HFL Book Club|| August Review- Onward, Audacious, Read-Aloud Handbook, Balancing in Heels

August Book Review

This is more of a summer review of the books I read just before, during, & immediately following my trip to Maine. There are still a books I am finishing; if you follow the #hflbookclub you know that I don’t read just one at a time.  So let’s just jump into it shall we?

Onward by Russell Moore

I really wanted to like this book. B&H Books sent this to me to read & review & I really was looking forward to it. Unfortunately, I did not like it. I remember reading a rule/recommendation not that long ago, that suggested you give a book 50-100 pages before you decide if you like it. At about page 79, I just couldn’t take it anymore & literally tossed it into the review basket- I should have sat down & written the review at that very moment to fully capture my distaste, but hindsight is 20/20 right? I kept hoping it would get better, but it never did.

Here’s my problem with this book: The synopsis of it is great- you read the dusk jacket & you just feel like it is so relevant for our day & time “engaging the culture without losing the gospel”; but the writing does not support the claims. After the introduction the connection between the gospel & the culture is lost. Not one time in following 68 pages can I recall a connection between culture & gospel. There was a lot about culture & where this culture has gone, but little to no focus on gospel.

I felt like I was reading a book by someone who only wanted to impress me with big words & well crafted, technical sentences, ongoing sentences. As a writer, if you can’t get your point across to your audience & deliver it in a way they can understand & comprehend, you have failed at your job. I spent more time rereading sentences & wondering what in the world he was talking about than I did actually reading the book. I don’t know what I am going to do with this book. Maybe, I should put it near my desk as a reminder of the kind of writer I don’t want to be. Sorry Mr. Moore, maybe next time.


Audacious by Beth Moore

A stark contrast to Onward, Audacious was easy to read & understand.

“If you come to audaciously love Jesus, you will audaciously seek Jesus. You will audaciously serve Jesus. You will audaciously show Jesus to people who don’t know Him. You will audaciously surf angry seas to fulfill your holy calling”

Through the whole book Beth, makes it clear how audaciously loved we are by Jesus & how that audacious love will spill out into the rest of our lives. This is the book you read when you are in a desert place. I would absolutely recommend to the friend who feels left out, lonely, & unloved. Again & again throughout Audacious the reader is reminded just who He is & just who we are. Great book. I am sure I will be revisiting this one during the next dry season of life.


The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease

I have 100% solidified my book nerd status with this read. This is not a story book. This is a flat-out handbook and I devoured it. This was my read for the majority of my time in Maine & was the book I kept reaching for despite other books I had. I absolutely could not get enough & it makes me feel like such a nerd because of it. It is almost embarrassing how much I liked it & how into it I was.

With that said, I think this is a book that EVERY parent, teacher, & homeschooler should read. If wonder how to instill a love of reading into your children or don’t understand why reading is so important…read this. It is full of statistics, stories, & studies of the benefits of reading in general, but especially reading out loud. Whether you enjoy it or not, everyone needs to read this.


Balancing In Heels by Kristin Cavallari

I love all things health, fitness, & natural living. Add in a bit of family & fashion & I’m sold. This is reminiscent in a way of Honest Life by Jessica Alba, which I have read multiple times.

I bought this mainly as my plane read. I knew I needed something interesting, but that didn’t require me to pay attention to plot lines or remember what happened right before it. This was perfect. While not a Newberry medal winner, anyone who was a Laguna Beach or Hills fan will get it.

I was in high/school college when those shows hit MTV, so reading this book was like catching up with an old friend. I am already wanting to read it again. With cute family pictures & glimpses of her home & fashion choices, if you follow Kristin on social media, you will enjoy this book.


I would love for you to hop over to Instagram if you have read them & have an option, come on over & chat.

Honey Flavored Lemonade by Marissa Dodgen

https://www.instagram.com/marissadodgen/     https://www.facebook.com/honeyflavoredlemonade/     https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcOSkTSEwsxdcVMfc061zvg



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