Sunday, December 22, 2019

December Reads

It's the final reading month of 2019! I can't believe it! Look for an end of the year book post coming soon. But first....December books! I read 5 books this month. There's something so awesome about curling up under a blanket with a warm mug and a good book. One of my favorite things in life!! Here we go....

1. Christmas Bliss by Mary Kay Andrews: This was a super fun, festive quick read. I didn't realize until I got a few chapters into this book that it's a sequel to a book I read last Christmas, Blue Christmas. This one is about a young woman in the South and navigating the holiday season with her kooky friends and family. It was good, but pretty forgettable. It's a basically a Hallmark movie in book form. It wasn't amazing, but it was the perfect festive book "junk food."

2. Hamilton by Ron Chernow: My goal was to finish this book in time to include it in my December post and I did it! I wrote a whole post about this book. Check it out HERE.

3. Miracles and Other Reasonable Things by Sarah Bessey: I had heard wonderful things about this book and it did not disappoint. In fact, this is one of those books that I most definitely would like to read again. It's a little book but there's a LOT here. I wrote down 2 of my favorite quotes from this book:
"We have to be committed to unlearning the unhelpful, broken, unredemptive, false, or incomplete God if we want to have space to relearn the goodness, the wholeness, the joy of a loving God." 

" Jesus' tears meant something to me in those places. I had lived in a narrative that didn't recognize God in the grief, and so when sadness, or loneliness or suffering came to stay, I felt that God must have moved out of my life in order to make room for the suffering. Suffering can be a sacrament not because its refining on its own-suffering can also make us bitter and twisted and angry-but because it can become the sort of darkness that makes the light much more beautiful." 

I mean wow, right? This book follows Sarah on her journey from evangelical Christianity's "name it and claim it" prayer movement (Joel Osteen, anyone) to visiting the Pope, nearly dying in a horrific car accident, to rediscovering the God of love. This book is part travel memoir, part theology and, the forward to this book is written by one of my absolute faves, Shauna Niequist. That gives you an indicator of the type of book it is: beautiful writing with flourishes, and deep theology embedded into the stories of life. If you're looking for a faith-based book to wrestle with in the new year, try this one.

4. Christmas Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella: I have read and loved every book in the Shopaholic series and they always delight and entertain me. This one was so fun and I love reconnecting with Becky Brandon (Bloomwood) and her pals. This one features Becky getting herself into typical mischief (such as getting herself locked in a pet store, accidentally ordering a ridiculous amount of smoked salmon, getting herself admitted to an all-male billiards club to win a raffle). It's fun, it's cute, it's a beloved series. I liked it!

5. Lean Habits for Lifelong Weight Loss by Georgie Fear: It took me nearly 33 years to know this truth deeply: Diets don't work and ingrained HABITS are the catalyst for lasting change. This theme is a huge part of the intuitive eating movement, and the podcast and program, Balance 365 Life, and this theme was also a major part of Secrets from the Food Lab and Mindless Eating, other nutrition books I have read. This book is an excellent little guide presenting research and data alongside easy to read lifestyle habits that are important for every eater to know and practice (not just those pursuing fat loss). Some of the key points revolve around eating frequency and time, the crucial components of rest and hydration, and the need for understanding hunger and satiety cues. I am so glad I purchased this book so I can continually refer to it. It's an excellent resource with a solid scientific backing.

Well, that's a wrap on my December reads! I'm posting this a little sooner than the end of the month before the holiday craziness begins. This was, like always, another month for the books.

Savor Your Sparkle,

PS) Leave a comment with your favorite book you've read recently. I'm growing my 2020 TBR pile!

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