Wednesday, July 8, 2015

June Books: halfway through the year!

This month I read two books that were by far some of the BEST I have read this year. One of them deals with racial issues; the other with intimacy in relationships. Both were well written.

The Watsons Go to Birmigham - 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis

This was his first book! I cannot wait to read his other works. This was a brilliant work (and great to read given our past year with racial conflict) to read this year. It follows a family from Flint, Michigan (YEA MICHIGAN!) who travel down South to see their grandma. The family consists of the parents and three kids. The story is written from the perspective of the middle child, a boy named Kenny.

Go read it. It might be the best book you'll read all year.

Scary Close by Donald Miller.

That being said, if you're not interested in that book, do yourself a favor and pick up Scary Close. Everyone needs to read this book. It talks about relationships and intimacy, and given the fact that most adults are in the intimacy vs. isolation phase of life, it was a much needed read.

Donald Miller got married recently, and he shares part of his story with Betsy. I relate to Donald Miller because he's an introvert wanting to have a relationship while struggling to give up alone time.

"At some point, I just stopped trusting people.... If I needed somebody for something, I'd let myself get close but not too close, always keeping my parachute on" (46-47).

My favorite chapter was called "You Will Not Complete Me". "Codependency happens when too much of your sense of validation or security comes from somebody else" (206). "Know who you are and what you want in a relationship, and give people the freedom to be themselves" (207).

The One

I had never heard of Ryan and Amanda Leak before reading this book, but I will be checking out their wedding video on YouTube!

Ryan and Amanda work with young adults, and it is very clear to see they are gifted in addressing that audience. They probably wrote with that specific audience in mind, but it would be applicable to people who are older than that age group. I found their story encouraging to read.

"[E]very girl out there deserves to be cherished and loved at the highest level" (Kindle location 394). Ryan makes me realize that there are good guys out there. Girls, do not settle!

This book was encouraging because it shared about their own struggles and successes in their relationship. It is easy to see that they are a team in their writing, ministry, and in life. That teamwork did not come easily -- their relationship and marriage is work!

One thing I appreciated about this book was that at the end of every chapter were three things: One Question to Ask Yourself, One Thing to Remember, and One Thing to Work On.

This book is a book of healing, learning more about yourself (whether you're in a relationship or not), and dealing with past hurts to become the best person you can be to set you up for healthy relationships.

Check this book out! So much good insight into how they navigated the single lifestyle as well as how they transitioned from single to dating to being engaged/married on the same day. God is writing an interesting story through Ryan and Amanda.

I received this book for WaterBrook Multnomah's Blogging for Books. I received this book for free in exchange for a review of the book.