14. An Abundance of Katherines by John Green – this was my book club’s book for June, but I didn’t get to go to the discussion. If I did, I would have asked why we read such a book. It was written like an awful teenage romantic comedy/coming of age movie that is full of stereotypical characters and a rather predictable plot. At least it was a really quick read.
15. The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz
16. Curse of the Spellmans by Lisa Lutz
17. Revenge of the Spellmans by Liza Lutz
18. The Spellmans Strike Again by Lisa Lutz
19. The Trail of the Spellmans by Lisa Lutz – this was the most recently published book, and I had to wait several weeks for it after I realized our library finally had it. I really enjoy all these books and enjoyed rereading the first four. They are light mysteries about a family of private investigators (the Spellmans). The latest book was enjoyable and I hope there is another one someday.
20. Seven by Jen Hatmaker – there is a lot of buzz surrounding this book, and so many of my friends that I keep up with on Facebook and blogs are reading it, too. I decided to read it after reading my friend Christine’s thoughts on the book. In Seven, the author conducts a fast each month for seven months, each month fasting from a different thing. The first month was food, and while the author did not fast, she simplified what she ate to only seven foods for the whole month. (I think she chose wisely her seven foods, and I would do the same, but not the bread, I’d find something else.) Another month was possessions, and she gave away a lot of things. One month was stress where she worked to reintroduce a Sabbath into her families lives. She also had a month on media (very insightful), spending, waste, and one on clothing where she only wore seven articles of clothing (not counting undergarments/socks) for a month. Each chapter is written like a blog/diary of her thoughts as she conducts the experiments.
I was challenged as I read her book to look outside the walls of my house more than I do and to simplify my life. After reading the chapter on possessions, Thomas took the big kids out of town for the night, and I spent the night purging our house and getting rid of a lot of stuff. It was funny reading this book because while we have never conducted such formal experiments as she did, Thomas and I have spent a month where we didn’t buy anything new. It was a really insightful experiment for us where I realized how much a trip to Target would boost my spirits if I was bored or lonely. That was back when I just had one small child and a trip to Target was a leisurely experience. Now, a trip to Target is an exhausting trek full of hazards (someone hiding in a clothing rack knocked it down on me… yes, my child.) I have never been one to be very attached to clothing or fashion, but I enjoyed reading her chapter on clothing. It reminded me of when I wore the same outfit to school my senior year of high school for two weeks (washing it nightly), just to see if anyone would notice. Only one girl did, which resonated deeply with me then to throw off the yoke of spending all my hard earned money on brand names that no one *really* noticed.
Anyway, that was a long, random aside of just a few thoughts I had as I read this book. I highly recommend it, and it really made me consider ways to simplify and reduce in order to better care for the poor, orphans and widows.