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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 3 books per month. As a reminder, I provided a summary of the books (either from Amazon or GoodReads) in italics with my review beneath that.
Seventeen-year-old Sadie Robertson—star of A&E’s Duck Dynasty and daughter of Willie and Korie Robertson—shares her outlook on life as she opens up about herself and the values that make her family what it is. Sadie Robertson represents everything that a well-adjusted teenager should be, even while growing up in the spotlight on Duck Dynasty. She exhibits poise, respect for her family and friends, and a faith that influences her choices. Everyone wants to know how a family as eclectic as the Robertsons are raising such confident, fun, family-loving kids. With this book, Sadie sheds light on the values instilled by her family that make her the person she is.
I absolutely adored this book! I have enjoyed watching Sadie grow up since she first appeared on Duck Dynasty as a 14-year-old and I also really enjoyed watching her on Dancing With the Stars. There were a few things that I personally did not care for with this book, but this book was primarily aimed at teenagers and I’m obviously not the target demographic. Overall, I really enjoyed it!
In Players First, John Calipari relates for the first time anywhere his experiences over his first four years coaching the Kentucky Wildcats, college basketball’s most fabled program, from the doldrums to a national championship, drawing lessons about leadership, character, and the path to personal and collective victory. (…) Every year, he has to reinvent his team. After his 2012 NCAA championship, it was particularly dramatic; he lost his first six players in the first round, meaning that someone who couldn’t even start for Kentucky was a first-round draft pick. The overall record at Kentucky, and for his career, puts Calipari in the pantheon of the greatest coaches in the history of the game. Bold, funny, and truthful, like Coach Calipari himself, Players First is truly the first deep reckoning with the meaning of his experiences and the gifts of insight they offer.
I was browsing the book section at the Dollar Tree, and when I found this book, I immediately threw it in my shopping cart. Coach Cal is the men’s basketball coach at the University of Kentucky, and being a native Kentuckian, cheering on the Wildcats is in my blood. (I mean, there are literally baby photos of me in UK attire!) I’m not a huge sports fan and know next-to-nothing about the game, so I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this book! If you love college basketball, then you will love this book.
In 1956, five young men, including Elliot’s husband, Jim, traveled into the jungles of Ecuador to establish communication with the fierce Huaorani Tribe, a people whose only previous response to the outside world has been to attack all strangers. The men’s mission combined modern technology with innate ingenuity, sparked by a passionate determination to get the gospel to those without Christ. In a nearby village, their wives waited to hear from them. The news they received – all five missionaries had been murdered – changed lives around the world forever. Written while she was still a missionary in South America and at the request of the men’s families, Through Gates of Splendor was Elisabeth Elliot’s personal account of the final mission of these five courageous men.
Fun fact that not many people know: Andy’s parents were missionaries in Africa for a portion of time (Andy wasn’t yet born, but his oldest siblings were old enough to remember it.) Andy remembers his dad talking frequently about Nate Saint, the jungle pilot, who was one of the 5 missionaries killed in Ecuador. I was vaguely familiar with Nate Saint, Jim Elliot, and the other missionaries but had never read any books about them, so I was thrilled to finally read this one. I really enjoyed it and it caused me to question how I live out missions in my daily life. After I finished reading, I had a nice conversation with my father-in-law about the book.
Based on Mark Gungor’s wildly popular seminar, Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage® builds on Gungor’s success with tens of thousands of couples who credit him with enriching, and even saving, their marriages. By using his unique blend of humor and tell-it-like-it-is honesty, he helps couples get along and have fun doing it.
Through exploring a variety of subjects including the myth of a “soul mate,” the different ways men and women think, the conflicting levels of libido, and the necessity to forgive, Gungor proves that the key to marital bliss is not romance or destiny — it’s work and skill. Couples need to work hard at maintaining their relationship and to have the skills to pull it off. The longer spouses wait to learn these skills, the greater their chance of wanting to bail, yet Gungor makes it easy for couples to bring their relationship to the next level.
To be totally honest, I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I had hoped. I read it after attending the Strong Bonds marriage retreat, and the book just falls flat in comparison to the video of his marriage seminar. (In this case, “the movie” is better than the book!) That being said, I do think it has a lot of helpful information for married couples and the author is hilarious. If you don’t have the opportunity to attend a Strong Bonds or Laugh Your Way marriage retreat, then you should read this book!
What did you read in June?
What books would you recommend I read?