I’ve been trying to write this little Reading Challenge update for weeks now, but I keep sitting here with a strange problem. I read a book that was so good I don’t know how to review it.
In January, I read a book called Simply Tuesday. It’s by an author I’ve been meaning to read for a long time, and the talk of going back to the “simple” things, really grabbed me. That’s basically my life desire, after all.
I have to say Simply Tuesday was perfect for the first challenge on my 2016 reading challenge, though I can’t decide if I want to call it my “read something I’ve never read before” book or the “learn something from it” book. I read the introduction and texted a chunk of the text to some friends and demanded they go read it. I voted for it in my book group. And I even voted it to be Kindred Grace’s book of the month. The intro was just that powerful. I knew instantly that it was going to be one of my top 10 books.
The whole book was amazing. I felt like every page had a gem in it that was balm to my heart or challenged me in the exact ways I wanted to be challenged. I wanted to read chapters aloud to friends and family and I want everyone to read Simply Tuesday now.
But when I sit down to try to review it, I find that I can’t. I haven’t quite digested it all yet, and I can’t figure out how to take all the beautiful moments I found in between the covers and deduce it into a simple review. It’s like nothing I type does the book the justice it deserves.
The case for returning to the small things made me feel like I was talking to a kindred spirit, someone who actually maybe was tapping into my brain and writing out exactly what I needed to confirm the longing in my heart to find Heaven “inches from the ground”. It’s good. Maybe eventually I’ll figure out how to review it properly. But for now, I’ll just say this. Go get a copy and read it. I’d love to discuss it with someone, one on one, too.
Since February is basically over, I’m going to go ahead and tell you that I feel like I’m starting to get back in the proverbial saddle at long last.
Growing up, I read books like some people eat candy. But to keep the story short, life and work happened. I read less…and less. Reading time came at a premium, and I guess I decided that I needed to pack in “quality reading” into every single reading moment. So, I stopped reading stories. I’ve always felt like fiction is the dessert that makes all the rest of reading sweet. But I really like dessert.
Don’t get me wrong. I have read some amazing and life changing books in the last 8 years, and I have read a story or two along the way. But most of my reading has been pretty heavy. I feel like it’s taken a toll on how I process books.
So this month, I read some fiction. On the road to a work conference in a city 10 hours from here, I decided to knock the “Fiction” category off my challenge with my friend Rachelle Rea‘s first book, The Sound of Diamonds. I read it in one day, y’all. One.Day.
Do you know how many years it’s been since I devoured a book like that? Don’t make me tell you because I already felt old when I counted back that many years.
The Sound of Diamonds is a book that I probably never would have picked up if I didn’t know and love the author. I’ve never been big on romance in novels. It feels predictable and sometimes I get awfully bored. But Rachelle writes a good story. I really enjoyed the style of going back and forth between the two main characters in each chapters. The story made me smile. It’s still a romance novel, but it’s clean and sweet. And I got caught up enough that I already started on book two.
So thanks, Rachelle. You broke me out of my reading rut. I’ll probably be back into my favorite kind of books soon, but the little break helped me remember more of the reasons why I’ve always loved to read.
Moral of the story? Don’t stop reading stories. Maybe they don’t make the best full time diet for the brain, but we need them regularly to keep us inspired and our imaginations strong and alive.
So tell me what you’ve read so far this year! What are you reading in March? I just moved and was reminded of some of my old favorites. I may take on one of those for March. I guess we’ll see!
Samantha R says
This was me too: “Growing up, I read books like some people eat candy. ”
Simply Tuesday is on my wish list at the library… waiting for it to come in :)
So far, I ‘ve tackled several books this year.
Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas (excellent!) I put this in the category of “A book to learn from”. It’s one of those that I want to own someday.
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing…. what an interesting concept. I definitely did not agree with all her ideas or suggestions but I think the method she lays out for folding clothes and organizing closets is definitely something I can implement soon. I’d put this book in the category of “A Different Book”
For the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards by Jen Hatmaker. A fun read although at times it felt a little chaotic to me. It was easy to read in small sections though. I’ll put this in the category of “A Fun Book”. While there were serious notes within it, I felt it wasn’t a “fun” type of book.
I also mostly read this book in January: “The Inside Tract: Your Good Gut Guide to Great Digestive Health”…. another one that I hope to own soon. Amazingly helpful advice. I learned a lot from this guide. “A book I haven’t read before”
I’m hoping to read Rachelle’s books before the year is up. Can’t wait to see if I like them or not… I have a feeling that I will. :)
This makes me smile, Chantel! Thank you for your kind words about my book! I’m blessed that you picked it up for my sake and finished it for the story’s sake. Glad you made time for Dirk and Gwyn–and honored they pulled ya out of the rut. I hope you enjoy the next installment! Happy reading, friend!