I do not feel good about June being over. Not good at all. I’ve been a summer person for the last few years, so I’m hoping July lingers a bit more. Our apartment complex has an amazing, clean pool that I frequent during the summer months, always with a book in hand. Two of the books I read this month were digital downloads from our library so I had to read them on my iPad. I pretty much hate reading on my iPad, but when I have to do it in the sun it’s almost unbearable. Tell me I’m not the only one who feels this way…. Either way, extra time at the pool allowed me to read four books this month, and I don’t hate that!
This is the most dedicated to and in love with reading I have ever been – I’m so happy! I’ll be honest, I wasn’t totally confident in my follow through when I made reading one of my top ten goals for 2017. But thanks to my Power Sheets and a little bit of discipline, I have successfully read at least two books each month of 2017. For some, that’s not much, but for me it is a great success!
Last month I mentioned that I was going to be traveling for work and therefore would have plenty of airport time to read! I don’t think I read more than a chapter on my trip – ha. On my morning flight from NYC to STL I tried so hard, like really hard, to read. Just a few pages in I succumbed to my tiredness and slept on the tray, while sitting in the middle seat. My apologies to the ladies who were sitting on either side of me as I’m sure you had some part of my person on you. Even without the reading time on my trip I was able to cram in two really wonderful books during the month of May!
April was such a good book month. I was able to squeeze in a lot of reading time, which was good because I had some catching up to do from March. All of this extra time was a combination of choosing to prioritize reading and a work trip that meant a lot of time on a plane + waiting in the airport. I’m not mad about it.
I was actually supposed to finish Sheet Music by Dr. Kevin Leman in March, but I gave myself a little bit of grace and finished it in April instead. I still touched on it briefly during last month’s post, but wow…what an amazing piece of literature. I purchased the book (along with every other christian marriage book under the sun) while we were engaged, but I never got around to reading it. Now that I’ve read it, I so wish I had made this book a priority because it is just full of quality, applicable information. Sheet Music is all about healthy sex inside of marriage, so it’s not for everyone BUT if you fall into that category and you haven’t read it click right here and dive in the minute it arrives on your doorstep.
When I was in high school Karen Kingsbury novels were pretty much the only books that I read. She is a Christian novelist that pens stories that will just rip your heart out. At least that’s the effect they had on me. I was hoping to start her series on the Baxter family over again, but our library didn’t have that series available for digital download. Just a few years ago she wrote a spin-off series featuring one of the characters from the Baxter series so I decided to start there. Leaving was just as good as I remember all of her other books being. A very easy read that was nearly impossible to put down. I don’t like reading books off of my iPad, but they are just so much easier to fly with and since I don’t take notes or highlight novels it works. I’ll be reading the next book in May on another trip to the East Coast.
Talking As Loud As I Can
I also read this book on my iPad — what’s with me? Truth is, I finished Leaving in the middle of my trip so digital was my only option. If you are niether a Gilmore Girls or Parenthood fan, this memoir by Lauren Graham may not interest you. But if you are a fan of Gilmore Girls and / or Parenthood you’ll love it just as much as I did. Lauren Graham is a loveable person as is, but it doesn’t hurt that she plays two incredible roles on two different T.V. shows. I’m not even a die-hard fan of either show, but having her behind-the-scenes perspective was so fascinating. Talk As Fast As I Can was also an easy to read, hard to put down book. Lauren is also the author of a novel, but I don’t have plans to read it. She’s just too good at being herself.
The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well
Denmark wasn’t super high on my travel wish-list, but that all changed a couple chapters into this book. The Today Show had a segment on Hygge (hoo-guh) that I happened to watch, and it caught my interest. A few weeks later one of my favorite bloggers shared a Hygge book in her monthly book review so I did a bit more digging. Hygge is basically the art of coziness. The Danes are the happiest people in the world, partly because Hygge is a significant element in their culture. I loved this book…it fascinated and inspired me. Not only do I have a burning desire to visit Denmark, I’m looking forward to incorporate Hygge into our lives. As a Christ follower, I will be conscious of how consumed I become with these coziness practices, but otherwise I love everything about it. My favorite Hygge concept is that the longer a dish takes to prepare, the more Hygge it is. Being in the kitchen is one of my favorite things. My next mission is to find a luscious recipe that will require a week of my attention. There are a million books on Hygge that I haven’t read, but I’d highly recommend this one!
