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5 Books I Read In April and May 2024: Mysteries, Parenting, and Spiritual Growth

Here we go! This is the first of hopefully many blog posts about the books I've read or recently read. I have always loved reading. I love curling up with a good book, especially if hot tea is involved. I believe that everyone can love reading. They only have to find the genre of book they love. I only used to read Christian fiction. I have spread my wings since my younger years and have learned that the world of literature is so vast. One minute, I'm in war-torn Europe; the next, I'm in Australia, trying to figure out a mystery. Parenting and spiritual growth books are where I highlight, underline, and take notes in the margins.

Last year, I purchased a Kindle Paperweight. It has been a game-changer. Especially when going on vacation, I bring at least three books. Now, I can pack lighter because my Kindle holds the books I'm not writing in. With my Kindle, I use Libby, where I can borrow books for a two-week stint (or more if I put my Kindle in airplane mode). The only downside is that the waitlist is long when a new book comes out. That is where I will buy it if I want to read it. Otherwise, I will wait.

Here are the six books I read in April and May 2024.

Books I Read on Kindle

This book keeps you guessing what happened after the opening scene long after you put the book down to sleep or go on with your day. This is the best mystery I have ever read. I did not know how the book would end, and I love it when stories are connected between different eras. It makes the story exciting and keeps my attention. I have to think, "What year is this?" "was this before or after?" etc. This book kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time. I read this book within a week and didn't want it to end. I felt like I was the detective, trying to figure out what was happening, who was lying, who the characters belonged there, etc., and I would tell Jordan all this. He would generously listen to me process out loud. I didn't know the truth until the second to last chapter. Finding out the secret after seeing each person's background was excellent. I kept questioning, "Now, what does this character have to do with anything?"

This was the first book I had read by Kate Morton, and it made me look up all the other books she had written, which led me to my next book because I couldn't get enough!

This book took me a bit to get into. At 484 pages, it felt a little daunting to be reading a book I wasn't super into at first. Once I got into it, I was IN. But, it took me a bit to become familiar with the characters and what was happening. Although it starts slow, it ramps up by the middle. After that, it was game over; I couldn't put it down. The lies and the deceit in this book are truly shocking. Then, in the end, it makes so much sense. This book had me still thinking about it days after I had finished it. I couldn't imagine being in the situation that Dorothy was in. The story ends with a nicely tied ribbon, and after all the crazy, I'm glad it ended in peace.

Physical Books I Read

This book is an easy read with practical ideas that you can put into place whether you are a parent, adoptive parent, foster parent, or caregiver. This book has a wealth of knowledge and puts science and research into practical daily actions. If you read The Connected Child by Karyn Purvis and felt like you were in school again because of how much research the book gives, this book is for you. It is simple and hopeful and a must-read with all the practical parenting tips for children from hard places.

We are hopeful adoptive parents who want to be on top of our parenting children from hard places game before we meet our new child. This book is a treasure trove of great tips and tricks. This is also the first book I have read with the day-to-day tips I wanted to have in my back pocket. This book is highlighted and bent, but I love it when it shows its wear. I know that I can use this book to help me through our adoption, and that gives me more peace as we step into something new and challenging. I also love that the authors are believers, and although they have researched backed science, they still encourage leaning on the Trinity.

This is another winner by John Mark. I have read all his books, and they have never disappointed me. His books are theologically sound, captivating, easy to read, and encourage living like Jesus. In our Western culture, we have lost the art of the Sabbath, fasting, prayer, etc., and this book argues that, as believers, we need these practices of Jesus in our lives. We are currently in a small group with our church that uses the group study materials to practice the way. He started a non-profit to share Practicing the Way with churches. We listened to Bridgetown Church’s podcast, and when John Mark was the pastor there, they tested Practicing the Way within their church and communities that met weekly outside of the church service. It went well, the church was positively impacted, and now John Mark is the founder of the non-profit Practicing the Way. You can visit the website and find out more about it here.

This book was a fast, easy read. There is another book that pairs well with this one that I've started. This book made me run out of my highlighter. Jen put things that I already knew or had heard in new words, which made the concept jump out at me even more. I love that I continue to grow in my faith, and as I continue to grow, the things I have once heard can still be so refreshing to remember or be reminded of. I love how Jen can use stories to get our attention with real-life examples. It is so helpful for me. Jen Wilkin has written different Bible Studies that are DEEP and theologically sound. They will get you in your Bible, which I think is one of the most important things a believer can do, especially in this day and age when most of us are Bible-illiterate. My favorite quote: "Research shows that when humans experience awe - wonderment at redwoods or rainbows, Rembrandt or Rachmaninoff - we become less individualistic, less self-focused, less materialistic, and more connected to those around us...At first, this seems counterintuitive, but on closer examination, it begins to sound a lot like the Great Command: Love God with heart, soul, mind, and strength (marvel at Someone greater than yourself) your neighbor (reach out to others). Awe helps us worry less about self-worth by turning our eyes first toward God, then toward others... But just like a child on an iPad at the foot of an eight-hundred-year-old redwood, we can miss majesty when it is right in front of us."

Book stack of Kindle, None Like Him by Jen Wilkin, The Connected Parent by Karyn Purvis, and Practicing the Way by John Mark Comer


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