Summer Reads…

Summer Reads…

Hey guys!

June was a really slow reading month for me as it was the end of the school year which is often the busiest time at work for me. Long story short, I didn’t finish two books on June’s list so I put them back on my summer reads list! Here’s what I’m hoping to read during these long summer nights : )

 

The Mothers: Brit Bennett

Set within a contemporary black community in Southern California, Brit Bennett’s mesmerizing first novel is an emotionally perceptive story about community, love, and ambition. It begins with a secret.

“All good secrets have a taste before you tell them, and if we’d taken a moment to swish this one around our mouths, we might have noticed the sourness of an unripe secret, plucked too soon, stolen and passed around before its season.”

It is the last season of high school life for Nadia Turner, a rebellious, grief-stricken, seventeen-year-old beauty. Mourning her own mother’s recent suicide, she takes up with the local pastor’s son. Luke Sheppard is twenty-one, a former football star whose injury has reduced him to waiting tables at a diner. They are young; it’s not serious. But the pregnancy that results from this teen romance—and the subsequent cover-up—will have an impact that goes far beyond their youth. As Nadia hides her secret from everyone, including Aubrey, her God-fearing best friend, the years move quickly. Soon, Nadia, Luke, and Aubrey are full-fledged adults and still living in debt to the choices they made that one seaside summer, caught in a love triangle they must carefully maneuver, and dogged by the constant, nagging question: What if they had chosen differently? The possibilities of the road not taken are a relentless haunt.

In entrancing, lyrical prose, The Mothers asks whether a “what if” can be more powerful than an experience itself. If, as time passes, we must always live in servitude to the decisions of our younger selves, to the communities that have parented us, and to the decisions we make that shape our lives forever

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It’s Not Supposed To Be This Way: Lysa Terkeurst

New York Times bestselling author Lysa TerKeurst unveils her heart amid shattering circumstances and shows readers how to live assured when life doesn’t turn out like they expected.

What do you do when God’s timing seems questionable, His lack of intervention hurtful, and His promises doubtful?

Life often looks so very different than we hoped or expected. Some events may simply catch us off guard for a moment, but others shatter us completely. We feel disappointed and disillusioned, and we quietly start to wonder about the reality of God’s goodness.

Lysa TerKeurst understands this deeply. But she’s also discovered that our disappointments can be the divine appointments our souls need to radically encounter God. In It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way, Lysa invites us into her own journey of faith and, with grit, vulnerability, and honest humor, helps us to:

* Stop being pulled into the anxiety of disappointment by discovering how to better process unmet expectations and other painful situations.
* Train ourselves to recognize the three strategies of the enemy so we can stand strong and persevere through unsettling relationships and uncertain outcomes.
* Discover the secret of being steadfast and not panicking when God actually does give us more than we can handle.
* Shift our suspicion that God is cruel or unfair to the biblical assurance that God is protecting and preparing us.
* Know how to encourage a friend and help her navigate hard realities with real help from God’s truth

[It's Not Supposed to Be This Way (Signed Book) by Lysa TerKeurst

 

Just Say No: Omar Tyree

Best friends since childhood, Darin Harmon and John Williams are young men on the brink of realizing their dreams. For John, it’s his music; for Darin, football. When Darin suffers an injury that closes the door on his sports aspirations, he reluctantly follows his friend into the music scene and quickly gets swept up in promoting John’s new “Loverboy” identity to R&B superstardom. But the celebrity lifestyle of big-time money, fast women, and easy drugs quickly takes it toll, and the friends find themselves at a crossroads that will forever shape each of their futures.
As only he can, Omar Tyree delivers another urban classic filled with irresistible characters you won’t forget

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This is a re-read for me. I first read this book in high school and absolutely fell in love with the characters and this story. I used to read this book once a year ( if my bestie Steph is reading this she’s probably laughing at me) I actually read this book so many times, that my original copy fell apart! ( shout out to Steph for gifting me with a new copy a few years ago 🙂 ) I’m looking forward to delving back into this book this summer.

 

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings: Maya Angelou

Sent by their mother to live with their devout, self-sufficient grandmother in a small Southern town, Maya and her brother, Bailey, endure the ache of abandonment and the prejudice of the local “powhitetrash.” At eight years old and back at her mother’s side in St. Louis, Maya is attacked by a man many times her age—and has to live with the consequences for a lifetime. Years later, in San Francisco, Maya learns that love for herself, the kindness of others, her own strong spirit, and the ideas of great authors (“I met and fell in love with William Shakespeare”) will allow her to be free instead of imprisoned.

Poetic and powerful, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings will touch hearts and change minds for as long as people read.

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Another re-read for me. I’ve just been drawn back to books on my personal shelf as of late. The late, great Dr Maya Angelou was truly a gift to the literary world and this book was a deep look into her early beginnings.

 

Intercepted: Alexa Martin

Marlee thought she scored the man of her dreams only to be scorched by a bad breakup. But there’s a new player on the horizon, and he’s in a league of his own…

Marlee Harper is the perfect girlfriend. She’s definitely had enough practice by dating her NFL-star boyfriend for the last ten years. But when she discovers he has been tackling other women on the sly, she vows to never date an athlete again. There’s just one problem: Gavin Pope, the new hotshot quarterback and a fling from the past, has Marlee in his sights.

Gavin fights to show Marlee he’s nothing like her ex. Unfortunately, not everyone is ready to let her escape her past. The team’s wives, who never led the welcome wagon, are not happy with Marlee’s return. They have only one thing on their minds: taking her down. But when the gossip makes Marlee public enemy number one, she worries about more than just her reputation.

Between their own fumbles and the wicked wives, it will take a Hail Mary for Marlee and Gavin’s relationship to survive the season.

