Tuesday, August 22, 2017

What am I currently reading?

Hello, hello!

I hope you are all having a wonderful Tuesday. The weekend is over, and while that is a bit sad, this week is brand new. There is so much potential for greatness this week. There is happiness to be found. There is laughter to be had. Find a way this week to bring joy to someone else.

This weekend I was able to unwind a little bit, I stayed up a later than normal, the kids ran (and swam) off some energy, and I was fortunate enough to be able to read a little bit of a book. Let's just be honest here, with four kids getting that time to read a book isn't always possible, so I was ever so thankful it happened this weekend. Also, since it was a lake house weekend, I had the opportunity to read on the drive there as well as the drive home. So I'll take that.

This weekend we also celebrated my, soon-to-be, 3 year old son. His birthday is fast approaching and this was our chance to celebrate with cousins, aunts and uncles, and one set of grandparents. It was a good time, and he was quite spoiled with the gifts he received.

Since I brought up the subject of books, I thought I would share with you the five books that I am currently reading.  

1)  Life After: A Novel by Katie Ganshert

I had the honor of being a part of the launch team for Life After. This book was my introduction to author Katie Ganshert, and I am so glad to "know" her. This story follows the life of Autumn Manning. She is a young woman who experienced something horrific. Her memory of it all is a bit hazy, and she finds herself obsessed with the passengers who were on the train with her that day.  How can she move on with her life when the other 22 people on the train do not get that opportunity? How can she find herself again? Can anything snap her out of the survivors guilt she is feeling?

Check out this little blurb about the book:
"Snow whirls around an elevated train platform in Chicago. A distracted woman boards the train, takes her seat, and moments later a fiery explosion rips through the frigid air, tearing the car apart in a horrific attack on the city’s transit system. One life is spared. Twenty-two are lost."
Sounds intriguing, doesn't it? I highly recommend it. This book was an easy read, and I found myself unable to put the book down. Katie Ganshert has created some fantastic characters. You walk away feeling like you know them, and that you've been a fly on the wall of their stories. I will say that I found myself wanting more of the characters, I want to know what happens next in their lives. Sadly, I do believe this is a stand-alone book, so no more info on the characters lives.

2) Convicted: A Crooked Cop, an Innocent Man, and an Unlikely Journey of Forgiveness and Friendship by Jameel McGee and Andrew Collins

I'm not going to lie, this isn't a book I would usually pick up. Everyone who knows me knows that I have my favorite non-fiction authors and I tend to stick to them. Also, I don't typically read autobiographical books, it just isn't my go-to genre. So why did I read this book? Well, I had received an email from Waterbrook Multnomah about joining the launch team for the book. I read the description and it sounded interesting.  I threw chance to the wind, and signed up for the team. Another email arrived stating I was in, so therefore I HAD to read it. I mean I couldn't just shelve the book. That wouldn't be right.

This book though. Oh my word. SO GOOD.

As the book cover states, this book involves a crooked cop, an innocent man, and an unlikely journey of forgiveness and friendship.

Convicted reads like a gripping crime novel…except this story really happened!
" Racial tensions had long simmered in Benton Harbor, a small city on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan, before the day a white narcotics officer--more focused on arrests than justice—set his sights on an innocent black man. But when officer Andrew Collins framed Jameel McGee for possession of crack cocaine, the surprising result was not a race riot but a transformative journey for both men. Falsely convicted, McGee spent four years in federal prison. Collins also went to prison a few years later for falsifying police reports. While behind bars, the faith of both men deepened. But the story took its most unexpected turn once they were released--when their lives collided again in a moment brimming with mistrust and anger. The two were on a collision course—not to violence—but forgiveness. As current as today’s headlines, this explosive, true story reveals how these radically conflicted men chose to let go of fear and a thirst for revenge to pursue reconciliation for themselves, their community, and our racially divided nation."

Want to read a bit of the first chapter? You can find that over on Waterbrook Multnomah's site by clicking here. Want to buy the book?

3) Me, Myself, and Lies by Jennifer Rothschild

I know I cannot be the only one who struggles with self-talk and the things that I think about myself. Right?

Anyway, I stumbled across this book when one of my friends (a fellow mom of a December 2012 child) shared it on her Facebook page. I was immediately curious and purchased it a couple days later.

