Browsing Category: Books

The Year of Living Happy {a Review}

I seem to get on a roll with reviewing books, then petering off for a while. The great thing about kids’ books is they’re a really fast review!

As Christian we kind of get caught up, sometimes, in this idea that if we’re happy and w enjoying our lives, we must be living a life that it selfish. That somehow we are allowing ourselves to pursue our own pleasures rather than God. God wants us to have a life of joy and happiness, in Him. Alli Worthington‘s new book talks about just that.

In her new book, The Year of Living Happy: Finding Contentment and Connection in a Crazy World, Alli talks about we were made to be happy, that God desires us to be happy and that in being happy we are living for Him.

“My hope for The Year of Living Happy is to bring the truth of Scripture and best of modern research together as a guide to real happiness.” ~ Alli Worthington

This book was so good and so manageable! It’s written in short 1-2 page chapters (100 of them), each of them followed with a short to-do or thoughts to mull over. There is Scripture for us to read and let pour into our hearts and mind.

Alli even digs into the times in our lives when it’s down right HARD to be happy. Maybe life is throwing some rapid fire punches, or everything is really great, but you’re struggling with being happy…there’s a whole chapter for this very real battle.

Whether you’re struggling with being happy or not, this little book has some great information and tips to help you live your happiest life!

**I received this book for free through the BookLookBloggers program….the opinions are my own. You can read my full disclosure policy here.

Jesus Calling: The Story of Christmas {a Review}

Just got this one in the mail today from BookLookBloggers.com (You can read my disclosure policy here).

If you follow me on IG, you got to see Peter’s box opening in my stories; he was pretty excited to be getting to open a package with something for HIM in it! Can’t say as I blame the kid.

We’ve had the Jesus Calling kids devotional, which we’ve all really liked, but I’m an extra sucker for a Christmas book, and this one doesn’t disappoint. The illustrations are fun and colorful, without being garish. The font is easy to read, while the text is simple enough for any child to be engaged in it. Each page has not only a part of the story, but bible verses for that part of the story.

All around this is a great Christmas book addition, which takes kids from way back in the Christmas story to how it applies to them today. I did get the picture book version, that said, I think I’d prefer the board book, as it really is geared toward the under 5 kiddos.

What I’ve Been Reading – August 2018

Well….I had hoped to accomplish more, but I managed  books….and several of them were ones that were a bit outside of my usual reading genres. With Summer I always have lofty goals of what I’m actually going to finish, but life happens.

FAVORITE FICTION BOOK

I’ve actually read a lot of really good fiction books. I’ve been making a point of reading through some of the books I’ve collected from random places, and most of them were really good. My favorite though…that’s tough. I think Beneath a Scarlet Sky was my favorite. I’m a huge fan of WW2 historical fiction, particularly when it’s based on true events.

The thing I loved about Beneath a Scarlet Sky was the youth of the main character, the way he struggled with his idealism, his own personal expectations, and what the war was throwing at him and how he dealt with it; a very human character. It also helped knowing that they’re working on a movie with Tom Holland playing the main character.

The other part of Beneath a Scarlet Sky that I liked, but was more personal for me, is that my grandfather was in Italy for part of the war. There aren’t many books written about what the war was like in Italy or for the Italian people, so I enjoy finding out more about that.

FAVORITE NON-FICTION BOOK

At Home in the World by Tsh Oxenreider…hands down. I’ve loved all of Tsh’s books, but this one was very much on my heart. One of my biggest laments in life is that we don’t travel enough, and when we do, I get terribly homesick for my creature comforts. So much of what Tsh had to say in this book hit me hard. From her struggle with wanting to have a place to call home, but wanting to be out and experiencing new things…finding the balance between the two.

The other part of this that I loved was the it chronicled her family…that’s right…mom, dad, and 3 young kids traveling and experiencing the world. I would love to travel with my kids and have them experience other cultures and norms, but for us it’s just not in the cards. I can hope though that some day it will happen.

THE BOOK I DIDN’T LIKE

If you follow me on IG, you already know…Bridget Jones’ Diary…I HATED IT! I read through the first chapter and quit. I couldn’t handle how shallow the character was, the obsession with the eating, the drinking, the smoking. The movie is great, the book….I threw it in the garbage. I wasn’t even going to pass this one on to the little library boxes are Salvation Army…it’s just gone (the binding was also split on it, so I told myself it was ok to throw it out).

What have you been reading?

Keep up with what I’ve been reading on GoodReads or Instagram 

(I’ve notated books I’ve read for my book club * and F for Fiction, NF for Non-Fiction, and A if it was an audiobook).

*This post contains affiliate links. You can read my disclosure policy here.

