Summer Reading List

Is anyone else a cluster-reader? I will read 3 books in a week than go a month without reading anything! The hardest thing for me about reading is finishing a GREAT book (which I always read too, too fast) is then having nothing to go to next.

When I am in the middle of a great book, everything about life seems so much better. I have a little "pep in my step," a little extra motivation to finish chores and snuggle up on the couch with a paperback (which is my book style of preference, hardcovers are too rigid and the Kindle just doesn't do it for me). Since I am not much of a TV watcher unless we are in the middle of an addictive series (it's been so long! what are you guys watching?!) this is my favorite pastime and hobby to relax!

These are some of the books I read this summer and my little rating of them on a scale 1-5 (5 = game changer, must read! 1 = don't touch the thing!)

This One is Mine: This is another novel written by Maria Semple, the author of Where'd You Go Bernadette (which I liked and found entertaining = 3) I hated this book! I found none of the characters redeemable and everybody really selfish. It was hard to read, too much sex and drug abuse for my liking. Maybe it is an accurate picture of life in Beverly Hills but it wasn't my cup of tea!

Station 11: I LOVED this. It reminded me of one of my old favorites, The Stand by Stephen King except not nearly as dark. The world ends quickly because of a strand of swine flu that kills 99.99% of the population. The stories flutter back and forth between life during the few weeks the world ended and what it was like to see the Internet go out, and how people reacted to what a New America looks like as people spend the first 25 years after the flu living a whole new reality. It wasn't gruesome and made me think a lot --aka Mike heard my late night ramblings about what I would do if there was a pandemic like this, even though we both know I'd be one of the first to die. Weakest immune system ever! I am also glad we live in the middle of nowhere because if there was an outbreak, it would increase our chances of survival. And no, you can't come and hide out with us!

What Alice Forgot: I also loved this book. Alice is 39, but hits her head during her spin class and becomes convinced that life is exactly as it was when she was 29. So even though at 39 she is currently going through a divorce and the mother of 3 children, she believes she is a newlywed madly in love with her husband and is pregnant with their firstborn. I loved this book because I am 30, madly in love with my husband and our life right now yet am always wondering-- what will our life be like 10 years from now? How do we make decisions now to stay in love and make our marriage thrive? The book tells us over and over again it is the little daily decisions that we make that add up and make us who we will be 10 years from now. I love this concept! Some people might find it a little silly and superfluous but it definitely touched on a subject that fascinates me!
5 (favorite book of the summer)

The Hypnotist's Love Story: This is written by the same author as What Alice Forgot. Another one that I really enjoyed although it had a slower start and character development to me. A professional hypnotist finds out her new boyfriend has a stalker, his girlfriend he broke up with 3 years ago. You see life from both women's perspective- the hypnotist and the stalker. I became smitten with both characters and the novel raises the question "do we ever really let go of the people we have loved" and challenges people who idealize the past.

The Astronaut Wives Club: I am reading this non-fiction book now and like learning about the wives of the original several astronauts selected for the space program in 1959. Obviously I wasn't around during this time, and didn't realize how these women were treated or spotlighted by the media. Right off the bat it is interesting to read about how these military wives center their lives around the career of their husbands-- and it was the 50's! Sometimes I feel like I can related on a MUCH smaller scale because so much of my life is decided for me by my husband's job (good-bye feminism, I enjoyed you in my 20's!) It is fascinating to glimpse at what it would be like to have your life governed by your husband's career on such a huge scale like these women did.

Contentment Devotional: My friend Ashley recommended this to me a long time ago and I am so glad I finally ordered it. I did some lighter devotionals the past two years and this one is really hitting home for me right now. Each day is a short passage of Scripture, then a few paragraphs of thought on being content. I deeply believe that my own contentment is the BEST gift I can give to my kids and my husband as a mother and wife. Time and time again, I learn that true contentment can't come from anything in life but only Jesus. If you are looking for something to start your faith journey or to help you grow this fall, pick this up ASAP!

Does anybody else have book recommendations? Did you love or hate any of these books as well? Let me know!

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