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I received free copies of The Warrior’s Bride by Kathy Barnett and Carrie Daws and Finding Joy by Hope N. Griffin in exchange for my honest reviews. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.
As expected, July was a good month for reading. Being all alone in a new city with very limited internet access (I couldn’t stream Netflix or do my e-courses because it was so slow in the hotel!) meant I have plenty of time to catch up on my reading. It was nice to get one last month full of books in before I started working and taking college classes. Here’s a look at what I read in July.
The Warrior’s Bride by Kathy Barnett and Carrie Daws
When Ambassador International contacted me about reading and reviewing The Warrior’s Bride (as well as Finding Joy) I was so excited! In this season of life where I’m disconnected from “real” Army life, I’ve been looking for faith-based books written especially for military wives. This one did not disappoint! It is filled with Biblical strategies on how to handle military life and the situations it brings as well as stories of the authors’ own experiences to remind the reader that you’re not alone. Military life is so good at making you feel so alone, and being stationed hours away from the nearest base makes me feel even more alone. As much as people try and want to understand, you just can’t unless you’ve lived the military lifestyle yourself. I definitely plan on buying a copy of this book for my “Resource Library” and re-reading it in the future.
Finding Joy: The Year Apart That Made Me a Better Wife by Hope N. Griffin
I also received a copy of this book from the publisher and co. It was a devotional-type book for military spouses, interwoven with personal stories of the author’s experience during her husband’s deployment. I loved how she used the stories of famous women in the Bible, such as Esther, Ruth, and Bathsheba, and compared their situations to those of military wives. (She called King David, who slept with Bathsheba while her husband, Uriah, was in battle “the original Jody”!) One analogy she made, that I loved, was about how the Parable of the Ten Virgins is similar to life as a military wife… always waiting, waiting, waiting and how we need to be prepared as we wait. How true that is! Waiting on orders, waiting to PCS, waiting to find a house, waiting to settle in and make friends, and repeat. I highly recommend this book to my fellow milso’s!
The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher
Even if you are not an audiobook fan, if you plan on reading this book, you should listen to the audiobook version– since it’s read by Carrie Fisher. It was hilarious! I was laughing so hard! It definitely made the drive go by quicker. In fact, I loved it so much I had Andy download it to his phone and listen to on the other half of the drive to Iowa. He’s not an audiobook fan, but he is a huge Star Wars fan!
One.Life by Scot McKnight
I listened to this audiobook on the long drive from Kentucky to northern Iowa and honestly, I didn’t enjoy it. There were some good nuggets of wisdom hidden in the book, but overall I found it boring. I’m not sure if it was due to the book content itself or the hours spent driving past cornfields that seemed to never end. He also mentioned some things in the book that made me question his theological viewpoint, so that was another reason I didn’t care for the book.
The War at Home by Rachel Starnes
This memoir is about the challenges of being a Navy fighter pilot’s wife. I found it so intriguing that I read it in one sitting. I could definitely relate to the author’s challenges of finding employment, seeking a degree, finding friends, and fitting in as a childless spouse. I really appreciated her honesty, because it sometimes feels like I’m so alone in my thoughts and perspective, but this book reminded me that I’m not. This book also pointed out some of the differences among the military communities– the Naval aviation community and the fighter jet community, to be specific– and the challenges that go along with those lifestyles. I highly recommend this book to military spouses and non-military spouses who are interested in learning more about the challenges we face.
Misdiagnosed by Jody Berger
This book is a true story about the author’s experience in “Healthcareland.” She went to the doctor for tingling in her arms and feet, had an MRI, and was diagnosed with MS. After visiting a series of doctors, she is diagnosed with everything from depression to metal toxicity. I don’t want to spoil it for you, but needless to say she isn’t accurately diagnosed. This book impacted me as I’m on a journey to better my health. Health care is not “one size fits all” and I’ve learned it’s up to me to be my own advocate for my health issues.
War Bonds: Love Stories from the Greatest Generation by Cindy Hval
This book tells the real-life love stories of WWII veterans and their spouses. I really enjoyed this book! It was so sweet to read love stories and how these couples have made their marriages last 60-70 years. I especially love at the end of each chapter, the couple gave their own advice on how they made their marriage last so long. There is a lot that people my age can learn from “the greatest generation.”
5 Habits of a Woman Who Doesn’t Quit by Nicki Koziarz
I picked this book up on a whim for just $5 at LifeWay and I am so glad I did! I thought it would be a self-help book in terms of normal, everyday situations, but I found it completely applicable to my new life in Iowa. It reminded me to not give up on life in Iowa or my marriage even when times are tough. I’m really glad I bought this book, because it will be part of my Resource Library as well!
The Astronaut Wives Club by Lily Koppel
This book is a true story of the women who were married to the astronauts from the early years (Project Mercury, aka the originals), the Gemini wives (the “newcomers”) and then the Apollo wives. There were a lot of similarities between the AstroWives and their former roles as military wives, except one major difference: they were now nationwide and worldwide celebrities. I really enjoyed this book but had one issue with it: the book jumps from wife to wife, so I would sometimes get confused on who I was reading about. Nonetheless, it was an enjoyable read! I remember hearing about the ABC television series that was inspired by this book, and though I’ve never seen it, I hope to.
Let’s All Be Brave by Annie F. Downs
I found this book on the shelves at LifeWay when I was browsing in Minneapolis, so when I saw that MWR had an e-book copy, I was thrilled to read it. I knew this book would be completely applicable to my life right now. The author writes about experiences in her own life that required her to be brave– moving to Tennessee, then England, then back to Tennessee. Similarly, last year I moved from my hometown to a military base to be with my soldier husband, and this year we moved from my home state of Kentucky to a small town in Iowa where we knew no one. That definitely required bravery! I remember so many days, crying that I couldn’t do this. And I can’t… but God can! I especially loved the Biblical references in this book (for instance, Esther’s story!) about when normal people had to seek God-given bravery. You can bet this is another book I’ll keep in my reference library.
What books did you read in July?