Books I’ve Read (So Far) in 2014
This year I’ve made it a goal to keep track of what books I’ve read and what I’ve thought of them. These are the books I’ve read so far in 2014. So far I’ve loved them all! Keep up with all the books I’ve read so far in 2014 by following my Pinterest board!
A Promise Kept
by Robin Lee Hatcher
Summary: Tony Kavanagh had been Allison’s dream-come-true. They were in love within days, engaged within weeks, married and pregnant within a year. Her cup bubbled over with joy . . . but years later, that joy had been extinguished by unexpected trials. The day Allison issued her husband an ultimatum, she thought it might save him. She never expected he would actually leave. She was certain God had promised to heal; it was clear that she’d misunderstood.
Now, living in the quiet mountain cabin she inherited from her single, self-reliant Great Aunt Emma, Allison must come to terms with her grief and figure out how to adapt to small town life. But when she finds a wedding dress and a collection of journals in Emma’s attic, a portrait of her aunt emerges that takes Allison completely by surprise: a portrait of a heartbroken woman surprisingly like herself.
As Allison reads the incredible story of Emma’s life in the 1920s and 1930s, she is forced to ask a difficult question: Does she really surrender every piece of her life to the Lord? Drawing from her own heart-wrenching story of redemption, A Promise Kept is Robin Lee Hatcher’s emotionally charged thanksgiving to a God who answers prayers—in His own time and His own ways. (Purchase a copy here.)
My thoughts: Robin is a wonderful friend of mine, and I’ve been a prayer partner as she dealt with struggles in her own marriage. Robin’s writing is wonderful—always has been! But this novel goes to an ever more tender place. The grace, love, and forgiveness of what Robin has experienced come through in this book!
Take a Chance on Me
by Susan May Warren
Summary: Darek Christiansen is almost a dream bachelor—oldest son in the large Christiansen clan, heir to their historic Evergreen Lake Resort, and doting father. But he’s also wounded and angry since the tragic death of his wife, Felicity. No woman in Deep Haven dares come near.
New assistant county attorney Ivy Madison simply doesn’t know any better when she bids on Darek at the charity auction. Nor does she know that when she crafted a plea bargain three years ago to keep Jensen Atwood out of jail and in Deep Haven fulfilling community service, she was releasing the man responsible for Felicity’s death. All Ivy knows is that the Christiansens feel like the family she’s always longed for. And once she gets past Darek’s tough exterior, she finds a man she could spend the rest of her life with. Which scares her almost as much as Darek learning of her involvement in his wife’s case.
Caught between new love and old grudges, Darek must decide if he can set aside the past for a future with Ivy—a future more and more at risk as an approaching wildfire threatens to wipe out the Christiansen resort and Deep Haven itself. (Purchase a copy here.)
My thoughts: I haven’t read any of Susan’s new books, so I thought I’d give it a try. First, as a writer, Susan is a master of plot. She knows how to RAISE the conflict and get my heart pounding! I also loved journeying into Deep Haven. I’ve fallen in love with its residents, and I can’t wait to visit again!
Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption
by Laura Hillenbrand
Summary: On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared. It was that of a young lieutenant, the plane’s bombardier, who was struggling to a life raft and pulling himself aboard. So began one of the most extraordinary odysseys of the Second World War.
The lieutenant’s name was Louis Zamperini. In boyhood, he’d been a cunning and incorrigible delinquent, breaking into houses, brawling, and fleeing his home to ride the rails. As a teenager, he had channeled his defiance into running, discovering a prodigious talent that had carried him to the Berlin Olympics and within sight of the four-minute mile. But when war had come, the athlete had become an airman, embarking on a journey that led to his doomed flight, a tiny raft, and a drift into the unknown.
Ahead of Zamperini lay thousands of miles of open ocean, leaping sharks, a foundering raft, thirst and starvation, enemy aircraft, and, beyond, a trial even greater. Driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would answer desperation with ingenuity; suffering with hope, resolve, and humor; brutality with rebellion. His fate, whether triumph or tragedy, would be suspended on the fraying wire of his will. (Purchase a copy here.)
My thoughts: I can’t tell me how many people told me that I HAD to read Unbroken. I’m not sure what took me so long, but I’m so glad that I did. It’s a true story that will AMAZE you. If you haven’t read it . . . go start now!
What’s Your Secret? Freedom through Confession
by Aaron Stern
Summary: Shhhh…. Is there something about you that you hope no one else ever finds out? You’re not alone. Everyone has secrets—hurts, abuses, bad habits, fears. Big or small, secrets can destroy you from the inside out. The good news is that confession is more powerful than secrets—or the fear that keeps you from telling them.