Intercepted (Playbook, #1)

I’ve actually already finished this book! It is the first in a series of sports-themed romance novels. The author is a former NFL wife herself which adds an element of authenticity to her writing. It was a light and fun read! I really enjoyed it!

 

Fumbled: Alexa Martin 

A second chance doesn’t guarantee a touchdown in this new contemporary romance from the author of Intercepted.

Single-mother Poppy Patterson moved across the country when she was sixteen and pregnant to find a new normal. After years of hard work, she’s built a life she loves. It may include a job at a nightclub, weekend soccer games, and more stretch marks than she anticipated, but it’s all hers, and nobody can take that away. Well, except for one person.

TK Moore, the starting wide receiver for the Denver Mustangs, dreamt his entire life about being in the NFL. His world is football, parties, and women. Maybe at one point he thought his future would play out with his high school sweetheart by his side, but Poppy is long gone and he’s moved on.

When Poppy and TK cross paths in the most unlikely of places, emotions they’ve suppressed for years come rushing back. But with all the secrets they never told each other lying between them, they’ll need more than a dating playbook to help them navigate their relationship.

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This is the sequel to Intercepted. If it’s anything like the first one. I’m sure it will be an enjoyable read.

Unmarriageable: Soniah Kamal

In this one-of-a-kind retelling of Pride and Prejudice set in modern-day Pakistan, Alys Binat has sworn never to marry—until an encounter with one Mr. Darsee at a wedding makes her reconsider.

A scandal and vicious rumor concerning the Binat family have destroyed their fortune and prospects for desirable marriages, but Alys, the second and most practical of the five Binat daughters, has found happiness teaching English literature to schoolgirls. Knowing that many of her students won’t make it to graduation before dropping out to marry and have children, Alys teaches them about Jane Austen and her other literary heroes and hopes to inspire the girls to dream of more.

When an invitation arrives to the biggest wedding their small town has seen in years, Mrs. Binat, certain that their luck is about to change, excitedly sets to work preparing her daughters to fish for rich, eligible bachelors. On the first night of the festivities, Alys’s lovely older sister, Jena, catches the eye of Fahad “Bungles” Bingla, the wildly successful—and single—entrepreneur. But Bungles’s friend Valentine Darsee is clearly unimpressed by the Binat family. Alys accidentally overhears his unflattering assessment of her and quickly dismisses him and his snobbish ways. As the days of lavish wedding parties unfold, the Binats wait breathlessly to see if Jena will land a proposal—and Alys begins to realize that Darsee’s brusque manner may be hiding a very different man from the one she saw at first glance.

Told with wry wit and colorful prose, Unmarriageable is a charming update on Jane Austen’s beloved novel and an exhilarating exploration of love, marriage, class, and sisterhood.

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This one was in my recommended reads list at my public library. It sounded interesting so I figured I’d give it a shot!

So that’s it, guys! My very ambitious summer reading list! Fingers crossed I pull this off!

xoxo

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Book synopsis can all be found on goodreads.com 

 

June Reads…

June Reads…

Hey everyone!

This month’s reading list is a little ambitious but I’m going to try and push it and get through all of these titles! Happy reading!

 

The Mothers: Brit Bennett

Set within a contemporary black community in Southern California, Brit Bennett’s mesmerizing first novel is an emotionally perceptive story about community, love, and ambition. It begins with a secret.

“All good secrets have a taste before you tell them, and if we’d taken a moment to swish this one around our mouths, we might have noticed the sourness of an unripe secret, plucked too soon, stolen and passed around before its season.”

It is the last season of high school life for Nadia Turner, a rebellious, grief-stricken, seventeen-year-old beauty. Mourning her own mother’s recent suicide, she takes up with the local pastor’s son. Luke Sheppard is twenty-one, a former football star whose injury has reduced him to waiting tables at a diner. They are young; it’s not serious. But the pregnancy that results from this teen romance—and the subsequent cover-up—will have an impact that goes far beyond their youth. As Nadia hides her secret from everyone, including Aubrey, her God-fearing best friend, the years move quickly. Soon, Nadia, Luke, and Aubrey are full-fledged adults and still living in debt to the choices they made that one seaside summer, caught in a love triangle they must carefully maneuver, and dogged by the constant, nagging question: What if they had chosen differently? The possibilities of the road not taken are a relentless haunt.

In entrancing, lyrical prose, The Mothers asks whether a “what if” can be more powerful than an experience itself. If, as time passes, we must always live in servitude to the decisions of our younger selves, to the communities that have parented us, and to the decisions we make that shape our lives forever

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I started to read these a while ago, got sidetracked and put. it to the side. I’m currently reading this one and it’s pretty good. 

*****

Opposite of Always: Justin A. Reynolds

Jack Ellison King. King of Almost.

He almost made valedictorian.

He almost made varsity.

He almost got the girl . . .

When Jack and Kate meet at a party, bonding until sunrise over their mutual love of Froot Loops and their favorite flicks, Jack knows he’s falling—hard. Soon she’s meeting his best friends, Jillian and Franny, and Kate wins them over as easily as she did Jack. Jack’s curse of almost is finally over.

But this love story is . . . complicated. It is an almost happily ever after. Because Kate dies. And their story should end there. Yet Kate’s death sends Jack back to the beginning, the moment they first meet, and Kate’s there again. Beautiful, radiant Kate. Healthy, happy, and charming as ever. Jack isn’t sure if he’s losing his mind. Still, if he has a chance to prevent Kate’s death, he’ll take it. Even if that means believing in time travel. However, Jack will learn that his actions are not without consequences. And when one choice turns deadly for someone else close to him, he has to figure out what he’s willing to do—and let go—to save the people he loves.

