I have a confession to make. I love reviewing books. I love getting books in the mail, I love getting a sneak peek of a book before it’s available to the public, and I love getting the chance to decide for myself if I love it or not before the internet and “best seller” lists start bossing around my reading choices.
This summer I’ve been reading a lot. Some great books, some that ended up on the DNF (did not finish) list. All added to my Goodreads list so I don’t forget what I’ve read this year. Unfortunately, most of those books have been fiction borrowed from the library and I’ve gotten behind on actually SHARING my thoughts about these books.
So I thought I’d put together what I’m called “super short summer reviews” – I’ll tell you about the book, what I thought, who it might be good for, and where/when you can get a copy. Sound good? Let’s go. affiliate links will be included
Praying for Girls – Teri Lynne Underwood
“I know what it is to feel the weight of not enough.” If that line in the introduction doesn’t grab your heart as a mama, I don’t know what will. I’ve actually been signed up for Teri’s “Prayers for Girls” emails for long time so I was excited to get a peek at her new book. With Madi starting kindergarten in a few weeks, I’ve been thinking more and more about how to pray her through this new season. I liked that this book covers identity, heart, mind, relationships, and purpose and provides fill-in-the-blank prayers for those times when you don’t know what to say. Do I think this is a book I’ll sit down and read cover-to-cover? Probably not. But I will definitely keep it on my bookshelf to pull out when I need another mama to help guide me through those hard days. Plus the prayer for moms at the end is beautiful! Great for: moms of girls who need a little help knowing what – and how – to pray.
The Turquoise Table – Kristen Schell
“We spread more light into a dark world by opening our doors than hiding behind them.” Every few years we have a yard sale, and every few years we make small talk with our neighbors. It’s kind of terrible. We’ve lived on this street for nearly 10 years and I only vaguely know the names of a few of the people who live nearby. To be honest, Kristen’s idea of becoming front yard people scares me. I don’t want to have strangers on our lawn. But Kristen’s story is compelling, honest, and accompanied by beautiful photography, memorable quotes, interactive Q&A, recipes, and quick stories with powerful lessons. I don’t know if I’ll ever be brave enough to put a turquoise table in our front yard, but maybe I’ll find my own ways to offer open-door hospitality to strangers who might just become friends. Great for: anyone looking for a beautifully designed & thoughtful book to take your community-building to the next level – would also make a wonderful housewarming gift.
True Images for Teen Girls – NIV Bible
This Bible is focuses on helping teen girls learn who they are in God’s eyes versus what the world tells them. I didn’t become a Christian until I was 16, and the concept and focus of this Bible would have been incredibly helpful. It is, however, kind of large & bulky. But it’s beautifully designed and has some really unique features, like Christianity 101, to help girls learn about their relationship with God, and a really phenomenal Beliefs 101 section that answers so many hard questions about faith. There are also reading plans, plus some glossy insert pages with quizzes (like you’d find in a magazine), chapter intros that include simple “3 Life Lesson” takeaways, and “advice from a big sister” sections that will be very helpful to Madi as she grows up as an only child. I don’t love the “prince charming” focus on relationships/finding the right kind of guy and would probably be cautious about sending Madi to those sections when she’ old enough to be interested in boys. Great for: a teen girl who wants a well designed Bible with some fun features, especially if she is new to the faith (would recommend going through the reading plans or quizzes together though).
Revolution Bible for Teen Guys – NIV Bible
I have zero authority to talk about anything for teen boys, so I asked my friend Zayin if he would take a look at this Bible for me. If he liked it, he was welcome to keep it – if not, he was welcome to donate it or give it to someone else. I knew he would give me honest feedback. So, I gave him a few days to check it out, and it turns out he really liked it. He liked a lot of the extra features, like lists of topics with the scripture references. He felt like that made it easy to find what he wanted to look up about a certain issue he has questions about. He also liked the “be the change’ and the “live the revolution” boxes that explained more about certain verses. When I first flipped through it I was drawn to the glossy page with a list of “50 Dumb Things Not To Do” – pretty sure I could give that list to everyone I know 😉 The only thing Zayin didn’t like was that Jesus’ words weren’t in red ink , which might be my favorite thing that he pointed out. Great for: Zayin said he thinks that this Bible would be good for boys 10 and older.
P.S. Apparently this one passed the test and he decided to keep the Bible – and he has asked to read it before bed the past few nights!
Ok, there are your super short summer book reviews! A bonus confession: I am behind in reading/reviewing some other books that are living on my Kindle because I hate eBooks. I never remember that I have them, I can’t fold down a page with a great quote I want to remember, and it’s basically “out of sight, out of mind.” So I’m sure I’ll have another edition of these reviews for you when I finally remember to read those!