Welcome to my book update post where I share what books I finished recently + my honest thoughts and star ratings of them.
My Reading Goals for 2021
For 2021, I set a goal of reading 3 books per week — 1 fiction book, 1 non-fiction book, and 1 audiobook each week. I know this is an audacious goal, but reading is something I love and it’s a way I learn, challenge my mind, improve as a writer and communicator, and am refreshed and encouraged through inspiring stories.
I have a few shelves full of books (mostly that I’ve gotten free), so I decided to choose 52 books from off my shelf to read this year (see my list of 52 books I plan to read in 2021 here). I’ll also read other books that I find/am sent that pique my interest. Plus, I plan to go through a lot of audiobooks (I get mine free from the Libby app).
The 3 Books I Finished Recently
First off, I have to say that I have heard of the idea of time tracking for years. But up until I started listening to Off the Clock, I was not convinced it was worth the effort. It just felt like a lot of extra busywork.
If you’ve followed here for awhile, you probably know that I use a hybrid of Google Calendar + a Daily Time-Blocked To Do List to stay on track. I’m fairly efficient and productive by nature and tend to have a pretty high capacity and accomplish quite a bit most days.
In Off the Clock, Laura shares how beneficial it can be to actually see and track what we’re doing every minute of every day, instead of just going by what we feel or think we probably are doing most of the day. I was curious if tracking my time would reveal areas where I could improve or if it would just be a lot of time spent filling in little rectangles on a paper for a week! I wouldn’t know until I actually tried time tracking, would I?
This is the heartbreaking story of what it’s like to walk through a really difficult diagnosis of your kids… one that ultimately takes their life. It’s also the story of what courage and confidence in Christ looks like in the face of deep pain, sorrow, and loss.
I was inspired and encouraged by what Bekah shared in this book. I think it would be a true encouragement to anyone you know who is walking through debilitating sickness or the loss of a child to illness.
My own critique is that the book kind of felt like it skipped around and I struggled to follow the story in places. I think there was so much good stuff in the book, but I would have loved a stronger story arc and editing.
Verdict: 3 stars
We finished the last story by E.B. White in this 3-book collection (all in one book). It’s one I’ve read before to the older three, but I really loved reading it again to Kierstyn.
It’s such a fun story — and it doesn’t turn out at all like you’d expect when you first start reading. If you have kids who are ages 5-8 (or so) who love animals and adventure in read alouds, I think they’d really love The Trumpet of the Swan. Have you read it?
What have you been reading recently? I’d love to hear! Share in the comments.