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I was browsing in the bookstore and the cover jumped out to me. After reading the synopsis, I was intrigued. Looking forward to getting to this title.

*****

Let Me Hear a Rhyme: Tiffany D. Jackson

In this standalone novel, Tiffany D. Jackson tells the story of three Brooklyn teens who plot to turn their murdered friend into a major rap star by pretending he is still alive.

Biggie Smalls was right. Things done changed. But that doesn’t mean that Quadir and Jarrell are okay letting their best friend Steph’s tracks lie forgotten in his bedroom after he’s killed—not when his beats could turn any Bed-Stuy corner into a celebration, not after years of having each other’s backs.

Enlisting the help of Steph’s younger sister, Jasmine, Quadir and Jarrell come up with a plan to promote Steph’s music under a new rap name: The Architect. Soon, everyone in Brooklyn is dancing to Steph’s voice. But then his mixtape catches the attention of a hotheaded music rep and—with just hours on the clock—the trio must race to prove Steph’s talent from beyond the grave.

Now, as the pressure—and danger—of keeping their secret grows, Quadir, Jarrell, and Jasmine are forced to confront the truth about what happened to Steph. Only each has something to hide. And with everything riding on Steph’s fame, together they need to decide what they stand for before they lose everything they’ve worked so hard to hold on to—including each other.

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I have loved each of this author’s previous works, so once I saw this on the shelf I had to purchase it. I’m hoping it is as quick and as pleasant to read as the others.
******

It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way: Lysa TerKeurst

New York Times  bestselling author Lysa TerKeurst unveils her heart amid shattering circumstances and shows readers how to live assured when life doesn’t turn out like they expected.

What do you do when God’s timing seems questionable, His lack of intervention hurtful, and His promises doubtful?

Life often looks so very different than we hoped or expected. Some events may simply catch us off guard for a moment, but others shatter us completely. We feel disappointed and disillusioned, and we quietly start to wonder about the reality of God’s goodness.

Lysa TerKeurst understands this deeply. But she’s also discovered that our disappointments can be the divine appointments our souls need to radically encounter God. In It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way, Lysa invites us into her own journey of faith and, with grit, vulnerability, and honest humor, helps us to:

* Stop being pulled into the anxiety of disappointment by discovering how to better process unmet expectations and other painful situations.
* Train ourselves to recognize the three strategies of the enemy so we can stand strong and persevere through unsettling relationships and uncertain outcomes.
* Discover the secret of being steadfast and not panicking when God actually does give us more than we can handle.
* Shift our suspicion that God is cruel or unfair to the biblical assurance that God is protecting and preparing us.
* Know how to encourage a friend and help her navigate hard realities with real help from God’s truth

[It's Not Supposed to Be This Way (Signed Book) by Lysa TerKeurst

I purchased this one on a whim. It spoke to me at the moment. As I like to have something faith-based in addition to the bible in my monthly rotation, I figured I’d give this one a try.

******

Defending Jacob: William Landay

Award-winning author William Landay has written the consummate novel of an embattled family in crisis – a suspenseful, character-driven mystery that is also a spellbinding tale of guilt, betrayal, and the terrifying speed at which our lives can spin out of control.

Andy Barber has been an assistant district attorney in his suburban Massachusetts county for more than twenty years. He is respected in his community, tenacious in the courtroom, and happy at home with his wife, Laurie, and son, Jacob. But when a shocking crime shatters their New England town, Andy is blindsided by what happens next: His fourteen-year-old son is charged with the murder of a fellow student.

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A co-worker of mine gathered a bunch of us at work who share a love for reading, a started a little book club. This month we start with this book, Sounds interesting. Not normally a genre I often gravitate too but I’m interested to read something with a group of people and engage in some meaningful conversation! 🙂

That’s it for this month! What are you guys reading this month? I need suggestions for July!

( all synopsis’ from goodreads.com I do not own any of them)

xoxo

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What I Read in January…

What I Read in January…

Hey y’all!

January was a slow reading month. I ended up finishing up “Becoming” by Michelle Obama from my December reading list. It took me a bit longer  to read because January was a pretty busy month for me.  But wow, what a powerful read it was. I love the way the class of Mrs Obama just jumps off of the page. I’m not American, but she is truly missed as the FLOTUS.

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I also read Gary Chapmans book  “God Speaks Your Love Language: How to experience and express God’s Love “. This book is a very good resource for anybody who interested in learning about their “love language” in depth. It was a beautiful reminder that God truly speaks to each of us individual in a language that we understand.  This book helps us identify how our love language relates to our relationship with God. This book left lots of room for self reflection which I find very important. If you are interested in picking up this book, I would encourage you to read the original ” Five Love Languages ” book or take the quiz to find out what your love language is.

Quiz: https://www.5lovelanguages.com/profile/singles/

Here is a synopsis:

Feel God’s love more personally.

Do you realize that the God of the universe speaks your love language, and your expressions of love for Him are shaped by your love language? Learn how you can give and receive God’s love through the five love languages: words of affirmation, quality time, gifts, acts of service, and physical touch.

In this revised and updated edition of The Love Languages of God,Gary writes, “As we respond to the love of God and begin to identify the variety of languages He uses to speak to us, we soon learn to speak those languages ourselves. Whatever love language you prefer, may you find ever deeper satisfaction in using that language in your relationship with God and with other people.”

As you begin to identify the variety of languages God uses to speak love to you and others, you can learn to speak lovingly back to God and to those around you. No matter what love language you prefer, you will become more deeply connected with God and watch this bond transform all of your relationships.  ( Goodreads.com)

Other than that,  I spent a lot a time reading and studying the word of God as my church was in a 21 day fast, my time on social media was super limited. I spent a lot of time in the gospels this month! I’ve drawn a particular affinity to the book of Luke 🙂

Check back this week to see what I’m reading in February!

