2018 Reading Challenge Update: What I Read in May
Welcome to my monthly Book-ish post where I share what I’ve been reading and what I’ve been reading aloud to my children. If you missed it, check out my Reading Goals for 2018 and the 2018 Intentional By Grace Reading Challenge.
This month we finished up our homeschool year, and it didn’t take long for my mind to transition over to summer mode. You will quickly see that I took a major brain break this month because there is a lot more fiction than usual on my May Reading List. This tends to happen each summer for me.
Although I read a lot of fiction, and I am planning to continue reading more fiction this next month, I wish I had a way of vetting my book choices a little better. I feel like to really research the books, I find out too much of the story line and lose the enjoyment of the book. But if I read it, and even enjoy parts of it, I feel like there is a battle for my soul at the same time.
I know I’m opening a can of worms here because I don’t want to sound like a prude, because I’m not, but I believe that there is a fine line that women walk between what is right and good and true and what is able to be enjoyed with a clear conscience. Sames goes for men, but when it comes to books, the romance plot is thick.
And y’all sex before marriage is not romance, and reading about someone else’s intimate moments isn’t romance, it’s porn. No matter how “light” it is… it’s not romance. It’s lust. And lust is sin.
I’ve talked about this before when I shared that I wouldn’t be reading Fifty Shades of Grey. And by the way, I’m sad that there is now a movie called, Book Club, out that is based around women reading Fifty Shades of Grey. As if it needed anymore publicity…
So, I’m sharing this right up front to say, I read some fiction this month. I tried to read with discernment, and though I vetted the books before starting as best I could, I still ended up with portions of the story that go against my Christian convictions.
I contemplated not even sharing that I read these books, but that seemed completely inauthentic. I’m committed to sharing honest reviews when I do these monthly updates. Sometimes you’ll find books you will want to read, and other times you might find books that you thought you wanted to read and after I share my experience, you’ll move on to something else.
With that said, here is my reading list for the month of May!
What I Read in May:
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Do More Better by Tim Challies
This was a very quick read, and one that I’m not sure I would say is a must-read for anyone. It carried some practical advice, and I did pick up a few tips on how to make my action items more effective, but overall I feel like there are better books out there on this topic. But if it’s sitting on your Kindle because you got it for a good deal, then go ahead and read it. It does have a few gems to pick up and start using now.
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
In all my reading years, until this month I had never read A Wrinkle in Time. My husband read it in high school and loved it, but I had never even heard of it. Therefore, when the movie released, I figured now was as good a time as any to put it on my nightstand.
I’m so glad I did! It was amazing. I thoroughly enjoyed it. My son found A Wrinkle in Time: Graphic Novel at the library and has read it through a handful of times already. He’s a bit young for the novel, but he loved the graphic novel version.
At Home in the World: Reflections on Belonging While Wandering the Globe by Tsh Oxenreider
I’ve had this book since it released. I pre-ordered it, but when it showed up, I put it on my shelf immediately. You see, I know myself. I get an ache in my stomach, a yearning deep in my heart, when I read about travel and family and the amazing heart work that happens on the road. I’m a wanderer at heart. I’m simultaneously a home body.
This book was as good as I expected it would be. It’s vulnerable and raw in true Tsh fashion while also inspiring and insightful into the challenges of travel in various cultures. It’s awakened the wanderer in me that I’ve intentionally buried for the sake of learning self-control for quite some time. But I’m itching for some adventure, and I’m really looking forward to our summer plans which include quite a bit of travel and adventure.
So, I really loved this book just like I have all her other books.
Teaching from Rest: A Homeschooler’s Guide to Unshakable Peace by Sarah Mackenzie
It turns out that I re-read this book every year as I begin preparing for a new homeschool year. I didn’t intentionally set out to do that, but it seems my soul craves a realignment at this time each year.
I love Sarah Mackenzie’s take on homeschool, and her gentle reminders to keep your priorities in line. This is a must-read for anyone who homeschools or is thinking about homeschooling.
The Apple Orchard by Susan Wiggs
This is a story set in Sonoma County which sounds just heavenly. It’s a story of sisters, friendship and the invisible bonds of history that tie us all together.
The basis for this story line left me mixed emotionally. It certainly tidied up nicely in the end, but the bad choices and the lack of discretion that caused the mystery in the first place could have been prevented. But then I think we can all relate to this synopsis as we look back through our own lives which makes the story quite realistic.
As mixed up as I am about how I FEEL about this book, I did enjoy it. I couldn’t put it down, and even though I had it all figured out two-thirds of the way in, I joyfully read on and loved the ending.
Unfortunately, there is always that ONE scene in every book of this kind that I WISH the writer would leave out. I saw it coming and skipped the chapter entirely.
This book is part of a trilogy, but because there was more language and “love” story (read: lust story) built into this story line than I prefer, I won’t be reading the rest of the trilogy. There’s too much good out there to worry with skipping parts that go against my conscience and convictions. Plus I read the first chapter of the next book and the language was so fierce, I had to put it down.
The High Tide Club by Mary Kay Andrews
This was on Modern Mrs. Darcy’s Summer Reading List. It was thicker than I expected! However, I enjoyed it. I read it on our long-weekend camping trip, and I kept sneaking away to read another chapter.
Again, I had it all figured out about half way through the novel, but there were plenty of twists and turns to keep me on my toes. Just like The Apple Orchard it left me mixed emotionally, part of the story line really goes against my conscience and what I believe is right and wrong. However, I was freshly reminded of the void left in the wake of a heart without Christ, and other than a little bit of language, the heart of the message of this book is interesting and insightful into a little bit of our nations history.
What I Read-Aloud in May:
The BFG by Roald Dahl
What a delightful read-aloud. I think this is our favorite read-aloud to date. It’s hard to choose a favorite Roald Dahl book, but this is up there at the top no doubt. My boys absolutely adored it, and the movie wasn’t half bad. It was different from the book, but it kept the heart of the message. Reading the book and then watching the movie afterward made for some really great family time this month!
Want to take the Intentional By Grace Reading Challenge? Click here to get the details! (Plus I share my recommended reading list for each category on that post.)
2018 Intentional By Grace Reading Challenge: Breakdown & Favorites
Goal: 12 books
Current Books Read: 4
Number of Books to Go: 8
Note: Below are the books I have read so far for each category. In parentheses beside each book, you will find a link to the post where I share my thoughts on the book.
- A biography: George Mueller: The Guardian of Bristol’s Orphans , by Janet & Geoff Benge (February list)
- A book about prayer: Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God, by Timothy Keller (April list)
- A book about worship:
- A book about Christian living:
- A book about the Holy Spirit: The God I Never Knew, by Robert Morris (January list)
- A book about the Cross:
- A Christian classic:
- A book about discipleship:
- A book about Church history:
- A book about holiness:
- A book about evangelism: Billy Graham: America’s Pastor, by Janet & Geoff Benge (March list)
- A book about relationships:
- A book of your choice: Do More Better by Tim Challies (above)
What about you? What have you been reading this month?
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