September was a gloriously long month. We had family and friends come to visit. We started meeting again with our Gospel Community groups. We spent some time breathing in fresh mountain air. And the mornings started to turn crisp and cool, leading me to break out my sweaters and spend a few more minutes under the warmth of the covers.
It was the perfect month for reading. Hope you enjoy these great reads from this month!
“When we hide the mess we’ve been through, we also hide the redemption that God has lavishly poured on us.Jamie Ivey
We can’t proclaim His grace until we expose our mess.”
If You Only Knew, by Jamie Ivey: This book. I would recommend this book to every woman in every church everywhere. Jamie shares her own story in a beautiful, redemptive way while also encouraging women to share the brokenness of their own stories in order to point to Christ’s grace and goodness. Jamie shares that our stories are not really as unique as we think; our struggles are quite common. And sharing our broken stories actually sets the table for the redemptive message we seek to declare.
“I have learned to kiss the wave that throws me against the Rock of Ages.”Charles Haddon Spurgeon
Kiss the Wave, by Dave Furman: The title drawn from a famous quote from the one and only Charles H. Spurgeon, this short book on suffering is powerful. Dave Furman is intimately familiar with suffering, and he boldly addresses the painful questions that plague believers as they walk through trials. He is gentle, yet challenging, as he boldly points the reader to the character of God and the work of Christ. I’d recommend this book to anyone walking through a particularly painful season of life.
“Most people spend between one and four hours on their phones each day—and many far longer. Over the average lifetime, that amounts to a staggering eleven years.”Adam Alter
Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked, by Adam Alter: The above quote from the book is what first inspired me to read it. The numbers and statistics made me want to cry (and throw my phone away forever). While I didn’t throw my phone away, I did delete most of my social media accounts and have started to become more aware of how much time I spend on my devices.
“Steve Jobs was right: smartphones really are different. They’re different in a lot of good ways, obviously. But smartphones also talk back at us. They nag us. They disturb us when we’re working. They demand our attention and reward us when we give it to them. Smartphones engage in disruptive behaviors that have traditionally been performed only by extremely annoying people.”Catherine Price
How to Break Up with Your Phone, by Catherine Price: This book was pretty similar to Irresistible – with similar content and the same helpful premise. I did, however, find this book to be a far easier read than Alter’s book. Catherine writes in a much more concise and conversational way, which I really enjoyed. I also appreciated that she included a whole section on practical application of what she talked about throughout the book, which Irresistible did not include. If you’re interested in learning about phone and media usage, how it affects you, and how to change your habits, I would start here!
“She felt the warmth of Peter’s arm under her neck, and it almost felt like he was an extension of her, and like if they had souls, they lay somewhere snug between their two bodies. Maybe all of her strangeness, her curse, her always feeling like an outsider, had all existed so that she could belong here, with Peter.”Jodi Lynn Anderson
Tiger Lily, by Jodi Lynn Anderson: This is the second time I’ve read this novel, and it was just as captivating and beautiful as the first time. The story is one of heartbreak and love, of bravery and loss. Anderson has a way of weaving words together in such a beautiful way that makes it easy to get wrapped up in the character’s minds and stories. This is one of my favorite fiction books I’ve read recently!
“I wanted to treat feelings that are not recognized as afflictions and are never diagnosed by doctors. All those little feelings and emotions no therapist is interested in, because they are apparently too minor and intangible. The feeling that washes over you when another summer nears its end. Or when you recognize that you haven’t got your whole life left to find out where you belong. Or the slight sense of grief when a friendship doesn’t develop as you thought, and you have to continue your search for a lifelong companion. Or those birthday morning blues. Nostalgia for the air of your childhood. Things like that.”Nina George
The Little Paris Bookshop, by Nina George: A story about Paris and books and memories and love and beauty. A “love letter to books” and an “encyclopedia of human emotions.” What’s not to love? The storyline is unique and unexpected, yet also so common and relatable. Nina writes with such detail and color that you are easily swept away into the current of the story. Overall such a beautiful story!
“Maybe for some people, falling in love is an explosion, fireworks against a black sky and tremors rumbling through the earth. One blazing moment. For me, it’s been happening for months, as quietly as a seed sprouting. Love sneaked through me, spreading roots around my heart, until, in the blink of an eye, the green of it broke the dirt: hidden one moment, there the next.”Emily Henry
A Million Junes, by Emily Henry: I read this book through in about two days. It’s that good. It’s the second time I’ve read it, actually, (also a sign that it’s really good) and it was just as magical as the first. The story is relatable, filled with love and loss; but is also filled with magic and ‘thin places.’ Emily Henry might be the most poetic and captivating writer I’ve read in a long time. Her stories are filled with vivid imagery and they transport you to another time and place.
See you next month with some more books! As always, send any book recs my way!