Til next time..
xoxo
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December Reads…

December Reads…

Hey y’all,

With the holiday season fast approaching, here are the three books I want to get through before the year ends…

  1. Beauty in the Broken Places: A Memoir of Love, Faith andResilience-  Alison PatakiFive months pregnant, on a flight to their “babymoon,” Allison Pataki turned to her husband when he asked if his eye looked strange, and watched him suddenly lose consciousness. After an emergency landing, she discovered that Dave—a healthy thirty-year-old athlete and surgical resident—had suffered a rare and life-threatening stroke. Next thing Allison knew, she was sitting alone in the ER in Fargo, North Dakota, waiting to hear if her husband would survive the night.
  2. When Dave woke up, he could not carry memories from hour to hour, much less from one day to the next. Allison lost the Dave she knew and loved when he lost consciousness on the plane. Within a few months, she found herself caring for both a newborn and a sick husband, struggling with the fear of what was to come.
  3. As a way to make sense of the pain and chaos of their new reality, Allison started to write daily letters to Dave. Not only would she work to make sense of the unfathomable experiences unfolding around her, but her letters would provide Dave with the memories he could not make on his own. She was writing to preserve their past, protect their present, and fight for their future. Those letters became the foundation for this beautiful, intimate memoir. And in the process, she fell in love with her husband all over again.
  4. This is a manifesto for living, an ultimately uplifting story about the transformative power of faith and resilience. It’s a tale of a husband’s turbulent road to recovery, the shifting nature of marriage, and the struggle of loving through pain and finding joy in the broken places (Goodreads) 
    Beauty in the Broken Places: A Memoir of Love, Faith, and Resilience
  5. The Namesake-  Jhumpa Lahiri 
    The Namesake takes the Ganguli family from their tradition-bound life in Calcutta through their fraught transformation into Americans. On the heels of their arranged wedding, Ashoke and Ashima Ganguli settle together in Cambridge, Massachusetts. An engineer by training, Ashoke adapts far less warily than his wife, who resists all things American and pines for her family. When their son is born, the task of naming him betrays the vexed results of bringing old ways to the new world. Named for a Russian writer by his Indian parents in memory of a catastrophe years before, Gogol Ganguli knows only that he suffers the burden of his heritage as well as his odd, antic name.
  6. Lahiri brings great empathy to Gogol as he stumbles along the first-generation path, strewn with conflicting loyalties, comic detours, and wrenching love affairs. With penetrating insight, she reveals not only the defining power of the names and expectations bestowed upon us by our parents, but also the means by which we slowly, sometimes painfully, come to define ourselves. (Goodreads)
    The Namesake
  7. Becoming- Michelle Obama
    An intimate, powerful, and inspiring memoir by the former First Lady of the United States.In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As First Lady of the United States of America—the first African-American to serve in that role—she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, while also establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world, dramatically changing the ways that families pursue healthier and more active lives, and standing with her husband as he led America through some of its most harrowing moments. Along the way, she showed us a few dance moves, crushed Carpool Karaoke, and raised two down-to-earth daughters under an unforgiving media glare.
  8. In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her—from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it—in her own words and on her own terms.Warm, wise, and revelatory, Becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations—and whose story inspires us to do the same. (Goodreads)
    Becoming
  9. I absolutely love this woman and I’m super excited to hear about her experience as the first black FLOTUS.I will also be studying the new testament with help of the YouVersion bible app reading plan “New Thru 30”
  10. What you reading to wrap up your reading year? Let me know!
  11. Till next time,
    xoxo
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November Reads…

November Reads…

Hey guys!

I have a very ambitious reading list for the month of November. In addition to this terms textbook ( Creative Bible Teaching) I am going to try and read 4 books…… We’ll see how that goes! This is what I’m trying to get through this month:

  1. Sing, Unburied Sing: By Jesmyn Ward

    I absolutely love this author. I have read a few of her other books and have yet to be disappointed. This book has been on my to read list for quite some time so what a delight it was when I received a copy from my friend Jen as a gift! ( Thanks girl!) 

    Jojo is thirteen years old and trying to understand what it means to be a man. He doesn’t lack in fathers to study, chief among them his Black grandfather, Pop. But there are other men who complicate his understanding: his absent White father, Michael, who is being released from prison; his absent White grandfather, Big Joseph, who won’t acknowledge his existence; and the memories of his dead uncle, Given, who died as a teenager.

    His mother, Leonie, is an inconsistent presence in his and his toddler sister’s lives. She is an imperfect mother in constant conflict with herself and those around her. She is Black and her children’s father is White. She wants to be a better mother but can’t put her children above her own needs, especially her drug use. Simultaneously tormented and comforted by visions of her dead brother, which only come to her when she’s high, Leonie is embattled in ways that reflect the brutal reality of her circumstances.

    When the children’s father is released from prison, Leonie packs her kids and a friend into her car and drives north to the heart of Mississippi and Parchman Farm, the State Penitentiary. At Parchman, there is another thirteen-year-old boy, the ghost of a dead inmate who carries all of the ugly history of the South with him in his wandering. He too has something to teach Jojo about fathers and sons, about legacies, about violence, about love

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  2. Far From The Tree: By Robin Benway

    I saw this book on somebody’s Youtube channel and it sounded pretty interesting. This is a young adult fiction book. 

    A contemporary novel about three adopted siblings who find each other at just the right moment.

    Being the middle child has its ups and downs.

