I’ve been all over the place with reading lately…I’ve either been reading a ton or not at all. So here are my recs of books to read and skip from July and August 2018.
(Side note: Am I the only one who’s looking forward to cooler weather, chunky sweaters, candles, cozy blankets…basically, perfect reading weather?! I’M TOTALLY READY.)
Here we go!
Queen of the Road, by Doreen Orion
I spontaneously checked out Queen of the Road out from the library. It was a really fast read about a married couple who buys a crazy huge (and crazy expensive) bus and travel around the country for a year.
I started out loving this book. It was pretty humorous and I was insanely jealous of their opportunity to travel and camp and have awesome adventures for a year.
But. About halfway through the book, I started to get annoyed with the author’s humor, and by the end I was totally over it. So this one was an ok read, something different from what I normally read, but overall nothing I’d probably recommend.
Story Craft, By John R. Erickson
My kids LOVE the Hank the Cowdog books. My son can’t even read yet but still checks them out from the library all the time. We have a few of these as audio books from Audible, which I HIGHLY recommend…they are read by the author and he does a phenomenal job.
The author of the Hank books also wrote Story Craft, a book on writing and life in general.
I LOVED this book. I’m a sucker for any book on how to be a better writer, and he offered some really great, practical advice.
But more than that, he offered lots of great tips on how to be a good human. The world needs more books like this.
Long story short, I am now a HUGE fan of John R. Erickson. He totally won me over.
The Penderwick’s at Point Mouette, by Jeanne Birdsall
Another cute installment of the Penderwicks. This was a great YA book to read at the pool this summer.
Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen
This is one of the books that was on my “List of Books to Read in 2018 That I Already Own.” Loved it, and of course immediately upon finishing it I had to marathon watch the Pride and Prejudice BBC production with Colin Firth. Because that’s just what you do after reading Pride and Prejudice.
Prayers for the Battlefield, by Heidi St. John
Heidi St. John’s newest book! I’m on the launch team for this book, and I’ve been so excited to read it. I just finished it, and it is a keeper for sure. It’s available for order on Amazon.
The format of this book is different from a typical book. It’s written in short, devotional style readings to encourage moms dealing with certain situations.
This book is all about encouragement for moms who want to develop a strong prayer life. If you want to learn how to pray your way through tough situations, this is absolutely a book you need.
Some of the chapter titles: “A Prayer for the Mom Who Needs Courage,” “A Prayer for the Mom Who Wants to Set A Good Example,” “A Prayer for my Child’s Teacher,” and “A Prayer for the Mom of a Special Needs Child.”
She covers soooooo many parenting situations. I love the wide expanse of topics covered…truly something for every mom out there.
Like all of Heidi’s books, this one is filled with scripture references and founded on what the Bible has to say about a topic.
I have a friend who has been encouraging me to pray scriptures over different people and situations in my life, something I don’t have much practice in. This book fits PERFECTLY with doing that! Each chapter includes a prayer and ALSO scripture references for you to study, memorize or pray over your situation. It’s seriously a powerhouse tool for your prayer life.
Plus, there’s a super handy topical index at the back of the book, so you can easily look up chapters on courage or worrying or whatever it is you need to pray over in your life. Love that.
Falling Free, by Shannan Martin
Once upon a time, I read “7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess” by Jen Hatmaker. That book challenged my faith in SO MANY WAYS. I matured a ton as a result of reading that book.
But books like that are honestly few and far between for me. Lots of books are helpful or encouraging, but few of them have really tilted my faith on end and helped me recalibrate what Christianity looks like (and SHOULD look like) in my life.
Well. I would just like to say for the record that Falling Free BLEW “7” OUT OF THE WATER.
A few months ago, a friend of mine recommended that I follow Shanna Martin on Instagram, so I did. I completely adore her writing style and authenticity.
AND she lives in Goshen, Indiana, which is my near where I grew up. I have people there! So I pretty easily became an instant fan.
This book had actually been on my wish list for a while, and I was able to grab the ebook for $.99 right before we left on vacation last month. Perfect!
I completely devoured it.
I highlighted ENTIRE PAGES.
I sobbed. Gah.
You guys. This book is ME. I completely identified with it and not always in good ways. It’s the real deal.
It absolutely spells out what it means to love people, something God has really been teaching me OVER AND OVER AND OVER this summer. I couldn’t have read this book at a more perfect time in my life. I 1000% recommend Falling Free.
(And stay tuned…I’m on the launch team for Shannan Martin’s NEW book coming out in October, “The Ministry of Ordinary Places,” and it’s AMAZING. More deets to come on that one soon! UPDATE: You can read my thoughts on Ministry Of Ordinary Places in this post.)