7 Books I Finished Recently

In 2022, I’m setting monthly reading goals and have the goal to finish at least one book each week. So far, I’ve mostly been able to stick with that!

Note: You can follow along with the books I finish this year and my star ratings over on GoodReads. Also, books are rated on a 1-5 star scale. I basically won’t finish a book if it’s one star (not worth my time!) and I’ll rarely give a book a 5-star rating unless it was just absolutely amazing or life-changing.

I’ve gotten a little behind in my monthly reading goals and ended up not setting any book goals for May since I’m still working through April’s stack.

And it’s been awhile since I’ve posted any book reviews, so without further ado, here are seven books I finished recently…

The Book of Lost Names

This audiobook is the fictional story of a Jewish woman who became a forger and helped create documents for many children to be able to cross the border into safety in Switzerland during World War II.

I found the details of how they created the documents to be very interesting and I also thought the sections on faith and identity were thought-provoking. I also appreciate some of the rawness that the author used to describe how the main character’s mother dealt with the heavy loss and blows… because it made me wonder how I would respond if I were in her shoes.

That said, I felt like some of the parts of the book were a little on the unbelievable side and other parts felt like they lacked enough depth and development. So I thought it was a good novel, but personally didn’t think it was a great novel (although judging by the multitude of 5-star Amazon reviews, I’m in the minority on that!)

Verdict: 3 stars

The Hard Good

I had read a lot of this book in preparation for my podcast interview with Lisa Whittle, but I finally had a chance to finish it recently. There were so many sections that I found to be valuable — from her honesty over processing losing her dad but also recognizing the mistakes he made and how those affected her to talking about what to do when someone else gets that thing you really wanted.

Lisa doesn’t sugarcoat things. She’s truthful and this book will likely step on your toes at least at some point. But it is filled with messages of hope and of reminders that we all need to hear.

If life feels hard and overwhelming right now and you just want to check out and shut down, I think The Hard Good will challenge you in a helpful way.

Verdict: 4 stars

Gentle and Lowly

This book has been highly recommended to me over and over again. I didn’t know what to expect and it actually wasn’t what I expected! It’s basically a book that talks about the gentle and gracious nature of God and digs into a lot of Puritan writings that call this out and expand on it.

While most of the chapters and concepts were not new to me, it was a good refresher. I also think it would be a very valuable read if you struggle with feeling loved by God or struggle with feeling like you are a disappointment to God.

That said, I felt like many of the chapters had so many quotes in them that the writing felt broken up and a bit disjointed. I feel like the heart and meat of the book was excellent, I just sometimes felt like the writing didn’t pack as powerful of a punch as it could have.

Verdict: 4 stars

Hero on a Mission

I wanted to like this book, but I really disagree with the premise of it (stated very clearly from the beginning) that God doesn’t have a plan for our lives and that it’s up to us to write our own story. I think that had the author not come out of the gate so strongly with this statement that I don’t believe is theologically/Biblically accurate, I would have probably been able to approach the book with a different mindset. But this statement really rubbed me wrong.

Now, that statement aside, I appreciated the encouragement in the book to not be a victim of your life and very much agree that we should be taking personal responsibility, not letting a negative perspective drive our decisions, and that we should be living our lives with the end of our lives in mind.

But, I think all of this should be lived out with the understanding that God is ultimately weaving a masterpiece with our lives and we should be looking to Him for guidance and direction, seeking Him each step of the way, relying upon Him, and trusting Him through the hard and dark times.

Verdict: 3 stars

Fostered

If you’ve ever wanted a first person look into what it’s like to be in foster care, this book is a must-read. Tori’s story is both heartbreaking and heart-warming. I appreciated her honesty in sharing the trauma she experienced in her birth family and in the foster care system. But I also loved the triumph she shared and the hope she left us with at the end of the book.

I especially loved her perspective on how one person who faithfully showed up and invested in her life made such a difference on the trajectory of her future. It was inspiring to think of how we can impact a life just by being willing to show up, keep showing up, show love, give grace, and communicate with our lives that someone has value and worth.

One of the things I found most helpful in this book was Tori’s thoughts on the foster care system as a whole. She had such wise insight there and it was very thought-provoking to me.

If you are a foster parent, are thinking of becoming a foster parent, or at all involved in anything related to foster care, I highly recommend this book.

Verdict: 4 stars

Peril in the Palace

I’ve been reading through the Imagination Station books with Kierstyn and D the past few months and we just finished book #3. I read these books with our older three years ago, so it’s been run to read them again — and Kierstyn has really loved them and been engaged with them!

Verdict: 3 stars

Little House in the Big Woods

Kierstyn and D and I also listened to this book on audiobook. We listened to it on many of our walks and it’s such an enjoyable audiobook! (We downloaded it for free on Hoopla.)

Verdict: 4 stars

What have you been reading recently? Any books you think I should read?

Source: blitz.com

7 Books I Finished Recently