Book by Book: My May 2018 Reads

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I never know how birthday month will go when it comes to reading-- it always feels like the month flies by and is full of fun activities, but I'm glad I was able to crush my 12 book goal this May after all!

I have to say, though, I'm starting to feel a little burdened and burned out by my book goal. I don't know if I'll keep setting them in future years, honestly. I feel pressure to keep finishing books, and after reading Anthem this month, I wanted to read more classics... but they're often more time consuming. That doesn't work well when you're in a rush to get a certain number of books read a month, ya know?

How have you managed this? I really do find the number goal to be EXTREMELY motivating... but it also can be intimidating... Not sure what I'll do in the future, but I'm sticking with it for now and trying to stay on track to get to 150 this year, with 100 of them being by women + people of color!

Anyway. Enough of that...

HERE'S WHAT I READ IN MAY:

psst-- there are affiliate links here, fyi!


The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

MY RATING: 3/5

MY REVIEW: I wasn’t as hooked by the twists and turns in this one as other reviewers seemed to be— it didn’t seem terribly thrilling or surprising to me, and I didn’t find it to be anything especially unique. Not a bad thriller, but not a great one in my mind either.

MY RECOMMENDATION: Don't read this one.


The Enneagram Made Easy: Discover the 9 Types of People by Elizabeth Wagele and Renee Baron

MY RATING: 4/5

MY REVIEW: This is the PERFECT starter book for all things Enneagram! Fun, easy (truly) to understand, full of illustrations and doodles, a breeze to read, helpful to have on hand, etc! Especially loved the insight on MBTI/Enneagram overlap— I find that stuff fascinating.

MY RECOMMENDATION: Great for beginners of the Enneagram!


Simple Matters: Living with Less and Ending Up With More by Erin Boyle

MY RATING: 5/5

MY REVIEW: Adored this one. Erin's voice is a gift, a breath of fresh air, a guiding light— her words here feel like such a balm to my too-stressed soul. I read this book thoughtfully (as you should), taking stops along the way to purge my bathroom cabinets, my closet, my bookshelves, my kitchen, my life, really. And I’m grateful. Simple does matter. Simple is better. And while my life and style may not look quite like hers, I’m finding my own was to meaningful simplicity, and I’ll treasure this book’s wisdom for a long time as a tool on that journey.

MY RECOMMENDATION: To anyone who needs a rest, a reset, a refresh, and a renewed intentionality.


Yes, Chef by Marcus Samuelsson

MY RATING: 4/5

MY REVIEW: Big fan of everything I’ve seen from Samuelsson, and this book and his life story were fun to dive into. He has a great voice and there was so much I didn’t know about what it takes to make it in the food world— so glad I grabbed this one.

MY RECOMMENDATION: This one is so fun if you’re a foodie, a fan of cooking shows and chefs, and love biographies.  


Matilda by Roald Dahl

MY RATING: 5/5

MY REVIEW: So fun to revisit this childhood favorite— Matilda is just as spunky and quirky and wonderful as I remembered. 🖤 Got a boxed set of Roald Dahl books for my birthday and can’t wait to keep revisiting all of his classics! Big believer that we never outgrow good books.

 


Glory Happening: Finding the Divine in Everyday Places by Kaitlin Curtice

MY RATING: 4/5

MY REVIEW: Kaitlin's is a voice I have loved following on Twitter, and this book was a beautiful and poetic experience of more of her heart for worship and finding glory in everything. The chapters are short, but I didn’t find them lacking, and they read instead like brief meditations and reflections on snippets of life and faith that encouraged me to open my own eyes to see glory around me, too. This one is lovely. It reminds me of other books I’ve loved, so I’ll share more recommendations soon!

MY RECOMMENDATION: For anyone needing a healthy dose of hope and the extraordinary in the midst of the mundane.


