I really like to read. There is just something about sitting down with a good book (an actual book I mean, because I could totally get up on a soapbox about those tablet reading things, so lets just not go there) & a good drink. Coffee. Iced Sweet Tea. Lemonade. Hot Chocolate. Whatever is seasonably appropriate. I just love it. I am all about getting lost in another world or underlining & note-taking. Books are serious business to me. I hope to start doing a monthly review of the books I have been reading. It may not always be once a month because some months it just takes longer to get through a book. This month though, I have four for you. Some are actually from last year, but still reviewable none-the-less.
I. Loved. This. Book. I could almost leave it there…but that would render this review pointless. This is Lara Casey’s first book. By the tagline, “Surrender your fear, Take the leap, Live on purpose” it looks to be a goal setting book, how to make all your dreams & desires come true. It is so much more than that. Lara walks you through her story & how she made her life & business happen by surrendering areas of her life to God’s control, learning from her mistakes, & thinking about what she wants from life. I have passed this book on to multiple people [well actually I bought them their own copy because I wrote in this book a lot]. Not all parts of this book will apply to everyone which is one of the things I liked so much about it. Lara takes you through her struggles in marriage, miscarriage, building a business, personal issues, & how to make business & life equally successful. She asks soul-searching questions & leads you through action steps to make things happen. Whatever point of life you’re in, if life or business or parenthood or marriage just feels like it is getting away from you, this books is a great place to start.
This is the second Jen Hatmaker book I have read. I was coming to a point in my life where I was getting frustrated with excess & never having enough of anything…time, food, possessions. I first read about Seven in For The Love (reviewed below) & felt a little convicted to read it myself. Then I passed the book along to a friend before even reading it myself. I finally decided to read it myself & man oh man did God rock my world through this book. In Seven, Jen takes you through 7 months of her life, stripping down 7 different areas daily life. Every month, she picked an area of her life (clothes, spending, waste, food, possessions, media, & stress) & stripped it down to 7 things. For the food month…7 foods for 1 month. Spending…7 places she could spend. Clothes…yep you guess it, 7 pieces of clothing for a month. It is written as excerpts from a journal she kept as she went through these months. Through out the book is Jen’s witty, sarcastic humor making this a pretty enjoyable read even if you aren’t participating in the seven yourself. It will really make you think twice about certain areas of your life. After reading it, I noticed a big difference in my spending habits, wastefulness, media, & possessions. Thanks to this book, I also stopped taking things to Goodwill & started storing them in my attic. Want to know what I am talking about? Read the book.
PSA: This is not a christian book. There is language in this book. Aside from that it is fairly clean. However…this is a great business book for any entrepreneur. Sophia takes you through the principles & many of the steps she took to build her empire Nasty Gal. I love her story of not feeling like she fit anywhere & how success just found her when she started doing what she loved. I know that feeling. I know the feeling of not feeling like you fit anywhere & not loving what you did. In a way it is my story & how I found myself where I am now. I am a sucker for business books & this ranks in my favorites. She has a real honesty about where she is & how she got there. I had been hearing so much buzz about this book & reviews that said how every business woman needs to read it. I started reading it in a bookstore one morning & it was good enough that I had to buy it & take it home that day. I will admit, it took me a while to finish this book, because it is not one of those that you can’t put down but it is a really good read. Sophia has some great knowledge from the perspective of building a business from the ground up without going into major debt (that is a lesson anyone starting out needs. You don’t have to go into debt to make something successful. Remember that ladies). All in all, good book, good knowledge. I will probably read it again at some point.
“Fighting for grace in a world of impossible standards” that was what drew me to this book. Well that & I was seeing it EVERYWHERE on Instagram. Every day someone new was saying how awesome this book was. So I ordered it before it sold out & was not disappointed. Here’s the thing about this book…it doesn’t really have a concrete or obvious direction. You see the theme of grace through out the book but not in a God’s grace or divine sort of way. It’s more of a “give yourself & other women a break would you” kind of way. I actually laughed out loud while reading this book. At one point, I was reading outside on my front porch & I am sure I looked absolutely nuts because I was laughing so hard I couldn’t read through the tears. There are not many books I will say that about. I think every woman, ever, needs to read this. It is a good, entertaining read with a dose of reality & a good spoonful of sarcasm. When I get asked about this book, I tell people it is like having coffee with a really good friend…tears of laughter, tears in general, conviction, & some amen-sister moments.