Every month I try to read at least one book from the following categories: nonfiction, devotional, and fiction. Non-fiction ensures that I’m always learning something new. Devotionals ensure that I’m keying into my faith. And fiction books are just so enjoyable to read! This is What I Read in February 2016.
And this year I’m going to do things just a little bit different. Since I decided to participate in the 2016 PopSugar Reading Challenge, I’m also going to be listing which category my books fulfill. If you want to join in on the fun, you can check out the list of categories here!
The Maze Runner by James Dashner
2016 PopSugar Challenge: a YA bestseller
This series has been on my ‘to read’ list for quite some time, as I’d heard from several people how good it was and generally enjoy dystopian fiction. I watched the movie based on the book about 6 months ago, and it was pretty good, so I knew the book wouldn’t be a total let down. As usual, I liked the book better than the movie, as there was more detail and character development. So, reading the rest of the series was a forgone conclusion.
The Scorch Trials by James Dashner
2016 PopSugar Challenge: a dystopian novel
I liked the second entry in the Maze Runner series almost as much as the first book. It’s certainly an edge-of-your-seat, action packed novel. The introduction of new characters felt natural, and also allowed for new types of interactions between the characters (as the first book only has one female in a group of males).
The Death Cure by James Dashner
2016 PopSugar Challenge: a science fiction novel
The third book in the series, I didn’t like it as much. Where Thomas previously had searched for more information to help him to lead his group, now suddenly he doesn’t want to know about his past or to regain his memories, it felt less authentic. I can certainly understand why he wouldn’t have trusted WICKED, but why he wouldn’t later allow for his memory to be unlocked. Anyway, it provided for more action, but also a satisfying finale to the story.
You Aren’t Worthless: Unlock the Truth to Godly Confidence by Kristin Spencer
The author was very relatable to me, as she talks in the book about her struggles with weight and feelings of unworthiness. But the main point of the book is that we need to look to God for love and to establish our worth, rather than to the world. And we have to remember that dwelling in feelings of self-doubt and negative self thoughts is a form of pride, as God made each of us and doesn’t make mistakes. So if we disbelieve this, we essentially are being prideful by operating under the assumption that we are special and exempt from the rule.
The Amber Keeper by Freda Lightfoot
As a fan of Jennifer Robson, Amazon recommended this novel by Freda Lightfoot. The story is dual tracked, with overlap between the two stories which take place about fifty years apart. It was interesting and pulled me into the narratives. I enjoyed the story set in the 1910s in Russia most, but they two narratives fit so well together, that moving back into the 1960s in England wasn’t painful. Not as good as Jennifer Robson’s books, in my humble opinion (but then I LOVE her books), but still quite good.
The Excellence Habit by Vlad Zachary
Similar to how Malcolm Gladwell illustrates his points with anecdotes and studies, this book does the same thing. Essentially what it boils down to is there certain actions and activities of people who achieve excellence, so we are able to model them and achieve excellence in our own lives. Well written, interesting, and informative.
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
2016 PopSugar Challenge: a National Book award winner
Although not a winner, this book was a National Book award finalist, and has been sitting on my nightstand waiting for quite some time, so I’m counting it for this category. I honestly don’t know why I waited so long to read it. Rachel from Maybe Matilda read this book and enjoyed it (so much that she has written about it several times and lists it as a book she keeps recommending), and her description of the book told me that I’d like it to. And it did not disappoint. Truly, it was a book that from page one I knew was a classic in the making. It’s dystopian fiction, but not in the cheesy, monster style that some in the genre fall so easily into. The characters remain complex, in spite of the terrible state that the world has fallen into. I loved it!
The Magician’s Lie by Greer Macallister
2016 PopSugar Challenge: the first book you see in a bookstore
I picked this book out wandering through Target. I don’t know if that counts as a bookstore for everyone, but they do in fact sell books…so book-store. 😉 The cover art drew me in (isn’t it gorgeous?!), and then the description ensured that I was going to purchase it. And on top of that, the book I picked up is signed by the author, as it’s a Target book club pick. Sweet!
Anyway, the story is told from the perspective of a female illusionist in 1905, and she is telling her life story…or so she wants a lawman to believe. Until the very end, you’re never quite sure whether it’s true or just a fantastical story. And I won’t give away which category it falls into, as I thought the book was wonderful and zipped right through it and think you’ll enjoy it too.