Monday, August 5, 2019

Recent Reads

Adopted for Life... I have had this book on my shelf since 2014. I finally got around to it in July and wasn't swept off my feet the way I had expected to be. I wasn't bad by any means, but it just did not resonate as deeply as I had hoped it would.

The Diet Cure... Life changing! For real. Can't recommend enough for anyone who has ever dieted or for anyone who has ever dealt with anxiety, depression, and anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder, diabetes, mood disorder, drug addiction, alcohol addiction, insomnia... Understanding the brain chemistry- exactly why we crave things and what nutrients were lacking that keep us stuck- is so helpful. I am following her bulimia recovery protocol along with a few other supplements recommended to me by a different professional, and my body feels better than ever before. Read this one!

No Ocean Too Wide*... I spent about 3 weeks on this book and when I was still under 100 pages at that point I had to go ahead and put it away. I think this was just me, for whatever reason... I can't put my finger on what didn't hit me. It seems to be well-written, seems to be engaging. Maybe the characters were not grabbing me? I don't NOT recommend it, I just don't think I'll be at returning to it to myself.

The Path Between us... Y'all! The Enneagram! It is so amazing. It has helped Ryan and I both to understand ourselves better, to understand each other better, and to understand so many people we know and love!  He is finding it helpful at work, I am finding it helpful out and about, and we are both finding it very helpful in parenting. I really like The Road Back to You, which is a general understanding of the Enneagram, but I loved The Path Between Us, which is specifically in relation to our relationship from an Enneagram perspective. I don't think you need to have read the other to understand this one, but I do think you'll be missing out on a ton of great information if you skip The Road Back to You. (Check out for a quick and easy Enneagram assessment)

Shame Off You*... I have looked a lot this year into the concept of shame, guilt, remorse, humiliating, and how those negative feelings alter our entire world. Denise Pass had a lot of really great things to say about shame and healing our hearts in that regard, but I do want to give the caveat that this book is hard to read at times. I don't think it's a spoiler to share something divulged on the second page of chapter one... Denise's husband sexually abused their daughter and her church then shame her for wanting to take their daughter and leave him as soon as she found out. I cried a lot and had to skim through a few times. Her message is wonderful but you must be prepared for that pain if you are going to give this one a try.

Standing Together*... This husband-wife memoir really moved me. Carlos Evans was a Marine in Afghanistan who lost his legs and left hand when he stepped on an IED. He and his wife detail all that came after, and a beautiful redemption story leading to the creation of their ministry, without getting too heavy or forcing the readers to take on the pain they carry during those early days. I did cry and tear up a few times anyway, but I still felt hope rather than despair throughout the book and I am also very interested in the charities that helped them throughout their ordeal.

I'm about to finish reading The String*, so I will tell you a little about it tonight too. When I first started to read more Christian books, I just could not get on board with Christian fiction. It was not edgy enough for my liking so I read a Christian nonfiction between Stephen King and psychological thrillers. I can't read that stuff now, but I got to say, The String would have been a perfect fit for Christian fiction newbie Sara Bell. It was intense. Gritty, edgy, thrilling... Truthfully, a bit much for me now. I am too old for books like this. It had me on the edge of my seat and terrified, and I did not like the way it made my body feel. Adrenaline-y, jumpy, nervous. But it was still great and if that's what you like to read, this is your book.

Light from Distant Stars...* This award-winning Christian author has been recommended to me many times and the back of this book calls it "both eerie and enchanting, one that will have you questioning reality and reaching out for what is good, true, and genuine." I don't really want to give anything away but I'll say that it feels like a murder mystery and personal growth story. There's a psychological element but it's not your usual psychological thriller... It IS eerie, but not horrifying... It feels nothing like your usual Christian fiction and I was creeped out but liked it 

*I received a free copy of No Ocean too Wide from Waterbrook Multnomah, Shame off You from Abingdon Press, Standing Together from Kregel Publications, The String from Revel, and Light from Distante Stars from Revel, all in exchange for an honest review

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