Goodreads is (kindly) reminding me I'm 4 books behind schedule on my reading goal for this year... yikes. The stacks look impressive, but I'm not counting kid lit books toward my yearly goals (they're too quick and easy to read! it wouldn't be fair). There were so many wins this month, even if it feels like I've been pretty unmotivated in my reading life lately. The biggest win this month was for SURE finishing the 90 day Bible-- it was an amazing experience! Let's hope April brings not only more books, but also more excitement for reading!
HERE'S WHAT I READ IN March:
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
MY RATING: 5/5
MY REVIEW: Worth every ounce of the hype. Will be thinking about this one for a loooooong time. Powerful, relevant, necessary... wow.
MY RECOMMENDATION: Anyone, EVERYONE, should read this book.
THANKS TO: Page 1 Books
Everything Happens for a Reason: And Other Lies I've Loved by Kate Bowler
MY RATING: 5/5
MY REVIEW: File under: books everyone should read; books that will break your heart and put it back together again; books that will linger with you long after finishing; books that make the world better; books that tell important stories; etc. I could rave about this one forever.
MY RECOMMENDATION: If you loved When Breath Becomes Air, you’ll love this one.
Garden City: Work, Rest, and the Art of Being Human by John Mark Comer
MY RATING: 4/5
MY REVIEW: Trying to be more intentional about rereading books I’ve loved in the past, and with wanting to prioritize Sabbath purposefully, this was a great one to start with. Big fan of John Mark Comer (fellow Enneagram One!) and this book is so very good. Grateful for the wisdom and focus on rhythms and Scriptural goodness in this one.
MY RECOMMENDATION: If the idea of Sabbath intrigues you, intimidates you, or interests you, grab this one!
S.T.A.G.S. by M.A. Bennett
MY RATING: 4/5
MY REVIEW: This book was WILD and I really enjoyed it (even though I had NO CLUE what I was getting into!) — think Gossip Girl meets How to Get Away with Murder with dashes of Gone Girl and Sherlock Holmes... If you like teenage dramas and thrillers and books that you’ll fly through on the edge of your seat, grab this one!
MY RECOMMENDATION: For fans of any of the above mentioned books/shows/movies, with interest in YA novels!
THANKS TO: Blogging for Books for sending this over to review!
Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life by Tish Harrison Warren
MY RATING: 5/5
MY REVIEW: Attention: there is a new book contending for a spot on the list of my all time favorites, and it is this one! Can’t rave highly enough. I didn’t make a single note in it as I read (so unlike me) because I just wanted to soak it up and savor it... and because i know I will return to this one time and time again. The ordinary? The rhythms? The day to day life? It’s beautiful and meaningful and worshipful if we are intentional about it. And I’m so grateful for the invitation into deeper living in the middle of the mundane.
MY RECOMMENDATION: All believers. Seriously.
The Soul of Shame: Retelling the Stories We Believe about Ourselves by Curt Thompson
MY RATING: 5/5
MY REVIEW: “To relationally confront our shame requires that we risk feeling it on the way to its healing.” // You guys, THIS BOOK. A friend describes it perfectly as the most accessible book on shame right now from a Christian perspective. It’s powerful, moving, deeply impactful, and really well written. (i read it as part of my counseling journey, and strongly feel that anyone and everyone would be better for reading it, whether you are on your own counseling journey or not.) I heard Curt speak this weekend at a conference all about this book’s themes and I will be thinking about it and working through it for a WHILE. So, so good. If you’re a fan of Brene Brown and the like, you should grab this one ASAP— be prepared to do some deep soul work and find some real freedom as you do!
MY RECOMMENDATION: For fans of Brene Brown, with a Christian twist!
Culture Making: Recovering Our Creative Calling by Andy Crouch
MY RATING: 4/5
MY REVIEW: Got to hear Andy speak at an event here in Richmond a few weeks ago (which was AWESOME) and read this one to prepare (but just now finished it, oops). It’s a great, thorough, well-researched and well-written book on culture and creating from a Christian perspective. I found it illuminating and informative, as well as encouraging despite the mess we seem to have made of much of our culture these days. // “All true cultural creativity happens at the edges of the horizons of the possible, so by definition our most culturally creative endeavors have a high risk of failure.”
MY RECOMMENDATION: For all creators, makers, parents, artists, builders, etc. wanting to add value and beauty to the world through their lives and their work.
MY RATING: 3/5
MY REVIEW: As soon as I started seeing previews for the show Rise on NBC (marketed as a show for fans of Friday Night Lights and Hamilton, and I’m obsessed with both!), I knew I wanted to watch it. But I quickly heard the show was based on the book (this book!) and I first knew I should read it. It’s a great read (super similar to the Friday Night Lights book) that highlights students, the drama teacher, their shows, and their stories so well. It felt long at parts and I admittedly skimmed some chapters and skipped ahead, but I’m glad I got a foundation for the show before starting to watch.
MY RECOMMENDATION: For fans of Glee, drama, theater, and high school stories like Friday Night Lights.
MY RATING: 5/5 (obviously)
MY REVIEW: I started this journey alongside my whole church on January 1, and we wrapped up just in time for Easter. There’s so much I could say about this experience, but I’ll keep it (relatively) short and sweet: The Word of God is alive and active. From the creation of life on earth to the conclusion of eternity in heaven, from prophecies foretold to prophecies fulfilled, from gardens through generations to Gethsemane and on to glory, from sin through one man to salvation through God-made-man, from laws to love, in miracles and moments and seas parting and skin healing, from multiplying fish to multiplying fishers of men, from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21, God (like His Word) is alive and active. His story, our history, is powerful and life-changing and transformative... and it’s not over yet. Grateful, grateful, grateful. Thanks, God.
MY RECOMMENDATION: I think this is a worthwhile challenge for all Christians to embark on at some point in their faith!
One Plus One by Jojo Moyes
MY RATING: (coming soon)
MY REVIEW: In total honesty, I'm only halfway through this one so far! It will be due back at the library before next month's round-up of reviews, so I snuck it in here-- I'll update back with my review once I've finished!
- A Funny Little Bird by Jennifer Yerkes
- Pandora by Victoria Turnbull
- Hank's Big Day: The Story of a Bug by Evan Kuhlman and Chuck Groenik
- This is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen
- A Small Thing... but Big by Tony Johnston
- The Snail House by Allan Ahlberg
- The Big Umbrella by Amy June Bates
- Margo Thinks Twice by Monica Arnaldo
- Each Peach Pear Plum by Janet and Allan Ahlberg
- Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty
My favorites of the bunch: Ada Twist, Scientist + A Small Thing... but Big!
Add your links here if you blogged about books this month-- and be sure to browse around the other links and find new bookish friends! For bonus points, challenge yourself with one of the reading prompts below!