Happy happy June! I cannot believe we are almost halfway through 2020. Life just never stops.
I am starting my first actual series for this blog. For starters, I am an avid reader, who keeps a steady reading schedule every month. I tend to fluctuate in the amount of books I finish per month, but I never neglect my favorite hobby for too long (much of my fluctuation tends to be rooted in my tendency to start book after book and not stick to one book and finish it). This year I have been monitoring my reading more closely because of my reading challenge. I made a self-commitment to read 75 books this year. This means I have to read on average about 6 books a month. I have found this is not a challenge for me, and I still have time for other things I am passionate about. I tend to be a routine oriented person so setting this yearly goal has been wonderful and not stressful.
Due to this challenge, I thought it would be cool to do a post on the top 5 books I read each month. That way you guys can get to know me through what I choose to read, and I can have an excuse to talk about books. 🙂 I will try to post for this series on the first Friday of every month.
Hope y’all have read some of these or are interested in these books. If you ever want book suggestions, contact me here. I would love to help you out!
- With: Reimagining the Way You Relate to God by Skye Jethani
What. A. Gamechanger. This book was gospel-oriented and thought provoking, but it also was piercing because it accurately portrayed my flaws in relating to God. Jethani deals with 4 different postures Christians have with God and how none of them match the relationship God wants to have with us. He yearns to be with us, but we tend to still want control over the relationship instead of relishing in our Father’s constant presence. I have seen pieces of the 4 wrong postures within others and myself, and sadly, I have applauded some attributes of them in the past. But they do not invite God to commune with us instead they push Him away or use Him for something more one-sided.
The story of Jesus coming to earth is not amazing because of the angels singing in the sky, or the virgin pregnancy, or how unique it was to be born in a stable. It is the reality that God decided to dwell and be with men of fallen natures. He decided to be born to a fallen woman and live with us. Immanuel! God with us!
Jethani explains so beautifully that each of us will never have a true relationship with God until we invite Him to live with us. He talks of relating to God in other ways makes us give in to fear, control, and finding fulfillment. Living with God gives us hope, faith, trust, and purpose. I encourage every Christian to read this book. Yes, it will make you a bit disturbed because you might see yourself in the other 4 postures. Yes, it might make you feel like your relationship with God in the past was completely off. But this book can encourage you to assess and change how you relate to God, which is one of the best decisions you could ever make.
- And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
Hands down, this is one of the best murder mysteries I have ever read. Christies built fantastic suspense, made unforgettable characters, and created one of the most solid mysteries. She hit that sweet spot of having just enough information you can uncover to possibly guess who the murderer is while leaving most readers in darkness (including me) about the truth. I was left in utter ignorance but was so intrigued at how she was going to pull the story together. When the epilogue explained everything, I was dumbfounded, surprised, and in awe all at the same time.
Everything is just so perfect about this book. The setting is an island shrouded in mystery. The characters are strangers to each other but all have haunting pasts of their own. A mysterious couple has invited 10 guests to a large house on a small island. But when their hosts do not show up things start to turn upside down… Not to mention there is a murderous poem in their rooms…
Even if you are not into this type of genre, I think everyone can enjoy how creatively woven this story is. Plus the 2015 miniseries is wonderful!
- The Abolition of Man by C.S. Lewis
C.S. Lewis is my favorite author and so far, I have never read anything of his I haven’t loved. He was one of the best thinkers and authors the world has seen. The Abolition of Man has to be one of his best works. There is so much truth within this little book. He deals with humanity wanting to separate from an absolute moral law but still desiring humans to turn out as reasonable and good people. He writes if the education system is built on this, why do we expect our children to turn into people of virtue?
I found myself constantly rereading the pages over (honestly I probably read it twice) because there was so much truth filled in the pages. It made me realize how logical it is to believe that virtue and morality cannot be abolished or created by humans. It must be something outside of ourselves. If not, there is no point in upholding any sense of “good” or “right”. This is just a piece of what this book deals with. There was so much to learn. This is definitely a work that needs to be reread.
- Pollyanna Grows Up by Eleanor Porter
The protagonist, Pollyanna Whittier, is one of the best literary characters ever. She is so darling and sweet. She is a girl who plays the ‘Glad Game’ which is simply a never-ending game to find something to be glad about throughout your life.
This book is the sequel to Pollyanna, and our girl is back playing her game and just so excited about loving people. This book is definitely a “feel good” type of book, but there is definitely a lot to be learned from the lesson of being content and finding the good in life. I found the end to be a bit too ideal so I put it a little further down on the list.
- Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
I have been trying to read more of Shakespeare’s works. Overall I love his eloquent word play more than the characters and storyline. I have discovered that something that can be well written without being a fantastic story. This is how I feel about Romeo and Juliet. We all know they both kill themselves due to not being able to bear life without each other. Some find that romantic, but I find that really unwise. But it is a Shakespeare play where everyone gets way too emotional. Any monologue in one of his tragedies is proof of that, but I wanted to experience this story for myself and not just rely on West Side Story and second hand knowledge.
But it was not just their deaths that were a bit disturbing, it was the fact that Juliet is like 13, Romeo pines over this other girl he is “in love” with and then completely forgets about her the minute he meets Juliet, and also Juliet’s father is kinda awful at times. He literally thinks marrying her off to some guy she does not really know will cheer her up when her cousin dies. How awful! The two feuding families, that make Romeo and Juliet’s marriage seem impossible, reconcile at the end due to their deaths, and I honestly found that more beautiful than Romeo drinking poison and Juliet stabbing herself all in the name of love. By the way, they are ready to marry after like two meetings. But that is every Disney princess movie so I guess I should be used to this!
I did enjoy some of the imagery and passion put into some of the lines. One can never say that Shakespeare did not know how to write. But I just could not find one character I really liked, and I do not see how anyone can find it romantic to kill yourself over your spouse, who you haven’t even been married to for even a week.
This book was definitely not a complete waste of time. I love reading Shakespeare’s style, and I knew what I was getting myself into. It is probably my least favorite play, but I can say I read it! And now I can truly make fun of it…
Alrighty I’m done! 🙂
I’d love to know what you guys read during May! Comment below!
~ Kenedy M.
All photos courtesy of Google images.