Recent Reads: Vol. 3

The last few months have seriously flown by, am I right?  From multiple housesitting gigs to moving (sort of) and a few trips here and there, I've hardly found much time to to partake in one of my favorite activities: reading.  Okay, so maybe some of my spare time was spent binge watching Game of Thrones, but I digress.  Before I leave for a 12 day whirlwind trip to California on Saturday, I wanted to be sure to share my short list of most recent reads with you guys...

(Feel free to catch up on Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 here)

Me Before You and After You by Jojo Moyes

As I mentioned in my last post, I really enjoyed reading these books despite the controversy surrounding them (my thoughts on that are echoed here).  While the ending of Me Before You was quite disheartening, I easily found myself hooked by the storyline and entwined with the main character, Louisa Clarke.  A quirky twenty-something who doesn't quite know what she is doing with her life -- other than helping out her family and slumming with a d-bag boyfriend -- Louisa finds herself in a new job as caretaker for Will Traynor, a once risk-taking adventure seeker who, after a terrible accident, found himself bound to a wheelchair as a quadriplegic.  What begins as a cold, challenging situation becomes a sweet relationship full of fierce determination to convince one another to live fully and boldly.  And you'll just have to read the first one before I can divulge about the sequel (which, in my opinion, was not as captivating).  Rating: 3.5/5


Zelda: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Ann Fowler

While I am only about half way through this book, I feel like I can already recommend it!  I love anything 1920's (hello Midnight in Paris) and anything Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby was my favorite required reading in high school), so when I saw this book through instagram I almost immediately ordered it for myself.  I've been fascinated by the love story of Scott and Zelda for quite some time, and am loving the ways that this piece of historical fiction paints a picture of their early romance, marriage, and the struggles that they faced as Scott continued in his writing career.  It's a great beach read, late night read, coffee shop read... just go ahead and read it.  Rating: 4/5


Wild & Free by Jess Connolly and Hayley Morgan

This book came at such a timely season in my life, guys.  A self-proclaimed "hope-filled anthem for the woman who feels she is both too much and never enough," Jess and Hayley take turns in each chapter sharing the nature of who God is - as wild and free - and the fact that He created us to reflect Himself.  And as we work out our faith and recognize the specific and unique ways that He has made each of us, we will encounter the freedom to disregard our own insecurities and defy social and cultural expectations of what a woman should be, and then step into the freedom of following a wild and adventurous God.  This is really such a great book.  Rating: 4.5/5


Heart Made Whole by Christa Black Gifford

Guys, this book was a serious challenge in the best possible way.  After hearing Christa speak at a conference in April, I jumped at the chance to join her launch team for this book and it did not disappoint.  Christa takes the readers through some of the hardest and most faith-challenging moments of her life -- even those from years and years ago that she thought had been worked through -- to help us dig deeper and investigate the parts of our hearts that are wounded and in need of more of God's healing touch.  From languages of the heart to the ways that our brain and heart are connected, you will learn so much about the ultimate restoration that God has in mind for your heart in order to lead you into more of the supernatural living He has intended for you.  This book challenged me a lot, and yet it was one of the most rewarding things I've read in a long time.  I want to buy it for everyone in my life, because no matter how much you may have worked through, there is always more junk and always more that God wants to do to bring you closer in intimacy with Him.  SO good.  Rating: 5/5


I don't normally read much fiction, but I was glad to have a few of those to mix into my list this time around.  After all, it's always fun to escape into a new story for a bit.  As I get ready for my trip to California, do you have any recommendations for me to add to my reading list?


Up Next: Rooted by Banning Liebscher and None Like Him by Jen Wilkin