What I Read: April 2017

This month I approached my reading a bit differently than I usually do.  I made a goal to read 30 minutes daily and did so on 29 out of 30 days!  I will say, however, that I read far more than the 14.5 hours…as you will likely assume when you see the total number of books I read this month.  I had a week of spring break and I read several hours each day — I’m also a fast reader.  I am going to once again set the 30 minutes goal for May, though I doubt I will get through even close to as many books due to a much busier calendar.  I noticed reading puts my mind at ease in a way television can’t.  I explained it to a friend this way – when I am reading, all I can do is read.  It takes every part of my mind and emotions.  I can truly escape from my worries or thoughts of the day.  When I watch TV, I am often trying to multitask – cleaning or catching up on work email or scrolling through my phone.  For me, books are so much better.

Here are the 13 (!!!) books I read in April:

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The Broken Way: A Daring Path into the Abundant Life (Ann Voskamp): A good read for the end of Lent. I have a love/hate relationship with Ann Voskamp’s style and therefore had mixed feelings about this one.  My rating: 3 stars.

Along the Infinite Sea (Beatriz Williams): the first of anything I’ve read by Beatriz Williams.  I think I want to read them all! My rating: 4 stars.

In a Dark,  Dark Wood (Ruth Ware): a good thriller about a bachelorette weekend gone wrong. Kept me in suspense the whole time.  My rating: 3 stars.

Between Shades of Gray (Ruth Sepetys): this is a YA novel about the plight of Lithuanians during World War II.  I knew nothing about the topic and this was a good introduction.  My rating: 4 stars.

Homegoing (Yaa Gyasi): all I can say is “wow”! This is a sweeping epic that begins in colonial Africa and reaches to the present day.  For those of you trying to read the words of #ownvoices or #diversebooks authors, this is a great one.  And Gyasi is younger than I am! She and Brit Bennett (last month) amaze me.  My rating: 5 stars!

Alive in Him: How Being Embraced by the Love of Christ Changes Everything (Gloria Furman): If I am ever able to write a book, I want it to be one like this.  Furman writes with joy and wisdom.  She presents an in-depth study of Ephesians rich in theology and gospel truth that is told without too many anecdotes and emotional appears.  We need more books like this.  My rating: 5 stars!

The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress (Ariel Lawhon): a fictional story based on the author’s imagination of a real event.  This story takes place in 1930s New York and follows the three women who were closest to Judge Joseph Crater before his disappearance.  Fascinating debut that I could easily picture as a movie! My rating: 4.5 stars!

The Chemist (Stephenie Meyer): well it certainly wasn’t anything like Twilight.  It took me about 100 pages to get into this book..I almost abandoned it, but then things picked up and I enjoyed the story.  My rating: 3 stars.

The Bruised Reed (Richard Sibbes): It’s hard to put a rating on a book written in the 1600s so I’m not even going to try.  A beautiful and comforting study of the passage of scripture that includes, “A bruised reed he will not break.”

A Piece of the World (Christina Baker Kline): Another great book! This is a character study based on the subject of Andrew Wyeth’s iconic painting, Christina’s World.  Kline took what little we know about the real Christina and Andrew Wyeth’s biography and imagines the years leading up to the image.  I enjoyed this book. My rating: 4 stars.

Humble Roots: How Humility Grounds and Nourishes Your Soul (Hannah Anderson): While Furman’s book had my soul saying, “Amen,” this one brought great conviction. Taking wisdom from agriculture and scripture, Anderson shows us that humility is the answer to our restlessness, anxiety, and feelings of inadequacy.  I will be reading this one again, and soon.  My rating: 5 stars.

A Hundred Summers (Beatriz Williams) – I plan to read everything this woman writes.  This one would make a great beach read. I just loved it (and it was set in the 1930s…a period I’m beginning to enjoy).  My rating: 4 stars.

Exit West (Mohsin Hamid): this is a very recent release and while I enjoyed it, I didn’t love the genre.  Magical realism isn’t something I read often and I had some difficulty with it.  It’s worth the struggle, even if you have to suspend reality, because this book is a great commentary on so many relevant social issues.  My rating: 4 stars.

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