Monday, October 26, 2015

End Of Summer Reads

I have been slacking again on keeping up with these mini-reviews. But here goes::
(see THIS post for why I started posting these)

Disciplines of A Godly Woman by Barbra Hughes

On a trip to Kenya earlier this year, a friend recommended this book. I told her I had read a book by that title just a few years out of college and it meant a lot to me. When she showed me the cover I thought it was a totally different book, as I remembered that the one I read was purple. With out checking on the author,  I bought myself a copy. Less than a chapter in I thought it seemed SO familiar so I went searching through our family library for that wonderful purple book with notes in the margins and underlines all over. When I found said purple book, IT WAS THE SAME ONE. The publishing company had come out with a second edition {with a cute trendy cover} by the same author.  I decided to continue to read it but I used my old copy.  It was the dearest thing for my heart to catch a glimpse at what 24-year-old-me thought was worthy of underlining, to see the chapters that pierced my heart all those years ago. It struck me time and time again how much this book must have shaped my life ever so gently back then. I also found it very interesting that the chapters that lacked in underlining and that you could tell had not been revisited were the very chapters my heart needed this time through. Barbra Hugues does a beautiful job of gently spelling out spiritual disciplines and how they specifically relate to us as women. If I had to do a one word review on this book it would be :: timeless.  This is a wonderful book to grab some girlfriends and read through it at the same time. You will have a lot to talk about when you get together to discuss.

The Pastor's Wife by Gloria Furman

This book looks small on the shelf, but it packs a big punch. Gloria Furman is empathetic and kind, full of life and encouragement for Pastor's wives. {while it is specifically for Pastor's wives, I think this book could benefit a much wider audience!} The first part of the book, for me was something I knew I needed to read but wasn't what "caught" me. With her stories, Gloria snagged my heart in the second half and brought healing to some areas I didn't know need healing, and boundaries to the same.  I loved her balance of seriousness and hilarity. Her stories were honest, not all with beautiful resolutions but with earnest, wide open transparency which I found helpful as I navigate life in ministry.

Anything by Jennie Allen

I originally bought this book {and Restless- see below} because I know so many people who have read Jennie's books and have had major life change from reading them. I have been so proud of my friend's as they have stepped into all kinds of ministries as a result of the Lord's work through Jennie's writing. I have to be honest and say that I was reluctant, to say the least, as I did not want to read another blogger's book about a blog she read that made her want to quit her life and move to the other side of the globe and adopt a hundred orphans. **cynical much? sometimes I make myself gag**  I had witnessed a similar response years ago when Wild At Heart came out and all the guys I knew quit school, dumped their girlfriend's and moved to the woods...I kid...kinda.

Anyway, I fell in love with Jennie's heart as soon as I read the first few chapters. I read this books so quickly and repented of my aforementioned cynicism. ;) Jennie's story is compelling and challenging and the prayer throughout it is intriguing.  I am SO glad I read this book.  You will enjoy getting to know Jennie but be prepared for ANYTHING.

Restless by Jennie Allen

As I mentioned above, I was reluctant to buy this book but after reading Anything, it was a fantastic second act! I told my husband that this book is such a gift to the Church. The book itself is a TOOL. Restless is a workbook/tool to help you find out your passions and how God has wired you to serve, in your stage of life, RIGHT NOW. Jennie tells story after story of women and men who have found a passion they have had since childhood and are now applying it toward greater good of the Kingdom. If you are feeling like you were "made for more," this is a fantastic tool to help you find your strengths and loose the restlessness. While this book didn't apply directly to me personally in this phase of life, I am SO thankful I read this book.  I highly recommend it to those who are feeling restless, for sure, but also for those who tend to be giving advise to the restless.

 Switch On Your Brain by Dr. Caroline Leaf

Dr. Caroline Leaf is a brilliant cognitive neuroscientist who has become known widely for her 21-day Brain Detox Plan.  In this book she details the research and highlights the important scientific evidence for each key phase of the detox plan.  Each chapter and EVERY piece of research she lists is backed by scripture, which I found fascinating. In fact she does most of her research by finding scriptures about the mind/brain connection and proving them true with science. This book was very technical and not for the faint of heart. I wouldn't recommend it for bedtime reading. This book will stretch your ideas about the mind and its ability to remember and receive information. It will encourage you as you learn about how the Bible aligns with most of her research. For my Calvinist friends, you may not like what she has to say quite often but I would really enjoy your thoughts.

Bossypants by Tina Fey

HAHAHAHAHAHA!  I can't even think about this book with out chuckling. Tina Fey is hilarious as she lays out her life memoir for all of her fans to read.  I laughed and I thought and I disagreed and I changed my mind. I always enjoy reading about peoples lives, learning where they come from and why they do what they do. Tina chronicles her childhood and gives us a glimpse of her up bringing, her early years at UCB and then at SNL.  I particularly enjoyed the end where she told about 30Rock as Vern and I have laughed A LOT over the years at that show. This was a fun, quick read but definitely not for all audiences.