February Book Love

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I’m digging into lots of new books this month, including three book launches (one on my kindle), and continuing through my 100 day devotional. I’m already creating a list of books for March! You can follow all of the book I am reading at Liz Smith on Goodreads

 

A Midwife in Amish County by Kim Woodward Osterholtzer

I received this advanced reader copy on my Kindle from the publisher and am on the launch team for this book. Kim has been a midwife for over 25 years, and her passion and calling are clear through the reading of her stories. Kim details her own personal struggles and doubts in her calling to be a midwife, and to pass along her knowlege to the next generation. The book is a journey into the Amish life and all of the beauty and struggle that is a part of it. A Midwife in Amish Country will be released on April 30, 2018.

 

100 Days to Brave by Annie F Downs

I am currently on day 44 of this 100 day devotional. I am really enjoying the short but very applicable devotionals and how they fit very well into my Year of Becoming. You can read more about this devotional in January Book Love and about my one word year One Word: Become.

 

Believe Boldly by Erica Willis

I just received this advanced reader copy from the publisher, but have been reading parts dititally. Believe Boldly is all about embracing God’s power through bold prayer. Erica Willis talks about her doubting heart, God’s perfect truth and a spiritual launching pad. She encourages everyone to believe boldly. This book releases on February 20, 2018.

 

Friend of Sinners by Rich Wilkerson Jr.

This book launch just starterd and I recieved this advanced reader copy from the publisher just a few days ago. This book, which releases on March 13, 2018, focuses on the relationships that Jesus created while on earth. People that needed a relationship with Jesus while they were still sinners.

 

Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown

I am half-way through this book and find it so facinating. Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston. In Braving the Wilderness, Brown digs into what true beloning is and how if we practice true belonging, we are required to be vulnerable, uncomfortable and “learn how to be with people without sacrificing who we are and what we value.” I find this book is so important for the current times we are in. It is challenging and inspiriting to me as a mother, a friend, a leader in the church and a writer. I have not read anything else by Brene Brown, but am adding some of her other books to my reading list.

 

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

Kristin Hannah is one of my favorite fiction authors. Her stories always bring me deep into the characters relationship and awlays leave me wanting for more of the story. The Great Alone is her newist book that was just released on February 6, 2018. This novel takes a family on a journey to Alaska following the Vietnam War which leads to struggle, darkness, human fraility and untimatly resilience. I am very excited to dig into this book and get lost in Alaska.

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January Book Love

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“Between the pages of a book is a lovely place to be.”

As usual, I am in the middle of several books. Here are my January reads, for now. It’s only January 12th, so you never know what I might add to the list by the end of the month. Plus, I’ve already finished several of these. Here is a little snip-it about each one.

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Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

My mom sent me this book for Christmas, and Jodi Picoult is one of my favorite fiction  authors. It is an engaging, riveting, hard and beautiful novel about parental love, friendship, privilege, prejudice, race, the justice system, compassion and loss. It was published in 2016 and is very fitting for the current times we are in.

 

The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkaneh

I received an advanced reader copy of this book from the publisher and have been helping launch this book. The Wife Between Us is a fast and fun psychological thriller. In similar fashion to Gone Girl, The Wife Between Us has the reader connecting to the characters in the first half of the novel without knowing the twists and turns that suddenly take place at the half-way point. This book had me guessing up until the final twist at the end of the novel. It is also being made into a movie by the same company that did Girl on a Train.

 

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

I just started this book today. Goodreads says “Big Little Lies is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves just to survive.” It’s also been turned into an award-winning show on HBO staring Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Laura Durn and Shailene Woodley. Sometimes, we just need a fun read!

 

Of Mess and Moxie by Jen Hatmaker

I just finished re-reading this book last week. I was on the launch team for Of Mess and Moxie and received an advanced reader copy. With her wit and southern Texas charm, Jen Hatmaker reminds women how to find their moxie in the middle of thier mess. It’s a fun, inspirational read filled stories, recipes  and the connectedness that happens between women. I’m hosting a book club for this book later this month and Jen is doing some Facebook live videos for groups to join in. She makes me laugh out loud!

