Browsing Category: Reviews

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.

 

Capital Gaines {a Review}

Capital Gaines a review

Capital Gaines a review

For those who may not know it, Matthew and I own a handful of small businesses. Neither of us have a degree in business, or any business know how. It’s just something we’ve always grown up in (both of our parents’ own their own businesses). If we were smart we would have taken at least a couple of business classes in college, but we didn’t, so we’re always learning by trial-by-fire.

When Chip Gaines’ new book, Capital Gaines, popped up as being available for review I didn’t even hesitate. We need all the help we can get, plus he’s really funny, AND he and Joanna have managed to create quite the empire. While we have no aspirations to create a business that has over 500 employees (I’d be happy with 5 employees), they must be doing something right.

I read Magnolia Story last summer and flew through it, this was the same. It’s just entertaining listening to Chip go on about the things he’s messed up. I can truly appreciate his humor and stories. This was the same, I finished the book in 2 days. Entertaining and informative.

I wrote last month about doing things scared, and not letting fear keep you from living. Chapter after chapter these were the things that Chip was telling me over and over. Don’t let fear keep you from doing what you’ve been called to do. God has got it.

Whether you own a business, want to start a business, or just love the Gaines family…READ THIS BOOK! And FYI, if you have the chance to take some business classes, do it, don’t even think twice.

*I received this book for free from the BookLookBloggers program. However, the opinions are my own. Read my disclosure policy here.

 

{Why} Motherhood Matters {a Review}

Motherhood matters; plain and simple. I’ve known September McCarthy for the better part of 5 years now, and she has always been such a source of wisdom when it has come to motherhood. When she shared the book that God had put on her heart I knew, before reading a page, that it was going to be good. And it does not disappoint.

September shares about her own struggles with not only motherhood, but her path there. Despite 10 children on this earth, there was months of pain, pregnancies ending in sorrow and heartbreak, with 6 angel-babies. September has not only walked the path of motherhood, she has fallen and struggled along.

Why Motherhood Matters

I often say that my judge of a good book is how many pages are dog-eared by the time I’m done with it. Nearly every other page of {Why} Motherhood Matters is dog-eared and marked up. This book is so full of words that are a balm to every mother’s heart, no matter what season of motherhood they’re in.

The book is written in four parts, each addressing a different why of motherhood. From our feeling alone in motherhood to being intentional in motherhood and what that looks like. Each chapter is closed with a few thoughts or questions, a parenting principle, and a prayer.

If you struggle in motherhood, struggle with your parenting, with your inadequacies and your loneliness this book is hope in paperback. It won’t solve your problems, but it will help you to feel not so undone.


{Why} Motherhood Matters is available on Amazon and all other booksellers. BUT, if you place your order before September 1st there are a bunch of awesome freebies available to you, just visit WhyMotherhoodMatters.com and submit your invoice number.

*I received this ARC in response for my honest review. The opinions are my own and in no way influenced. You can read my disclosure policy here.

The Turquoise Table {a Review}

*The following contains affiliate links, you can read my full disclosure policy here. 

This book! All the love for it! I remember when this movement started, of painting tables turquoise and inviting the world into our lives, even if just for a few minutes. I painted my own turquoise table several years ago and haven’t looked back!

From Amazon 

A simple way to connect your neighborhood, your community and build friendships.

Are you consumed with a busy life but unsure how to slow down? Do you desire connection within your community and think, “Absolutely, but I don’t have time for that” or “I can’t create that”? What if there was another way through it all, a way to find those moments of peace and to create a time for honest, comfortable connection? What if meeting neighbors and connecting with friends was as simple as showing up and being available?

Desperate for a way to slow down and connect, Kristin Schell put an ordinary picnic table in her front yard, painted it turquoise, and began inviting friends and neighbors to join her. Life changed in her community and it can change in yours, too. Alongside personal and heartwarming stories, Kristin gives you:

  • Stress-free ideas for kick-starting your own Turquoise Table
  • Simple recipes to take outside and share with others
  • Stories from people using Turquoise Tables in their neighborhoods
  • Encouragement to overcome barriers that keep you from connecting
  • New ways to view hospitality

Today, Turquoise Tables are inviting individuals to connect with each other in nearly all fifty states and seven countries. Ordinary people like you wanting to make a difference right where they live.

Community and friendship are waiting just outside your front door.

First off, the pictures and paper, the cover and book as a physical thing is gorgeous, exquisite! Turquoise is my favorite color, throw in beautiful photography and delicious sounding recipes and it’s a guaranteed success! Best of all is Schell’s story and heart for inviting the world into her home, through the simplicity of a picnic table.

Her writing is captivating and draws you in to community with her, as you follow along with her search for community. The pages fly by quickly, filled with stories of other Turquoise Tables and how a step in faith led to incredible blessing; not just for the one person, but for a whole community.

Kristin’s book is everything wrapped up all in one place, that will give you the tools and the motivation you need to become “Front Yard People” who seek to be the hands and feet of Jesus right in their own neighborhoods.

*I received this book for free from BookLookBloggers.com in exchange for my honest opinion.

 

She’s Still There {a Review}

I think one of every moms biggest struggles is with not losing themselves. Now, I don’t mean the not being able to pursue their interests and such, but really LOSING themselves…having no identity beyond being a mom. That they truly forget who and who’s they are.

From Amazon:
She’s Still There by Chrystal Evans Hurst

What’s a woman to do if her life is not taking shape the way that she thought that it would? What happens when she looks at herself in the mirror, lingering just a little longer than usual and realizes that she no longer recognizes the person staring back at her? What does she do when she sees that, somehow, her life has drifted away from all her original hopes, dreams, or plans?

Speaker, blogger and writer Chrystal Evans Hurst wrote this book because she was that woman. One day she realized that she had somehow wandered away from the life that she had purposed to live a long time ago.

Chrystal since discovered that this moment of awareness happens to lots of women at different seasons of their lives. Poor decisions, a lack of intentionality or planning, or a long-term denial of deep hopes and dreams can leave a woman, old or young, reeling from the realization that she is lost, disappointed, or simply numb.

And she just needs encouragement.

This woman simply needs someone to hold her hand, to cheer her on, and to believe with her that she is capable of still being the person she intended to be or discovering the girl she never knew was there in the first place.

Chrystal uses her poignant story of an early and unexpected pregnancy, as well as other raw and vulnerable moments in her life, to let readers know she understands what it’s like to try and find your way after some missteps or decisions you didn’t plan on. In She’s Still There Chrystal emphasizes the importance of the personal process and the beauty of that path as it is shared authentically from one girlfriend to another. It’s a book of “me toos”, reminders of the hoped for, and challenges for the path ahead—to find direction, purpose, and true satisfaction.

Fantastic, right?! I know I feel that I’ve lost a lot of myself over the last 10 years. Chrystal does a superb job of telling her story, while at the same time making it YOUR story, showing you just how and why you have these feelings. How God is there with you, looking to draw you back to him, as a daughter, not just as a wife and mom.

Chapter by chapter Hurst takes you down the path of discovering who the girl is inside you, with helpful reflections, questions, and points of action to move forward and reclaim yourself and God’s purpose for you.

I received this book for free through BookLookBloggers, in exchange for my honest review. You can read my disclosure policy here.