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This post contains affiliate links. They don’t cost you anything, but earn me a small commission. Thank you for supporting Becoming Bailey!
I received a free copy of Count Me In by Mikal Dawn in exchange for my honest review. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.
I did surprisingly well at reading for the month of May. I was a little worried at how little reading I would do this month, but I managed to finish 3 books by the 2nd day of the month! In all honesty, those 3 books were half-finished books (and audiobooks) so I didn’t read 3 entire books by the 2nd. However, finally reading those books felt more accomplishing than any of the other books I’ve read, mostly because it gets the clutter off my coffee table! I read exactly 8 books this month, so yay!
Mikal and I are in a Christian military spouse Facebook group together, so when I heard she was releasing a Christian fiction novel, I couldn’t wait to read it and share about it with my blog readers! Allegra Spencer is an accountant who finds herself out of a job, and runs into former NFL star-turned-business-owner Tyler Hawk, who just happens to be in need of an accountant for his outdoor adventure company. Sparks fly between the two, but there is just one issue: Tyler is an adrenaline junkie while Allie stays in her comfort zone. Will they resolve their issues, or is this just another case of “opposites attract”? Now, for my thoughts: I absolutely loved this book! I read a portion of it during my lunch break at work, and found myself sitting at my desk wondering what would happen between Allie and Tyler. I actually finished this book in a couple of hours once I got home from work because I just couldn’t wait to find out what happened! I am thrilled to hear that Mikal is releasing a sequel to this book! Her writing style reminds me of one of my favorite Christian authors, Karen Kingsbury–sweet and entertaining without being cheesy or unbelievable. I absolutely love supporting my fellow MilSpouses, so I highly encourage all of you to buy a copy of her book on Amazon!
This memoir tells about a 20s-something girl who meets a guy on OKCupid (the same website where I met my husband!) and, after knowing him for a month, goes on a crazy 21 day trip with him across 8 different countries…. with not a single piece of luggage and only one outfit. I found this audiobook absolutely riveting on my drives to and from work! Although I don’t agree with the author’s spiritual beliefs that are interposed throughout the book, it was so interesting to hear how this trip across the world “saved her” in a time of deep despair. There’s no way I could travel without luggage, but reading (err, listening to) this inspired me to travel light… err, travel lighter… on my next vacation!
Full disclosure: this was one of the books that has been sitting, half-finished, on my coffee table for months now. Once I finally forced myself to sit down and finish it, I found it incredibly interesting. It is the author’s first-hand accounts of Peleliu and Okinawa during World War II; he secretly kept notes in his Bible documenting the events of the war. It was a tough read, but an enlightening one. E.B. Sledge’s book was the adapted for television for the HBO miniseries The Pacific, produced by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg.
I previously reviewed Jon Acuff’s book Do Over in my March Recent Reads. I had actually started reading Start back in December, but it (like the previous book) sat on my coffee table, half-finished, for a few months. I also enjoyed this book, and it inspired me to just START my career (again) when we move this summer. This is embarrassing to admit, but I had a few people mention to me that I should volunteer when we move if I can’t find another job immediately, and I’m ashamed to say I blew off their advice. When Jon Acuff mentioned it in Start, it was like a “lightbulb moment” and I suddenly realized it won’t hurt– and may actually help– if I volunteer until I can land a job in Iowa. I actually bought this book at Half Price Books, and I’m very glad I did so I can reference it in the future!
I’ve mentioned Dr. Les Parrott before in some previous book reviews, as he (and his wife Leslie) are some of my favorite Christian self-help authors. This book is all about how taking 3 seconds to change your first impulse (which is often negative) to your second impulse (into something more positive) and how those 3 seconds can change your life. It’s no surprise that I loved this book and plan to add it to my resource library.
I found this book for $1 at the Dollar Tree and decided to buy it on a whim. I will be honest: I was a bit judgy before I started reading this book. The book’s subtitle is “An up-close view on how they make it work.” Obviously, the scandal with their oldest son Josh was revealed years after this book was published, so I went into my reading thinking, “They obviously aren’t making it work or this wouldn’t have happened.” How judgmental, wrong, and sinful of me! As I read, I learned more about their beliefs. I was reminded that they aren’t perfect people, they just serve a perfect God; the same God I serve. Who am I to pretend that I’m better than them?! I actually really liked a lot of the concepts they use in raising their family and homeschooling their children. Also, they use the same homeschooling curriculum that my husband used as a kid, so it can’t be that bad 😉 In all honesty, my mind was completely changed about their family and lifestyle by reading their book and I plan to keep it for my resource library. In my opinion, I think if they published a book about the aftermath of the molestation incident and about how God’s grace is redeeming their family, that could be an amazing testimony and help people understand that they aren’t hypocritical– they are imperfect people like the rest of us– but I don’t see that happening. You never know, though!
This novel tells the story of an Army nurse named Helen who falls in love with and marries an Army doctor, Frank, during WWII. They are both sent to Europe, although in different locations, and with the exception of a few meetings in-person, have only their love letters to keep their marriage strong. I absolutely loved this novel and found myself actually looking forward to going to work so I could read this during my lunch break (since I had an e-copy borrowed from the library on my Kindle.) I would text Andy during my lunch about really sweet scenes in the book. Imagine my surprise when I got to the end of the book to discover this “fictional” love story was based on real-life: Frank and Helen were the author’s parents! Maybe someday, our children write a novel based on my and Andy’s love story 😉
The authors of this book studied over 12,000 people from Navy SEALS to Olympians to determine 22 strategies that can help us reduce pressure and excel at our given tasks. I found this e-book absolutely fascinating and began implementing the strategies immediately. Andy was preparing for his final Recruiting school phone interview, and mentioned he heard rumors that some of the instructors yell at the Recruiters-in-training (to simulate angry parents/recruits, etc), so I suggested doing a mock interview with him and yelling at him. It threw him off-guard a bit, but on test day he said he did better than the other students who weren’t expecting or prepared for that.
What did you read in May?