Recent Reads


The Parables of Jesus by John MacArthur // 5 stars
We read through this book in our couple's class at church and did the workbook that goes with it over the course of 10 weeks. John MacArthur is such a great Bible teacher, and I loved reading about the parables of Jesus. Some of them had always kind of confused me, and this helped clear that up! Each chapter takes one parable and explains it in depth.

Should you read it? Yes
For fans of: Jesus, the Bible, understanding things Jesus said that previously confused you

We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter // 4 stars
Based on real events from the author's own family history, this story follows the members of one Jewish family during WWII. It actually wasn't as horribly depressing as many books set in this period are (although this time period is usually depressing for good reason, obviously); the ending was uplifting and beautiful. I cried reading the last couple of chapters. It's wonderfully written.

There were a few issues that kept this from a 5-star rating: 1) There are a lot of characters to keep track of, and although I mostly had it down by the end, I had to continue to reference the family tree the author provides on the first page. 2) The timeline. Due to the fact that the author has to follow so many different characters across a span of nearly a decade, the chapters skip sometimes rather large chunks of time, and the author is forced to summarize the second half of a story she started in a previous chapter. I honestly can't think of a better way to have done it if you don't want a book that is either 1,000 pages long or that doesn't include the stories of all the siblings. That said, it was somewhat frustrating in places and made it difficult (along with the aforementioned number of characters problem) to follow the story as it moved along. I still loved the book, but those two things lowered the rating for me a bit.

Should you read it? Yes
For fans of: true stories, sibling love, surviving against all odds, crying, more crying

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman // 3.5 stars
Eleanor Oliphant is a 30-something single woman who leads a generally mundane, ordinary life. As the book goes on, you uncover parts of her story and realize she's dealing with some pretty serious issues from something that happened to her when she was 10 years old. This book seems like in many ways it would have been a lot of fun to write because Eleanor's narration is so clever and unique (and a little weird too). This was a sad story, but there was a lot of hope and wonderful characters. At first I found Eleanor hard to relate to, but as I continued reading I liked the book more and more!

Should you read it? Yes
For fans of: oddity, people who say exactly what they are thinking, narrators with mommy issues, hopeful endings, endearing characters

String Theory: David Foster Wallace on Tennis by David Foster Wallace // 3.5 stars
This is a book of 5 nonfiction essays on tennis. I really liked 3 of them, wasn't a huge fan of one, and was okay on the other. Definitely not a book for anyone who doesn't like tennis, but I found it interesting and enjoyed reading it! I will add a few of the essays had a lot of footnotes, which got a little annoying and ended up with me giving this a lower rating that I was prepared to from reading the first few essays.

Should you read it? If you really like tennis then yes; otherwise, no
For fans of: tennis musings, making fun of celebrity memoirs, Roger Federer's hair, excessive footnotes that sometimes don't have to do with anything in the essay

Lucky 666: The Impossible Mission by Bob Drury // 3.25 stars

This book tells the true story of a bomber pilot and his crew during the War in the Pacific in 1943. I picked it up at the library based on the cover alone, because it looked like something Jordan would love. He loves history and he loves airplanes! It was extremely well written, and I loved the people and the story. For me, it was a bit heavy on airplane mechanics and historical details for specific routes, people, etc. The mission referenced in the title of the book and the prologue doesn't happen until the last few chapters, which was a little misleading, but I suppose without all the background info on the war in the Pacific, the airplanes, and the crew, the final mission wouldn't mean as much. Someone who loves history, specifically WWII history and airplanes, would enjoy this book (i.e., my husband). For a relative novice like myself, it was a fascinating read but went a little over my head in some parts. Still, I did learn a lot about the Pacific front that I didn't know and enjoyed reading about WWII from that part of the world.

Should you read it? Unless you just completely love airplanes and WWII, skip it
For fans of: WWII history, heroes, true stories, old timey airplanes and all their parts, not getting to the story promised in the title until the last few chapters

Nothing to Prove: Why We Can Stop Trying So Hard by Jennie Allen // 3 stars
This book is written by the founder of the IF: Gathering, which I've never watched or been to, but I've heard about them. The author writes about how she struggles/struggled with never feeling "good enough" and how she always felt like she needed to just work harder to prove herself to others, to God, and to herself. It's written in a very conversational tone, and I think the author has some useful and encouraging points to share. The book started to feel repetitive after a while, but it would be worth a read if you're needing some encouragement in this area (which, I mean, aren't we all?). *I received this book for free in exchange for a review from Blogging for Books!

Should you read it? Maybe if you're feeling in the mood
For fans of: being encouraged, Christian self-help, occasional cheesiness

Maureen @ Maureen Gets Real said...

We Were the Lucky Ones has been on my list for a while so I'm glad to see a 4 star rating from you!

P!nky said...

I hate when it's hard to keep track of people and the timeline. bah

AnneMarie said...

We Were the Lucky Ones sounds so interesting! It is definitely tough when there are lots of characters to keep track of. Have you read Russian novels? We read one in college, Life and Fate, and it was over 800 pages long-it followed tons of fictional people during WWII and it was really good, but everyone had long Russian names AND nicknames and reading it was a huge challenge.

Kristen @ See You In A Porridge said...

i struggled with Eleanor at first as well, but then i got more into it and ended up really liking her. we were the lucky ones sounds really interesting!

Audrey Louise said...

The parables book sounds pretty interesting! We Were the Lucky Ones sounds good, too!

Rach said...

I've never even heard of the Parables one, but that sounds really good! And I've been to the IF gathering before (our church was one of the locations last year), but I didn't know about the book. It's a shame that it gets so repetitive and is on the cheesy side, though.

Amy @ A Desert Girl said...

The Eleanor book has sounded interesting to me. I work in the mental health industry though so I've kind of put off reading it because I just want to get away from that stuff when I read. Maybe someday....