Two Books I Finished This Past Week


Welcome to my weekly book update post where I share what books I read this past week + my honest thoughts and star ratings of them.

A Word on My Star Ratings

The star ratings I give the books I read are based on a 5-star rating system. I rarely will ever give a book a 1-star rating (maybe never?), because my philosophy is that if a book is only worthy of one star, I’m more than likely going to quit reading it. 🙂 In the same vein, you’ll also notice that I’ll rarely give a 5-star rating as I reserve those for only my very, very favorite books.

Want to see all of the books I’ve read so far this year? Check out my Good Reads page.

In the last two weeks, I finished two books and here are my reviews…

Catch Me If You Can

I can’t stop talking about this book! It is the fascinating story of Frank Abagnale who was a daring con man and imposter. I listened to the audiobook and kept having to stop it to share yet another unbelievable story with Jesse of something that he did.

Frank traveled all over the world posing as a pilot, cashed 2.5 million dollars in forged checks, and even worked as an attorney and medical doctor (when he hadn’t gone to school for either!).

If you need a good listen of a story that is almost so crazy that you can’t believe it’s true, I recommend this book. It’s also a good reminded that not everything is like it seems and we shouldn’t take everything at face value! It also was such a telling tale about how money can’t buy happiness.

I’m giving it 5 stars because I couldn’t stop talking about it. I’d love to hear your thoughts if you’ve read it/listened to it.

Note: There is some language and some PG-13 topics in it.

Verdict: 5 stars

You Who?

Y’all, I wanted so badly to like this book. It came highly recommended to me by a number of people. However, the book just missed the mark for me for a lot of reasons.

First off, I didn’t feel like it had a strong outline. It felt like each chapter was just a sort of separate essay and it didn’t really build on one another.

Secondly, it felt like it was written from a place of legalism rather than grace. Much of the content seemed like it would encourage you to set up rules and have a critical spirit toward others for their choices and decisions, instead of pushing you to rest in the finished work of Christ on the cross and to wholeheartedly rejoice in His great love for you.

Almost the entire book felt like the author was tired, worn out, and worn down. Like the Gospel was a heavy burden she was called to bear instead of the greatest love gift ever given. It just seemed to lack joy and life.

Finally, I wholeheartedly disagreed with chapter 20 where she discusses feelings. In fact, in one section, she said, “We Christians need to stop thinking of our feelings as insights. Our feelings are instead something that we need to manage.” She goes on to say, “Christians should be far more inclined to view our feelings like a bunch of monkeys that we are responsible to keep in cages, train, and disregard completely when they are acting up.”

I think we do a great disservice to our emotional health when we don’t see the value that can come by paying attention to our feelings. I believe that feelings are not right or wrong. They are just feelings. It’s how we act on them that is either healthy or unhealthy, sinful or God-glorifying.

To say that we should, in essence, disregard or stuff down our feelings can be so detrimental to our health and well being. I believe we should pay attention to and acknowledge what we are feeling — sadness, anger, joy, frustration, etc. — and then seek God for wisdom as to how to process these feelings and act (or not act!) on these feelings, and ask God to lead us in how we need to heal or deal with those root issues that might cause us to want to act in unhealthy ways as a result of our feelings.

That said, I think probably the author and I would agree on a lot of things if she and I were to have a conversation over coffee (and I kept wishing I could as I read the book). Her method of delivery and the foundation from which she came from just felt very grace-less and legalistic instead of grace-filled and Gospel-centered. However, because I come from a very legalistic background, I tend to be much more sensitive to these things. 🙂

Verdict: 2 stars

What have you read recently? Let us know in the comments!


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