In What’s Your Secret? Aaron Stern shows you
- the powerful roots of secret-keeping
- the difference between “good” secrets and “bad” secrets
- what confession is (and isn’t)
- why letting go of secrets is so much more enjoyable than living in fear
- how to strategically live a secret-free life
Using personal stories and anonymous confessions from others, Aaron will remind you of the beauty of forgiveness and the joy that comes from living in the freedom God has always wanted you to have. (Purchase a copy here.)
My thoughts: I started reading this book and then put it down for a week. Why? Because Aaron’s message stirred up so much old stuff! About ten years ago God really peeled back layers and forced me to deal with some of the secrets I’d been hiding. I’m so glad He did. It was a painful time, but I have the ministry, the marriage, and the family I have today because I allowed God to bring healing to those places that I wanted to hide. It’s hard to think about how secrets impact us, but if you have things hidden in your heart that you hope no one discovers you have to read this book!
One Big Thing: Discovering What You Were Born to Do
by Phil Cooke
Summary: What were you born to accomplish with your life? One Big Thing will help you discover what you were born to do and allow it to revolutionize your business, your ministry, and your life. In today’s distracted, digital culture, it’s harder than ever to identify your calling, get your voice heard, and achieve your dreams. To stand out and communicate your ideas and message, you need to cut through the clutter and get noticed. Making that happen means focusing on the one thing that drives you, inspires your passion, and separates you from the pack. If you’ve ever felt pulled in different directions or wondered what to do with your varied talents and interests, Phil Cooke will teach you the secrets of living a life-on-purpose that rises above the noise and leaves a lasting mark on the world. (Purchase a copy here.)
My thoughts: I’m a fan of Phil Cooke. It’s a creative genius! I’m the type of person who wants to “do it all,” but Phil’s book made me really think about what’s unique about me . . . and how my uniqueness can impact the world for God’s glory!
Jesus Is: Find a New Way to Be Human
by Judah Smith
Summary: Jesus is greatly revered, harshly criticized, and sorely misunderstood. Judah breaks down who Jesus is and explains to readers how understanding Jesus more fully will not only enrich their lives, but also give them meaning, as well as save them.
The 8-week Jesus Is DVD-Based Study will help participants discover how to have a deeper, lasting relationship with Jesus, and to commune with and grow in Him. Judah will show you that Jesus is more than a good teacher, more than an inspiring leader. He is the point of all life.
Perfect for evangelism, the video sessions will help new Christians understand the person of Jesus, as well as help small group participants connect with one another. (Purchase a copy here.)
My thoughts: This is a book that will tell you everything you know about Jesus . . . and need to be reminded of again! I fell in love with Jesus even more as I read this book. I like Judah so much now that I follow him religiously on Twitter. 🙂
Accidental Genius: Using Writing to Generate Your Best Ideas, Insight, and Content
by Mark Levy
Summary: When it comes to creating ideas, we hold ourselves back. That’s because inside each of us is an internal editor whose job is to forever polish our thoughts, so we sound smart and in control, and so that we fit into society. But what happens when we encounter problems where such conventional thinking fails us? How to get unstuck? For Mark Levy, the answer is freewriting, a technique he’s used for years to solve all types of business problems, and generate ideas for books, articles and blog posts.
Freewriting is deceptively simple: Start writing as fast as you can, for as long as you can, about a subject you care deeply about, while ignoring the standard rules of grammar and spelling. Your internal editor won’t be able to keep up with your output, and will be temporarily shunted into the background. You’ll now be able to think more honestly and resourcefully than before, and will generate breakthrough ideas and solutions that you couldn’t have created any other way. Levy shares six freewriting secrets designed to knock out your editor and let your genius run free. He also includes fifteen problem-solving and creativity-stimulating principles you can use if you need more firepower—seven of which are new to this edition—and stories of problems he and others have solved through freewriting. (Purchase a copy here.)
My thoughts: If you need creativity in your life, your work, or your family, this is a great book. Mark Levy shares how to access your genius through freewriting. I use many of his tools, and I want to start reading this book again, so I can pick up more tools.
Books I’m working on
(Yes, all of these are at various levels of being read!)
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp
The Wilder Life by Wendy McClure
The Truest Thing About You by David Lomas
Soulprint by Mark Batterson
The Magic of Thinking Big by David J. Schwartz
Standing Strong by John MacArthur
What are you reading?