July 2020: What I’ve Been Reading Lately

I’m actually unexcited to write this post. I’ve been having a tough time finding GOOD books to read while I wait for books that I have on hold through the Libby app. However, I’m linking up with this month’s QuickLit at Modern Mrs. Darcy, and, of the books that I did actually finish, there were a few I’d like to share with you.

Nonfiction Nuggets

Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus by Nabeel Qureshi

I’ve heard of this book for years, but finally decided to put it on my TBR list after hearing a friend, who doesn’t love reading a ton, recommend it with great passion.

Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus: A Devout Muslim Encounters ...

I was floored. First, I loved the approach that Qureshi used in telling his journey from Islam to Christianity. Second, I appreciated his explanation and description of Muslim family life and culture. As someone who has been steeped in American Protestantism since birth, his words helped me gain understanding and empathy for his situation – and the agonizing decision to leave the Muslim faith that anyone in his situation faces. Finally, I gained such respect for his college best friend, who loved him so well and freely engaged him in highly intellectual ways as he journeyed through his inspection of Christianity and Islam.

*listened as audiobook; read by the author; highly recommend the audio version

Because of this book, I want to diversify what I read – more books from different cultures and worldviews than the usual American fare I read. I have The Kite Runner on hold, but beyond that: any suggestions, fellow readers?

It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way by Lysa Terkeurst

It's Not Supposed to Be This Way: Finding Unexpected Strength When ...

This book found me right when I needed it. I, like so many others, am facing disappointments galore due to COVID-19 restrictions. Since the author herself was experiencing deep pain and disappointments as she wrote the book, it didn’t feel as trite as these kinds of things normally do. I was encouraged as I listened to it. And I recommend it.

Fabulous Fiction

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Amazon.com: The Fault in Our Stars (9780525478812): John Green: Books

This was just a good book, in so many ways. I loved the use of language, the real emotions, and the beauty of the story and the characters’ relationships. Two teenagers, both with cancer, but they fall in love as they navigate hospital stays, share books they love, and their Wish from the Make-a-Wish Foundation.

My only issue: 1 sex scene with a few other crude comments. It was easy enough for me to kind of skip over the details of the scene, and, to be honest, the way the romance/sexual aspect was woven into the story really worked. It didn’t feel like it was thrown in just to get more sales. But I wouldn’t do a blanket recommendation for this book – it’ll definitely depend on the reader, and their age and stage.

I reached 50 books read for 2020! What book holds that honor?

Photo by Gabrigel on Unsplash

The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart

The Mysterious Benedict Society (The Mysterious Benedict Society ...

My co-teacher recommended this to me as a book I could read with higher readers in 5th grade. I didn’t end up reading it with my students before the end of the year, but this was a delightful book. Starring some nerdy, smart kids who have never fit in anywhere, this book makes you think – but not think too much – and results in a good over evil win. Here’s my review on Goodreads.

What have you all been reading?

Any recommendations for me while I wait for my holds?

(Two of them came in while I was writing this post. ‘Scuse me while I go dive into some books!)

5 thoughts on “July 2020: What I’ve Been Reading Lately

  1. Christina,

    Try Ann Patchett (really liked State of Wonder) and Elizabeth Strout. Both are fabulous writers! For a BIG read, you’ll never regret reading The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson (non-fiction). Our book club just read The Boys in the Boat — so good! Erik Larson is great too –The Devil in the White City is about the World’s Fair in Chicago and a grisly murderer. Right now I’m reading Gentle and Lowly by Dane Ortlund and loving his look at Jesus.

    Don’t get me going….


    1. Thanks so much for these suggestions! I’ve seen a lot of Elizabeth Strout’s books but haven’t tried them. I’ll look into them more closely. I appreciate these ideas!
      You can get going on books with me any time you want to! One of my favorite subjects 🙂

  2. Oh my goodness, I loved Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus! Another Christian conversion memoir that ties for favorite is: Surprised By Oxford by Carolyn Weber! I definitely recommend it!

    I am linking my recent reads, if interested!

    1. Thanks so much, Susan! The Stationery Shop is on my TBR list but I don’t think I realized the setting for the book.

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