Twitterature – January 2014

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I get so excited when the middle of the month rolls around and I get write my Twitterature reviews! Two things to note in January’s edition: 1. I read Embracing Beauty at the very end of December, thus it eluded my December 2013 Twitterature but is not technically a book I read in January. I’m choosing to bend the rules :) 2. My husband, Tim, wrote the review for Know When To Hold ‘Em. On Emily Freeman’s recommendation, I gave it to him for Christmas. He read many chapters aloud, so I can attest that it is a wonderful book!

This post contains affiliate links. Read my full disclosure here.

(Also, Quiet by Susan Cain is STILL $2.99!! Such a steal on one of my favorite books from last year…)

Embracing Beauty: Practical Style for Every Shape and Season of Motherhood by Trina Holden

Fun fashion advice combined with an encouraging and realistic look at the way a woman’s body changes during pregnancy and motherhood. I needed this fresh perspective on beauty!

Know When To Hold ‘Em: The High Stakes Game of Fatherhood by John Blase

(from the hubs) This whimsical, authentic look at #fatherhood made me laugh, cry & desire to be a dad who honors God, family & the time we spend together.

Here Burns My Candle by Liz Curtis Higgs

Another installment of Christian fiction set in Scotland. Slow to develop plot and characters. Not the best showing of her writing, which I normally really enjoy. #Iwillreadthesequelanyways

When We Were on Fire by Addie Zierman

A beautifully crafted and poignant memoir about faith lost and faith found. Went from 4 stars to 5 when I read the “conversation with the author” in the back of the book. #mustread

I decided to break another Twitterature rule because I just have more to say about When We Were on Fire but I’m not sure it’s enough for a whole post. I’ve only had a day to fully process the book, but these were my initial thoughts:

The book was truly fantastic and I would recommend it to virtually anyone.  Addie is four years older than I am, but we still grew up in a similar church culture. I resonated with many of the experiences she relayed in the first part of her story – the books, the clothes, the music, and the attitudes. That being said, the remainder of her story stirred up so many complicated emotions. Addie is a talented wordsmith and I felt her anger, her bitterness, her depression as she recounted the turmoil her soul was experiencing.

However, our similar experiences had not produced those kinds of feelings in my life and I began to feel a bit guilty that, for the most part, I’m thankful for having grown-up in the type of environment that I did. (I certainly didn’t come out unscathed, but my faith has been stretched and molded in less evidently scarring ways, it seems.) This is why I initially gave the book only 4 stars. It was a wonderful read that gives lots of valuable insight to my generation’s faith, gives one pause to consider how they represent their faith and the God they serve, but I was left wondering if she would dismiss the beauty found in each of our unique stories. THEN, I read the conversation with Addie in the back of the book and was impressed by her heart and humility. She expressed a sensitivity and tenderness towards the faith journey’s of others that wasn’t fully apparent to me in the book. Five stars it is!!

Linking up with Anne!

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10 thoughts on “Twitterature – January 2014

  1. So intrigued by When We Were on Fire. It’s definitely on my list. For a variety of reasons, I wasn’t involved much in church in middle and high school, and sometimes I wonder if that could have been a good thing at times. Certainty not happy that I wasn’t close to God at those points, but I didn’t experience a lot of the Christian subculture during that time. I guess it totally depends on what type of environment you are in and if it grace-filled or not anyway!

    1. I would definitely say it’s a must read! Even though I didn’t identify with her entire story, I was still challenged to think about how I come off to others now, who may have been wounded by the church or “church people.”

  2. I’m glad you made an exception to go into more detail about Addie’s book. I really enjoyed that one–but I don’t think my ARC had the “conversation” in the back of the book! Now I definitely need to order a “real” copy. :)

  3. Thanks for the wonderful and kind review Emily! I’m so glad that the book resonated and that the Conversation with the Author added important context that could not (for the integrity of the story and the narrator’s journey itself) be spelled out in the book itself. So glad you liked it!

    1. Thanks for sharing your story, Addie! You have absolutely given he gift of seconds to so many people who have a similar experience and spurred conversation for the rest!

  4. I just finished When We Were On Fire last week and I absolutely devoured it. My faith journey started very similarly to yours and Addie’s, Emily, but I’m still not interested in going to church on Sundays and at this point it doesn’t feel like I will ever be. But I am beginning to be open to being a part of a church – as in a group of people … not the building or the 10am on Sundays. I agree that the discussion with the author added a nice dimension to the overall story.

    1. I think it’s a testament to Addie’s story and God’s faithfulness (not ours) that we can each have different experiences and have devoured that book :)

  5. Thanks for sharing your wonderful reviews! I seem to be the odd man out in my corner of blogland since I grew up in a mainline Protestant denomination that didn’t seem to have quite the extreme youth-group culture that Addie writes about. Anywho… I’m intrigued by the fatherhood book that you read! Is it geared for women to read about fatherhood, or do you think dads would enjoy it, too?

    1. Mine was definitely not as extreme as Addie’s either. And I think part of the overall extreme factor comes from how you process and perceive those experiences…

      Emily Freeman recommended the book as something to give a first time father, which is why I gave it to Tim for Christmas :) It’s geared towards men to read about fatherhood, but I totally enjoyed the parts that Tim read aloud. (He’s the one that wrote the review.) I don’t know that I would get it specifically for a woman to read, but the stories and conclusions are applicable to mom and dad, I think.

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