May 2024 Reads

Very excited to share the books I read from this past month. I’m aiming for at least 52 books this year, but hoping for more! I read a mix of fiction and (usually faith-based) non-fiction.

I’m not going to bother writing a synopsis of the book for the review? Should I be doing that? I’m not sure. Let’s see how this one goes.

If you want to follow along with my ~*~ReAdInG JoUrNeY~*~ you can friend (follow?) me on StoryGraph (the million times better version of Goodreads. They just don’t have website widgets for my sidebar 😞 )

Links are affiliate where possible, which means I earn a (very) small commission if you purchase at no additional cost to you. I bought all these books myself or got them through the library, except for one! All this reading finally got an author to send me a book. Someday maybe I’ll get a press box too 😬 

The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence

This tiny book was very encouraging. I’m not sure how I got to this point in my Christian reading journey without hearing about it, because it turns out it’s pretty popular.

The main concept is teaching how you can spend time with God all day, with prayer/communion being a constant state of mind. Again, it’s very tiny, so worth the quick read.

Babel: An Archane History by R.F. Kuang

Audiobook in Book of the Month app

Let me tell you why I downloaded this one: in preparation for Taylor Swift’s new album, BOTM released this academia-themed reel. And I had a bunch of credits, so I got them all (except The Secret History, because I made the Donna Tartt mistake back in 2013 and I will not be doing it again).

but omg why is this book so popular???

I’ve seen it all over BookTok, on so many “top favs” lists, and I was intimidated by the 21 HOUR LONG AUDIOBOOK. But I thought, surely it’s worth the time.

Friends, it really doesn’t get interesting until half way through. I liked it in the end. I should have abandoned it so I could get on with something I wanted to read instead.

There are a lot of interesting anti-colonial concepts throughout, and as a former English major, I appreciated the linguistics side. They talk all about the origins of words and how English adopted words from other languages. But there’s so much “this was before my world fell apart” in the first 10 hours of the book, and I kept waiting for it to happen… and waiting… and waiting… and then finally, it got interesting.

Ok ok, everyone’s different, so maybe you would love it. But I think everyone likes it just to sound smart. I can handle character-driven over plot-driven, but SOMETHING NEEDS TO HAPPEN IF THE BOOK IS 21 HOURS LONG.

Moving on…

New Marriage, Same Couple by Josh & Katie Walters

And there’s a workbook, but I haven’t done this yet.

This was the book club read for Jess Connolly’s podcast, and since I’m months behind on my TBR I finally got around to it.

I really enjoyed this book and appreciated the call to find new abundance in your marriage. Really I felt the book emphasized the abundance God calls us to in every aspect of your life and applies it to marriage, so they didn’t use the same passages you’ve heard at every marriage conference.

I’ve been happily married for over 11 years (🤯) but I still learned from this, and I’ll probably do the workbook with Eric to see how we can improve.

The Blonde Identity by Ally Carter

Audiobook in Libby

I needed to read something light to get out of the Babel-induced fiction coma.

Wow, this book is ridiculous but also delightful.

I was LOL-ing because some of the dialogue is insane and the MMC (sorry for using a romance acronym, I’ve learned too much from TikTok) thinks the most cliche things. Which I guess is the point of romance novels, but maybe I’m surprised by predictability because I read so much literary fiction.

But I enjoyed it, and that’s saying something, because I DNF’d another highly-recommended romance because I couldn’t take the nonsense.

Just needed a light-hearted read, and this was very fun. The end definitely dragged on, but you’ll survive.

Homecoming by Kate Morton

EBook in Libby

Ok this dragged a little, but once you’re in you’re in. Many reviews saying that the book should be 100-200 pages shorter, so I’m glad to see I’m not the only one that felt it dragging (or that it wasn’t just my busy toddler keeping me away from the book)

You can see one surprise coming from almost the beginning of the book, but the rest was unexpected for me.

Jess, the main character, really loves her grandmother, but pretty quickly you realize that she’s not that likable. So it does explain some of the other factors at play, but I kept thinking they should have talked about her redeeming qualities a little more.

You Are Not Alone by Jennie Allen

Gifted ARC

This book is aimed at 8-14 year olds, teaching them how to combat anxious thoughts.

She really combined her adult books “Get Out Of Your Head” with a bit of “Find Your People” into a great little easy read. I was rushing to finish it because I thought it released on June 4, but apparently it doesn’t release until next week 🤷🏻‍♀️

As an adult, I found the reminders very helpful and simplified for the younger audience. I don’t have an 8-14, so I can’t say how they would respond to it, but I think the friendship sections would be helpful for anyone.

Currently Reading…

The Summer of Songbirds (audiobook through Libby)

Bird by Bird (my annual read-through)

House Rules (yes, I read my coffee table books)

What else should I be reading??

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