What I Read: April 2016

April was a ridiculously productive reading month. I still don’t quite know why. I guess it’s because there were so many books I was excited to read and because I used reading as a reward for getting my work done.

Here’s what I read in April, with a brief description of each.

  1. So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed (Jon Ronson) – didn’t love it. I felt like this was a book that could have been a magazine article. However, if you are a big Jon Ronson fan, I’m sure you’d enjoy it. I preferred The Psychopath Test and Nonsense: the Power of Not Knowing.
  2. The Distant Hours (Kate Morton) – This story is set in England and flashes back to the 1930s.  Mysterious, but not a mystery, with an unexpected twist at the end. I enjoyed it.
  3. Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us (Daniel H. Pink) – this is a nonfiction book looking at motivation and our system of rewards in current employment. I read this for class and found it fascinating.
  4. Rising Strong (Brene Brown) – this is the second book of Brown’s that I read. It is about overcoming adversity. I love her sociologist’s perspective. although I could have done without all the anecdotes. Just give me the data.
  5. After You (JoJo Moyes) – This is a must-read for anyone who cried through Before You. Although I find the arc a bit too unbelievable, it provided the resolution I needed and I was pleased.
  6. Four Seasons in Rome: On Twins, Insomnia and the Biggest Funeral in the History of the World (Anthony Doerr) – this was a fun memoir. Doerr reflects on the year he lived in Italy while writing. The funeral refers to the death of the Pope. What I loved best about this was that the book he was supposed to be writing during this year was All the Light We Cannot See, which I loved. A fun, short read.
  7. The Hole in our Gospel: What Does God Expect of Us (Richard Stearns) – challenging and convicting. Written by the president of World Vision.
  8. The Kitchen House (Kathleen Grissom) – I absolutely loved this historical fiction novel set in Virginia in 1810. It tells the story of the antebellum South through the eyes of Belle, a slave whose father is the plantation owner, and Lavinia, a white indentured servant on the same plantation.
  9. Pretty Baby (Mary Kubica) – This was a really interesting suspense novel. I could not put this book down. It tells the story of what happens when a middle aged woman struggling with infertility and depression takes in a homeless girl with a baby. Where it goes…you would never expect.
  10. The Grownup (Gillian Flynn) – I hated everything about this. It’s a short story and I read it in half an hour. If it had been any longer I would have stopped reading.
  11. Glory Over Everything: Beyond the Kitchen House (Kathleen Grissom) – this is the sequel to The Kitchen House. I loved it because it provided some resolution to some loose ends in the first book, but since the main characters are male, it didn’t resonate with me as much.
  12. Garden City: Work, Rest, and the Art of Being Human (John Mark Comer) – a great, Christian, grace-filled perspective on keeping the Sabbath.
  13. Looking for Lovely: Collecting Moments that Matter (Annie F. Downs) – oh, Annie. This book spoke to my heart more than any other book I’ve read this year. My only criticism is that I wish she’d added more Scripture. It’s memoir in every sense.
  14. The Forgetting Time (Sharon Guskin) – This debut novel tells the story of a single mom whose four-year old son suddenly starts “rememebering” things he never experienced. Unique and captivating.

My Top 3: Drive, The Kitchen House, Looking for Lovely

2016 Book Count: 38

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