There is a whole host of books on my list right now, and aside from the next Karen Kingsbury novel I haven’t decided what I’ll be reading. Things are a bit crazy in our home this month so I don’t expect to get through four books – but maybe three!
I’m a little disappointed with myself because I didn’t finish two books in March. We’re a few days into April and I’m still wrapping up book number two. But I’m going to show myself a little bit of grace and make sure I finish two books in April (not including the March book). I’m flying to D.C. for a work trip so I should have no problem with this!
March kicked off with a pretty intense Francis Chan book on marriage titled, You and Me Forever: Marriage in Light of Eternity. I apparently already read part of this book because I had done quite a bit of highlighting. Francis Chan is not timid in his preaching or writing, and given the subject of the book I was prepared to be shaken. Certainly, I was reminded to keep an eternal perspective in my marriage, but this book didn’t dive as deeply into the subject of heaven as I was hoping it would. I wasn’t necessarily disappointed because it truly was an enlightening book, but I would like to read more on the subject someday. You and Me Forever: Marriage in Light of Eternity will stay on our book shelf, but I don’t have plans to read it again soon.
I’m still reading Sheet Music, but I don’t have to finish it to tell you how I feel about it. Engaged? Read it (through chapter four). Married one year? Read it. Married 30 years? Read it. I actually purchased this book before our wedding but haven’t read it until now and I super wish I had. If you’ve spent any amount of time with me, you probably know that I’m pretty open and think we should discuss this topic more :) Married and engaged Christ followers, you need to read Sheet Music book. Immediately.
When you work from home like I do, you get to enjoy rainy days so much more. We’ve had nothing but rain this week and it has me in a very cozy spirit. I’ve been seeing the Danish term Hygge(hoo-guh) pop up all over the place. Hygge is a Danish term for enjoying life’s simple pleasures – sign. me. up. I’m going to dive into The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living the very second I finish Sheet Music. I can’t wait!
I haven’t selected my second book for April, but it will probably be something light. Probably still non-fiction, but I need a little space to digest some of the faith reading I’ve been doing. It doesn’t do much good if I read the words and don’t apply them to my life! Let me know if you’re reading something great.
We’re two months into the new year and I’ve managed to stick with my reading goal. I even started a third book last month, thanks to our library app + digital downloads. I have a book club (party of one), and my goal is to read two books each month. You can read a little bit more about the heart behind my reading goal here. In February I read Chasing Slow and The Mingling of Souls; both excellent choices.
Chasing Slow was yet another book that I purchased because my entire Instagram circle was telling me to. I really didn’t know anything about Erin Loechner (the author), but the book was extremely appealing to the eye so I decided to listen to my posse. I didn’t really care if I enjoyed Chasing Slow or not, because it was going to look pretty on a book shelf either way. #aesthetic
One of my daily goals on my #PowerSheets is to read one chapter a day, which I typically do right before bed. That’s not a very good goal when you’re reading Chasing Slow because the chapters are very short. And there are a lot of them. Chasing Slow was written differently than any other book I’ve read, in a good way. The book is chronological, but comprised of a series of essays rather than one fluid story. Erin’s writing style reminds me of Shauna Niequist.
Once I was adjusted to Erin’s writing style and the layout of the book, I could. not. put. it. down. I read this book during every free moment I had until it was finished, and then I was wishing it wasn’t. I was expecting this to be a book entirely about the changes they experienced from slowing down their life. What I took from the book was that tomorrow is always a new day. And that I should be soaking up the little moments, because they make up my life. And to love people, not things. Or places. It was a message I needed to hear, and therefore I highly recommend this book to you. It will also look so pretty in your home.
