Summer Reading 2016

I’m working on my summer reading list and I am excited! 

3 of my favorite authors have new books out. All I want to do today is give you a snippet about each book (taken from the Amazon description).

 

unashamedUnashamed by Christine Caine

In her passionate and candid style, Christine leads you into God’s Word where you will see for yourself how to believe that God is bigger than your mistakes, your inadequacies, your past, and your limitations. He is not only more powerful than anything you’ve done but also stronger than anything ever done to you. You can deal with your yesterday today, so that you can move on to what God has in store for you tomorrow—a powerful purpose and destiny he wants you to fulfill.

me tooMe Too by Jon Weece

[This is] what Me Too is all about: A God who turned the ugliness of the cross into a spectacle of eternal beauty. An all-powerful Lord who will do the same with the pain of this world. An eternal Father who specializes in wiping away tears and putting you back together again. If you’ll allow him.

ridiculousfaithRidiculous Faith by Shelene Bryan

True faith is vital to a vibrant Christian life. Without it, it is impossible to please God. But are your moments of deepest, most essential faith doomed to dissipate as quickly as they materialize, leaving you powerless and ineffectual?

Absolutely not. The truth is, you are not doomed to a lifetime of flickering faith.

Let me know if you decide to check out any of these books.

Of course, you know that I love to read, but I equally love to discuss what I’m reading! 

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Confessions of a Book Matchmaker

  I am so glad that I kept a book list last year! 

A friend of mine needed some recommendations for her younger sister’s school project. 

I pulled out my phone, opened my Evernote app, and BAM!

All the information I needed was at my fingertips. 

It’s also been a great way to remember what I’ve read because recalling titles gets harder and harder the more I read. 

And, if you’re a goal oriented person like myself, lists are a wonderful method of tracking progress. 

My reading goal for 2016 is 50 books. 

I’m already at 19! (School reading is helping my numbers.)

Yes, I geek out over reading…

But today my geekiness proved useful, which was a neat thing to see. 

I love to play book matchmaker!

My book list is simply another tool to aid me in my quest to connect people with the right book. 

If you’re a reader like me, I encourage you to keep a list. 

The Road Home

 

 

the road homeI’m still not sure why Christian Fiction authors love the Amish so much, but I’m hooked now…

The bad news about there being so many novels about the Amish is that many of them are cookie cutters.

Which leads to my confession:

I am reading The Road Home by Tommy Tenney and Mark Andrew Olsen for the 4th time in 2 years.

Technically, I’ve listened to the audio book 3 times and currently I’m reading the print version. (The whole debate on audio books vs. printed books is a touchy subject among readers.) 


The Road Home
is one of the best Christian fiction books I have ever read. There’s depth and character development and no cheesiness.

Another plus is that the novel is a modern retelling of the Book of Ruth. 

I don’t want to give anything away, but here’s the blurb:

For Naomi Kauffman Yoder, memories of a Pennsylvania Dutch childhood, abandoned roots, lost connections, and shattered dreams have left her with nothing but loneliness and regret. Now wracked with grief, she comes to a momentous decision…

For Ruth Escalante Yoder, daughter-in-law and friend to Naomi, she concludes that leaving Las Vegas is the only option left to her…

So begins their odyssey–a cross-country quest in Naomi’s creaky old Impala as she returns to her family farm in Lancaster County, to the values of a life once spurned.

Although never having seen the East before, Ruth too is looking for a place to call home. Will she find it among the slow, quiet rhythms of Pennsylvania farm country?

Doesn’t this story sound cool?!?

Let me know if you read the book. And, if you have any theories on why Christian authors love the Amish, I’d love to hear those too!

 

Walk to Beautiful

I did something last night that I haven’t done in a long, long time: I stayed up until 2 AM reading a book. 

Good stories, especially true stories, intrigue me more than anything.

Walk to Beautiful by Jimmy Wayne is a captivating story of one man’s troubling childhood and how he became successful despite the trials. 

walk to beautiful

There was no way I could put the book down.

No matter how many chapters I said were the last.

No matter how many times I told myself, “30 more minutes, Audra.”

How could I stop now? The story was holding me captive! 

Jimmy lived in a world raging with violence and with no sense of normalcy, but he still had hope.

This one fact is amazing to me.

 

We are all hardwired to hope, which is why I think the saddest thing to see is hopelessness prevail. A sense of utter hopelessness is the #1 reason people commit suicide.

What I love about Jimmy’s story is how he wrestled hopelessness to the ground, tied it up, and ended it’s life–not his own.

Inspiration is awesome, no doubt, but inspiration that leads to change? Yes! Sign me up!

The biggest obstacle Jimmy faced as a boy was loneliness because people saw him as another juvenile delinquent when he was just an innocent kid. He only knew darkness; he’d only seen glimpses of light.

Many children in foster care face the same challenge. They want to do better, but no one’s ever modeled what that was for them. Or, in the worst of cases, they’ve succumbed to hopelessness.

All it takes, though, is one person reaching out to help. 

And that’s all I could think about last night as I turned page after page….

 

 

 

 

 

This Ordinary Adventure

Aren’t we all afraid of being normal? 

If someone calls you normal, they might as well say, “You are the most boring person I know.”

At least, that’s how it feels because who doesn’t want to be known as a wandering, wondering, unpredictable world changer?   I just finished This Ordinary Adventure by Christine and Adam Jeske, which answers that question. 

Adam and Christine served as missionaries to Nicarauga, China, and South Africa before moving back to Wisconsin with their 2 children. 

They wondered if moving back to America was “settling” for a mediocre life. 

I enjoyed how the book switched back and forth between their two perspectives. 

If you find yourself struggling in this area, I think this book will be helpful. 

Love Does and Souper Sunday

I met Bob Goff!!!!

  He spoke at The Assembly in Broken Arrow this morning. 

The man is a great example of love in action. His whole life is about taking the love of Christ to a broken world and introducing them to the Savior who makes all things new. 

I’ve read Love Does a dozen times in the past couple of years. It’s one of the best books I have ever read–and that’s saying a lot. 

To end my awesome afternoon, I went to Souper Sunday, a benefit dinner to raise money for Total Source for Hearing Loss and Access (TSHA). 

  What a cool organization!

It’s a hub for the deaf community in Tulsa and I’m so happy to finally be connected again! 

This past week, I attended a deaf church and a coffee social. 

My heart is full…

Life is good because my Father God is good. 

Quitter’s Guilt

  Reading a book is like going on a date. You don’t know if it’ll work out. 

Sure, the book cover is interesting and the blurb is intriguing, but you really don’t know if you’ll make it to the end.

Despite this foreknowledge, I still suffer from quitter’s guilt whenever I ditch a book. 

My fun reading time is limited now, so if a book doesn’t keep my attention, I move on. 

I ditched 2 books this week because they were not working out for me….and felt terrible! 

My goal, though, is not to slog my way through a book. 
My goal is to enjoy the books I read because if you don’t enjoy a book, the likelihood of learning anything from it is slim. 

Can you relate to this dilemma?

Or do you have hard and fast guidelines for when to ditch a book?