Let Me Be a Woman by Elizabeth Elliot--5 stars: I don't think Elizabeth Elliot wrote something I'm not in love with. This book wasn't what I was expecting, but it was wonderful nonetheless. It's a biblical look at womanhood, but it's comprised of letters she wrote to her engaged daughter, telling her what it means to be a Christian wife, mother, and woman. She also wrote about the importance of singleness, so there's something for everyone. I was encouraged, challenged, and uplifted.
For fans of: theology, marriage, faith, conviction
Simply Tuesday: Small Moment Living in a Fast-Moving World by Emily Freeman--2.75 stars: I had really high expectations for this book, but it fell short. First of all, I love the premise. It's about finding joy and contentment in a small life, which I am ALL about. There were a few sections that I wanted to read over and over, because they were so good. However, I had two main problems, the first being her writing style. It felt like she was trying to imitate Ann Voskamp with that flowery, fluffy, ethereal writing style and I HATE IT SO MUCH. That's just my personal preference; I know some people love it. Freeman gets lost in her own metaphors and can't find her way out. There are two big metaphors she uses throughout the whole book, and they never once made any sense to me. It felt overly cheesy and corny, and I think it really took away from the meaning of the book. My second problem was her theology. I read it several months ago so I can't remember specifics, but some of it was a bit off, and she quotes a few people and Bible translations with wonky-at-best theology. If you're the kind of person who is constantly busy and trying to figure out how to slow down, this might be a great book for you. I've got 99 problems, but having a jam-packed schedule isn't one of them. However, just know I can't wholeheartedly endorse it due to some theological issues, but there are some good takeaways in it.
For fans of: pithy one-liners that don't always make sense, flowery writing, having someone tell you it's ok to sit down and take a break
Missional Motherhood by Gloria Furman--5 HUGE stars: THIS. THIS is what I wanted from Simply Tuesday. There was no mystical writing, just concise but powerful words that nearly brought me to tears over and over. She writes like a modern Elizabeth Elliot. Let me be clear--you do not have to be a mom to relate to this book. The title is a bit of a misnomer; the tie-ins to motherhood were very occasional and almost felt forced. She doesn't limit motherhood to biological children, but to adoption and even to friendship. She pulls every type of woman into this book. This book was more of a reminder of what our time on earth is for. The first half was an overview of the Old Testament, and the second half covered the gospel (I think...it's been awhile!). She helped me understand parts of the Bible I've always struggled with, and the conviction was unreal. I want to hand this book out to everyone. Everything is biblical, and her theology is spot-on.
For fans of: the Bible, theology, Biblical mothering, conviction, Elizabeth Elliot
The Midnight Dress by Karen Foxlee--2 stars: This was for my online book club, and...meh. I should've known when I saw that it was YA. I despise almost that entire genre. The last thing I want to read about are angsty, hormonal teenagers who do stupid things. It takes place in Australia in the 80s (which took me almost the whole book to figure out). Rose needs a dress for her school's harvest festival, and has an old, creepy woman make it for her. People are convinced the dress is magic, or the old woman is a witch, or both, or something. I don't know. And there's a murder. I read it a few weeks ago and I don't even remember the details of the murder. The only parts of this book I liked were the scenes where the woman was teaching Rose how to sew. Everything else was pretty terrible, and there were some disturbing themes. I don't recommend this one at all.
For fans of: creepiness, cranky teenagers with daddy issues, having flashbacks of your high school Homecoming
For fans of: feeling like you're failing as a mom, encouragement about motherhood, reading stories of other people's toddler disasters
[Sidenote: I had this book for about a month, and every time I read it or said it out loud, I read The Four Loves as "The Four Loaves," like loaves of bread. I was confused for weeks about why this book about love was titled about bread until one night my brain finally corrected itself. I laughed for a long time.]
For fans of: Surprised by Oxford, faith, theology, Christianity, reading about boarding school life in Victorian/Edwardian England
For fans of: WWII, the 1940s, mysteries, The Nightingale
I'm currently in the middle of Rise of the Rocket Girls, and I am LOVING it. What are you reading?