    But for Grace, an only child who was adopted at birth, discovering that she is a middle child is a different ride altogether. After putting her own baby up for adoption, she goes looking for her biological family, including—

    Maya, her loudmouthed younger bio sister, who has a lot to say about their newfound family ties. Having grown up the snarky brunette in a house full of chipper redheads, she’s quick to search for traces of herself among these not-quite-strangers. And when her adopted family’s long-buried problems begin to explode to the surface, Maya can’t help but wonder where exactly it is that she belongs.

    And Joaquin, their stoic older bio brother, who has no interest in bonding over their shared biological mother. After seventeen years in the foster care system, he’s learned that there are no heroes, and secrets and fears are best kept close to the vest, where they can’t hurt anyone but him.
    Image result for far from the tree robin benway

  3. A Lesson Before Dying: By Ernest J. Gaines
    A classic book that I have never got around to reading. No time like the present right? 🙂

    A Lesson Before Dying is set in a small Cajun community in the late 1940s. Jefferson, a young black man, is an unwitting party to a liquor store shoot out in which three men are killed; the only survivor, he is convicted of murder and sentenced to death. Grant Wiggins, who left his hometown for the university, has returned to the plantation school to teach. As he struggles with his decision whether to stay or escape to another state, his aunt and Jefferson’s godmother persuade him to visit Jefferson in his cell and impart his learning and his pride to Jefferson before his death. In the end, the two men forge a bond as they both come to understand the simple heroism of resisting and defying the expected. Ernest J. Gaines brings to this novel the same rich sense of place, the same deep understanding of the human psyche, and the same compassion for a people and their struggle that have informed his previous, highly praised works of fiction
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  4. Dusty Crowns:  By Heather Lindsey
    I absolutely love Heather Lindsey and I am making my way through all of her written work!

    Have you ever felt like you are completely inadequate and regardless of what you do—you still don’t feel good enough? Well, Heather Lindsey felt the same way for years and she would try to earn God’s love and affirmation. After searching to fill her “God voids” in things, she learned what it meant to be the crown of her spiritual husband, God. Instead of chasing after unhealthy relationships, money and things, she sought a relationship with Jesus and He dusted her past off and made all things new. This book is a reminder that regardless of how far you have gotten away from God, He is still right there, ready to dust you off and make you whole.

    In this book, you will:

    • Learn what it means to be the crown of Jesus Christ and the crown of your physical husband, from the inside out.

    • Learn to protect your heart, mind and life from distractions.

    • Learn to enjoy the current season of your life and develop into the woman God called you to be.

    • Learn to refuse to settle for anything or anyone less than God’s best for your life.

    • See yourself how God sees you—valued, beautiful and special in His eyes.

    • Take advantage of the tests and trails and develop in patience

    Join Heather Lindsey on a heart-to-heart journey to becoming who God called you to be from the inside out. Dusty Crowns challenges women, whether single or married to be beautiful from the inside out and to accomplish the will of God for their life.
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    That’s it folks! Wish me luck! What are you guys reading this month?

    Till next time,
    xoxo

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July Reads…

July Reads…

Hey y’all

We are already halfway through July and I must admit I haven’t been doing that much new reading these past two weeks. I was playing catch up from my June reads. I finished all but one book last month and so one of my books is going to be a repeat. I will be travelling a lot this month and want to be able to soak up all the experiences that my travels have for me, so that means less reading more experiencing.:)  These are my picks for this month. I’ve narrowed it down to two books and a devotional :

The Pressure Trap: Heather Lindsey 

Do you feel stressed out and pressured about life? In this book, The Pressure Trap – Heather Lindsey exposes how to be free from the pressures of society so that you can fully do what God has called you to do. Don’t get caught in the trap of being pressured by this world. Instead, break free to do what God has called you to do! In this book, Heather tackles being pressured in the following areas: · Singlehood · Marriage · With your Children · Ministry · Your Job · Your career/purpose · Family
And so much more!

It is time to walk in freedom and it starts now!

This book is first up this month as I didn’t get to it in June. Really excited for it.
The Pressure Trap: Breaking Free from the Pressures of Society to Become Who God Called You to be

We Are Taking Only What We Need:  Stephanie Powell Watts

In these powerfully rendered, prizewinning stories, working-class African Americans across the South strive for meaning and search for direction in lives shaped by forces beyond their control

The ten stories in this resonant collection deal with both the ties that bind and the gulf that separates generations, from children confronting the fallibility of their own parents for the first time to adults finding themselves forced to start over again and again.

In “Highway 18” a young Jehovah’s Witness going door to door with an expert field-service partner from up north is at a crossroads: will she go to college or continue to serve the church? “If You Hit Randall County, You’ve Gone Too Far” tells of a family trying to make it through a tense celebratory dinner for a son just out on bail. And in the collection’s title story, a young girl experiences loss for the first time in the fallout from her father’s relationship with her babysitter.

Startling, intimate, and prescient on their own, these stories build to a kaleidoscopic understanding of both the individual and the collective black experience over the last fifty years in the American South. With We Are Taking Only What We Need,Stephanie Powell Watts has crafted an incredibly assured and emotionally affecting meditation on everything from the large institutional forces to the small interpersonal moments that impress upon us and direct our lives.

I’m not often a fan of anthologies or short story collections, but something about the cover intrigued me and I figured I’d give it a chance!

Image result for we are only taking what we need

Ruth Fields of Grace: A devotional from the Daily Grace Co. 

This 21 day study on the book of Ruth is an in-depth look at the book of Ruth and how this small book points to the gospel. The short book of Ruth is packed with grace and truth for every season of life. It is a reminder that God is present in the waiting and the ordinary. It is full of gospel-hope that God is working behind the scenes in ways that we could never imagine to sovereignly and providentially bring about His good plan for His people. This isn’t your ordinary study of Ruth. This isn’t just about a love story between Ruth and Boaz, but about the ultimate love story between God and His people.

