- Finale by Stephanie Garber – This was the conclusion to the Caraval series. I loved the first book and had reservations about the second book, so I was curious if I would like the third book. The answer is yes! I did like it. I enjoyed seeing the story from the perspective of both sisters. As a finale to the series, I was surprised with the ending.
- Mirage by Somaiya Daud – This book was Courty’s fiction pick this month. It’s a story of a girl kidnapped from her family to be a body double for a mean princess. While it sounded appealing, I will admit that this book fell a little flat for me. I didn’t love it or hate it. I just learned that it’s the first book of two which makes sense since the ending left a lot of questions unanswered. I now have book two on hold at the library. Maybe book two will improve my opinion.
- Rainbow Valley and Rilla of Ingleside by L.M. Montgomery – My monthly dose of LMM. I love visiting Prince Edward Island. These two novels are about Anne’s children. Rilla of Ingleside is a favorite of mine, but the WWI plotline always makes me cry.
- The Midnight Library by Matt Haig – This novel takes a look at the value of life and getting a chance to see if the grass is greener on the other side. The main character tries out different versions of her life based the many directions her life could have gone. It was interesting and a good reminder that we are here in this life for a reason. Our lives matter in ways we don’t realize or understand.
- Dear Mr. Knightly by Katherine Reay – A lovely novel about a girl coming out of the foster system who is given a grant to go to grad school. She must write letters to the founder of the foundation that offered her the grant while she’s in school. I loved that the main character was a book nerd who lived through classic characters and then learns to live and love in the real world again.
- A Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton-Porter – This book is about a girl who sells moths so she can give herself a better education and future. It’s set in the swamps of Indiana and the sequel to the novel Freckles (which I enjoyed immensely). While I’m not very interested in swamps and moths, the story is wonderful.
- Husband Auditions by Angela Ruth Strong – This new release felt like a classic rom-com when I read the description. The main character uses a list from the 1950’s to find dates while her brother’s roommate films the escapades for a YouTube show. Super cute and very funny!
- Resort to Love Series by Angela Ruth Strong – Love Finds You in Sun Valley, ID, Finding Love in Big Sky, MT, Finding Love in Park City, UT, Finding Love in Eureka, CA, Finding Love in Seaside, OR – I’ve owned the first book in this series for years, but never knew it was a series until this month! The series follows five brothers each taking their turn to find love. It was a fun to reconnect with characters I met years ago and see how the whole family story came together.
- Don’t Over Think It: Make Easier Decisions, Stop Second-Guessing, and Bring More Joy to Your Life by Anne Bogel – This was Courty’s non-fiction pick this month. I’ve never read Anne Bogel before and as you can see from my next two books listed, I binge read all her works this month. Over thinking is something I struggle with and this book was both practical and encouraging. This was one of the better books I’ve read on the subject.
- Reading People: How Seeing the World through the Lens of Personality Changes Everything by Anne Bogel – I love talking personality! I’m a huge fan of the Myers-Briggs assessment and the Enneagram. One of the funny moments from this book is that Bogel thinks my ISTJ personality is similar to Marilla Cuthburt in the Anne books. The older I get, I will admit that I understand and relate to Marilla more. The connection made me chuckle.
- I’d Rather Be Reading: The Delights and Dilemmas of the Reading Life by Anne Bogel – This small book made my soul smile. A whole book dedicated to the love of books and reading made me feel understood. As an avid reader who often feels like I’m alone (or weird) in my intense love of reading, this book felt like finding a kindred spirit.
- Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation by Kristin Kobes Du Mez – I’ll be honest, this book was heavy and very political. As someone who avoids politics, I knew it would be a difficult read, but I’d heard enough about the book that I wanted to read it for myself. This book left me with lots to process. It reminded me to seek Jesus above culture. Hard topics can lead to beneficial processing and this book provided that for me.
- People to be Loved: Why Homosexuality Is Not Just an Issue by Preston Sprinkle – This was a staff read by our church this month. The topic gripped my heart, especially as a parent. I know it’s important to process this topic so I will be prepared for conversations with my kids and others in the future. I appreciated Sprinkle breaking down both affirming and non-affirming perspectives. He did a great job of sharing his study of what the Bible says and how to love a community of people who have been deeply hurt by the church. This is a resources I will return to in the future. I am grateful for the personal wrestling I had to do while reading this book. It was a worthwhile and impactful read.
- Unglued: Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions by Lysa TerKeurst – A friend lent me this book. I wasn’t sure what to expect based off the title, but I knew I’ve enjoyed TerKeurst’s books in the past. The book spoke to controlling our emotions and the meltdown spiral that can happen – especially when rubbed the wrong way by those closest to us. I gleaned wisdom and good reminders from this book.