books i liked or loved

I’ve done it again. Loaded up on books at the library when I already had a ton of books at home. Books on Cambodia and traveling and writing. Young adult adventure books and books about giraffes. Novels and memoirs and Lemony Snicket.

This would all be fine and good if I were a professional reader with no other obligations in my life. But alas.

In no particular order, some books I’ve read recently that I’d like to share with you:

The Road of Lost Innocence: The True Story of a Cambodian Heroine by Somaly Mam (I borrowed this book from the library.)

Loved. The review on the back of the book claims it is “UNPUTDOWNABLE” and I have to agree. Of course, my heart is already all wrapped up in Cambodia, orphans and victims of sex trafficking in particular, but WOW. Such a compelling (and horrifying) story of a young girl who was sold into sex slavery at a young age and now she’s helping other girls find freedom and a new life. I’ll warn you; it’s hard to stomach. Especially when she talks about girls as young as 4 and 5 and the awful, unspeakable, torturous things that are done to them and all you can think is, “What if this was one of my daughters?” I’ve committed to pray for Somaly, because there is no happy ending to her story. Yes, she is famous around the world, and yes, she is rescuing so many precious children. But she still feels dirty and damaged and without hope. Oh, I want her to know my Jesus!

I Will Carry You: The Sacred Dance of Grief and Joy by Angie Smith (downloaded this free on my computer’s e-reader)

Loved. I had every intention of buying this book when I got the money, but I couldn’t resist the free download from Barnes & Noble that Angie announced on her blog today. I read the entire thing this afternoon without stopping. If you’ve never heard Angie’s story, it’s a must. If you’ve ever lost a child, it’s a must. If you’ve been following Angie’s blog for a long time now and have fallen in love with her, it’s a must. Read it. I love Angie’s heart, I love her honesty, and I love that she’s real. And I know it firsthand, because last year a counselor friend of mine had a need. A big one. One of her clients needed a safe place to stay. I tweeted asking for help, Angie responded, I talked to her for 45 minutes on the phone, and she stepped in and took this girl (and her daughters) into her home for a long, long time. As much as I like to meet new people and invite them to stay with us for a night (or maybe two), I can’t imagine doing what she did. I love this story she has written about her beautiful daughter Audrey and how she has changed the world. It reminds me so much of my dear friend Amy’s beautiful daughter Abigail who is also in heaven and who also changed the world.

Saved by Her Enemy: An Iraqi Woman’s Journey from the Heart of War to the Heartland of America by Don Teague and Rafraf Barrak (Gabe received this book free from the publisher.)

Liked. It was really a compelling story. An Iraqi college student gets a job as a translator for NBC during the early months of the U.S. invasion of Iraq. I loved reading from both perspectives–Rafraf’s (the Iraqi woman) and Don’s (the American journalist who befriends her). The book opened my eyes to another culture and made me so thankful for the freedoms we have in this country. Don doesn’t shove his Christian faith down anyone’s throat, but he does make a very clear presentation of the gospel toward the end of the book that I thought was really neat. And it’s crazy to see the change in Rafraf’s heart from the beginning of the book to the end. This isn’t a book I would spend $24.99 on, but it’s definitely a book you should borrow from the library or a friend.

More coming soon! What book have you read lately that I absolutely don’t need to add to my library list but will anyway?

18 thoughts on “books i liked or loved

  1. Gretchen

    I know I sound like a broken record, but the Search for Significance, by Robert McGee has been a life-changer for me. And for “fun”, because I lurve quilting, The Elm Creek Quilt series by Jennifer Chiavrini are lovely. The Lost Quilter is a fave. Part mystery, part historical (abolishionist), part family saga. Great read.

  2. Erin

    Reading Francine River’s “Lineage of Grace.” Oh wow. I have read more than three fourths of the book in two days. It’s so good.

  3. Becca

    I love when you give book suggestions! And you totally inspired me to actually go to the library! haha 🙂 for some reason it never even occured to me until I read on here that you go there for your books 🙂 haha

  4. Sarah McGalliard

    “Scared” by Tom Davis – I got a free copy from a blog giveaway and so I was thinking it might not be too hot (for some reason?) but i loved it! i finished it in a couple of hours.. I think he is doing a series and I can’t wait!

  5. whimzie

    I’m not telling you the names of any books I’m reading because I’m working hard not to be an enabler.

    Of course, if I run across any YOU MUST READ THIS BOOKs, I’ll tell you.

    My book stack is out-of-control.

    Sisterhood of the Flipping Pages! *snicker*

  6. Teresa

    I am leaving on a cruise and want to get Angie’s book…..

    I am loving Laura Bush’s book…half way finished….I am one of those that has 5 books going at once…..

  7. Jennifer

    I’m reading “The Hidden Magic of Walt Disney World” by Susan Veness. This is actually my fourth time through it (because I’m a nerd), and I think I’m enjoying it just as much as I did the first time through. It’s full of all these history facts, fun “secrets,” and entertaining trivia on WDW — nice, light reading. And it makes me want to go back to Florida as soon as possible!

  8. Valerie

    I pre-ordered Angie’s book and do have it but I haven’t read it yet. There has been too much going on getting the adoption process expedited on top of my schoolwork and all the reading that goes with it. I’m planning to read it when this quarter is over…and hopefully before Sean is born.

    I will be looking for other “break” books also….and have no other ideas at this point…suggestions are welcome 🙂

  9. Marla Taviano

    The Sisterhood of Flipping Pages–I’ll have to remember that one, dear.

    Elizabeth–hmmm… maybe you should wait until you’re holding that darling baby boy in your arms before you read the book. Of course, then you’ll be bawling all over him and squeezing the daylights out of him.

    What’s the name of the polygamy book?

  10. Elizabeth

    Your hubby cracks me up! Mine hates to read too. He doesn’t even read blogs!

    I always stock up at the library and end up unable to read them all. Fortunately, they don’t charge late fees so I can give myself plenty of time. The problem lately is that I get disinterested early on if it isn’t good.

    I downloaded Angie’s book, but I’m afraid to read it. Will it upset me too much? The other two look interesting. I did read a book last week about polygamy that was fascinating and so disturbing. I need things that don’t keep me up at night!

  11. Gabe Taviano

    Glad to see you blogging about this. I know how much you love to read (and write). So many readers in the world, but I’m just not one of them….unless it’s a blog I can subscribe to. Props to the Sisterhood of Flipping Pages!

  12. Kristi

    I like when you tell us the books you’ve been reading — I always love new suggestions! The most recent books I’ve read & loved are The Help (Kathryn Stockett) and Francine Rivers’ new book — can’t remember the name? As above, I’m sure you’ve already read them. 🙂

  13. Krysten

    My husband and I had to read “The 5 Love Languages,” as part of our pre-marital counseling. I think this book made a difference in our marriage from the begining.

  14. Bethany your sis

    We are reading “Crazy Love” by Francis Chan with the youth group (we just discussed chapter 4 tonight) and it is amazing so far. A must read.

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