Recent reading.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

{Recently read}
Carry On, Warrior: Thoughts on Life Unarmed by Glennon Doyle Melton
What I loved: Glennon's writing style. While I've never read her blog (, several friends have pointed me to it in the past and I now understand why. She is candid (!!!) and witty and doesn't seem to take herself too seriously. I've heard a few say this book is just like reading her blog posts - and there is definitely recycled material - but because I wasn't a blog reader of hers, it was all new to me. I devoured it in less than three days.
What I didn't love: Her murky theology. She claims Christianity, but it feels much more like some thoughts of Jesus mixed with Oprah-like, self-help, feel-good, zen religion that is very far from what I believe Christianity to be. She openly says that she only follows what she understands in the Bible. So the topics she doesn't understand or agree with Scripture's viewpoint, she takes matters into her own hands. She ends the book in a hypothetical scene where God is a "she" and is knitting in a rocking chair while Glennon asks her questions. I understand the point of her vignette, but diminishing God to an old lady in a rocking chair feels irreverent and just kind of silly.
Would I recommend it? No. For the new Christian who is shaky in her theology, absolutely not. For the seasoned believer who might want to read a common theology of our time, maybe. But mostly no. Had I not been reading this along with my Bible and an Elyse Fitzpatrick book, I wouldn't have finished it.

{In progress (nearly finished)}
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
What I loved: Her writing is as delicious as the sweet honey she writes about. This story is complex, her characters well-developed, and I'd read it again and again. I felt like I was there, sitting under the sweltering South Carolina sun, watching August and Lily check on the beehives and wrestle with big life questions, which is just a testimony to her gift as a writer. It wasn't life changing (and I didn't love it as much as I loved The Help ), but I did enjoy the read quite a bit.
What I didn't love: There's an undertow of "female power" that feels preachy at times. The spiritual aspects of the book are also pretty interesting. At the same time, I felt more comfortable reading this (as opposed to Carry On, Warrior) because it's a novel chronicling someone's experience, not someone preaching to me their theology.
Would I recommend it? Absolutely.

Love Story: The Hand that holds us from the garden to the gates by Nichole Nordeman
What I loved: Considering Nichole Nordeman's music was basically the soundtrack to my middle school years, I went into this one having a feeling I'd love it. I did. Nichole's writing is witty, poignant, honest, and bold... many qualities I hope my own writing possesses. She had an incredibly daunting task before her: writing a chapter about a Biblical character (Mary, Paul, Daniel, David) that is fresh and somehow relates that person to our modern lives. She handled her task beautifully.
What I didn't love: There are song lyrics posted after every chapter. Maybe it's because I'm not a big poetry buff, but I don't love reading song lyrics. I kind of skimmed over them, halfway wishing they'd been left out.
Would I recommend it? Absolutely. Any book that refreshes my take on Scripture (and makes me want to reread the Biblical accounts) is a worthy read, in my opinion. I think it would also be a great book for a new Christian as it gives a little snapshot of some key Bible figures, making them feel fresh and alive and a little more relatable to you and me.

These are simply my own thoughts and opinions. I appreciate the freedom I have in sharing with you my honest reviews of books/blog posts I've recently read. You are certainly entitled to disagree wholeheartedly with me - just please keep your comments civil and constructive. Thanks.


  1. Thanks so much for sharing-- especially for your candid review of Carry On, Warrior. I'd heard so much from the bloggy community about Glennon's book, although I'm not a reader of hers either. Thanks!

  2. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I was just wondering about something you mentioned in your review of the first book - Carry On, Warrior. You mentioned how she only follows what she believes like for example homosexuality, I am assuming that she doesn't agree with the Bible's theology on homosexuality and I was wondering if you did or didn't agree with her and why or why not. :)

  3. Sue Monk Kidd wrote another fantastic book called The Invention of Wings. She really is a fantastic writer. I recommend reading it for sure.

  4. Secret Life of Bees. Man. Haven't read that in awhile! Thanks for the reminder and another book to add to my never-ending reading list.

  5. I really love the way you laid this out... super helpful! I've already added Love Story to my reading list after seeing that you were reading it! :)

  6. Love it when you share books. Love it.

  7. Thanks for the reviews! I love that people can come together despite differences and participate in community--based on your review, "Carry On, Warrior..." sounds right up my alley. God as a sage, warm maternal figure? I totally get it. Look forward to digging in to fresh perspective.


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