The Mingling of Souls
Matt Chandler is a pastor in Texas and I love his preaching! Mingling of Souls was an easy read, but still impactful. The first half of the book walks through dating and courting, which didn’t apply to me personally. I would absolutely encourage anyone who is single or dating to soak in what Matt has to say in those chapters. The rest of the book was very good, and I’m glad I read it. I would love to do the study book with Jordan because I believe that I would be affected by the book on a deeper level.
Coming Up in March
After a very literary pleasing February, I’m looking forward to diving into new books this month. I started reading a novel by Elin Hildebrand last week, so I need to finish that first. I’m reading it on my iPad because I wanted a book right away and downloading a book from the library was the best way to do that. My marriage focused book this month is You and Me Forever by Francis Chan. I think this one is going to weigh heavy on me, so I haven’t selected my second book. I want to wait and see how I feel post heavy marriage reading. I’m focused on being a better wife this year. I want heart transformation, not a temporary fix. Reading these books has been important to me because they give me truth to think about and apply to our marriage. What are your reading? Let me know in the comments, cause I’ll need some ideas for book #2.
Image via Bloglovin
Book Club for One
I’m going to take you into my book club dream for just a moment. My book club is comprised of incredible women who need book club like we all need sun right now, in February. We live for book club. On book club night, we gather for dinner and stay seated around the table late into the evening. We can’t bring ourselves to end our time spent sipping wine, lost in meaningful conversation about the pages we traveled this month. So, we just stay sitting. We sip. And we continue conversing. It’s the best.
However, that’s just the book club that happens in my dreams. The opportunity for that community has not presented itself yet, but I’m looking forward to when it does. In the meantime, I have decided that I can still have a book club. I call it a book club for one, but let’s be honest – Lincoln comes too.
Reading as a Goal and a Tool
If you follow me on Instagram, you have probably heard me talk about #PowerSheets. I use #PowerSheets as a tool to set, cultivate and achieve good, meaningful goals. The yearlong sets are sold out, but you can still pre-order the six-month set. I cannot recommend highly enough! Anyway, one of my goals for 2017 is to read two books each month. Every month I will read one book on marriage and one book for leisure. January has come and gone (what?!) and I achieved 1/12 of the goal – huzzah!
I read Sacred Marriage while we were engaged. Sacred Marriage is written by Gary Thomas and in this book, he poses the question, “what if God designed to make us holy more than to make us happy?”. Sacred Marriage was, and is, a huge influence in our marriage, but I wanted to read it again to keep the knowledge fresh. It was just as good the second time around, if not better. It was certainly more meaningful now that I have a year-and-a-half of marriage under my belt. I’m hoping to do the full study someday! If you’re married (or getting married) and striving for a God-honoring marriage, Sacred Marriage is a must read. And lucky for you, the book has been released with an updated cover. It’s pretty.
The Broken Way
A few years ago, the book One Thousand Gifts took the world by storm. Ann Voskamp has a way with words unlike any other, so when I saw that she was releasing another book I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. Husband came through at Christmas and I found The Broken Way under our tree. He taped the wrapping paper TO the book, bless his heart. The Broken Way revealed places in my heart that I didn’t know existed. I walked away from reading Ann’s latest book with a renewed view of my brokenness. Of course, I appreciate and recommend the content, but I could probably read a book on garbage if Ann wrote it.
Coming Up: February
I’m already half way through Chasing Slow by Erin Loechner. This book is hard for me to put down, and I don’t often feel that way about books. While I was reading chapter seven I felt like Erin was writing a story on me. I’m looking forward to reading the second half. I might even finish tonight!
I will be reading The Mingling of Souls for marital inspiration and guidance. I’ve been meaning to read this book by Matt and Lauren Chandler for quite some time. Matt Chandler is the pastor of The Village Church in Texas and I really enjoy listening to podcasts of his sermons.
What books are you reading right now? Let me know if there is something I simply must add to my list – I’m all ears.
Image Source: Bloglovin