February Reading Wrap Up

Welcome back to my book reviews for the month!! If you haven’t yet joined us for my 52/52 challenge feel free to read about it here and jump in! You can adjust the goal or make it your own, but I would love to have you along for the ride!

This last month has been super good busy doing a lot of reading and writing for my blog. I am in the process of reevaluating my schedule. I’m looking for better balance with my blog, home/family life, homeschooling, house cleaning and other volunteer work I do. I feel like this is in constant motion. I love all the things I do (ok, maybe outside house cleaning!) but I want to make sure I spend my time with those things that are most important to me.

My reading goal last month was to do a little catch up since I didn’t hit my goal. I put in a valiant effort. I set down 1 book, counted on one that didn’t work out, finished two and started another.

The book I set down:

The one I set down was not so much a hard-to-read book, but one that I didn’t click with. It’s by Jenny Lawson and It seems as though she has a large following that is familiar with this “Furiously Happy” movement.

Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things

I grabbed this book at the last minute because well look at it. It’s pretty funny and the tagline of “A Funny Book About Horrible Things”. Since I am not familiar with Jenny’s work I didn’t know what to expect. My first guess was that it was a humorous book or look at life from a different angle or a collection of essays.

It turns out that Jenny struggles with mental illness and has her whole life. One day she decided to combat it with this “Furiously Happy” mindset, she did a blog post about it and it became a movement. She expands on it in this book. I only got 30 pages in before I realized it’s not for me. She cusses a lot and I couldn’t connect with her struggle so for me, it was a book to set down.

(Random fact: I saw in a recent Barnes and Noble flyer that she has a new book out, so she must be an author many connect with)

The books I read:

The first book I finished this month is one I got from my church. This book is written primarily to people who attend church. If you do not fall into that category feel free to jump down to my next book!

I Will: Nine Traits of the Outwardly Focused Christian

This book really is exactly like it sounds. Some people that attend church are very focused on what they like, how they want it and what they expect. While it’s important to know what church works well with you these christians take it a step further. They demand things for their benefit or want to only receive or take what they can get without giving. When a person gives of their time in the church it affects how they see things in the church.

I run the kids department at our church and see alot of what this book talks about. There is a lot of fulfillment that can be found in volunteering at the church versus just coming in late and leaving early. Being a part of a team or helping when you can, gives a significantly different perspective. It can also provide a great community to be a part of when those around you see the benefit of volunteering as well. Churches that are inwardly focused feel a lot different than those that are outwardly focused. If you attend church or are a christian that has had a hard time with churches, I would highly recommend this book.

The second book I read was by an acclaimed author that I had never read before:

Emily Giffin The One & Only (Hardback) – Common

I had heard really good things about this author and thought I would pick one up and see what all the fuss was about. This book was definitely a page-turner. The book jacket said it was about a woman named Shea that starts to question her life choices after a tragedy in her life and will uncover secrets about people she thought she knew. My thinking was that this book was going to be a coming of age story for Shea and it was going to be a beachy type read. I was wrong.

This book starts out at a funeral and has alot of emotion in it. While I am not adverse to emotion, it was heavier than I thought and definitely not a beach read. As I was reading this book I was surprised by it. I didn’t quite click with the main character and I didn’t necessarily agree with some of her decisions. About a quarter of the way through it began to make me a bit uncomfortable. This uncomfortableness continued through the rest of the book. I considered setting it down a few times, but because I wanted to see if there was a plot twist or shoring up of plot lines that I didn’t see coming. (I am not going to ruin it for you)

One thing I like to do after reading a book is to go on Goodreads (follow me here!) and read the reviews to see if other people felt the same way about the book or if I was totally off. Good news is that I wasn’t off. Her big fans said that it wasn’t her best work so I will try her again in the future. Bottom line: If you are adventurous, flip through the pages at the store before buying, or check it out at the library if it sounds interesting. Otherwise, I would recommend doing what I am doing and try a different book of hers.

The book I counted on:

Around Christmas time I did my first RedditGift exchange and it was GLORIOUS! Recently they did it again and I jumped on the book exchange (where you buy a gift for someone and someone else buys one for you). So I planned on reading whatever book I was sent as my last book of the month. It got delayed. So I waited and waited. The day it finally came I opened it and saw that it was a book I already had. I wasn’t going to have any time to go out and get another book for awhile.  I missed out on one because I didn’t think about the fact that I may have it already. Next time I will plan it better!

The book I started:

This ebook is actually a surprise (aka I can’t tell you yet!). I am working with another blogger to help her perfect her ebook before she releases it. Don’t worry you will find all the details next month on my book review blog too!


What good books have you read recently?