We are almost halfway through 2018 (wha?!!), and I’m starting to freak out a little about not meeting the reading goals that I set for myself in January. It’s time to buckle down and get serious. In order to squeeze in extra moments to read, I rarely left the house without my current book or Kindle in hand. It was amazing how much extra reading time I found this month! I managed to read seven books in May, which got me a little bit closer to those reading goals.
Here are the seven books I read, broken down by genre:
On The Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness, by Andrew Peterson
I’m going to be honest. It was really hard for me to get into this book. I picked it up and set it down three times before I had any luck reading it. But once I got the first third of it read, it really picked up. By the end, I was a huge fan. This is a deeply compelling story of good vs evil and of family love, and I cannot wait to read the next books in the series.
Hello, I’m 38 years old and and I am JUST NOW getting around to reading A Wrinkle in Time. Is that pitiful? I was a pretty voracious reader growing up, but I’m realizing how few good books I read as a kid/teen.
Honest to goodness truth, I had no idea there was a whole series after A Wrinkle in Time. I KNOW. Pitiful again. A few months ago, Amazon had the boxed set on sale so I snatched it up. Until now, I’ve just read Madeleine L’Engle’s nonfiction works (and I LOVELOVELOVE her nonfiction), so it’s a delight to read these. I’m really enjoying the spiritual undertones in this series. Very good. And I’m very glad I grabbed the boxed set – I highly recommend it. I can’t wait for my kids to be old enough to enjoy these.
A Quiet Life in the Country, by T. E. Kinsey
This was a cute little cozy mystery. I didn’t have strong feelings about it one way or the other. I’ve seen this series recommended by quite a few people I follow on Goodreads, so I was excited to read it. If our local library carried this series, I’d probably read it, but since they don’t…I’m probably done.
You Are Free: Be Who You Already Are, by Rebekah Lyons
Ummmm. This is one of my new favorite books. It’s earned a permanent spot on my bookshelf. For someone who has always struggled with insecurity and self-doubt (raising my hand), this book completely resonated with me. I loved the honesty and vulnerability of the author. And I highlighted and dogeared (EEEEEK!) so many pages, it’s ridiculous.
I loved this entire passage from the chapter, “Free to be Called:”
The Nordic Theory of Everything, by Anu Partanen
Oh, this book. I had such high hopes for it. And I ended up kind of hating it. (I can’t believe I just wrote that.) The first few chapters were good…but after that, oh dear. Look. America is stupid in so many ways. I get that. I agree that entire systems in our country need to change. The author was born and raised in Norway. The book focused on comparing the two countries.
The problem I struggled with throughout the book is that she’s comparing apples and oranges. America and Norway aren’t exactly set up in the same fashion. The author was frustrated, after living in America for a decade, about how dysfunctional our society and economy and education system is here in America.
Ok. Fair enough. Our country has some issues. But just complaining about the US, and comparing it to Norway with an exasperated attitude isn’t super helpful. Or all that enjoyable.
I was on board with her through the first few chapters. Here’s a quote I loved from chapter three, which discussed the pros of adults having parental leave after having a baby:
“From a Nordic perspective, a failure to ensure sufficient parental leave is nothing short of a violation of fundamental human rights – specifically, of a child’s basic human right to be cared for, to be nurtured, and to have parents who are able and present to do the job and do it well…In the Nordic view ensuring a child’s fundamental rights to be properly cared for is an investment in the future of society.”
I like her perspective on this subject. I wish parents in America were able to take a year off to care for a new baby without fearing a loss of income or job. Our kids and families deserve that.
But then this quote near the end of the book was just ridiculous to me:
“Despite what parents say they want for their kids, the brutal reality in America today is that being a special super-achiever is, more and more, the only way anyone can ensure a reasonably successful life for themselves – regardless of their core values…This condemns Americans to an anxiety-ridden battle where a person had better be special, because the alternative is not succeeding at all.”
REALLY?! Am I the only one who thinks her perspective is a bit overly-dramatic here? Not to mention just plain wrong. Ugh.
Also, the book read like a research paper. I was definitely skimming it by the end. I couldn’t get done with it fast enough.
The Antelope in the Living Room, by Melanie Shankle
I picked up this book because it’s written by Melanie Shankle, who is part of The Big Boo Cast, which is one of my favorite podcasts. This read was super fast and super hilarious. I literally had tears streaming down my face at one point. (WHEN IS THE LAST TIME THAT HAPPENED? NEVER.) The book is about the ups and downs of marriage. Maybe it’s because my husband is also a hunter, but I related to SO MUCH of what she wrote in this book. I’m pretty sure our husbands are twins. It was just really fun to read.
So, there you have it. The seven books I read in May 2018.