I read several books over the summer. Some of these books were excellent, some mediocre. Below is a list of the books I read in June, July and August. I’ve included links to where you can find them, if you are interested in reading them yourself.
I’ve never been much of a mystery or psychological thriller reader, but The Girl on the Train grabbed my attention from the beginning and didn’t let go till the end. Maybe it’s because I’m a newbie the suspense genre, but I had no idea “who done it” until very near the close of the book. This book is fast-paced throughout (with some slower sections that gave me a sort of breather, which I liked). The story held a lot of relationship elements. Several powerful themes are explored. Although few of the characters are very likable, I found that I developed a sort of pity for some of them that compelled me to find out what happened to them. The Girl on the Train was a perfect summer (or anytime) read—even for people like me who don’t like suspense fiction.
(Be aware that this book contains language which some readers may find offensive.)
This book is a very basic but thorough overview of Biblical doctine. Joshua Harris does a very good job of laying out some important truths in an accessible way. I’d highly recommend this book for new Christians or those who may not have studied doctrine in a systematic approach before. It’s a good way to get your feet wet.
It’s no secret to anyone who knows me that I am an introvert. Large groups of people drain my energy. I’m not antisocial by any means; I just need time alone to recharge. Quiet by Susan Cain was such an affirming read for me. I found myself nodding my head in agreement throughout much of the book. Finally, someone has articulated what it is like to be an introvert.
Our culture is designed to reward and elevate extroverted behavior. In Quiet, Susan Cain discussed how this effects introverts and how introverts can overcome cultural bias and still be true to ourselves. This is such a helpful book for anyone who is introverted, or anyone who has someone in their work or social sphere who is (which is everyone!).
Elizabeth Gaskell is one of my favorite authors. She lived in England in the Victorian era and wrote several novels. Her novels are, in essence, social commentaries on the times in which she lived. Her finely crafted stories capture the interest of the reader from the beginning and her characters are well developed and sympathetic.
Mrs. Gaskell’s novel, North and South, is set primarily in the north of England in the large manufacturing town of Milton. The story follows Margaret Hale, a young woman who has spent her whole life in the south of England. As a result of unexpected circumstances, Margaret is suddenly uprooted to Milton. Her first impression of the town and its people is not a favorable one. As the story progresses, however, Margaret’s point of view on several matters changes. She eventually learns to see Milton and its residents in a new light. This book is a tale with surprisingly modern themes and I thoroughly enjoyed it, as I have all of Gaskell’s other novels thus far.
I read Angie Smith’s first book, I Will Carry You—a memoir of her journey through the loss of her daughter—shortly after my own daughter’s passing, and found it very moving.
In Mended, Angie covers several topics in a devotional style. She shares with the reader the ways in which she has learned to heal from past hurts and look to God in faith in life’s most difficult circumstances. It was fairly well written, but I felt at times that it became a bit redundant. It does include many reminders to trust the Lord and allow His healing in your heart and life. Not the most profound book I’ve ever read, but I did enjoy it. I’m glad I read it.
This book has changed my life! Reading it has opened my eyes to the myriad of ways a stay at home mom like me can make an income without sacrificing time with her family. The author, Crystal Paine, know what she’s talking about in this book. Crystal is the owner of the extremely popular blog, MoneySavingMom.com. She know her stuff when it comes to being a work at home mom. The information she shares in this book is invaluable. If you are looking for ways to make money from home, I highly recommend you pick up a copy for yourself.
This book moved me deeply. This skillfully written novel is a beautiful, though tragic, telling of a lighthouse keeper and his young wife living in isolation on Janus Rock, off the Australian coast, following World War 1. After experiencing the pain of the loss of three pregnancies, the couple find a baby in a boat which has washed up on the shore of Janus. Deciding to keep the baby and raise her as their own, they set in motion a chain of events which will impact the lives of people they would never have expected. This is one of those novels you think about for days after closing it on the last page.
The subject matter was extremely personal to me, and so I found I resonated with the struggles each of the main character experienced. There was no possible way to have a fairy tale ending with this book, but I felt the ending brought a resolution to the story in a poignant way. (This book has been recently made into a movie.)
What have you been reading lately? Leave your comment in the section below. I’d love to know what titles you’ve been enjoying lately.
Be sure to check out these books. They’re all worth reading.
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