Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Early Fall Reads

Thanks for stopping by again to catch up on the mini-reviews.  I hope you find some books you can add to your WishList for the winter!  {to read how this mini-review series got started click here}

Rising Strong by Brene Brown 

I have so much to say about this book that I am at a loss for words trying to fit it into a "mini-review."  Rising Strong is full of story, applicable insights and in depth research.  Dr. Brown, once again, brings years of behavior research and presents it in a way that is life changing when applied to the day in and day out happenings of life. Vulnerability, she says, is the key to rising strong after a fall. Brown walks you through a step process of how to "recon" and "rumble" with conflicts, both internally and externally, and she brings you to the stage she calls "The Revolution" where you see the fall (or conflict) in its truest form.  Please, grab this book and give it a read.  Sit with it, apply it and grab some friends to do the same.
"The irony is that we attempt to disown our difficult stories to appear more whole or more acceptable, but our wholeness—even our wholeheartedness—actually depends on the integration of all of our experiences, including the falls."

{ If you are an audio book fan, Brown actually reads her own book.  I always enjoy re-reading (or reading for the first time) when authors are the voice to their own audio book. }

Kiss The Wave by Tara Leigh Cobble

I happened upon Kiss the Wave because many of my friends were posting about it via social media. A few years back I had read Cobble's book Orange Jumpsuit and REALLY enjoyed it. So I added Kiss The Wave to my wishlist and got it for Christmas. It sat in the "I really want to read these books next" pile for almost a year, when in the providence of God, I took it on our 2 month trip to California. Cobble is a wonderful story teller and brings you into her life so that you can see the hand of God moving. This particular book is on the attributes of God, so each chapter she tells a part of her life and in the telling the reader is able to see that attribute of God's character so beautifully.  This book was so timely for me.  If you are in need of seeing God move, longing for Him to still be at work, this is a great book for you.  I ended up reading a chapter a day, gaining courage and hope along the way.
{If you click over to buy this book or add it to your wishlist, I recommend you add Orange Jumpsuit too! You will enjoy both!}

For The Love by Jen Hatmaker

 Oh that Jen, at it again! Hilarious and insightful as ever, Hatmaker delivered to us another fantastic book.  In For The Love, Jen covers topics ranging from raising children to giving yourself a break, from knowing when to say yes to addressing racism and prejudices. The last section of this book was my favorite as she addresses The Church. So good.  Hatmaker got hundreds of women around the globe in on this project.  She uses their quotes and additions through out the book adding an element of creativity and humility to her writings. This book is such great mix of serious and fun!  A wonderful book club choice for a lighter reading month.

Let's All Be Brave by Annie Downs

 As I mentioned in the Kiss The Wave review, this book also got put in that ever growing "I want to read these books next" pile earlier this year.  It also went with me on our trip to California and was a timely read as well.  Let's All Be Brave is a series of stories from Annie's life where she had to rely on God to give her courage for what was to come in her life.  Each chapter is separate from the others in that you can pick it up and read one chapter and not have to know the previous details mentioned in the book.  Almost like little mini-memoir-essays....if that is a thing. :)  I enjoyed this book as a bedside table book.  Each evening winding down to a story about Annie's life brought me courage in a time I needed it most.

Seven Women by Eric Metaxas

 I have to say up front that I am a big Metaxas fan. I have read many of his works and really enjoyed them.  His Socrates In The City podcast and video series are some of our favorites on the inter-webs.
In Seven Women, Metaxas writes a shortened biography on the lives of 7 women in history:  Joan of Arc, Susanna Wesley, Hannah More, Saint Marie of Paris, Corrie Ten Boom, Rosa Parks and Mother Theresa.  Last year I read Metaxas' Seven Men and FLEW threw it.  I couldn't put it down.  I had the same hopes for Seven Women, but it wasn't the same.  While it was intriguing an superbly written, as a female, each chapter left me with so many more questions, hoping to find out more about the lady's lives.  I guess this was probably his intent, as the book made me want to know more and continue learning about these ladies.  But to compare, Seven Women seemed more informative and less story than Seven Men.  The first chapter on Joan of Arc was rough for me but I AM SO GLAD I stuck with it.  The chapters on Saint Marie of Paris, Corrie Ten Boom and Hannah More were beyond worth it.  Lastly, if ever there was a book you would buy or pick up ONLY for the Introduction, this would be it.  The introduction to this book is so well written and I found it profoundly encouraging as a female.

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling

In Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me, Mindy Kaling writes a series of memoir like essays on life lessons she has learned through out her childhood and into her life as a writer/actress on The Office.  It probably goes without saying but I should take time to point out that Mindy is hilarious! What I found intriguing about this book was her relationship with her parents.  She portrays them with such dignity and class.  She has  deep respect for them and how she was raised.  If you are a fan of The Office or of Mindy, this would be a fun book for you to read.
{Again, if you are an audio book fan, Kaling actually reads her own book.  I always enjoy re-reading (or reading for the first time) when authors are the voice to their own audio book....she is hilarious.}

Happy Reading, y'all!