A goal of mine was to read more in 2018, and when I got a library card early in January and found out they had an app where I could rent audio books – I was hooked! It’s been great for me to listen to these stories while I’m at work or in the car during my commute.
I decided I’d share with you the books I read this last quarter and what I thought of each of them. I’ve also included a link to the book on Amazon if you decide you want to purchase a hard copy and read it yourself.
>> the descriptions that are in bold are my favorites & ones I highly recommend <<
- Heaven is For Real by Todd Burpo || It’s a true story about the 3 year old boy, Colton, who goes to Heaven, comes back and tells his family about his experience. Written a few years after the life-changing experience by his father, it is a phenomenal book and so much of what Colton shares lines up with scripture. It tugged on my mama-heart, challenged my thinking, made me laugh and got my wheels turning.
- 7 by Jen Hatmaker || This book was interesting. The author picked 7 areas in her life and fasted (went without) one of those categories for a full month at a time. For example, one month she picked only 7 articles of clothing to wear that month (one t-shirt, one dress shirt, one pair of jeans, one pair of shoes, etc.) and that was it. The following month she had access to her whole closet, but her family cut out waste. This included recycling, composting, driving only one car to limit the amount of gas fumes going into the air, etc. Anyway, each chapter covered one of the 7 areas. Although I was in the middle of fasting things myself (with 21 Days or Prayer + Fasting), this approach seemed a little extreme. But apparently her life and relationship with God was completely changed by this experience and a whole ministry has formed around it. Overall, the book was okay, but not one I would read again.
- A Heart Like His by Beth Moore || A great overview of the life of David. I think this would be great for a Bible study.
- Magnolia Story by Chip & Joanna Gaines || A phenomenal story going all the way back to when Chip & Jo first met. They relive some of their biggest moments – life before each other, dating, life as newlyweds, how they started flipping houses, starting their family, and how they landed their show “Fixer Upper.” It’s a great testimony to how God uses small beginnings and blesses hard work. I highly recommend this book, even if you’ve never seen the show.
- Live, Love, Lead by Brian Houston || Sharing the story of how Hillsong Church was started, Brian reminisces on some of their biggest wins and biggest heartaches throughout the 30+ years of the church. Each chapter was full of wisdom and encouragement. It really inspired me and I learned a lot from reading it. It is definitely one I would read again!
- Why Not You by Valorie Burton || Short and easy, this book gave 28 practical ways to take small steps to being more confident in areas of your life. Giving you something to work on each day for 28 days, I know this book has broken down the lies of the enemy and built God’s truths into the lives of its readers.
- The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis || I’ve never read any of the Chronicles of Narnia books (I’ve only seen the movies), and although it was written towards the end of the series, I remembering hearing as a child that this was actually a prequel to The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, so I listened to it first. I was intrigued by the story I had never heard, but found myself being anxious to listen to the rest of the series. It was a good “context” book though – hearing how Aslan created Narnia (which somewhat reminded me of the creation story – good job C.S. Lewis for paralleling that one), how the Witch arrived in Narnia, and the “planting” of the lamp post that would play such a vital role in the following story.
- The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis || I’ve seen this movie countless times, but I’ve never actually read the book. I was shocked at how exact the movie was in keeping to the book’s story line (so often movies stray from the original story). It was such a joy to finally get to read the classic!
The Help by Kathryn Stockett || This book took me forever to get through! *sigh* I’d seen the movie when it came out in 2011 and I remember enjoying the story so I thought I’d read the book. I liked it, but it did take me a whole month to get through. The story line, although intriguing, is not necessarily captivating (at least it wasn’t for me). I’d recommend it, but only if you have amble amounts of time and are dedicated to completing it.
- The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis || Honestly, I had a hard time tracking this story and I really got to the point where I decided to finish it so that I could (eventually) say I had read the whole Chronicles of Narnia series. I did think it was fun that it shared a story of while Peter, Susan, Edmond and Lucy were [adult] kings and queens.
- Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis || I remember when this movie came out in 2008 (I was 14 years old) and my friends and I were giggling about who we thought was cuter – Peter (who we all adored in the movie The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe) or if Caspian would be the new winner. But wait, Edmund had now matured and was now in the running as well 😝 Oh my… what silly young teenagers we were! Funny enough, a decade later, that is pretty much the only memory I have of the story (which isn’t even apart of the story hahaha) so reading it was fun and really enjoyable. As I was getting through it, there were parts and characters that I vaguely remembered, and it has perked my interest to watch the movie again.
- Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis || Another great adventure with some of our favorite characters from the previous book, Prince Caspian. I especially enjoyed this story because there was a quest and consistent adventure, so there was always something going on. I remember there being a movie on this story as well so I’m hoping to watch it soon along with The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe + Prince Caspian.