July was hot and humid and many evenings were spent reading while waiting for the house to be cool down enough to to sleep. Here are the books I finish reading in the month of July.
- The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. This is the story of two sisters living in France during the war. Both will be fighting to keep what is dear to their heart in their own particular way. We think that the war if about the man who are in the front, fighting for their country, but Hannah reminds us that they the war is also fought by women left behind. If you like stories of courageous women, then this is the book for you.
- Still Alice by Lisa Genova. Alice is a middle-aged Harvard professor that could be proud of her accomplishments. Smart, active and healthy, Alice was shocked by her early onset of Alzheimer disease diagnostic. Still Alice will give you a glimpse of how Alzheimer not only the one who is victim of this debilitating disease but also how it affects the family dynamic. Lisa Genova, has a Ph.D in neuroscience and her knowledge was her secret weapon in the writing of this book. It is a very interesting read but will not leave you with happy butterflies feeling.
- Side by Side: Walking with others in Wisdom and Love by Edward T. Welch. We were not created to be hermits and live alone, we were created to be in relationships with others. Welch a practical guide for all Christians in developing their helping skills. You will learn how to change the way we fellowship with one another. Moving away from “preaching at them” or just keeping to the surface “talking about the weather” conversations, to creating genuine interest in the life of the people you meet. I would recommend this book to all the Christians who have the desire to love, serve and be present in peoples lives especially those who are hurting.
- Introverts in Church: Finding our place in an Extroverted Culture by Adam S. McHugh . We live in a world where the extroverts gets the spotlight, by choice or because we think they should be look up too, but how about those behind the scene? When we stop to think how introversion isn’t a behavior that one learn but one that he/she is born with, we can reflect better on the gift that is introversion. Introverts in Church, helps introverts to see their place in church because of the skills set God has given them, how to serve better and how to refuel in an extrovert driven Church. I would encourage all those extroverted leaders to read this book for the simple reason that they would learn how to minister better to the introverts of their congregation but also see how they could help place them in ministry best suited for their personalities.
- North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell. This is the story of Margaret Hale, transplanted from the South of England to the industrial North. She will have to learn to adapt to her new environment but her new friends will learn that Miss Hale is a strong a capable women whose family have been hiding a few secrets during their move to the North. If you like coming of age, classic and historical fiction with a romantic twist this will be the book for you.
- The Golden Son by Shilpi Somaya Gowda. Anil, eldest son of an influential clan, grew up in rural India. He was the first to leave his family to continue his studies in America to become a doctor. This is a story about family and responsibility and difference between cultures. While studying, Anil’s father passed away and it falls on Anil’s shoulder to take on all of his fathers responsibilities on top of him being across the world. This is the second book of Canadian born Somaya Gowda wrote, her first being Secret Daughter, and I would recommend both.
- Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding. I picked up the series at a used book sale knowing that they wouldn’t be one of the most intellectually stimulating read but just mental floss. How can I sum this book up. Bridget has bulimia tendencies, or is an emotional eater big time, makes poor relationship decision and drinks a bit too much. I would say the writing is not great but can entertain if you let it. Would I recommend, probably not. Will I read the rest of the series, sure why not, in case the writing does improve.
- Inside of the O’Briens by Lisa Genova. This was my second read from Genova this month, I really enjoyed Still Alice and had high expectation about this one. Joe is , a policeman, a husband and father, a not so devout Irish Catholic and carrier of the gene for Huntington disease. We follow Joe from the first symptoms of this genetic disease, how it’s progression affects his daily life and substantially all of his children. The book was good in describing how a genetic disease would affect a family but the religious component and how Joe leaves faith along with one of his daughter to lean more unto new age religion did irritate be a bit.
- The Shack by Paul Young. After Mack’s daughter was murdered, he receive a letter that he believed to be from God wanting to meet him at the shack (the location there his daughters clothes were found leading to the conclusion that she had been murdered). Upon arriving at the point of rendez-vous, this is where the story starts to become a bit weird. Mackenzie will be meeting, God, Jesus and the Holy spirit but the way the author present each entity is so irreverent that it made me cringe. I can see that some big theology ideas there, presented in an easy to grasp concept but I am not convinced that they were accurate not the best way to be presented. I would not recommend reading this book, but if you do so choose to read it, read it with critical eyes.
- The introvert Advantage: How to thrive in an extrovert World by Marti Olsen Laney. Being an introvert myself, I am drawn to these type of book. This book was great at explaining the science being introversion, how to understand it and how to deal with day-to-day life in an extrovert driven world. From child rearing to work, many practical example made this book not only enjoyable but one that will make you say, yup that is me!
- The Millennium Trilogy by Steig Larsson .The trilogy starts with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Story revolves around Mikeal and him being hired to solves a murder of the young Harriet, 40 years prior. We meet Lisbeth, a highly efficient computer hacker with a very trouble past. I would say this book focus more of Mikael then Lisbeth but the second and third book is more about her story line and also about men who hates women. The girl who played with Fire, was my least favorite of the trilogy. The first half of the book was overly sexualized and little made the plot move forward. The second half was better but overall could have been edited to make it better. The girl who kicked the hornet nest was the conclusion of the trilogy, the book felt flat. The trilogy started strong with the first book but went downhill after that, I would recommend reading the girls with the dragon tattoo but the rest would leave it since they don’t really add to the story.
How about you, what did you read last month?