Saturday, June 25, 2016

What I'm Reading in June

My goal of 125 books a year means that I need to read roughly 10-11 books a month. I'm right on target for this goal, as I've read at least 10 books most months.
But how on earth did I become the girl that reads 20 books at a time????

My favorite thing about summertime is to lounge by the pool or at the lake or on the hammock and immerse myself in another world. Sometimes I'm guilty of doing this too much!
So, here's what I'm reading in June:

I started a Bible Study by Courtney Joseph on Ecclesiastes. I've never studied Ecclesiastes and it has been interesting so far.

Still reading The Last Long Night, the 5th book in the Bregdan Chronicles, a series set during the Civil War. Each book in this series spans a different year or period of years, and it's a great read if you love historical fiction or Gone with the Wind (my favorite!).  The main character, Carrie, is a positive role model for women everywhere regardless of the time period, and there are enough supporting characters with different storylines to keep the series interesting.  There are eight books in the series and they are all fairly long, so this series will probably be in my reading list all year.

Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy is another book set during Civil War times. This book focuses on four women who really lived during the Civil War and the roles that they had during that time. It is interesting to see how women contributed during a time when they were not considered contributing members of society. Another thing that I like is how the two books I'm reading about the Civil War match up. Both have discussed the same battles and some of the characters in the fiction book remind me of the four women discussed in this one.

One More Day is a book I got from netgalley, so I'm be doing a review on it later. It's a great book about a Mom whose little boy was stolen from her vehicle, and then is returned... just as he was. Easy read, likeable characters.

Another book I got through netgalley is Home to Cedar Branch. I read the first book in this series and loved it. I think they could be stand-alone, but they center around the Quaker CafĂ©. In this book, the main character has been caught having an affair and her abusive husband kills her lover.  She's forced to move back home with her kids, and attempt to pick up the pieces. A very good read. (See blog at later date for a full review).

One book I'm reading for a facebook group,  So Fair a Lady is set during Colonial times, and involves a young lady who is in love with a British soldier who discovers after her father dies that her father was a member of the Sons of Liberty. I'm just now getting started with it, but it is a good read thus far.

Another book relating to Colonial times is Hold Me Close. I'll actually be reviewing this book on the blog on the 26th... but as with the Civil War books, it is fun to see how they are interwoven and have similar characters.

This one will come as a shock to many, because I'm not sure how I could go this long without reading it... but since JK Rowling is coming out with a new Harry Potter book this summer, I decided to jump on board and started Harry Pott. I'm currently reading  Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the fourth in the series. I understand what all the fuss is about. They are easy reads, entertaining, and the characters are true to life... well, as true to life as you can get to be wizards and other Nonmuggles. Once I finish the series, I plan to catch up on the movies.

Another series I'm reading is the Color of Heaven by Juliane Macleane. I'm currently reading the third book, The Color of Hope. It's revolves around twin sisters separated at birth and how their lives mirror each others in some ways but in others are drastically different. As they discover who each other is, they also find themselves reflecting inwardly.

Outlander is another series that people have raved about to me that I'm just now starting. I'm still reading book one from last month, because it is fairly thick, but I'm thoroughly enjoying it! 

Sweet Baklava is a fun read that I got free on Kindle a long time ago. In this one, Paula has forgotten about her high school honey Nick until he comes home on a leave from the military. His pushy family tries to get them together but she struggles with the possibility of instability. The characters are likeable and it has a good storyline.

The 5th Wave is a book that was recommended to me last year but I never started it, and then I saw it had been made into a movie. It kind of reminds me of The Walking Dead with the survival tactics, only there isn't as much killing right now (I'm just about nine chapters in). I really want to see the movie, though, and am enjoying the book. It's an easy read, and the chapters are short.

The Art of Work by Jeff Goins centers on finding one's purpose, which I thought was fitting for 2016 for me. It's basically about doing the best at anything you do, and looking for your calling where you least expect it. I'm almost finished with this one and I've enjoyed it.

