Tag Archives: Eugene Cho

2016 Reading Challenge: My 5 Star Reviews, Part 1

This year I read 168 new books – here are some of the best! See any favorites? 

Breaking Busy: How to Find Peace and Purpose in a World of Crazy by Alli Worthington 

Alli Worthington is a woman who knows about busy…something that becomes evidently clear as she tells her story as an entrepreneur and mother of 5 boys. However, she also knows about finding peace in God and the joy of doing what you are designed to do. In this quick but deep read, she talks about the importance of stepping away from cluttered schedules and maximizing your time doing what you were designed to do. Very inspiring and worth the time to read.

7 Women: And the Secret of Their Greatness by Eric Metaxas 

In this companion book to 7 Men: And the Secret of Their Greatness,  Metaxas provides the biographies for seven, Godly women who impacted the world: Joan of Arc, Susanna Wesley, Hannah More, Maria Skobtsova, Corrie ten Boom, Mother Teresa, and Rosa Parks. I found 7 Men somewhat dull, but I really liked these biographies. I especially appreciated what a diverse group they were. 

The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

A sweet, wonderful book set in WW2 England. 9-year-old Ada has a club foot and is emotionally and physically abused by her mother, so when her brother is sent to the country for protection from the bombing, she decides to sneak along. They end up in the home of a depressed woman who needs them as much as they need her. I really enjoyed the realism and pace of this book. The character change was well done. Really good historical fiction. 

Overrated: Are We More In Love with the Idea of Changing the World Than Actually Changing the World? by Eugene Cho

This book was seriously convicting. Are we more in love with the idea changing the world than the reality? Cho is very open and vulnerable about his struggles in this area. He calls out his own motivation first and foremost. In doing so, he calls out me. He calls out Millennials. He calls out all of us who genuinely want to make a difference…but often by being in the spotlight instead of doing the work. I particularly appreciate how firm Cho is. He calls it how he sees it and seriously challenges the way we view what making a difference really means. I highly recommend this one. 

The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place by Julie Berry

When their headmistress and her odious brother are suddenly poisoned, the students of St. Etheldreda’s School for Girls have a decision to make. Do they alert the police and return to their respective homes, or carry on as if nothing happened? They opt to bury the bodies. Unfortunately, hiding murder is not easy, especially when the murderer is still at large! This is a fun, Victorian tale of murder, mayhem, and most inconvenient situations. A great part of the book’s charm comes from the 7 main characters who have very distinct personalities. Good for middle school on up! (And especially good for adults like me who just love a fun, farcical story.) 

Dad Is Fat by Jim Gaffigan 

In this book, comedian Jim Gaffigan writes about being a Dad, raising 5 kids in a 2 bedroom apartment, and dealing with the stigma of having a “big” family. As the eldest of 5 kids, I found this book HILARIOUS. I was in public when I read it and people kept staring because I was laughing so hard. Gaffigan may come across panic stricken half the time, but he clearly loves his family. A very funny, clean, and enjoyable read. 

Valiant by Sarah McGuire 

A re-telling of the Brave Little Tailor, Valiant is the story of Saville, a girl who dresses as a boy and takes her Father’s place as tailor to the King. When she learns that an army of giants are about to attack the city, she goes out and manages to trick them into leaving. Suddenly everyone things she is a hero! But can the courageous tailor save the kingdom from an even greater threat, the Duke and his larger than life army? I loved Valiant! It had a developed heroine, satisfying relationships, and lovely writing. Definitely one I plan to re-read and recommend. 

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Whatcha Reading…? 5/27/16 Book Update

I have so many books to read! Today I started my 4 day weekend and the hardest part is going to be not spending the whole thing reading. I’ve got stacks of books from the library that have collected over the past few weeks, waiting for just such an opportunity as this. Right now I’ve narrowed the stack to 5 that I am reading right now (6 if you count the book I just finished.) Some are super good…others I am not sure I will finish. They are…

Overrated by Eugene Cho, Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote and (yes, I know it is weird that I haven’t read this yet) Where The Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls. I’m also listening to Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe on audio book. 

Overrated is one of those books so relevant it almost hurts. Every chapter I feel like the Holy Spirit is shouting ‘Pay Attention!!’ I’ve heard Eugene Cho speak but it has been a while and this book does a great job conveying his message. I’m only half way through but I’ll already say it…this book is a must read. 

Another must-read is the book I just finished, Breaking Busy by Alli Worthington. This book has taken me a “while” to read because I’ve been reading it slowly, one chapter at a time. That is all I will say for now, because I might give it its own review later. Highly recommended for all the “busy” ladies out there!

On the other side of the spectrum, I’m extremely unimpressed with Eligible so far. A Pride and Prejudice retelling set in the 21st century? Yes, please. Except not. While the author does a clever job conveying the social and relational nuances of the original (such as making Jane nearly 40, and still unmarried!) he has also ruined the entire Bennett family. They are awful, materialistic, pathetic people. I’m not even sure I will finish this one. 

In Cold Blood has the dubious honor of being the true-life story of a gruesome murder. The lack of “chapters” is frustrating, but the overall story is riveting and horrifying. Most striking is how Capote humanizes the killers and killed. It is not as darkly written as I was expecting, and somehow that makes it all the worse. Incredibly well-written. I’m not sure what I’ll think when I’m done. 

Where The Red Ferns Grow…yes, I know everyone read this in middle school, but somehow I missed it. I’m familiar with the plot – lovely writing and great tragedy. This is truly an American classic.

Finally, Robinson Crusoe. I was seriously making fun of it when I started but I am actually enjoying it now. I wasn’t prepared for how much of a sermon on trusting God it is. Yet it is easy to see why this book has captured the imagination for so many years…and for 1719, this book is downright impressive!