Every month this year, I’m sharing what books I finished and what my honest thoughts were on those books. If you love books, you don’t want to miss this post! (You can see all of my book reviews for this year here.)
By the way, I’m truly loving using GoodReads to track my reading. You all were right! It is really motivational to see my progress!
(It’s also motivating to realize I’m currently 5 books behind schedule when it comes to my 80 books goal. Oh well! I’m hopeful I’ll make that up come summer!)
I finished 4 books in February. Here’s what I read + my honest thoughts on each of the books:
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#1: Brush of Wings
I listened to the first two books in this series last month (Angels Walking and Chasing Sunsets). So of course, I had to listen to the third book this month! (I was able to get it for free from the Libby app.)
This is a fictionalized series of how angels are walking amongst us and helping to protect us on a daily basis (based upon verses like Psalm 91:11 and Hebrews 13:2).
I disagreed with some of the theological implications and don’t know that I agree with some of the ways that she presented angels as humans. However, I found it so good to remember that there are spiritual forces — both good and evil — around us at all times and that there is power in the name of Jesus.
I also found it encouraging to be reminded how God sometimes uses really hard things in our life to turn into some of the most beautiful things. It’s easy to forget this.
The audiobooks are narrated by two different voice actors (depending upon who was narrating each chapter in the books) and I thought they were well done.
That said, I felt like the third book was slower than the first two. It seemed to drag on and be really predictable. In fact, it almost felt like she was supposed to write a third book so she had to include quite a bit of filler content in it just to make it long enough.
My verdict: 2 stars
I picked up this book on the recommendation of a blog reader. And then I put it on my list of 40 books I plan to read — and so many of you commented and said I MUST read it right away so I bumped it to the top of the list.
The subtitle for the book is How Less Than Perfect Parents Can Raise (Kind of) Great Kids. I love that… because it feels like it’s actually doable and not like a book that is going to make me feel like I’m just not measuring up as a mom.
Jami’s humor and candidness in this book was a breathe of fresh air to me. Her writing is so down-to-earth, so raw, and so real. She makes you feel less alone, but she also does such a good job of pointing you to Jesus and encouraging you to lean in and love your kids — even when it’s really hard.
If you are looking for a parenting book that isn’t about formulas or perfection and doesn’t make you feel like you need to overhaul your schedule and life and chore charts in order to be a better mom, definitely check out Sacred Ground, Sticky Floors.
This book reads more like a memoir, but it’s packed with powerful truths, too.
(By the way, I loved this book so I asked Jami to be a guest on next week’s episode of The Crystal Paine Show! Stay tuned for that!)
My verdict: 5 stars
#3: Etched in Sand
My sister recommended that I read this book… and she basically never fails me with her book recommendations! This book is the true story of five siblings who survived a pretty horrific childhood of abuse.
It is sad and honest and has a lot of crass language in it, but I thought it was a really insightful look into the foster care system from the perspective of a child. It displays so clearly that there are no easy solutions or quick fixes and that we who haven’t experienced what these kids have experienced truly have no idea what it would be like to walk in their shoes.
My heart hurt so much for the heavy weight of guilt that the author carried around because of feeling like she didn’t protect her younger sister — even though she tried so hard to do so and took many blows and beatings from her abusive mother in order to protect her siblings.
This is a sad and haunting story and it might be too difficult for some to read. I’m grateful to have read it because it gave me fresh eyes of compassion for others who are hurting and for friends who have experienced abuse and abandonment in their childhood and how much it likely has wounded them emotionally.
My verdict: 4 stars
#4: Only Love Today
I had planned to read this book, but it became available on the Libby app, so I downloaded it and listened to it. I love Rachel’s encouragement to make the most of everyday moments, to savor life, and to slow down and really invest our time and energy into people.
One part of the book that will stick with me for a long time was when she talked about the power of six seconds. How we all have six seconds that we can stop and say, “I love you” or, “I’m sorry.”
To really look into someone’s eyes and listen to them. To smile. To hold a door open.
We might not have hours to devote every day, but we can all take six seconds to make a difference in someone else’s life.
While I appreciated so many aspects of the book, I did feel like it was pretty repetitive and there was a bit of a strong undertone of self-love that could easily turn into selfishness. I’m not saying that is what the author was encouraging; I’m just saying it could be interpreted in an unhealthy way.
As a Christian, I see that one of my primary reasons for existing is to glorify the Lord and to love others well because I am so loved by God. I read the book and the parts that seemed a little heavy on the self-love through this lens.
My verdict: 3 stars
Books I Started But Didn’t Finish
I started both Start With Why & Chase the Lion in February but didn’t finish them. Not because they weren’t really good, but because I was listening to them on the Libby app and I had to “return” them before I was finished listening. I hope to re-check them out again in the next few months and finish them.
Bible Reading Progress
I started January 1, 2019 with my commitment this year to begin every day with 30 minutes of time in God’s Word. I’m reading through the New Testament using the She Reads Truth Bible plans at the beginning of each book of the Bible.
So far, I’ve finished all of Matthew, Mark, and Luke.
What did you read in February? Are there any books you really think I should read in 2019?