How is it already September?! Not to sound cliché, but the summer really did fly by. July was a little bit crazy and I only finished one book, so it works out perfectly to combine my July and August reviews. We took two trips in August – one week in Mexico and a long weekend in Boston – so I had plenty of reading time last month!
Lara Casey is a phenomenal woman and the creator of PowerSheets, which are a tool I use to set good goals. Her testimony, talents and tools have honestly transformed my life! A couple of years ago I read through her first book Make It Happen. I pre-ordered Cultivate and when it arrived on my doorstep a peace came over me – I kid you not. Lara is rooted in scripture and I knew Cultivate would be too.
The book includes a study-guide in the back and questions at the end of each chapter. I actually decided not to answer the questions or do the study guide before I started reading the book. I wanted to be able to focus on the text without the pressure of answering questions, and I know I’ll read the book multiple times and can answer the questions later. I am incredibly glad that I opted out of the questions – I really believe I absorbed the words more because of that.
Cultivate holds such an important message and provides an easy-to-understand analogy of cultivating an intentional life. I simply cannot encourage Cultivate, and all of Lara’s products and writing, enough.
The Magnolia Story
Chip & Jo – it’s a household name! I am definitely a fan of these warriors for Christ, but I’m not a die-hard Fixer Upper watcher. I have never been interested in reading the Magnolia Story because I thought it would be a little empty and predictable. What more could there be to the story aside from what’s on their show? Ha!
The Magnolia Story was beyond sweet. I’m not a crier, but there were a couple of sections that had me sniffling pool-side in Mexico. What a testimony Chip & Jo’s life is. You can tell that the book is not written by a seasoned writer, but I’d always prefer authenticity. I passed The Magnolia Story off to my mother-in-law for the flight home. We cried at all of the same parts!
A Summer Affair
When we went to the library to gather our beach books I had a list of seven and Jordan had a list of 21. Ugh… Anyway, only two of my books were available and one of those two was only allowed to be checked out for one week. So that’s how I ended up reading A Summer Affair! Thanks to Mix and Match Mama, I am addicted to Elin Hilderbrand books. All of Elin’s novels are set on Nantucket Island and I never know how they’re going to end until they’ve ended.
A Summer Affair was a nail biter, that’s for sure! I felt a little guilty reading it because there is a scandalous affair. Yikes… This novel is several years old and I think I had a hard time giving it a fair shot because it was my second choice.
The Identicals is Elin Hilderbrand’s newest book, hence why the library would only let me have it for one week. It was the perfect book to take on our trip to Boston because we were only going to be gone for four days and this one actually took place in Boston quite a bit. It was soooo good. I’m always game for a story about sisters (oldest of four girls, right here). This is a novel that I could see being turned into a movie and I’d be the first in line to buy a ticket. I would love to put a face to every name in this novel. If you’re an Elin Hilderbrand fan, this is an obvious yes.
I really thought I would read more during the summer, but hey – it is what it is. September reading is well underway. China Rich Girlfriend is up first and the sequel to Crazy Rich Asians, which I read this Spring. It’s just as confusing and addicting as Crazy Rich Asians. I’ll also be reading Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. The world is mad, and I want to set my feet on the solid rock. I can’t wait to let you know how it is!