An ongoing list of books I’ve read or recommend.
Where’d You Go, Bernadette, By Maria Semple
This was a really, light-hearted and fun read. The story is mostly told in the form of emails and memos, which I wasn’t sure I’d love or hate. Turned out, I loved it. It was a good story with likeable characters, and plot that kept me interested until the very end. I recommend this book.
Warning: Language. Not a ton, but more than I prefer in a book. Also, a sub-plot involving a main character that is sexual in nature, but no graphic sexual content. Other than that, pretty much PG-Rated.
The Reckoning, by John Grisham.
I’m a big John Grisham fan. In fact, it was his book, The Firm, that renewed my love for reading fiction back in my 20s, when consuming college text books and reading for my job turned reading into a chore. I read The Firm on my honeymoon, lying on a beach in the U.S. Virgin Islands, which may have had something to do with why I loved it so much. I immediately picked up several more John Grisham novels and devoured them.
Over the last few years, I have picked up a book of his here and there, but nothing compares to those early works, in my opinion.
I was excited to read The Reckoning because it looked like Grisham was returning to his courtroom-drama-set-in-the-deep-South that I loved so much. In a nutshell: this book is just entirely too long. Honestly, I feel like maybe his editor forgot to edit it or something. The entire story could have been told in about a third of the pages…and I’m not even exaggerating. There is an entire middle section that I literally skimmed, once I realized it was nothing more than a detailed (and graphic!) account of WWII. The story started out interesting, then became boring for about 200 pages, then became interesting again in the final 14 pages.
If you enjoy L-O-N-G, detailed accounts of WWII, you’ll like this book. If you are looking for classic John Grisham, I suggest you pass.
Warning: Graphic war violence and a detailed account of the murder, which is the subject of the entire plot. Minor language. No sexual content.
Becoming Michelle Obama, by Michelle Obama
Smart, funny, transparent, interesting, and very well-written. I don’t care where you fall on the political spectrum (really, I don’t care, so please do not tell me!), Michelle Obama is a class act. She’s also a very good writer. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and highly recommend.
Warning: If you are a strong supporter of Donald Trump or you hate the Obamas with a red hot passion, then I don’t suggest you read this book—she doesn’t hold back on her opinions about the way Trump behaves and how it affected her family and their safety. As far as content, Michelle does talk about living with Barack prior to marriage. Other than that, nothing offensive.
First of all, prettiest cover ever, so WIN!
I’ve followed Michael Hyatt for years. He’s the former CEO of Thomas Nelson publishing and talks a lot about business and productivity. If you feel like you are spinning your wheels working longer-than-you-should hours, this book will help.
Sometimes when I read Hyatt’s stuff, it stresses me out, because he makes a lot of assumptions (like, he has a “team” of people he can delegate to and I do not.). But this book was more practical for a wider audience. Definitely a book for “work” and not necessarily for a stay-at-home mom…though, he does have some great ideas about how to best use technology and implement daily routines that could be helpful.
Absolutely nothing offensive, except that he has a personal assistant, and I don’t.
Outer Order, Inner Calm: Declutter and Organize to Make More Room for Happiness, by Gretchen Rubin. This is a very, very quick read. Each page has a tip. It’s a fun, little book. I was expecting more stories, but whatevs. It inspired me to clean my closet.
Digital Minimalism; Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World, by Cal Newport. This one vacillates between super heady and super practical. I couldn’t put it down.
Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, by Greg McKeown. My second read-through of this one. It’s a must-read.
Fervent: A Woman’s Battle Plan to Serious, Specific and Strategic Prayer, by Priscilla Shirer. A great companion to The Armor of God Bible Study, also by Priscilla Shirer.
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