love does and other books of january.

For all of last year, I Instagram-ed every book that I read. I would include it’s number in the lineup of how many I had finished since January 1 with a comment or two. I ended up reading thirty books in 2014. Instead of doing that regularly again this year, I’m hoping to write more about each book that I read here at 1999. So, I’ll be sharing what books I’ve read and a short review every few weeks or months, depending on my progress. So, here goes, from the keyboard of the real-live, church librarian…

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling.

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(finished on a I-can’t-put-this-thing-down evening before bed. notice line of books in background. SO much yet to read.)

I picked up this book during a short browse through the bestsellers at Target. I hadn’t heard much about Mindy Kaling before, but the title alone grabbed my attention. I was hoping that it was some deep, yet sarcastic, guide on how to love being an overall loner, but in that sense, I was greatly and sadly disappointed. But, it was HILARIOUS. She is a writer for the sitcom The Office and this book made me want to watch the series. I was totally mesmerized by her chapter titles alone. I was disgusted by her religious comments, so I wouldn’t recommend this book to everyone because you have to take it with a grain of salt. But, if you’re willing to sort the good and the bad (cuss words and the like) – it was wonderful for a good laugh and to know I’m not alone in many of my quirks. The chapters were short (a huge bonus) and the blend of her honesty and jokes had me laughing in the isles of Target before I’d even purchased it.

Genesis.

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I’ve begun reading through the books of the Bible that I haven’t yet read from beginning to end in order to fill in many gaps, especially in the Old Testament where I’m not as educated as I want to be. I had read Genesis before, but I decided to kickstart there. Out of three books of the Bible I read this month, I believe I took the most notes on Genesis. Every few paragraphs I was jotting down something in my journal about how God was speaking to me through the people’s lives. I was reminded about how imperfect they were and how generous God is. Joseph’s integrity has stood out to me even weeks after I have finished being in this particular book daily.

The Best Yes by Lysa Terkeurst.

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(finished as the sun was setting in route to grocery shopping with the family)

This was a well-timed gift. This quarter the high school students at CCCOV are joining in on adult classes, and I chose the class going over this book. Even in the first week that I began reading, my thought process began to change on how God wants me to use my time. Of course, the book was written for married mothers so at times I was discouraged because I couldn’t relate to many of her personal stories – but it was to be expected considering the main majority of people that will read this book. All in all, it was a WONDERFUL read that I would recommend to anyone that feels chained in by responsibility and people-pleasing. It doesn’t give you freedom to always say no, but it does give you the freedom to investigate and understand when it is ‘best’ to say yes.

Numbers.

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Numbers is often an overlooked book of the Bible, so I was curious to study it. I found that this time around the story of Balaam’s Donkey And The Angel and the Oracles following made me think the most out of all 36 chapters. It’s so easy to see the people’s failures coming up as you read and to be mad at how they resent the companionship of God. Then you realize, that if the story of your life was written like theirs, it would be strikingly similar. I was humbled by reading these stories and words of conviction.

Deuteronomy.

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Your God is a jealous God. Do not pervert justice. The fulfillment of promises. Blessings and more blessings. Purge the evil from your midst. Do not fear because God fights for you. The Lord turns curses into blesses on your behalf. If you make a vow and do not be careful to follow it, you might as well have never made it at all. The Lord God redeems. The word is near you. Choose life. The Lord wounds and heals.

This was the Deuteronomy that I fell in love with everyday. As the paraphrased list shows, it was an eclectic group of stories, messages, and commandments but each once spoke life to me – and always, always there is conviction if we are not stubborn enough to ignore it.

Love Does by Bob Goff.

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(another late evening because there’s-only-sixty-pages-left…)

This book is majorly popular on Instagram these days. That’s partly why I didn’t want to read this book. Not because I wasn’t intrigued by the beautiful cover, title, and tagline, but it seems like a much lighter nonfiction read than I usually want to get my hands on. Bob is a wonderful man and, once I got into it, I didn’t want to put it down. I wanted to gain more inspiration on what living differently looks like for him personally as he glorifies God in all of his relationships. It was a light read as I expected, but I’m glad I read it – it’s highlighted from cover to cover. It inspired me to do things not just because that’s how I’ve been told to do them, but to dream big. To think about how to reach out and make true friends all across the world. He stepped on my Greek-loving, stalking-Jesus toes many times, but I needed it. There should be less learning about Jesus and more living for Jesus. (They are BOTH important.) Love truly does more than it reads and I need to remember that. But I’m still going to write everything down. πŸ˜‰

Oh, and how do I find time to read all these books that you hear so much about? The mystery remains, because I have no idea… but I do know that I am not myself if I don’t read a little each day. These next few months, I’ll begin digging a little deeper in classics and biographies, but I’m going to make sure to take time for novels. I find it’s very important, at least for me personally, to read a little bit of different literacy cultures at all times.

I’m forever in love with words and they way they change my life, my mood, and my world every single day.

That’s it for January, friends. What have you been reading? Or, rather, what are a few of the books on your reading list for the next eleven months? I hope that we can exchange a few finds with one another along the way.

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