Monday, February 24, 2014

Winter Reading Reviews

I had high hopes for this winter season.  There’s nothing better on a gloomy winter day than cuddling up with a hot cup of coffee, cozy blanket, and a good book.  I got an e-reader for Christmas, and I was so excited to fill it with all the books I had been meaning to read. I immediately starting putting books from the library on hold and eagerly awaited their arrival. 

It seems like you wait and wait to be the next person on the list, and then suddenly all 10 of the books you reserved come in at the same time!  It’s completely overwhelming and disappointing at the same time.

And then life happened and when we went to Hawaii for a week, instead of laying on the beach with a good read in my hand, (as I was planning) I chose to spend some quality time with my little “Cuddle Puddle” (niece) instead.  I don’t regret it for a second… however, those 10 books I had on my e-reader sat unread.

Ohhh well.  Anyways, here are the reviews for the 3 books I did manage to finish lately… :)

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Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella

The book in 3 words: Lighthearted, funny, entertaining.

“Lottie just knows that her boyfriend is going to propose, but then his big question involves a trip abroad—not a trip down the aisle. Completely crushed, Lottie reconnects with an old flame, and they decide to take drastic action. No dates, no moving in together, they’ll just get married . . . right now. Her sister, Fliss, thinks Lottie is making a terrible mistake, and will do anything to stop her. But Lottie is determined to say “I do,” for better, or for worse.”

This book was one I picked up on a whim, I saw it on some top books of 2013 list and went for it.  I never got into the Shopaholic series so I didn’t really know what to expect.  I ended up really enjoying the storyline, it was hilarious… I could easily picture it being made into a movie one day.  It didn’t really have too much of a deeper meaning, so it would be good for a quick mindless read.  Like a beach day. :)

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The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The book in 3 words: Unique, captivating, powerful

“It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still.  Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.”

I wanted to read the Book Thief before they made it into a movie because I had heard so many wonderful things about it.  The book was narrated by Death which was an interesting twist and it made details and descriptions captivating and unique.  I am generally drawn to books about the Holocaust so I knew it would be a good read, but at the same time heart-breaking, and I was right.  Overall it was very interesting to read the author’s theory on how powerful one’s words can be… and how they can impact lives.  I didn’t absolutely love it, but I am glad I read it.

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The Wall Around Your Heart by Mary DeMuth

The book in 3 words: Thought-provoking, refreshing, meaningful

“Family members hurt us. Friends betray us. Fellow Christians deceive us. But Jesus provides a path through the pain—the Lord’s Prayer.  In The Wall Around Your Heart, Mary DeMuth shows you that you can reach wholeness and healing in the aftermath of painful relationships by following the road map of the Lord’s Prayer. You’ll walk through story after story of hurt people who are led through biblical truth into amazing, life-sustaining, joyful growth.”

This book surprised me.  As cheesy as the title is, I was not expecting to be so impacted by the subject matter. Remember this post?  A couple of the lessons I learned and wrote on that post (numbers 18-20 to be exact) are from this book.  Mary DeMuth has a powerful story herself, one filled with serious amounts of heartache.  But despite the less than ideal circumstances she dealt with, her story reflects hope, redemption, and forgiveness. 

Each chapter of the book covers a section of the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13) and details step by step how to remove bitterness in your heart and achieve healing. There are a few personal anecdotes throughout (I do wish there was more) but I feel like although she alluded to many things, they were left vague.

I felt like her understanding of the Lord’s Prayer was unique, she picked apart certain areas and elaborated on some very interesting points.  I marked tons of pages in the first 2/3 of the book with excellent points, but after that I sort of lost interest.  I felt like the end parts were repetitive and dull compared to the first 2/3.

Some of my favorite quotes from the book:

Many of our painful relationships could be put to right…if we spent more time shouting about God’s goodness than yelling at or about the people who hurt us.” (pg. 12)

“…when we have difficult relationships, God often uses them as gifts in our lives—to shape us, conform us to His Son, and make us gutsier and stronger… Simply put, I would not be the Christ follower I am today without the painful people from my past.” (pg. 14-15)

The roadblocks to growth and joy come when we forget the bigness of God and instead make people bigger than He is.” (pg. 53)

“We can’t make people welcome us, we can’t force them to love us.  We can’t reverse rejection.  But we can take heart that even Jesus walked this perilously painful path.” (pg. 95)

“Everything that hurts us in this world has the potential, when we let God put his hands in the conflict, to bless the world…we hurt, and God heals…” (pg. 116)

***I received this book free from the publisher through BookLook blogger book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.***

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What is the best book you’ve read lately?

9 comments:

  1. I haven't heard of any of these. Thanks for sharing! I love the very last quote you have about God healing. Powerful stuff and oh so true!

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  2. Book one and book 2 seem like books I would enjoy reading! Hmmm....thanks for sharing. I am reading 'The Slight Edge' now which was recommended to me by a freind. I just began reading it but it's a book about personal development and a bit more than "just another self-help book".

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  3. Thanks for these recommendations! I read the Book Thief and felt pretty much the same way you did about it.

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  4. I always struggle with which book to read next, so thank you for posting this! I just read two of Liane Moriarty's books (The Husband's Secret and What Alice Forgot), and they were really good!

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  5. i saw the book thief movie and absolutely loved it - i've had the novel on my list of books to read ever since, and now your review makes me want to run to the book store :) i'm actually reading a new novel called 'still life with bread crumbs' by anna quindlen (my favorite author) -- i'll let you know how it is when i finish up!

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  6. love the book thief, haven't heard of the others! i am currently reading "me before you" and still in between...thinking i'll end up liking it though! thanks for the recs! XO
    the well-traveled wife ♥

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  7. I have hardly been reading at all, lately, but I'll keep "The Wall Around your heart" in mind. That sounds good!

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  8. I got an e-reader for Christmas as well! Although, I have to admit. I think I'm a little more obsessed with actually loading it up and stocking up my wish list than actually reading. I LOVE to read, I just need to carve out some time to do what I love. Ya know?

    Anyways, The Book Thief IS on my Kindle, but I haven't started it yet. Also, The Wall Around Your Heart sounds really interesting! And is added to my wish list. Oy vey. It's a never-ending cycle. ha!

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  9. oh man i LOOOOOVE sophie kinsella!!! <3

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