Poverty to Provision
Brokenness to Beauty
Reproach to Redemption
Famine to Fullness
Grief to Grace
This is the gospel story seen in the book of Ruth.

Ruth - Fields of Grace

I absolutely love this company and its beautifully designed devotionals. This is my fourth study and plan on doing many many more!

That’s it for me this month! Happy Reading 🙂

( Click the links for the full book synopsis’ courtesy of Goodreads.com and harpercollins.com)

xoxo
©justlovethemanyway

May Reads…

May Reads…

Hey guys!

I’ve been grappling with what I want to read this month as it appears that there is barely any free time at my grasp this month! Your girl is booked and busy! Work and weddings, bridal showers and other celebrations leaves little to no time for leisurely afternoons curled up with a good book, which is why I’ve chosen only 2 books and a couple months of Essence and Ebony magazines to focus on. Here’s what I chose…

  1. An American Marriage: By Tayari Jones

    Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are the embodiment of both the American Dream and the New South. He is a young executive, and she is an artist on the brink of an exciting career. But as they settle into the routine of their life together, they are ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined. Roy is arrested and sentenced to twelve years for a crime Celestial knows he didn’t commit. Though fiercely independent, Celestial finds herself bereft and unmoored, taking comfort in Andre, her childhood friend, and best man at their wedding. As Roy’s time in prison passes, she is unable to hold on to the love that has been her center. After five years, Roy’s conviction is suddenly overturned, and he returns to Atlanta ready to resume their life together
    An American Marriage
  2. Life Is _____.: God’s Illogical Love Will Change Your Existence – By: Judah Smith

    Life is ____.  How would you finish that sentence?
    Judah Smith believes Jesus shows us how to live life to the fullest. In this follow-up to his New York Times and USA Today bestseller Jesus Is ____, Judah completes the new sentence again and again, revealing how·      Life is to be loved and to love.
  3. ·      Life is to trust God in every moment.
  4. ·      Life is to be at peace with God and yourself.
  5. ·      Life is to enjoy God.
  6. Judah writes as a friend, welcoming new believers, lifelong followers of Jesus, and even the merely curious. He shows us the love of God that defies human logic and the life that God intends for us to have in the here and now. With excitement and humor, Judah looks at the stories in the Bible from his unique angle and shows how life is all about loving God and loving others
    Life Is _____.: God's Illogical Love Will Change Your Existence

That’s all I’m reading this month y’all! What are you reading this month? I need some suggestions for June!

xoxo
©justlovethemanyway
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April Reads…

April Reads…

Hey y’all

I only have a few books on my radar for this month. Check them out down below! 🙂

  1. The Mother of Black Hollywood: A Memoir: Jenifer Lewis 
    Jenifer Lewis keeps it real in this provocative and touching memoir by a mid-western girl with a dream whose journey from poverty to Hollywood will move, shock, and inspire readers.

    Told in the audacious voice her fans adore, Jenifer describes a road to fame made treacherous by dysfunction and undiagnosed mental illness, including a sex addiction. Yet, supported by loving friends and strengthened by “inner soldiers,” Jenifer never stopped entertaining and creating.

    We watch as Jenifer develops icon status stemming from a series of legendary screen roles as the sassy, yet loveable, mama or auntie. And we watch as her emotional disturbances, culminating in a breakdown while filming The Temptationsmovie, launch her on a continuing search for answers, love, and healing.

    Written with no-holds-barred honesty and illustrated with sixteen-pages of color photos, this gripping memoir is filled with insights gained through a unique life that offers a universal message: “Love yourself so that love will not be a stranger when it comes.”

    From her first taste of applause at five years old to landing on Broadway within eleven days of graduation and ultimately achieving success in movies, television and global concert halls, Jenifer reveals her outrageous life story with lots of humor, a few regrets and most importantly, unbridled joy. Candid, warm and wonderfully inspiring, The Mother of Black Hollywood intimately reveals the heart of a woman who lives life to the fullest (Goodreads.com)
    The Mother of Black Hollywood: A Memoir

  2. Sin of a Woman: Kimberla Lawson-Roby
    ( This is book 14 ( yes 14 lol) in the Reverend Curtis Black series. This series has kept me captivated for years. Each time I think this author can’t take the series any further, she finds a way to keep the characters vivacious and full of life! I would suggest reading this series from the start, but this book can be read as a stand alone novel )
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    Raven Black is bouncing back after her very public divorce from Dillon. He’s done everything he can to discredit her, but she’s learned from her mistakes and him. In fact, she’s become her ex-husband in more ways than one and is slowly but surely leading those connected to her down a terrible path of destruction. Playing with the lives of innocent people has dire consequences, the kind that Raven won’t see coming. ( Goodreads.com)
    Sin of a Woman

  3. Ghana Must Go: Taiye Selasi 
    Kweku Sai is dead. A renowned surgeon and failed husband, he succumbs suddenly at dawn outside his home in suburban Accra. The news of Kweku’s death sends a ripple around the world, bringing together the family he abandoned years before. Ghana Must Go is their story. Electric, exhilarating, beautifully crafted, Ghana Must Go is a testament to the transformative power of unconditional love, from a debut novelist of extraordinary talent.

    Moving with great elegance through time and place, Ghana Must Go charts the Sais’ circuitous journey to one another. In the wake of Kweku’s death, his children gather in Ghana at their enigmatic mother’s new home. The eldest son and his wife; the mysterious, beautiful twins; the baby sister, now a young woman: each carries secrets of his own. What is revealed in their coming together is the story of how they came apart: the hearts broken, the lies told, the crimes committed in the name of love. Splintered, alone, each navigates his pain, believing that what has been lost can never be recovered—until, in Ghana, a new way forward, a new family, begins to emerge.