Full disclosure time: Since purchasing the book, it has sadly just sat on my shelf in one of my MANY TBR (to be read) piles. It is my goal to read this book before August is up. And yes, I realize that means I have just 10 days to read it.

From good old Amazon:
"What Should You Say When You Talk to Yourself?Have you ever noticed the things you say to yourself—and believe?
I could never do that.They don't like me.I am such an idiot!
You wouldn't talk that way to anyone else, yet phrases like these constantly flow through your mind, leaving you insecure and defeated. "

Do you see why I want to read it? Does it sound like an interesting read to you? If so, let's read it together. Or I'll read it, you can read it, and then we'll discuss. Yes? No? Maybe so? Just promise me that you'll think about it.

4) Craving Connection by (in)courage

Did you know that (in)courage is one of my favorite websites? I remember when the site launched and immediate fell in love with what they had to "offer".

Back in December 2016, (in)courage was promoting their new book and had pre-order specials available. I knew I wanted to read this book, and therefore I placed my pre-order. Since that time, it has also been sitting in a TBR pile. I'm not proud of that fact, but it is what it is. With four kids and a husband, having that quiet time for reading just isn't always a possibility.

That being said, this past Friday I grabbed the book, tossed it in the front passenger seat of our van, and took the time to read the first entry as we traveled to the cabin.

Craving Connection isn't a book that should be read in one sitting. That was something I immediately understood after reading that first entry. Each entry/challenge/chapter needs to be digested. It needs to be thought about. There are questions that need to be answered or at least taken into consideration. Plus, there is an action item for each entry. (which I have yet to do the first action item, but I will get it done!)

Interested in a description of the book? Here's what Amazon has to say:
"We all long for meaningful relationships, the Colossians 3:14 kind that fulfill our desire for unity and connection with God, our friends, and our community. But where do we start? Craving Connection is a journey with (in)courage writers sharing real-life stories, practical Scripture application, and connection challenges that will encourage you to:
  • Embrace the desire God has given each of us for connection
  • Invest in meaningful relationships, right where God has you
  • Become the friend you wish you had
The (in)courage community invites you to grab a cup of coffee, pull up a chair to the table, and commit to creatively and prayerfully fulfilling your cravings for connection. How could your life be different after prayerfully and intentionally connecting with God, friends, and your community?"

5) You're Already Amazing by Holley Gerth

Anyone who knows me, knows that Holley Gerth is one of my favorite writers. Hands down. If she writes it, I will read it. Not only that but if she writes a book, I will buy it, along with whatever extra that goes with it.

So it is no surprise that I purchased You're Already Amazing: Embracing who you are, becoming all God created you to be.

What is it that I like about her books? Honestly, I think it comes down to the fact that what she writes just speaks to me. She is tackling areas that I need to work on in my life.

I can't talk about this book without mentioning this little side story. Recently, my women's small group was trying to decide upon a book for the fall. We had thrown around a few titles, and You're Already Amazing was one of the options. So I figured I'd pick it up, along with devotional, and life guide. Hey I was going to be prepared. As I was looking at the cover, I was thinking to myself that I owned this book already. Yet, when I looked around it wasn't in any of my piles on my bookshelves, and it wasn't in my nightstand drawer either. I figured I was mistaken. Therefore I ordered all three books. After the book arrived, I looked through my "collection" again, and I was correct, I did already own the book.

That right there is the definition of an unorganized bookworm. I'm not going to complain though, as I can always pass a copy along to someone else.

From Amazon:
Holley Gerth invites you to embrace one very important truth--that you truly are already amazing. Like a trusted friend, Holley gently shows you how to forget the lies and expectations the world feeds you and instead believe that God loves you and has even bigger plans for your life than you've even imagined.

I plan on starting Holley's book as soon as I return from my trip to Wisconsin! It is my hope that during my drive to and from Wisconsin, I will be able to read Me, Myself, and Lies. I figure that since my 4 year old tells me it isn't my turn to drive (it is always daddy's turn), that I might as well take advantage of it and read a book.

That's it folks. These are the FIVE books that I am currently reading and/or have just finished up.

Have you read any of these books?

What books are you currently reading or have you recently finished? I'm always looking for new books to read.

Disclosure: My blog, Gratitude, Grace & Growth, is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com