Be a People Person by John Maxwell is one that I chose because y'all know I'm not a people person, but I have been reflecting on how to do better with this, and it was also suggested through the leadership academy that I attended. It's a good read, with good suggestions and real-life examples, and it gives you a chance to reflect at the end of each chapter.

Ready or Not by Chautona Havig is a book I got free from kindle a while back. I'm going to be reviewing the fourth book in this series, so I started with this one, the first, because the beginning is a very good place to start (channeling my inner Sound of Music). This book is about a young lady who inherited her sister's eight children. She's funny, smart, and I'm loving it so far! The only thing I don't like about it is the typeset for my Kindle, which is smaller, so it's hard to read at night, which is when I do most of my reading... but that's workable!

My sister's book club introduced me to Joanna Fluke's  Hannah Swenson series and I am in love. I'm currently reading the fourth book, A Lemon Meringue Pie Murder. I love this series. These books are lighthearted, easy to read, and laughable. I'd highly recommend for anyone who loves a good mystery with a little romance thrown in.

In July it's my turn to host book club, and I chose The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. Set in France in WWII, it is everything that everyone had told me that it was. Believable characters, drama, hard times... a truly beautiful read thus far.

Still rotating between two devotions on my Kindle- One Year Alone with God and Love is A Verb, two devotionals. Love is a Verb has yearlong devotions and I am doing one a day so I'll be writing about this one in December. One Year Alone with God goes into some of the names and characteristics of God, and has three short devotions on each topic, so I usually read all three together.

Wendy Blight's I Know His Name goes into the names of God as well. I started this book for the P31 OBS Bible class, but fell behind (surprise!) It's an indepth study that takes more than just five or ten minutes a day... but it is so good. I love Wendy's infectious personality. Her desire to dig in deep in the Scriptures inspires me! The book links the names from the Old Testament to how they can be seen in the new, and encourages real life application.

Tricia Goyer's Made with Love is another facebook book club read. This one is about a young girl who wants to open her own pie shop. There's a touch of possible romance as well... and I was able to get the next book in the series for free to review! (Yay! Love free books!!!)

And, because it's summertime, Elin Hildebrand's  Barefoot. I love her books. She makes me feel like I'm at the beach. This one is about two sisters and a friend who travel to their Nantucket summer home in the midst of difficult situations. One sister is facing a medical crisis, the other is facing a professional crisis, and the friend (who one sister doesn't seem to like) is pregnant but her cheating husband doesn't know it. Y'all.... drama at it's best. (Note: I also have two more Hildebrand books in my bedroom stacks, because it's summer, and if I'm not going to the beach I might as well read about it from my hammock/poolside/boat on the lake/ ATV).

I've started Uncle Tom's Cabin as well.

 One of the suggestions on the reading challenge was to read a commentary, so I'm still reading Matthew Henry's Commentary on Jeremiah slowly. I've enjoyed reading the commentaries, but it's sometimes been hard to find time to sit down with my Bible and go line by line, which is what I've been doing. It does give you a new perspective on what you're reading.

Books I've Read this Year for my reading challenge:
A Book about Christian living: Fervent by Priscilla Shirer... a book on prayer. I haven't always had the best prayer life, and this book gives Scripture suggestions to help guide prayers. It goes along well with Armor of God, which I just finished.
A biography: Off Balance by Olympic Gold medalist  Dominique Moceanu.
A children's book: The Secret Garden
A book published in 2016: Unashamed by Christine Caine

And books I plan to read for the reading challenge suggestions, which are currently on my Kindle or my bedside table:
A classic novel: My Antonia
A book someone tells you changed their life: Sun Stand Still
A book about theology: Probably Mere Christianity by CS Lewis
A book with "gospel" in the title
A book your pastor recommends: The Balanced Church
A book 100 years old: Uncle Tom's Cabin
A mystery or detective novel: Sherlock Holmes
A book about a current issue- not sure yet

And I have two books on my nightstand that are movies (y'all know I have to read the book before the movie) :  Room, and Whiskey Tango Foxtrot. And also Girl on a Train, which will be coming out as a movie.
And stacks and stacks of other books. Too many to count.
And since it's summertime, lots of beach-themed books and, of course, Gone with the Wind.

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