Book reports are always some of my favorite posts of other bloggers. It’s been a while since I took some extra time for reading, but when I started being more intentional about my screen time in January, more books happily fell into my lap. That being said, I originally set a goal for myself to read 15 books in 2017 and since I’m on track to hit that in March, I thought it might be fun to try got myself, since I have plenty of books to write about.
After having a couple friends on goodreads point out that I grade pretty tough, I thought it might be helpful to include my rating codes first, just to make sure we’re on the same page.
★★★★★ – All time favorite, there aren’t many of these in the world.
★★★★☆ – Loved this book, held my attention and made me want to keep reading.
★★★☆☆ – Good book, I liked it.
★★☆☆☆ – It was fine, definitely won’t be recommending it to my friends.
★☆☆☆☆ – I finished it, but it wasn’t that great.
☆☆☆☆☆ – Didn’t bother finishing it. There are too many books on the shelf to finish one that isn’t grabbing my attention.
The Magnolia Story
by Chip and Joanna Gaines
Nonfiction – Biography | ★★★★☆
Honestly, I think I may be a little biased on this one because I’m under the impression that this duo can do no wrong. I just LOVED their story and I appreciate that they are using their platform to share their faith. This biography is basically just their sweet life story that’s almost so sweet it’s a little puke worthy (haha, only kidding). I loved that this book is told from Joanna’s perspective and gives Chip’s two cents in a different font – their banter in this book is very similar to the show. I’m looking forward to sharing this one with other Fixer Upper fans in my life.
You might like this if: you watch Fixer Upper or uplifting life stories.
None Like Him: 10 Ways God is Different From Us
by Jen Wilkin
Nonfiction – Religion and Spirituality | ★★☆☆☆
I picked up this book for a one read my church was hosting. I unfortunately was unable to go to the event when the date was released, but I still wanted to finish the book because I figured if my church was recommending it, it would be good. I liked where she was going with the content and thought that it was a good regurgitation of some very key characteristics of God, but I was rubbed the wrong way of how the information was presented and by some of her examples, which seemed to be quite negative.
Out of the Silent Planet (Space Trilogy #1)
by C.S. Lewis
Science Fiction | ★★★★☆
This was the first novel in C.S. Lewis’ Space Trilogy and was recommended to me by a friend after I was gushing about Chronicles of Narnia. The main character, Dr. Ransom, is abducted and taken to another planet, Malacandra, where his captors are trying to take the planets treasures and kill Dr. Ransom as a sacrifice. Since I don’t read a lot of science fiction, this was a very interesting read for me. I don’t quite have the imagination to even think about some of these things, let alone create a story around them – so my hats off.
You might like this if: you can get on board with a classic and like to dig into themes.
Perelandra (Space Trilogy #2)
by C.S. Lewis
Science Fiction | ★★★☆☆
The second installment of the Space Trilogy the main character ends up on a different planet, Perelandra. To me, this book presented a lot of good and evil situations with the enemy of the story. My struggle with this one, was that while I didn’t want to put the book down, I almost felt as though I would never get out of the slower sections. At one point I just skimmed to get to the more fast-paced part.
That Hideous Strength (Space Trilogy #3)
by C.S. Lewis
Science Fiction | ★★★★☆
This was my favorite of the three and was definitely the most different. It took me quite some time to realize how this book was related to the last two and I think that’s what made me enjoy it. It was like a puzzle trying to clue together pieces that didn’t seem to make sense. I’ve tried to summarize this book, but it’s just too complicated without giving the whole thing away. I guess you’ll have to read to trilogy to find out.
You and Me Forever: Marriage in Light of Eternity
by Francis Chan
Nonfiction – Religion and Spirituality | ★★★★☆
I just loved this book. I don’t know if it is the season I’m in or what, but I felt like this really helped bring my focus back on my purpose. Even though this book is portrayed as a book on marriage, I don’t think it’s directly about marriage at all, but more about putting first the Kingdom of God and letting everything else fall into place. I’ve read another of Francis Chan’s books and wasn’t a huge fan, so I was happy that I was able to let that go because this was truly a winner!
You might like this if: you want to grow spiritually and want to work through the purpose of marriage (and life).
Planet Narnia: The Seven Heavens in the Imagination of C.S. Lews
by Michael Ward
Nonfiction – History and Criticism | ★★★★☆
I don’t even know where to begin with this book. After reading the Chronicles of Narnia last summer and the Space Trilogy in January, I was encouraged by a friend to read Ward’s take on Lewis’ writings. It was so well examined and really helped bring the pieces together, although being a criticism, this is not light reading by any stretch of the imagination. While there were tough patches to get through, I think on a whole it made me appreciate C.S. Lewis even more as an author.
You might like this if: (and only if) you’re a huge C.S. Lewis fan and/or have read the Space Trilogy AND Chronicles of Narnia.
Young House Love: 243 Ways to Paint, Craft, Update & Show Your House Some Love
by Sherry and John Petersik
Nonfiction – Interior Design/DIY | ★★☆☆☆
I grabbed this book after hearing about it on Sherry and John’s podcast, Young House Love Has A Podcast. Again, these two have a FANTASTIC blog that I subscribe to, so I had really high hopes but I ended up skimming through this in just a couple nights. I really struggled with the projects because they felt more like corner cutting placeholders as opposed to long lasting DIYs. The upside is that it has some really great photos, which were visually inspiring for my next projects.
You might like this if: you are looking to do some cheap and easy DIY projects or want to be visually inspired.
The Broken Way: A Daring Path to Abundant Life
by Ann Voskamp
Nonfiction – Religion and Spirituality | ★★★★★
I knew this would be an all time favorite because I absolutely fell in love with One Thousand Gifts, Ann’s first book. When I saw this come out, I just knew that I had to purchase the hardback edition because it will be on my shelf for years to come. Ann has a way of writing that captures my heart and makes me feel every emotion. Her writing style is unlike any I’ve ever encountered – it’s more like a conversation that coaches me without making me feel like I’m alone in my brokenness.
You might like this if: you are a human. Just kidding. You’d like this if you want to experience spiritual growth (and emotions).
The Nesting Place: It Doesn’t Have to Be Perfect to Be Beautiful
by Myquillyn Smith
Nonfiction – Interior Design | ★★★☆☆
I had bad feelings toward this from the get-go because when I pulled it off the shelf, it was a funky size – in between a novel and a picture book. I wanted to give if the benefit of a doubt because I love reading the author’s blog, thenester.com. This is one of those books that’s been going around the blogging community for quite some time. I’ve seen lots of people absolutely RAVE about it, so I had to see what it was all about. The author talks about the importance of making a house (even a rental) into a home and how to do that. She’s had plenty of experience since she had moved 13 times in about 18 years. There were plenty of good tips and tricks and I think the biggest take away for me was not being too afraid to start a project, especially with something you don’t like to begin with. While she provides great tips and tricks for home makeovers on a budget, my struggle with this particular book is that it could have been just as enjoyable if it were written in a blog series format.
You might like this if: you like quick, easy reads about home decor.