In order to take this picture, I had to find the book jackets to put back on the books… as you can see, I can’t find one of them. Do you take the jackets off and throw them on the floor, or is that just me? To me, they just get in the way and annoy me and serve little purpose other than decoration. It’s kinda the same reason I rip off long necklaces and the bracelets I wear as soon as I get home. They’re annoying and just get in the way, but they’re so prettttty. Fashion before function, right??
On to the book reports. I put these in order from best to worst for this month’s reading. And, as you’ll see, I’ve come up with my own February version of rating them (1 being low – 10 being really really super good)
The Road Back to You by Ian Cron and Suzanne Stabile
The book covers the ancient way of looking at personality types called the enneagram. It is a current, hip approach and one which actually lived up to the hype as I read it. What was interesting to me is that compared to other personality type approaches (such as the Myer Briggs), this seemed to focus on the sin or weaknesses of each type. So, for instance, I am a 2 – most likely a 2w3 – which they named a “Helper.” I love to help people and often my feelings will be tied up in what the other person is feeling. What the enneagram looks at is my motivation behind that helping – so a 2 will help because the 2’s have a deep sense of needing to be needed. If you don’t need me, I am not loved. An unhealthy 2 will expect helping in return and will not help unless they know they’re getting payback or will use their help to manipulate. A healthy 2 obviously will be aware of this and guard against that temptation to expect something in return. In the book, suggestions are given for each number as far as what to look for in your motivations and how to approach growing in self awareness.
So, to summarize: the book was really interesting. The end! ha… It matched up to what I’ve learned through the Myers Briggs (ENFJ here!) and helped affirm some of the spiritual lessons I have been thinking about lately and motivated me to continue to work on those with a better understanding of self and my motivation. Rating: 8 out of 10- even though I lost the dust jacket to this one… what was my motivation behind THAT?? Hmmmm…..
Nothing to Prove: Why We Can Stop Trying So Hard by Jennie Allen
The title is ironic, right? Since I have a podcast that’s called Just Try!! (Check it out HERE! You should try it!)
But I completely agree with Jennie’s point, which is that we, as Christians, do not have to rely on ourselves proving anything to anyone or anything. We are righteous because of Christ. Jennie covers our need for dependency on God – and God alone – and how any other dependency on those around us or on physical things is going to leave us empty and grasping to prove ourselves. Unless we are connected with Jesus and spending time with Him and learning more about Him, we will continue to struggle to prove ourselves. She also speaks to the fact that we are not enough – we need Jesus and His righteousness and only IN HIM are we enough. This is a subject I feel deeply about – but I’ll keep this short and just point you toward Jennie’s book. Rating: 8 out of 10 – look I kept the jacket on this on because I am PROVING that I am an amazing book-taker-carer-of!
Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
A creepy, fun sci-fi book about a man who is attacked and wakes up in an alternative universe. The universe he was taken from was a universe where he was living with his wife and child and had given up a career as a scientist to have that family; a life that is leaving him somewhat unhappy. In the universe he wakes up in, he has accomplished an amazing discovery in science and won a top prize and is emulated by everyone. So why is he so anxious to return to his family? Eventually, he tries to escape and return to his family, but meets more and more of “himselves” out there and ends up in a multi-universe world. How will he get back? How will he find his family again? What is more important – family and love or our success and accomplishments? Rating: 8 out of 10 universes to find your truest, happiest life. (Are there dust jackets there??)
My (Not So) Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella
Sophie wrote one of my favorite chick-lit books ever (Confessions of a Shopaholic), so I will admit that I basically just read whatever she writes. This one was a light, fluffy novel that wasn’t great – but was entertaining. A girl moves to London because she wants to get a great job, fit in with all the really amazing people in her office. She sees the lives they’re posting on Instagram and strives for that. She gets fired. Moves home. Helps on her parents’ farm… learns a lesson. I mean, it’s an okay story, but it drags on and on with details about the homemade soap and such. I got lost somewhere in there. Rating: 5 out of 10 (Dust jacket drifted around the floor in my bedroom for a while, just like this story drifts somewhere around the countryside of England)
This story is focused on the parents of a girl who is attempting to climb the ladder of elite gymnastics in order to make it to the Olympics. One of the helpers in the gym ends up dying. Who killed him? And how will this affect this girl’s last chance to qualify for the team? What lengths will the parents go to to make sure their daughter makes it?
You get the point. Interesting plotline. Rating: 7 out of 10 (the dust jacket did a flip off the book and landed on the floor. Good little gymnast jacket!)
Those are February’s book reviews! Here is my January list.
And be sure to check out my podcast when you need a little reading break! My latest interview is with Lauren Wilgus, of World Vision USA on how to begin teaching our kids about loving and serving others, and being aware of the world around them!