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If you’re new around these parts, Recent Reads is a monthly blog series where I recap the books that I read the previous month. I’ve been an avid reader since I was 6 years old and I’ve read thousands of books since then…. but reading so many books can be a problem because I tend to forget what I’ve previously read! I believe that life is too short and there are too many good books to spend time re-reading books, so I created this blog series as a way of recording which books I’ve read and to inspire others in finding new books to read as well!
I used to read anywhere from 5-20 books per month, depending on my life situation at the time. Right now, my goal is to read 2 books per month. I met that goal in February (barely). One of my book choices was so moving and emotional that it took nearly 3 weeks to read and digest. You’ll see what I mean below!
As always, I share the book’s synopsis from GoodReads or Amazon in italics with my thoughts following.
Calling the super busy, the stressed out, the overtired. You know you’re made for a more fulfilling life. With this book, you’ll know where to start. You wake up tired. Your to-do list is too long. The commitments―and the laundry―are piling up, but your energy keeps dwindling. You feel like you’re simply making it through the days, not living or enjoying any part of them. In Say Goodbye to Survival Mode, you’ll find both practical ideas and big-picture perspective that will inspire you to live life on purpose. As a wife, mother of three, and founder of the wildly successful blog MoneySavingMom.com, Crystal Paine has walked the road from barely surviving to living with intention. With the warmth and candor of a dear friend, she shares what she’s learned along the way(…) Packed with straightforward solutions you’ll use today and inspirational stories you’ll remember for years, Say Goodbye to Survival Mode is a must for any woman who’s ever longed for the freedom to enjoy life, not just survive it.
If you read my January Recent Reads recap, you’ll notice I read a similar book last month. The topic of thriving (not just surviving) and being more productive is a struggle for me. Although much of Crystal’s advice was simple and shared in dozens of self-help books (such as finding an accountability partner, breaking tasks down into smaller chunks, and meal-planning), I still found her tips useful in managing my stress levels related to everyday household tasks. As Andy and I already have good control over our finances, I skipped reading the chapter about finances; I did skim it and would recommend reading Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover instead. Overall, I enjoyed this book and plan to keep it on my bookshelf whenever I’m feeling “stuck.” This book would most appeal to married Christian women who are struggling with balance in their lives.
We Are Charleston: Tragedy and Triumph at Mother Emanuel by Herb Frazier, Dr. Bernard Edwards Powers Jr., and Marjory Wentworth
On June 17, 2015, at 9:05 p.m., a young man with a handgun opened fire on a prayer meeting at the Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in Charleston, South Carolina, killing nine members of the congregation. The captured shooter, twenty-one-year-old Dylan Roof, a white supremacist, was charged with their murders. Two days after the shooting, while Roof’s court hearing was held on the video conference, some of the families of his nine victims, one by one, appeared on the screen—forgiving the killer. The “Emanuel Nine” set a profound example for their families, their city, their nation, and indeed the world. We Are Charleston not only recounts the events of that terrible day but also offers a history lesson that reveals a deeper look at the suffering, triumph, and even the ongoing rage of the people who formed Mother Emanuel A.M.E. church and the wider denominational movement (…) Exploring the storied history of the A.M.E. Church may be a way of explaining the price and power of forgiveness, a way of revealing God’s mercy in the midst of tremendous pain. We Are Charleston may help us discover what can be right in a world that so often has gone wrong.
I bought this book a few years back, but it sat unread on my bookshelf until recently. This book was an emotionally tough book to read as it discussed topics such as slavery, Civil Rights, and modern-day racism. One of the things that made this book unique was the perspective that the AME Church, African-Americans, and Americans, in general, will triumph over racism and discrimination. I recommend this book to readers who would like to understand better race relations in America or readers who are interested in learning how historical events affect our country today.
What books did you read in February?
What is on your March reading list?