Sunday, August 31, 2014

August 2014 Bookshelf

A word about August.  I seem to get hijacked in August.  I don't understand this, it really is no different than any other month and the busy that it is filled with doesn't seem to be than any other time but a couple of years ago I only read ONE single book for all of August.  Last August I was back at a normal reading average but this August?  Three books.  That's it.  THREE.  For shame!  No wonder I feel at loose ends!  Now.  I did have a wedding week at the beginning of the month, a wedding the third week of the month, and the redheads started up school again.  Plus I was, you know, working.  Oh and I did turn 40 in August and spent some time doing a purposeful celebration.  (For more on that you can go to threesixtyfiveexperiment.blogspot.com and coffeehouseconversations.blogspot.com) So maybe 3 books read this month was actually quite a bit for all I had going on? I don't know.  What I do know is September had better be filled with reading or else my tank is going to be depleted, and that's no good for anyone...trust me.


R is for Ricochet by Sue Grafton
363 pages

What happened to Grafton's Kinsey Millhone?! She totally disappeared in this installment of the series.  Oh she's there, narrating the story as usual but she lacks her usual bravado, instincts, initiative, and personality.  The secondary character, Reba, seems to assume Kinsey's persona this time around. Plus a new development in Kinsey's love life seems to derail her a bit as well from being who Grafton has been developing her in the past 17 books.  It was disappointing.  It feels like Grafton let the character of Kinsey down.  She was bumbling as a P.I. and that is so contradictory to who she has been thus far.
The short of this disappointing read is that Kinsey is asked by Reba's father to retrieve her from the California Women's Correctional Institution where she has been for the past 2 years on charges of embezzlement.  Sounds simple right?  It never is with Kinsey.  She gets involved in Reba's activities beyond her release from prison and that's where her character takes a sharp departure from who Grafton has introduced us to in books A-Q.  I finished the book confused as to why Grafton departed from her star P.I.




Interrupted: An Adventure in Relearning the Essentials of Faith by Jen Hatmaker
ARC Kindle Edition - 176 pages

Jen Hatmaker and her publisher have updated her bestselling book, Interrupted, and offered a limited number of ARC's to her readers.  And I scored one! So excited.  I love Jen Hatmaker. I loved her book, 7, and knew that I would love this book.  In fact, Jen herself loves this book more than the wildly popular 7, she says (and she's right) that there would have been no 7 without Interrupted.
Jen and I seem to share a lot of common ground.  We share the same birthday month and the same number of years on this earth (40) and we share the year 2007. In 2007 Jen asked God for a holy passion and he answered. At the same time she was getting her answer I was getting the same kind of passion also as I traveled to Kenya in June 2007.  It changed my life FOREVER and Jen's prayer changed her life forever as well.  So I feel connected to her even though we have never met and probably never will.
Jen prayed for holy passion and God's answer was to thoroughly interrupt her cushy Christian life.  Praise God. Praise God he knew what she was actually asking for even though she most likely didn't.  Jen chronicles what happened to her and her family as God interrupted them for his Kingdom.  Scary, confusing, exhilarating, isolating, beautiful, and chaotic.  These are some of the things that Jen and her family felt and experienced in their interruption and it's what anyone else who gets interrupted by God will experience also. Oh but it is the best kind of life upheaval you can go through.
Sometimes I can pick a particular portion from a book and use that to be the foundation for a review and some thoughtful comments. Unfortunately I can't do this with Interrupted because I highlighted about 2/3 (or more?) of the book. Yes.  Yes, that good.  Yes, that much resonated with me.  Yes, that much compels me to continue to allow the interruption of God in my life.  Yes, that much prompts me to consider what have I missed by not allowing some interruption God was trying to place on me?  Comfortable Christianity has no appeal to me, it isn't supported biblically, Jesus certainly didn't model it for us. Since getting uncomfortable in my Christianity I have learned more about God and his nature than I ever had in the years prior when I was comfy and cushy in my faith.  Jen writes of a similar outcome.
Does the idea of being interrupted frighten you?  Does it mess with the little bubble you have blown around yourself?  Does it unsettle the seat you warm each Sunday morning?  If so then you should read this book.  If not, you should still read this book if nothing else for the evidence that you are not alone in your wanderings, you aren't as weird as some have tried to make you believe you are, and that there is more you can do with the interruptions God has placed in your life. Love God? Then love his interruptions in your life.





Julia's Chocolates by Cathy Lamb
390 pages

I love Cathy Lamb.  I believe I have said this before but it's worth repeating.  This book is her debut book, it's one of two I hadn't read yet.  No wonder she is such a hit, this book was an amazing debut!  Right away you get the sense of the kind of author Lamb is, howI she likes to develop a character and write compelling and thought provoking story lines.
Julia is on the run from her abusive fiance and a life of misery he wants her to live to the freedom of her Aunt's rural home in Oregon.  On the way to Oregon from Boston Julia pulls over on the side of the road and leaves her wedding dress hanging on a tree.  Good riddens.  Arriving to the comfort of her Aunt's home and love Julia sets out to begin to heal from the hell her life has been thus far.  With her quirky ways and ideas her Aunt introduces her to a group of women who all are needing to heal from something.  These women are each other's support group and they rally around one another to help one another get through what life is throwing at them.  But a past can't be run away from so Julia's Aunt makes sure Julia is ready to meet the past and resolve it for good.
I don't want to say too much because it is such a lovely story of healing, conquering, and victory.  Told through Julia's voice, I fell in love with all the characters.  Each of them had something about them that I could connect and relate to.  Cathy Lamb never disappoints and her debut certainly didn't and paved the way for all of her other great titles.  This is an author worth reading!

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