    Ghana Must Go is at once a portrait of a modern family, and an exploration of the importance of where we come from to who we are. In a sweeping narrative that takes us from Accra to Lagos to London to New York, Ghana Must Go teaches that the truths we speak can heal the wounds we hide. ( Goodreads.com) 
    Ghana Must Go: A Novel

  4. Daughters of Grace Devotional : Created by the Daily Grace Co. 
    The Daughters of Grace study is a study of the women of the Bible and the God of grace. The 8.5×11 full color book covers 28 women of the Bible. The book includes study questions and is perfect for group or individual study. I’m going you use this to do some in depth study of some the Bible’s most exciting characters. This company has so many aesthetically beautiful and well written devotionals on many different books and themes. Check them out!

    Daughters of Grace - Study of the Women of the BibleThat’s it for this month! I’m halfway through my first book and looking forward to a  month full of enjoyable reading! Till next time!
    xoxo
    ©justlovethemanyway
    ( This post is not sponsored. All opinions are my own. All synopsis’ are courtesy of thedailygraceco.com and Goodreads.com)

My Autumn Reading List 2017…

My Autumn Reading List 2017…

Hey guys!

The weather is getting much cooler, which means its just about time for me to go into hibernation mode!! ( I live in Canada and winter is not a friend of mine, so I’ll be inside LOL) One of the things I love to do( especially when I’m trying to avoid going outside) is read.. like actually books! ( Do people still do that? Lol) Here are the books I’m going to try and get through this season!

(All Synopsis are copyright of Goodreads.com)

Salvage the Bones : By Jesmyn Ward

Winner of the 2011 National Book Award for Fiction A hurricane is building over the Gulf of Mexico, threatening the coastal town of Bois Sauvage, Mississippi, and Esch’s father is growing concerned. A hard drinker, largely absent, he doesn’t show concern for much else. Esch and her three brothers are stocking food, but there isn’t much to save. Lately, Esch can’t keep down what food she gets; she’s fourteen and pregnant. Her brother Skeetah is sneaking scraps for his prized pitbull’s new litter, dying one by one in the dirt. While brothers Randall and Junior try to stake their claim in a family long on child’s play and short on parenting. As the twelve days that comprise the novel’s framework yield to the final day and Hurricane Katrina, the unforgettable family at the novel’s heart–motherless children sacrificing for each other as they can, protecting and nurturing where love is scarce–pulls itself up to struggle for another day. A wrenching look at the lonesome, brutal, and restrictive realities of rural poverty, “Salvage the Bone” is muscled with poetry, revelatory, and real. ©Goodreads

Salvage the Bones

 

Sing Unburied Sing:  By Jesmyn Ward

A searing and profound Southern odyssey by National Book Award winner Jesmyn Ward.

In Jesmyn Ward’s first novel since her National Book Award winning Salvage the Bones, this singular American writer brings the archetypal road novel into rural twenty-first-century America. Drawing on Morrison and Faulkner, The Odyssey and the Old Testament, Ward gives us an epochal story, a journey through Mississippi’s past and present that is both an intimate portrait of a family and an epic tale of hope and struggle. Ward is a major American writer, multiply awarded and universally lauded, and in Sing, Unburied, Sing she is at the height of her powers.

Jojo and his toddler sister, Kayla, live with their grandparents, Mam and Pop, and the occasional presence of their drug-addicted mother, Leonie, on a farm on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi. Leonie is simultaneously tormented and comforted by visions of her dead brother, which only come to her when she’s high; Mam is dying of cancer; and quiet, steady Pop tries to run the household and teach Jojo how to be a man. When the white father of Leonie’s children is released from prison, she packs her kids and a friend into her car and sets out across the state for Parchman farm, the Mississippi State Penitentiary, on a journey rife with danger and promise.

Sing, Unburied, Sing grapples with the ugly truths at the heart of the American story and the power, and limitations, of the bonds of family. Rich with Ward’s distinctive, musical language, Sing, Unburied, Sing is a majestic new work and an essential contribution to American literature. ©Goodreads

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Behold, The Dreamers: By Imbolo Mbue

Jende Jonga, a Cameroonian immigrant living in Harlem, has come to the United States to provide a better life for himself, his wife, Neni, and their six-year-old son. In the fall of 2007, Jende can hardly believe his luck when he lands a job as a chauffeur for Clark Edwards, a senior executive at Lehman Brothers. Clark demands punctuality, discretion, and loyalty—and Jende is eager to please. Clark’s wife, Cindy, even offers Neni temporary work at the Edwardses’ summer home in the Hamptons. With these opportunities, Jende and Neni can at last gain a foothold in America and imagine a brighter future.

However, the world of great power and privilege conceals troubling secrets, and soon Jende and Neni notice cracks in their employers’ façades.

When the financial world is rocked by the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the Jongas are desperate to keep Jende’s job—even as their marriage threatens to fall apart. As all four lives are dramatically upended, Jende and Neni are forced to make an impossible choice.

Behold the Dreamers

New People: By Danzy Senna

From the bestselling author of Caucasia, a subversive and engrossing novel of race, class and manners in contemporary America.