 

Girl, wash your face by Rachel Hollis

I love this book! It has been and continues to be such a blessing to be on the launch team for this. Rachel Hollis is the best friend I’ve never met in person! Girl, wash your face is like a letter from a best friend who see the God-given potential in you, and only wants the best for you. Rachel Hollis’ heart, passion and encouragement ring out pure and true in the pages of her new book. I just wrote a review for this book and you can read it here: Book Review: “Girl, wash your face” It is a perfect book to start in the new year.

 

The Dream of You by Jo Saxton

I am in the middle of this wonderful book. I also received an advanced reader copy of this book (Can you tell that I like to launch books?). Jo Saxton takes the reader on a walk toward our true identities and the dreams that we were created to live. She examines biblical figures and share her personal story as she invited the reader to turn to the One who know you intimately and love you deeply. Another perfect book for the new year.

 

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

I read this book in middle school, I believe, and our family read it together last summer as one of our summer reads. (We all read the same book, but on individual reading levels. Full novel, junior novel, graphic novel, easy reader book, picture book) I want to read it again before the movie comes out in March.

 

100 Days to Brave by Annie F. Downs

I am currently 12 days into this 100 day devotional. It’s all about unlocking your most courageous self. Annie encourages the reader to embrace the path and plan that God has for you. I started this book on January 1st and it’s been a great encouragement. I love the short chapters and the “Be Brave” moments at the end of each chapter, giving you something quick and practical to write down or to do.

 

Turn Your Family Rooms Into Libraries

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“A room without books is like a body without a soul.”

Cicero

Growing up, our house didn’t have a TV Room or a Family Room. It had a Library. Now, there was a television in that room, but it was still called the library. On either side of the television, were rows and rows and rows of books. There was a smaller bookshelf that was full. Books on the coffee table. Book in the bedrooms. Books!

I grew up looking at copies of Twain, Hemingway and Fitzgerald long before I could understand their works. Shakespeare, Frost, Whitman introducing me to poetry and language. Books with fine print far smaller than my Babysitter Club or Sweet Valley High books. Books with old cloth binding and gold lettering. Encyclopedias, anthologies, history books. A giant red atlas that I couldn’t lift. There were more books than I could possible read; but I wanted to. Books!

When I got married, out first apartment was filled with books. The simple bookshelf made from cinder blocks and particle board was one of the first things we put together. Filling it with books, mostly from our childhoods and from college. Many date nights were spent exploring Barnes and Noble, with Starbucks in hand. A few years later, when we moved to Princeton, NJ, we bought three tall brown bookcases from IKEA and quickly filled them. Books!

We have downsized out book collection over the years only to replenish it again. I think the only reason we downsize is so we can purchase mimage3 (2)ore books. Just like my childhood home, we have books on our bookshelves, on the coffee table, on the side tables, in all the bedrooms. Our children loves books and get excited to explore a Barnes and Noble Bookstore. Books are gifts at every birthday and every Christmas. Books!

We take huge tote bags to the library on Saturday mornings and fill them so full no one can lift them. The children devour them, sometimes finishing a book before we get home. Books!

My love of books and reading has gifted me the opportunity to be a part of several book launch groups. I get to read books before they hit the bookshelves and share about them. I didn’t even know this was a thing until a couple of years ago when I responded to an email, and a book arrived in my mailbox a few weeks later. These days I usually find myself reading 3-5 books at a time. Here are just some of the books I’ve been reading lately. All different. All great! So many books!

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I am about to start two new books for launches. One of the books arrives tomorrow and the other soon after! The Power of Positive Leadership by Jon Gordon comes out on April 24th and Of Mess and Moxie by Jen Hatmaker comes out in August. I will be sharing all the scoop about these books and there will be more books to come. Someday, my book.

So, get thee to a library or bookstore and start reading! Fill those shelves, then fill them again. Turn your family rooms and TV rooms into libraries. Stack books next to your bed. Feed your children’s imagination with books and then set them free.

“They are the books, the arts, the academes,
That show, contain and nourish all the world.”
William Shakespeare, Love’s Labour’s Lost