2015 Book Challenge Update 2

2015reading

At the beginning of the year I decided to do PopSugar’s 2015 reading challenge. If you want to read more about it you can check it out on my old blog here and the first update here. I mentioned in my original post that even though it is a 50 book challenge my goal for this year is to only read half that many books. However I am making faster progress than I thought I would. It has slowed down a bit lately but I think that is most likely because of the nice weather!

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Claudia, Wife of Pontius Pilate – The first book I read since my last update was Claudia, Wife of Pontius Pilate. I believe I first came across this book on GoodReads.com I often look at books my friends have read to see if anything catches my eye. Pontius Pilate’s wife is someone I do not know much about. This book is fiction however there are some parts about the story that are based off of historic research. I believe I started this book during lent which was really good timing on my part. I was quickly drawn into this book and enjoyed it a lot. Although it is hard to know how accurate the book was there are so many parts of not only her story but also Pontius Pilate’s story that I had never really thought about before. I feel as though it gave me a different outlook on the whole situation. I always thought of Pilate as a “bad guy.” While yes he did technically condemn Jesus to death, it was the crowd who ultimately made the decision. He did not want to condemn him so he gave them the choice between Jesus and Barabas and well I am assuming you know the rest of the story. While I am not saying I look at Pilate as “good guy” now but I do realize he, like everyone else, is human. We all typically want to do what is right but at times feel swayed to make bad choices. While most of us probably will never have to make a decision like his I think we can all learn something from him. I would definitely recommend this book!

Girl on the Train – Hmm, what to say about this book. I have to say this book has a much different feel to it than any other book I’ve read. This book is told through the eyes of 3 different women. For a while I found the “girl on the train” to be a tiny bit annoying. Actually for most of the book I found her to be annoying however the more I read the more I quite frankly just felt sorry for her. With that being said there was a lot of mysterious elements to the story that kept me curious till the end. One thing I liked about this book was the ending. I am normally the type of person who can figure it out but I was actually thoroughly surprised by this one. Maybe I just wasn’t picking up on hints or the author was really just that good. Overall I wouldn’t say it’s my favorite but it was a decent book. There are definitely good aspects to the book however I think I would have enjoyed it more if I hadn’t found the girl to be quite so annoying.

Daddy Come and Get Me – This book is very special to me! This beautiful little girl (who might I add is just about all grown up now) happens to be my God sister. This family has been close friends to my family for many years and when they adopted Gemma they asked my parents to be her Godparents. I first want to say that being as non-biased as I can be I felt this book was very well written. It was written in a way that I was sitting and listening as someone tells me the story. I remember very clearly when the family was going through the adoption process however only being about 10-12 years old I was not aware of many aspects of it. I am not sure why it took me so many years to sit down and read this book but when I finally did I read the whole thing in one sitting (yes I sat down for 7 hours straight and read the whole thing). Two things really impacted me while reading this book. The first is that being from this country we take so many things for granted. Reading the supposed story of her birth mother made me so thankful that I was born in a country where I don’t have to worry about many of those things. The second thing that really impacted me was how sometimes God’s plan isn’t our plan. The author talks a lot about how his wife wasn’t onboard for the adoption but because she could see how strongly he felt God was calling them to do this she went along with it. They seemed aware that even though it can be extremely difficult we need to put God’s wants before our own. While for them that was an extremely difficult journey but in the end they became the parents to an amazing girl! I HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone!

Best Friends……Forever? – I read this book because the author happens to be a great friend of mine. (Since when do I know so many people who write books?) Anyways, I the first book of this series and decided to read the next when it came out. This series is about a young girl dealing with all the struggles of middle school, especially friend issues. What I find to be unique about the author is she really knows how to write as if she really was a 13-year-old girl. I feel like many times authors try to do this but because they haven’t been that age in so long it doesn’t quite work. I think Krysten truly accomplished this! I will admit this is not typically the style of book I read therefore I am not sure I’m qualified to give it a fair review. With that being said I would highly recommend it to anyone who has a child or knows someone who is in middle/high school and is dealing with friend issues. I think we’ve all been there once and it seems like it will never end. You don’t know whom your true friends really are or if you have any at all. I think this book (as well as the first one in the series) really helps kids realize they aren’t alone. It happens to everyone and you will get through it!

Confessions of a Mega Church Pastor – As you can probably tell from my previous reviews I am a strong Christian. If you want to get even more exact I am Catholic. Every year on church holidays such as Easter or Christmas, my parent’s church gives out free books. I happen to be visiting them on Ash Wednesday this year and this was the book they were giving out. I want to say first of all I’m not by any means here to bash mega churches and honestly the book doesn’t do that either. I think all churches that believe Jesus is our savior is a good place but because I am Catholic I believe in the teachings of the Catholic Church. Ok now that I got that out of the way I can continue. I overall really liked this book. I liked that way the author described the church as a house. He took you through all the rooms of the house and discussed why those elements of the church are important and why those elements ultimately lead him to convert. While there wasn’t much information in there about the church that I had not heard before, it definitely helped me to reaffirm my faith. I think sometimes it is important to take a look at what you believe to make sure you are on the right track. I would recommend this book to Catholic and non-Catholics. If someone is just wanting to reaffirm their faith as I did I think this is a good book for that and I also think it can help answer many questions that non-Catholics have about the church. There are many misconceptions about the church so finding accurate information when seeking answers is very important and I feel this book definitely has that.

A book with more than 500 pages Divergent//finished Feb 8
A classic romance
A book that became a movie
A book published this year The Girl on the Train//finished March 24
A book with a number in the title
A book written by someone under 30
A book with nonhuman characters
A funny book
A book by a female author
A mystery or thriller Bloody Mary//finished Jan 4
A book with a one word title
A book of short stories A Little Salty to Cut the Sweet: Southern Stories of Faith, Family, and Fifteen Pounds of Bacon//currently reading
A book set in a different country Claudia, Wife of Pontius Pilate//finished March 10
A nonfiction book Jesus Shock//currently reading
A popular authors first book
A book from an author that you love that you haven’t read yet
A book a friend recommended You Belong To Me//finished Feb 24
A Pulitzer Prize winning book The Orphan Master’s Son//finished Jan 30
A book based on a true story Daddy Come and get Me//finished March 24
A book at the bottom of your to-read list
A book your mom loves Confessions of a Mega Church Pastor// finished April 23
A book that scares you
A book more than 100 years old
A book based entirely on its cover The Selection//finished Mar 3
A book you were supposed to read in school but didn’t
A memoir
A book you can finish in a day
A book with antonyms in the title
A book set somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit
A book that came out the year you were born
A book with bad reviews
A trilogy
A book from your childhood
A book with a love triangle
A book set in the future
A book set in high school
A book with a color in the titleThe Crimson Cord: Rahab’s Story//currently reading
A book that made you cry
A book with magic
A book by an author you’ve never read before The Doctor’s Fake Fiancee//finished Jan 9
A book you own but have never read
A book that takes place in your hometown
A book that was originally written in a different language
A book set during Christmas
A book written by an author with your same initials Best Friends……Forever?//finished April 7
A play
A banned book
A book based on or turned into a TV show
A book you started but never finished

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