks for all the book suggestions. I definitely need some summer reading material.

Amy said...

Hey Janel,

Here are some:

LIFE SUPPORT by Robert Whitlow. It's a Christian fiction...I promise you won't put it down. The sequal is LIFE EVERLASTING. A suggestion... as you are getting close to the end of the first book make sure you have the second book on hand because you will want it immediately and will be really mad if you finish the first book at 2am and can't get your hands on the second until the next day. Just a friendly little warning.

Two books on prayer that I will recommend (well actually I have a lot of books on prayer that I have accumulated and I am going through them this summer to compile a list to recommend)...but here are two PRAYER by Philip Yancey and PRAYER by O.Hallesby

Also I just read LESSON I HAVE LEARNED IN THE DARK: STEPS TO WALKING BY FAITH, NOT BY SIGHT by Jennifer Rothschild. And I am currently reading HE SPEAKS TO ME by Priscilla Shirer.

Happy Reading!

Oh and thanks for the list you posted I will be checking those books out!

Catch you later in the neighborhood!

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