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Books Review

Curious. Why do we say, "I read 3 books." or, "Go get your books." but then we go to the book store. The store sells more than one book. It sells many books. So why do we call it a book store and not a books store? Well, I'm going to start calling it a books store. And this is going to be a books review.

I'm not an avid reader. I never have been. Growing up, my sister was ALWAYS reading a book. And she read them so quickly. My brother was home for a week for Christmas and read 4 books. Meanwhile, until recently the only books I ever read were the ones I had to read for school and the occasional Bible study book. I enjoy reading, it just takes me forever. I wanted to be more intentional about reading last year. While talking to a friend about it, she mentioned the Goodreads App. which tracks your progress, helps you set reading goals and even makes suggestions about what to read next. I downloaded the app and found that quite a few of my friends were already on it and felt like with there unknowing support and a little bit of competitive spirit, I could set a reading goal for the year that I would be able to accomplish.

I set the bar low with 6 books. (I have friends that read like 42 books a year.) Found a few books that I liked and got started. COVID-19 and the months of quarantining and lock downs helped me get to my goal of 6 a lot quicker than I thought I would. So I changed the goal to 10. I ended the year having read 9 books-finishing the 9th book on New Years Eve and reading the 10th one into 2021. (I've learned that try to reading two books at a time is no go. Rookie mistake.)

Regardless, my original goal was met and even surpassed. I'm counting it as a win! Now that I know what books I enjoy and what my "pace" is I've set aside 12 books I'd like to read but set my Goodreads goal to 10 books this year. I don't know what this year will hold but I'm reading for any extra reading time I might find for myself.

If you're interested here is a list of the 9 books I read last year and a quick review of each one. I've also put some links of where you can get the book yourself if you want to buy. (I'm a book buyer. Libraries don't like well with my, "I'll read it when I feel like it" attitude. They even penalize you for that. No thanks.) Obviously you can always get the books on Amazon or at Barnes Nobel or your local "wherever books are sold".

Five Presidents: My Extraordinary Journey with Eishenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon and Ford by Clint Hill and Lisa McCubbin (Get it here)

My dad recommended this book to me. I love history so he thought it would be one I would enjoy. He happened to be listening to it on audio book when I was visiting for Christmas and I heard a few chapters. I ordered it, started reading it and could not put it down. Clint Hill is a retired Secret Service agent who served 5 Presidents. He was the agent who was seen jumping on to the back of the car when President Kennedy was shot. His insight to history as it happened as well as his experiences were incredible to read and incredibly interesting, especially for anyone who enjoys history.

Lost Roses by Martha Hall Kelly (Get it here)

This book is both a sequel and a prequel. The character in the first book, Lilac Girls is a child in this this one as this is the story of her mother. Both are historical fiction and set in a time of the world wars. They are moving and wonderful and full of sadness yet strength. I truly enjoyed BOTH books and am looking forward to Martha Hall Kelly's 3rd book coming out in March about the Grandmother. I really like how her sequals take you deeper in to the past.

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens (Get it here)

This book caught my eye because it was all over the internet. And several people who have read and recommend books that I have enjoyed in the past suggested it, so I bought it and believe it lived up to the hype. Somewhat of a mystery mixed with a love story and story of survival, I could not put it down. I was disappointed when it ended and really hope that they make it into a movie sometime soon!

Rooted: The Hidden Places Where God Develops You by Banning Liebscher (Get it here)

A bible study book definentily counts as a book you read! And this one really a great book. I've heard Banning Liebscher preach many times and I've always been impressed with him. He truly knows the Word of God and his message are always straight from it. So when looking for a new book for my small group, I came upon this one and was glad I did. I've found that many 'bible study' type books are often surface and don't always challenge committed believers they way I would like...but this one did! It cut to the chase and left me challenged and encouraged to take necessary steps to dig deeper and go further in my relationship with God. A definite 'must read' for those wanted to deepen their faith.

Home: A Memoir of My Early Years by Julie Andrews Edwards (Get it here)

Quarantine had me watching A LOT of movies and one week I went on a Julie Andrews kick. Watched The Princess Diaries and then The Sound of Music several times. It left me wondering about Julie Andrews as her a person and I quickly Googled, 'Julie Andrew Biography'. Turns out she has not one, but two that she wrote herself along with he daughter and I ordered the first one (the next one is on my lis 2021 reading list) and read the entire book with Julie Andrew's voice in my head. It was magical! And so interesting to read about the life of one of my favorite actors.

Five Days in November by Clint Hill and Lisa McCubbin (Get it here)

After reading and loving Five Presidents, I found that Clint Hill had written two other books about his time in the Secret Service. This book was about the 5 days spent with JFK in Texas; the days leading up to, the events of the day; and the days that followed his assassination in Dallas. At the time, Clint Hill was the Senior Agent on Jackie Kennedy's detail and this incredibly detailed, first hand account gives so much insight into one of the most horrific and puzzling events in modern American history.

Mr. Paddimir's Juice by Tran Schilg (Get it here)

One day during quarlitne I got a package from Amazon that I didn't order. In it was note from my cousin telling me that her friend had written this book and that she thought I would enjoy it. And I absolutely did. A love story set in 1800's London, filled with lots of adventure and many chapters that ended in cliff hangers, making we want to read and know just what happened next. It explains the horrors of human trafficking as well and at the same time, a beautiful picture of how incredible the love of God the Father is, that no matter how far we run, His love will find us, fight for us, and redeem us. * A portion of all proceeds from the royalties of the sale of this book will be donated to charities and ministries that rescue and rehabilitate victims of human trafficking.*

White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin D'Angelo (Get it here)

It's no secret that our country erupted this summer because of the horrors or racism. An rightfully so. Racism is evil. And it should not have a place in our society. In the midst of all the upheaval, I took a good hard look at myself and asked myself what I could do to learn more, to be call it out when it I see it, and to be a part remove racism from our country. I know I can't changed the nation, but I can certainly actively be a part of the solution instead of ignoring the problem because it doesn't directly effect me. This book was EYE OPENING and I would encourage EVERYONE to read it. It was hard to read at times, but necessary for those who are truly committed to learning more and loving better and being actively anti-rascist.

Under Our Skin: Getting Real about Race-And Getting Free from the Fears and Frustrations That Divide Us by Benjamin Watson (Get it here)

I love sportsl. And I love when athletes who are say they are Christians walk out their faith in word and in deed. Benjamin Waston is one of those poeople. This book was written several years ago but with that all that occurred in our country this summer, it remains relevant and timely. Through his own personal experiences and stories as well as a deep understanding of the love of God and the truth of His word, Benjamin Watson openly talks about the racism and how we, all people or all colors, can actively work to end it.

There you go. My 9 books of 2020. If you decide to read one of these, let me know what you think! And if you want to join me in reading more in 2021, here's my list for year that I hope to get through...10 of them at least.

2021 (Potential) Reading List

-Rhythms of Renewal: Trading Stress and Anxiety for a Life of Peach and Purpose by Rebekah Lyons (Started in 2020/Currently Reading)

-Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, (Currently Reading)

-The Moment of Lift by Melinda Gates

-Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst

-The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas

-Born A Crime by Trevor Noah

-Beneath A Scarlett Sky by

-All The Light We Can Not See by

-The Light Over London by

-Mrs. Kennedy and Me by Clint Hill

-Homework: A Memoir of my Hollywood Years by Julie Andrews

-Be The Bridge by Latsha Morrison

-Uncomfortable Conversations With A Black Man by Emmanual Acho

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