What I’ve Been Reading – May 2018

I’ve been rather lame in the book/writing department. There’s been a lot of things brewing and bubbling in my mind, and sometimes, sitting down at the computer is the last thing I want to do. That said, I also know how much I truly enjoy being able to look back at the books I’ve read. Thus why I’m forcing myself to sit down and do this.

I finished 8 books the past few months…yea, 8. Admittedly, a few of them were lengthy and a bit heady. I can’t fly through those books the way I can through fluffier fiction.

FAVORITE FICTION BOOK

The one that moved the fastest for me was Barefoot. It was pure fluff, but so much of it I just loved. It was the first book of her’s that I’ve read, and I’ve always seen her books and had them pique my interest. I liked the characters, I liked the story line, I liked that it was a bit of romance without seeming smarmy, but it was real and had heart. I just started The Matchmaker by her.

Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club selection was my close second favorite, Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows. Since Bend it Like Beckham, I have been interested in the Indian-London community. This book fits perfectly within that. It was a fun read, but also addressed a lot of deeper, and some darker, issues within not only the Indian community, but for women in general.

FAVORITE NON-FICTION BOOK

Seeing as I only read one non-fiction book, it would have to be Shauna Niequist’s Present Over Perfect. This was a book that I pre-ordered on Amazon in August 2016…yea, it took me almost two years to ACTUALLY READ the book *face palm*. I really enjoyed it though and so much of Shauna’s struggles have mirrored my own, of allowing other people’s expectations and requests to dictate my life and who I am. I ended up with quite a few dog-eared pages on this one.

THE BOOK I DIDN’T LIKE

The Forty Rules of Love: I REALLY wanted to like this book, but I just couldn’t. I don’t know if I just didn’t want to put the time into reading it or if it was that the story wasn’t what I expected or the bouncing around. I read to about page 100, then scanned the rest of the pages. I don’t think it ever got better, and I honestly don’t remember the ending.

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I’ve been struggling with books. I really WANT to read the heavier books (non-fiction), but they take me so long to get through. I feel like they’re keeping me from actually reading, because I dread picking them up, no matter how much I’m enjoying them. My brain doesn’t seem to have much time or energy to read. It’s not even a slump, it’s just too much.

Fluffier books are fun and I get through them faster, but I really don’t feel like they’re bringing much to my mental table. They’re the equivalent of cotton candy for dinner, it sounds like a good idea at the time, until about 20 minutes later and you’re thinking, “Why on earth did I do that?!”

What have you been reading?

Keep up with what I’ve been reading on GoodReads or Instagram 

(I’ve notated books I’ve read for my book club * and F for Fiction, NF for Non-Fiction, and A if it was an audiobook).

*This post contains affiliate links. You can read my disclosure policy here.

 

What I’ve Been Reading – February 2018

It’s a new year for books! Last year I set myself a reading goal of 35 books on goodreads, and I managed to beat it. Ha! I’m not going to lie, it felt good. I honestly thought 35 was too high and I wouldn’t meet it. I decided to stick with 35 books for this year too.

I’ve completed 4 books for 2018, but 2 of them were poetry books, which always seem to read faster. I didn’t read anywhere near the number of Christmas books that I usually do. I just wasn’t into it; I don’t know what that was about.

FAVORITE FICTION BOOK

I’m only half way through No Man’s Land, and while it took a while to get into it, it’s VERY good. I have to admit the only reason why I picked this one up was Tolkien. The author is the grandson of J.R.R. Tolkien, and the book is a fictional writing of some of his experiences during WW1. Two things for me want to read it, WW1 and Tolkien.

I can already tell that, while the first half of the book was a bit slow, the second half is going to fly. I’m curious to know more about Tolkien’s story, as well as his coming to faith.

FAVORITE NON-FICTION BOOK

Capital Gaines…obviously, since it was the only one that I read, but I did love it! I so enjoy his humor and stories. As someone who has been saddled with entrepreneurs all of her life (my parents, my husband) I really enjoyed his insights into creating and running a business, particularly one that grew to be so successful.

I really appreciated how often Gaines FAILED, that’s right FAILED, in businesses, but always walked away with something and had a good mindset about it; glad for what he learned from the experience. I love how he turns it all back around to his family and God too. Such wisdom and humility in his words, even when he’s not being so humble.

THE BOOK I DIDN’T LIKE

I hate that I don’t like it, but Clash of Kings….it’s still sitting on my night stand, stalled at page 237 and haven’t picked it up in 2 months. I still REALLY want to like the Game of Thrones books, but I just cannot get into them. I hate it. I know I will finish the books. I’ll force myself to do it, but it’s going to take a while.

What have you been reading? What reading goals have you set for yourself this year? Remember, you can follow along on what I’m reading on Instagram, just check out my hashtag #Books2018JMW