People To Be Loved by Preston Sprinkle: A Review

Okay, I know it's Thursday. It's almost the end of the week and you're probably in the mood to watch kittens or something on Youtube rather than read a serious book review, but that's what I've got for you today. And it's a book I think needs to be talked about. It's a book that needs to be read. By everyone.

Let me tell you about it.

A Picture Says A Thousand Words

When I think about our trip to Oahu last summer, there is one day in particular that stands out to me.

It was a Saturday afternoon and things were pretty quiet around my sister's house. We had only been on the island for two days and were still tired from the jet lag and our day on the North Shore. But, since it was Hawaii  - and HELLO how often do you get to go there? - my sister and nieces were antsy to get out of the house. My energy levels weren't quite up to theirs (see: thirty-year old mother of a toddler), but I was anxious, too. My mother graciously offered to watch Lucy so I could take the girls out for an adventure, and with the help of Kati's GPS and my older sister's hatchback we were soon traveling across the island with no real idea about what we would find.

There is something, dare I say, spiritual about going to new places. Nothing much on earth is undiscovered, but if you travel somewhere you've never been before there is an other-worldly element to the experience. People actually live here, you think. They get to see this everyday.

When the five of us searched for amazing beaches on Oahu, mapped a destination, and then hopped in the car to go find it, we had no idea we would stumble upon this:

Kailua had everything our small-town Southern girl minds had imagined a Hawaiian beach would have: turquoise water, volcanic outcroppings, pristine sand the texture of baby powder, and views like no other. It was, quite literally, heaven on earth.

I brought my Nikon with me on the trip to take photos, but this picture was captured with my sister's iPhone. And when I heard that Social Print Studio was challenging people to share their favorite photos from 2015, this snapshot was the first one that came to mind. During our drive home from Kailua, none of us could keep our chill and we droned on and on about how we couldn't wait to back. We certainly weren't the first people to marvel over a beach on a tropical island, nor would we be the last. But it was our first. And I feel so incredibly lucky that I got the chance.


Wish you had an easy way to print your favorite Instagram, mobile, or desktop photos? Social Print Studio is now available in the App Store! Check out all of their amazing products here. (I recommend the metal prints!)

This post is in partnership with Social Print Studios.

Current Reads // 02

Happy February!

Here we are, one month into 2016, and I'm doing pretty well at keeping up with my TBR list (that's "to-be read" to you). And since it's been about three months since I shared my previous current reads, I thought starting this month fresh with new reads might be nice. Or not, if you're not one for reading. In which case, WHY ARE YOU HERE?

Okay, here we go.

This book is part memoir (small part), part faith journey (large part), part poetry (very large part). The purpose of Ann's book is to introduce readers to the idea of "eucharisteo" which is a Greek word for thanksgiving that comprises two other words: grace and joy. Ann's story begins with her birth and soon after walks us through the grief she and her family experienced when Ann's younger sister was tragically killed on their farm. It's a beautiful book, which tries to offer insight into and even gratitude for the pain of this world and the tediousness of daily life. There are pieces of it that I love, and pieces that I don't. Ann's blog is a must-read, and it brings me to tears on the regular, but this book is heavy, heavy, HEAVY on metaphor and poetic descriptions. Sometimes I just want her to get to the point. But then she does and I go, "Oh, thanks! That's really amazing." 

Okay, I'm not actually currently reading this at the moment. But I will be later this week. I found it in one of my neighborhood's mini free libraries more than a year ago and never finished it. It's exactly what the cover and title make you think it is, which isn't necessarily a bad thing if you like over-the-top, completely unrealistic chick-lit. I promise I'm not being a jerk. I've read lots of over-the-top, completely unrealistic chick lit in my day. In fact, one of my favorite novels to re-read fits that description perfectly. I just got side-tracked by whatever else I was doing or reading at the time and put it on my bookshelf, where I found it again last week whilst purging my house. We'll see how it ends!

This is another book I've had for years (read: TEN) and I've been enjoying it in bits + pieces. I bought Sister Freaks when I was a junior in college and since it's a compilation of different stories, periodically picking it up and putting it down again is easy to do. Essentially, it's a bunch of stories of women - both living and dead, famous and completely unknown - who have, in some way, sacrificed themselves for Jesus. The language is definitely more fitting a young adult audience, but there are some stories in here that will punch you in the gut. It's a beautiful challenge for those of us who long to serve God wherever we are, but aren't certain that what we're doing really "counts". Sister Freaks helps remind us that it does, even if our names don't ever go down in history.

Disclaimer: I know T.C. And by "know" I mean I've never met her in person, but she works for my publisher and she is pretty much the sweetest. Also, I don't actually call her T.C. That's her author name. But none of this really matters; I just thought I'd let you know. 

I bought The Bone Treaty this morning (it's only 0.99 on Amazon!) and I'm really excited to get started on it since I've been staring at that cover on my publisher's website for over a year. Plus, I like to support authors I know and the blurb sounds delightful.

Here are a few more of my recent reads, along with my recommendations:

  • The Red Scarf by Kate Furnivall (Paperback) - Do you like sweeping period romances? Do you like thrillers? Are you interested in post-revolutionary Russia? Then say yes to this one. It's a little long, but worth it.
  • For The Love by Jen Hatmaker (Kindle) - Jen is my spirit animal...if my spirit animal was a gorgeous, hilarious red-head with a gaggle of children and a sense of humor that will have you spitting out your sweet tea. I sped through this with laughter and tears. Just read it, for the love.

Oh, hey, and before you go? All of the books I've listed are available to borrow or keep! I will be happy to loan you the Kindle books for two weeks and ship you the physical books (for free), if you're interested. Just leave a comment and let me know! 

What are you reading this week? Leave your recommendations below!