What I’ve Been Reading: June 2020

Each month I share short and sweet reviews of the books I’ve been reading lately. These are the books I read in June 2020. It’s been difficult for me to focus on much of substance lately. You’ll see that I’m leaning heavily toward lighter, more comfort books than I normally do, and I’m okay with that.

100 Cupboards by N.D. Wilson

Listened to this audiobook in the car with my kids. Such a creative premise for a story! My 6 year old especially loved it. The idea of different worlds behind every door just captured his imagination. As soon as we finished it, he wanted to know if there were more books in the series. And there are three more!

Lighten Up! by Cheiko Okazaki

This is a short, easy and uplifting book. The focus is mainly on drawing closer to Christ and loving others. Okazaki writes a little about the racism she and her family faced both after World War II and in more contemporary times. It felt very timely, despite being 20 years old. Okazaki has a natural enthusiasm and a deep faith that come through. She reads the audiobook as well, which was fun.

The Christ-Centered Home by Emily Belle Freeman

In this book Emily takes a different example of creating a Christlike home directly from His life in the New Testament and shows us how to apply the principles in our own lives. Her style is so engaging and easy to learn from. I love the concrete examples and ideas. Awesome ideas for time learning together as a family.

Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

This novel is haunting and beautiful and very timely. It’s heartbreaking and inspiring all at once. JoJo is a 13 year old bi-racial boy with a difficult family life. The love he receives from his incredible grandparents carries him through so much heartbreak and teaches him how to love and care for his younger sister. I don’t want to say too much, so I’ll leave it there.

I just learned it’s the second book in a trilogy. I did not know that until I went to grab the link to the book for you. I don’t feel like I missed anything by not reading the first book, and honestly, I’m a little worried about picking up the others in the series. This book felt so perfect to me all by itself. (Note: There is some language and one or two graphic flashbacks)

Stretched Too Thin by Jessica Turner

I really wanted to love this book, but it just fell flat for me. I don’t feel like I learned any new information. If you are a new mom, or just transitioning into becoming a working mom this may be a good fit for you. I felt like none of the advice/ideas she shares in the book were ground-breaking. Admittedly, I am a bit of a productivity nerd and love learning about how to streamline routines and be efficient in order to make the most of my time so I have already read and practiced a lot of the techniques she lays out.

Into the Wildwood

This is an eight book collection of short stories and poems that my children and I have been working our way through during our morning homeschool Symposium. They are hard to get a hold of, but my parents tracked down a set for each of my siblings and me one year for Christmas. We grew up with these beautiful books in our home and I enjoy passing them on to my children. (As with all older books, some of the stories are outdated. I briefly scan the stories for references I am concerned about and every once in a while I will skip one all together. It’s very, very rare. Usually the stories included are sweet and very appropriate).

The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street by Karina Yan Glaser

Read this delightful book aloud with my kiddos. It’s along the lines of The Penderwicks. A sweet, tight-knit family with supportive parents . The sibling relationships are realistic but overall loving and close. We all really loved this book. And it’s part of a series!

Open Book by Jessica Simpson

I basically have zero interest in Pop Culture. I was only vaguely aware of Jessica Simpson before I heard so many trusted resources talking about how good her book was. I don’t know any of her songs. I never watched ‘Newlyweds’. It’s just not for me. Her lifestyle is just beyond my comprehension. However, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this memoir. I was surprised by her faith and depth. (Admittedly, I got pretty bogged down about 60-70% of the way through the book, but then it picked up again).

The Innocence of Father Brown by G.K. Chesterton

I’ve been meaning to read Father Brown for a long time. I love the BBC series on Netflix. Surprisingly, I didn’t enjoy the book as much as I love the adaption. It was fine, I enjoyed watching the mysteries come together. I do love the relationship between Father Brown and Flambeau and the book definitely has some shining moments. Overall I feel like the characters are superficial and not well developed and that’s a huge flaw in my eyes.

What have you been reading lately?

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