Book Reviews, Books I Read

What I Read | January 2017

What I Read

Some I read 6 books this month! I think it helped that 3 were on my Kindle, which is easier to take around with me. And plus those 3 were quick and easy reads, too. I definitely read a couple of winners in January, and a couple pretty terrible books too. That’s how it goes sometimes! And now, onto the books!

Make It Happen by Lara Casey

Make It Happen is the story of how I surrendered my fear, took the leap, and got a life. In my case, a perfectly imperfect, fulfilling life as a mama, a working woman, and a grateful wife. This is the story of how I chose to make “it”—a greater purpose than mine—happen, and how you can too. Make It Happen is for women who find themselves worried, anxious, and completely overwhelmed by the constant chase for perfection those seeking the courage to jump into a new venture working women who are struggling to “do it all” weary wives and moms looking for relief from burning the candle at both ends anyone who dreams of a life lived not by accident, but on purpose Your time has come to take a leap of faith. Join me as we surrender our fears, end the chase for perfection, and say yes to cultivating the meaningful lives God desires for us.

This book was so motivating and inspiring. Lara shares her story and encourages us all to shed ourselves of the unimportant things in life, and focus on the things that really matter, so we can make those things happen. Did I feel like some of the book didn’t apply to me? Sure. I’m not hoping to start up a conference or be the editor of a magazine, like Lara, but whether you’re trying to get back to the basics or make a huge dream happen, the principles she teaches can help you. So yes, some of the book didn’t apply, but there were many words, lines, paragraphs that I highlighted and thought on, and that really inspired me. Everyone should read this book. There is something for you in it, I know it.

5 stars.

Goodreads | Amazon

Schism by Britt Holewinski

2 stars. See full review here.

Goodreads | Amazon

*Walking on Water by Madeleine L’Engle

In this classic book, Madeleine L’Engle addresses the questions, What makes art Christian? What does it mean to be a Christian artist? What is the relationship between faith and art? Through L’Engle’s beautiful and insightful essay, readers will find themselves called to what the author views as the prime tasks of an artist: to listen, to remain aware, and to respond to creation through one’s own art.

I will admit, I haven’t read that many Madeleine L’Engle books, but I am a huge fan of her Wrinkle books and also Meet The Austins, and I thought this book sounded interesting enough, so I picked it up. Like Make It Happen, there were times I felt this book didn’t speak to me, or apply to me. I don’t necessarily consider myself an artist by any means. However, there were times she shared thoughts on being a Christian or a creator that really had me nodding my head, agreeing with her. If you enjoy essay type books and/or are a Christian and/or are an artist/creative type, pick it up! I think you will be interested in what she has to say.

3 stars. (But close to 4.)

Goodreads | Amazon

Blur by Kristen Middleton

There ARE creatures lurking in the dead of night… Seventeen year old Nikki and her twin brother, Nathan, move to the small town of Shore Lake to start over after their mother is brutally attacked. When a missing teenager washes up on shore during their first night at the cabin and there are whispers of vampires in Shore Lake, Nikki begins to realize that there are things roaming in the darkness that are far more sinister than what they left behind in the big city.

This was terrible. About a year or two ago I bought a bunch of free Kindle books, and I have the goal to work through them, one at a time, and this was one of them. And it was awful. I mean, it started out interesting enough, but quickly turned Twilight-esque and UGH. It was so bad.

1 star.

Goodreads | Amazon

The Breeders by Katie French

Sixteen-year-old Riley Meemick is one of the world’s last free girls. When Riley was born, her mother escaped the Breeders, the group of doctors using cruel experiments to bolster the dwindling human race. Her parents do everything possible to keep her from their clutches– moving from one desolate farm after another to escape the Breeders’ long reach. The Breeders control everything- the local war lords, the remaining factories, the fuel. They have unchecked power in this lawless society. And they’re hunting Riley. When the local Sheriff abducts the adult members of her family and hands her mother over to the Breeders, Riley and her eight-year-old brother, Ethan, hiding in a shelter, are left to starve. Then Clay arrives, the handsome gunslinger who seems determined to help to make up for past sins. The problem is Clay thinks Riley is a bender– a genderless mutation, neither male nor female. As Riley’s affection for Clay grows she wonders can she trust Clay with her secret and risk her freedom? The three embark on a journey across the scarred remains of New Mexico– escaping the Riders who use human sacrifice to appease their Good Mother, various men scrambling for luck, and a deranged lone survivor of a plague. When Riley is shot and forced into the Breeder’s hospital, she learns the horrible fate of her mother—a fate she’ll share unless she can find a way out.

This was another one of the free Kindle books I mentioned above. This wasn’t the worst book I’ve ever read, and parts were interesting, but overall felt under-developed and cheesy.

2 stars.

Goodreads | Amazon

**My Brother’s Keeper by Rod Gragg

My Brother’s Keeper unfolds powerful stories of Christians from across denominations who gave everything they had to save the Jewish people from the evils of the Holocaust. This unlikely group of believers, later honored by the nation of Israel as “The Righteous Among the Nations,” includes ordinary teenage girls, pastors, priests, a German army officer, a former Italian fascist, an international spy, and even a princess. In one gripping profile after another, these extraordinary historical accounts offer stories of steadfast believers who together helped thousands of Jewish individuals and families to safety. Many of these everyday heroes perished alongside the very people they were trying to protect. There is no doubt that all of their stories showcase the best of humanity–even in the face of unthinkable evil.

I have always loved learning about WWII, especially the European and Holocaust side of things. This was an excellent book that shared 30 profiles of Christians that risked their lives to save Jews during Hitler’s reign. It did feel a bit try in some parts, but it’s because it was really trying to give you background and history and context. Nonetheless, it was still a great read, and if you like this kind of book, you should pick it up.

4 stars.

Goodreads | Amazon

Currently reading: Choose Joy by Sara Frankl (and I just barely finished Little Deaths by Emma Flint).

Currently on my bookshelf: Curious Faith by Logan Wolfram

*I received free product from Blogging For Books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
** I received free product from Faith Words in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. 

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  • Ashley Ziegler

    I’m so glad you loved Make It Happen!! I seriously grew so much closer to God and grew so much as a person.. I was really sad when it was over. Ha!

  • I want to read Make It Happen. You should link up with Reading Roundup!

    • It’s so good!! And thanks for reminding me! I totally meant to!