As the twentieth century draws to a close, Maria is at the start of a life she never thought possible. She and Khalil, her college sweetheart, are planning their wedding. They are the perfect couple, “King and Queen of the Racially Nebulous Prom.” Their skin is the same shade of beige. They live together in a black bohemian enclave in Brooklyn, where Khalil is riding the wave of the first dot-com boom and Maria is plugging away at her dissertation, on the Jonestown massacre. They’ve even landed a starring role in a documentary about “new people” like them, who are blurring the old boundaries as a brave new era dawns. Everything Maria knows she should want lies before her–yet she can’t stop daydreaming about another man, a poet she barely knows. As fantasy escalates to fixation, it dredges up secrets from the past and threatens to unravel not only Maria’s perfect new life but her very persona.

Heartbreaking and darkly comic, New People is a bold and unfettered page-turner that challenges our every assumption about how we define one another, and ourselves ©Goodreads

New People

A Kind of Freedom:  By Margaret Wilkerson Sexton

Evelyn is a Creole woman who comes of age in New Orleans at the height of World War Two. Her family inhabits the upper echelon of Black society and when she falls for no-name Renard, she is forced to choose between her life of privilege and the man she loves.

In 1982, Evelyn’s daughter, Jackie, is a frazzled single mother grappling with her absent husband’s drug addiction. Just as she comes to terms with his abandoning the family, he returns, ready to resume their old life. Jackie must decide if the promise of her husband is worth the near certainty he’ll leave again.

Jackie’s son, T.C., loves the creative process of growing marijuana more than the weed itself. He finds something hypnotic about training the seedlings, testing the levels, trimming the leaves, drying the buds. He was a square before Hurricane Katrina, but the New Orleans he knew didn’t survive the storm, and in its wake he was changed too. Now, fresh out of a four-month stint for possession with the intent to distribute, he decides to start over—until an old friend convinces him to stake his new beginning on one last deal.

For Evelyn, Jim Crow is an ongoing reality, and in its wake new threats spring up to haunt her descendants. A Kind of Freedom is an urgent novel that explores the legacy of racial disparity in the South through a poignant and redemptive family history ©Goodreads

A Kind of Freedom

The final book on this list is one I can brag about because it was written by my very own cousin Michelle Collins. I’m excited to dive in and will provide you with a full review as soon as I finish! (This synopsis is courtesy of Amazon.com)

Spirit Check By: Michelle Collins

“If you’re ever going to master your emotions, the first order of business is to get out of your feelings.” From the book “Spirit Check” Your attitude, behavior and mindset define your spirit, which is the seat of your emotions. Through the lens of self examination, five bold and common emotions + character flaws are exposed that derail personal, spiritual success and growth. In Spirit Check, Michelle Collins provides a persuasive commentary on the five [jealousy, intimidation, fear pride and anger], with practical solutions for immediate implementation to transform the mind, soul and spirit. Discover how biblical principles and practical solutions can aid in your goal to become whole and spiritually healthy. Commit to a healthier more excellent way of mastering your emotions, masterfully .©Amazon

That’s the end of my list, my very ambitious list mind you seeing as I am taking 2 classes, working full time, blogging , on top of ministry obligations lol! Lunch hour reading it is!  Wish me luck!

What are you guys reading this autumn?
xoxo
©justlovethemanyway

 

 

My Winter Reads 2017…

My Winter Reads 2017…

Hey guys,

Yesterday I was walking outside with my jacket open enjoying my 9 degree celsius weather ( where I live in the middle of February thats unusually warm!) and today I woke up to a winter wonderland blizzard / freezing rain mess!!! It was at that moment that I decided that it was finally time to enter my Canadian winter hibernation mode! Insert long lazy evenings indoors with Netflix and some good reads! These are some of the books that I hope to delve into this season!

Every Little Step, My Story by Bobby Brown: 

This is a book I have wanted to read for a while, but had been put on the back burner and then eventually forgotten. But with the New Edition biopic that just aired, I ran to my bookshelf and dug it out. There’s always 3 sides to every story; what he said, what she said and the truth and I am interested in hearing Bobby’s side of the stories we’ve all watched and heard about. Im already 100 pages in and I’m glad I picked this up again!

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How’s Your Soul by Judah Smith:  

Judah Smith is a Christian author of many books, two of which I have previously read and loved! When I saw that he was releasing a new book, I had to get my hands on it . This one focuses on the inner you – your soul and keeping it in check! Can’t wait to pick this one up.

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Colliding with Destiny by Sarah Jakes :

This book is written by the daughter of acclaimed pastor T.D. Jakes. Sarah has notably been through lots of ups and downs and has turned her situations into inspirations for many. This book  simultaneously walks us through the story of Ruth and Naomi as it parallels to our own lives . I’m currently reading this one already and I am really enjoying it!

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A Moment of Silence( Midnight III) by Sister Souljah:  

This is a continuation of a story I have been following for a long time. Are there any “Coldest Winter Ever” fans out there? If there are , you’d know that is where we first met Midnight. This series really focuses on his life from its rough beginnings in Africa to his migration to the United States of America and his subsequent rises and falls.

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Neecey’s Lullaby by Cris Burks:  

This book was passed on to me by a friend . This book deals with the plight of the main character Neecey,  who is living in 1950’s America with an absent father and an absentee mother. Neecey has to grow up real quick and this is her story. This is a real quick read so I hope to get to this one really soon!

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The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X as told to Alex Haley :

This is a re-read  for me. I read this as a young girl about 12 0r 13. I wanted to read it as an adult because I think there is so much more I can gain from it now.

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Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie :

I have been trying to read this book for about 2 years and it always get shifted to the back burner! Well I am determined to get this read this winter!!  I love this author! Ive read some of her other books like “Americanah” and “Purple Hibiscus” which I loved so I’m sure I’ll enjoy this one too.  This one has more of a African political twist to it  which is a subject I am interested in becoming more knowledgeable about.

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So that’s it folks? What are you reading this winter? Any other suggestions for me?  Let me know!

xoxo