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Books I Read in May

May has been a really busy month for me. I went to Ohio for my sister’s graduation the first weekend, we closed on our house the second weekend, and we’ve been working on said house the other weekends. It’s been a little crazy. Because of that, I’ll be honest and say I haven’t been as on top of my blog writing as I normally am. That’s why you’re getting a slightly belated “Books I Read This Month” post, instead of a normal new post.

 

I did still manage to finish three books this month though. Okay, that’s not totally true. I actually finished the last chapter or two of the last one on June 1st, but I had read the majority of it in May, so I still counted it. I was really close and I’ve been really busy, so I’m giving myself a little bit of grace. So, without further ado, these are the three books I read in May

 

Belles on Their Toes by Frank Gilbreth Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey

 

I read Cheaper by the Dozen in April and I quickly followed it up with its sequel at the very beginning of May. This book continues to follow the hilarious hi-jinx of the Gilbreth family, a family of 12 kids where both parents are in the motion study and efficiency business. At the end of Cheaper by the Dozen, the father of the Gilbreth family passes away suddenly from a heart attack.

 

In Belles on Their Toes, the family continues to survive without him as their mother continues the company the two had built together. This was a very unusual thing in the 20’s and 30’s when the book took place. It’s really interesting to read how a women with tons of children survived as a working mom at the time. Plus there are a lot of hilarious stories about the older girls’ romantic relationships and other growing up type stories. It’s a great read and will probably make you laugh out loud in a few places.

 

Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown

 

I got this book for Christmas from my sister in law. It was a really good book and I think it’s a really timely book. The premise of the book is that in order for us to truly be the people that God has created us to be, we have to be okay with standing alone and being “in the wilderness”, a place where we really don’t feel like we “belong”. We shouldn’t be afraid to upset other people’s expectations. We also shouldn’t fall into ways of group think or believe lies that we are told, rather we should always seek to understand things for ourselves.

 

One of the things in the book that I thought was the most timely for right now is her thoughts on not being totally on one side or the other when it comes to politics and hot button issues, but being willing to stand in the awkward middle, where no one else is. As an example, she shares an experience she had where someone tried to pin her down to one side in the debate about guns. She grew up around guns and isn’t for banning all guns. At the same time, she doesn’t support the NRA nor is against all forms of gun control. Since the person she was talking too couldn’t fit her into one of the two categories that she had for people on this issue, she just got really frustrated with her. She wasn’t willing to enter into the tension.

 

Brown’s point is that we should be in the tension, in the wilderness,  on most issues because it’s not like either side is completely wrong. But to get to the place where we can actually explore that, we have to enter into the messy middle, which is uncomfortable. Our own “side” will see it as a betrayal, and the other “side” will still view you with suspicion. Entering into the wilderness is scary, but it’s usually where truth is found.

 

The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis

 

I’ve decided to re-read through the Chronicles of Narnia series. My mom actually just sent me my copies of the books. Somehow I left them behind when I moved out to Oregon. I still have the same copies that I read through when I was in 3rd grade. I loved the books then, and I think I love them even more now. I’m old enough now to realize how deep and ingenious of books they really are.

 

If you haven’t read through the series, The Magician’s Nephew is the first book chronologically in the series. However, it was one of the last books in the series that Lewis wrote. It tells the story of the beginning and creation of the land of Narnia. The story begins with two children, Digory and Polly, who meet in the city of London and become friends. While exploring the row of town homes they live in, they accidentally end up in Digory’s uncle’s study.

This uncle is experimenting with magic. He tricks the children into acting as his guinea pigs, and sends them in to another world. From there, they end up exploring a world other than our own. They bring back an evil queen to our world in the process. While trying to return the evil queen to her own world, they stumble into Narnia. They arrive just in time to see its creation and founding. That’s a synopsis without giving away any of the good parts. You really should read the book for yourself if you haven’t already.

 

What books have you read in May? I’m always looking for new suggestions, so feel free to share any that you have below!

 

Photo by Aliis Sinisalu on Unsplash

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