Courage, Dear Heart: Letters to a Weary World by Rebecca K. Reynolds

MY RATING: 3/5

MY REVIEW: This one doesn’t come out until August, but I’m so glad I read it now. Letters to a weary world? Yep, RELEVANT. These chapters are each “letters” to different types of weary people, and there’s something in here to encourage every kind of downcast or discouraged soul. It’s uplifting and beautiful. It’s not a big book, but it packs a punch. And any book with a title referencing my man CS Lewis gets bonus points from me!

MY RECOMMENDATION: To anyone who feels weary.


The Path Between Us: An Enneagram Journey to Healthy Relationships by Suzanne Stabile

MY RATING: 5/5

MY REVIEW: This was an excellent enneagram read— perfect for building on The Road Back to You and diving deeper into the relational side of our personalities and how we connect, communicate, and love well. I wouldn’t read this one first if you’re new to the enneagram, but I highly recommend adding it to your arsenal if you know your type and the types of others in your life and you want to take your relationships to the next level. There’s nothing more fascinating to me than continuing to explore the depths of personality!

MY RECOMMENDATION: Read this after The Road Back to You!


The Queen of Hearts by Kimmerly Martin

MY RATING: 2/5

MY REVIEW: I wanted this to be as dramatic, fun, juicy, and likeable as Grey’s Anatomy (since the plot sounds just like it) buuuuuut it fell flat to me. Lots of build up with not a lot of action, slow plot, shallow character development... the best part of this book to me as the cover, honestly.

MY RECOMMENDATION: If you like Grey's Anatomy and are okay with a pretty uneventful story...


Anthem by Ayn Rand

MY RATING: 4/5

MY REVIEW: I don’t know how I’ve never read any Ayn Rand until now (especially with all my AP English classes?!) but this one blew me away. It’s super short but packs such a punch and had me thinking of The Giver and Hunger Games and other dystopian stories— definitely makes you think and wonder and question humanity and reality... bizarre but worth a read

MY RECOMMENDATION: For fans of dystopian fiction and thinking about the world, ego, self, and society in new ways.


Sunburn by Laura Lippman

MY RATING: 2/5

MY REVIEW: I finished this book in one sitting last weekend but honestly can hardly remember what it’s about now... It’s been hailed as a thrilling suspense novel, but it bored me. The secrets weren’t all that crazy, the characters weren’t likable in the slightest, and I just didn’t get into the storyline at all. Not thrilling at all in my opinion!

MY RECOMMENDATION: Pass on this one.


Come Matter Here: Your Invitation to Be Here in a Getting There World by Hannah Brencher

MY RATING: 5/5

MY REVIEW: This book was beautiful and relevant and powerful and just so. dang. good. I'm so grateful for Hannah's voice and the way she lives so authentically and boldly. This book met me just where I am and encouraged me to live fully, presently, intentionally, and meaningfully alongside others and toward the Lord, and I'm so grateful I read it in this season of being thick in the woods of counseling and some serious personal growth work. Her words are like a balm to my soul and like a love letter from a dear friend, and I can't rave about this one enough. Plus, HOW PERFECT is that cover?!

MY RECOMMENDATION: Read this. All of you.

THANKS TO: Hannah herself for sending me this one early and letting me help cheer it on!


Always Enough, Never Too Much: 100 Devotions to Quit Comparing, Stop Hiding, and Start Living Wild and Free by Jess Connolly and Hayley Morgan

MY RATING: 4/5

MY REVIEW: This devotional is perfect for every woman (and I really mean that)— whether you feel inadequate or overwhelming, exhausted or overflowing, confident or questioning, there are words in here that will speak to your soul, encourage your heart, and light a fire in your spirit. I read through so many of these over the last few weeks (couldn’t stop after just one a day!) and can’t wait to keep soaking them up. Jess and Hayley are the best of the best.

THANKS TO: BookLook Bloggers!


Tell Me More: Stories about the 12 Hardest Things I'm Learning to Say by Kelly Corrigan

MY RATING: 4/5

MY REVIEW: This book is Corrigan like I've come to know and love -- refreshing, real, poignant, funny, heartfelt, honest. Loved this collection of stories and how they struck chords in me I didn't expect.


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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!

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