Can we talk about books?
Hello friends, this marks the fourth year of the books blog. I experienced a rich year of reading and enjoyed 39 (counted) books. One of my goals for 2018 was to start a book club. So, along with my dear friend, Sarah, we launched our cozy club called Books With Friends. Before I get to the books, I’ll share a few ways that I keep track of and enjoy my reads.
Firstly, I use the library. It’s one of my favorite places and it is FREE!
Next, my family has a subscription to Audible. If you enjoy listening to audiobooks, this is the way to go. I often listen to Audible or Podcasts on vacations or long car trips.
And finally, I use the Goodreads app to keep track of my books and see what my friends are reading. Feel free to follow me if you use Goodreads. You can also check out the Books page to see some of my all-time favs on this site: https://kristinsaatzer.com/books-that-have-changed-me/
Now, how about I share some of my choice wins from 2018?
Self-help and inspirational:
This book. Wow. It is deeply personal to the author, she is real and vulnerable, and shares parts of her story. Oh, how it spoke to me. It is Scripturally solid and relatable and hope-filled for anyone struggling with grave disappointment and the pain of a life that has not gone as desired. Five stars.
I read three Mark Batterson books in 2018. This was my favorite and I like it as much as the book above but for different reasons. God used these words to pull me out of discouragement and I continue to return to it. I am praying boldly again!
Imagine Heaven is a book I picked up after a dream of two brothers saying goodbyes before one enters Heaven. I wanted to learn more and hold on to this beautiful dream. This book is a mind-blowing, faith-filled and radiant look at Heaven with story upon story. I will read it again.
Another book that came at the perfect time. I read a few Brene Browns this year, but this one was spot on in my healing journey. I love this quote, “You have to be brave with your life, so that others can be brave with theirs.” I am slowly learning to be whom I’m supposed to be. This book has a blog-like feel with social science led research that I found fascinating.
This is the second memoir written by this remarkable young woman. Daring to Hope contains more of the author’s heart struggles (tied to scripture) than the first book, and not as many stories (although the ones included are amazing). It is somewhat of a Bible study and illustrates the heart of the gospel. This inspiring woman is a model of the hands and feet of Jesus.
Kelly Corrigan is the new Erma Bombeck. She is funny and poignant. I was moved to tears and laughed out loud during my reading. This is a mother-daughter story with heart and humor. Love the metaphors! PG-13 for language and sexual innuendo.
Health and Growth:
This read is a wonderful, Biblical perspective on health, body image, eating, and exercise. The author is the founder of a ministry called Revolution Wellness. The wisdom here makes for a great group or individual study. I am crazy about this teaching. I also read a devotional by Alisa Keeton this year called “Heir to the Crown”. Good stuff.
I have dug into Dr. Amen’s books in the past and like the others, this one did not disappoint; the chapters are replete with research and practical wisdom. There are lists, tests, and recipes to boot. I would like to see an updated version of this fascinating book (written in 2005), particularly the vitamin and supplement section. Even still, it is an educational, innovated read.
Winter Garden was a perfect escape, beach-read for me this summer. Hard to put down. The author writes as if the reader is a spectator, immersed in the drama and characters. I loved and hated one of the main players (Anya) all at once. Because of the language, sex, and an intense story-line, it is PG-13 plus.
The Magic of Ordinary Days, what a beautiful title and philosophy. This is a sweet one. There is also a recent movie based on this title that I plan to watch. The setting is an American farm during WWII. The main character experiences a radical life change and I enjoyed following her journey. There are a few sexual parts but no language.
This winsome book is all me: England, music, eccentric people, charming village, and strong women. WWII once again. Laced with humor and sadness and oh so sweet. If it weren’t for the sexual elements, I would give it 5 stars.
A few I plan to read in 2019:
That is all for now. I must stop even though this is so much fun, “talking” about books with you. People often ask me how I find the time to read so much. The answer is insomnia. Ha! While that is partially true, the reality is that I don’t watch much television, only sports, and PBS Masterpiece. So, when the end of the day arrives and I have moments to myself, I usually choose my book to spend them with. My soul is filled, my mind expanded as I am transported to distant times and places.
Happy New Year reading!