Friday, February 8, 2019

Recent Reads

Brown Girl Dreaming… We stayed up late for B’s birthday celebration last night so I got to finish this one in a warm bath while all the kids slept in this morning. This was a perfect memoir to read for Black History Month. It’s written in verse so I was fully prepared to hate + abandon it but you know what? I liked it. I don’t mean tolerated it, I mean actually liked it. I’m becoming quite sophisticated, I think.

Gone Away Lake… We’ve really been liking audiobooks when we have a longer driving day and this was our last one. I never read it as a kid but I know I would have loved it! I really liked it and was pretty captivated by it, and five-year-old A asked me several times to please wait a second before turning the car off, not wanting to stop the story’s flow.

Heartwood Hotel: The Greatest Gift… We had actually finished this book when I wrote up my last set o reviews but I forgot to include it then. We started this read-aloud right around Christmas… I think on Christmas night, if I’m remembering right? It turned out to not at all be about Christmas, but instead about the animals’ celebrations surrounding hibernation. This one held up as well as the first and we’ll definitely look for the third in the series. It’s wholesome, sweet, and interesting.

Justin Morgan Had a Horse… The truth is, I’m not really a horse-lover. It’s not that I dislike them or anything. In fact, I adore watching them run. Their powerful muscles rippling with their strides is quite a sight to behold, no? But still, I don’t really feel the equine romanticism so many others do from Black Beauty or The Black Stallion or Flicka. I stopped and started this one twice and then did finish it and liked it okay I suppose, but really didn’t love it.

Remember God*… I adore Annie F. Downs. I loved Let’s all be Brave and Looking for Lovely, and now I’ve loved Remember God too. So much that immediately after finishing it, I downloaded her older teen books onto the Kindle (Speak Love and Perfectly Unique). Annie F Downs has written before about her struggle (heartbreak) with still being unmarried and childless into her thirties. In this book she shared a really tough year, in which she felt God speak the word “bride” over her as her word for the year and then had a friend tell her she’d gotten the word “love” when she had prayed over Annie’s year. This felt like a huge, devastating blow and she admitted at one point that she had a moment where she thought, “God is just stringing me along.” She went on to detail the fact that even still, even in spite of this particular heartbreak, God is still good and God is still kind. The thing about her writing is that I can’t ever get enough of it. I’ve plowed through all three of her books so far, I always read her Instagram captions, and I am very much looking forward to reading the two I mentioned above + A Life of Lovely (the teen version of Looking for Lovely, which I’m sure I’ll tuck away for my own daughters to read in the blink of an eye). On paper, you wouldn’t think I would really get anything out of her books. She’s writing a lot about still being single and I’ve been married for almost nine years with four little monkeys underfoot. But she’s a master storyteller, this girl, and I am sucked into the story from almost the very first page. On top of that, her stories are all a hundred different stories at once and there is something in them for everyone. I recommend, and especially for anyone who is dealing with a situation that feels downright unfair, anyone who might sometimes feel even just a tiny bit like maybe God is being kind of mean to them.

This is Where You Belong… I read this one for the Everyday Reading book club and reeeeeally liked it. This one is all about those of us who move around a lot instead of planting roots. We’re very ready to plant roots, especially for our kids’ sakes, and this was the perfect book for me at this time. I can’t imagine I’d have liked it so much if I hadn’t just moved somewhere new and already had this idea firmly in my mind but as it was, I can’t stop talking about it and have already implemented many of the tips with lots of plans for others in the future.

*I received a free copy of Remember God from B&H publishing in exchange for a completely honest review.

Currently reading: Pirate's Promise as our read-aloud // Grit & Grace with my morning cup o tea // Hungry Heart as an audio book when I'm working alone in the laundry room after bedtime // Afraid of All the Things

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