Book Reviews: Summer ’21 Edition

As some of you may know, I am in the process of trying to get a book published. Obviously a big part of that process was actually sitting down to write my book. I worked with a writing coach and was told early on that I needed to be reading as much as I am writing. This was an adjustment as I normally only averaged 1-2 books per year. I’m proud to say I’ve gotten much better and am able to read a book every couple months or so. Even with that progress, I have to admit I was a little nervous when I found myself signed up for not one, not two, but three book clubs over the Summer!

My sweet friend Alice invited me to read “The Nightingale” by Kristin Hannah. I was all in and ordered the book off Amazon. When it was delivered two days later, the package was so big I thought it was a pair of shoes! I was mortified when I saw how big the book was and nervous I wasn’t going to be able to keep up.

Around the same time, my Libertarian friend Allison asked me to read “Economics In One Lesson” by Henry Hazlitt with her. They were giving them away at the state convention we had just attended and I was also all in on this book as I have not read many Libertarian books yet.

The third book I took on this Summer was actually a bible study called “Forgiving What You Can’t Forget” by Lysa Terkeurst. I had heard Lysa speak on this topic at this year’s If:Gathering, so I was really excited to read it.

But could I do it? Could I read three books simultaneously and not let the other girls down who I was reading them with?

I’ll be honest, I actually didn’t make it. But I was so close!

My friend Allison got too excited about economics and read way far ahead of me. Also, I had to miss the last week or so of bible study, so I didn’t finish that one with the group either. I did however get the biggest book, “The Nightingale,” done in time – yay!

“The Nightingale” is set in France and follows the journeys of two sisters throughout World War 2. It was beautifully written and I thoroughly enjoyed going through the discussion questions with my friends at the end. We were able to put ourselves in each of the sisters shoes and discuss how we would have handled what was thrown at them. I should have expected some sad parts, but a couple of them really hit me hard. It’s supposed to be being made into a movie, so my friends and I are already excited to see it play out on the big screen some day!

"Men tell stories. Women get on with it."

- Kristin Hannah

“Economics In One Lesson” was extremely eye opening. Even being a Libertarian, there were many points made about our current state of economics that I had not considered before. The craziest thing to me is that the book was originally written in the 1940s. Hazlitt was already pointing out major issues with the way things were leaning. There is an afterword written in the 1970s where he reflects on those 30 years since his book was written. It’s amazing how his advice was not only not heeded, but in some cases we did the exact thing he said would lead to economic collapse. I will give one example of this via a quote below, but encourage you to check out the book if this is the type of thing you’d like to know more about. Some chapters felt like reading a textbook, but it’s worth it to read it as a whole!

"The American Social Security system must stand today as a frightening symbol of the almost inevitable tendency of any national relief, redistribution, or “insurance” scheme, once established, to run completely out of control."
- Henry Hazlitt

“Forgiving What You Can’t Forget” was the perfect bible study for my soul after last year. I had a moment where I was faced with a past hurt that did not go as planned. I had done the soul work to forgive the hurt and the person who did it. But when we were face to face unexpectedly, suddenly that forgiveness I had worked on seemed out of reach. I took this as a major spiritual failure and it launched me into a really unhealthy space for months.

In the study I learned that like most healing, forgiveness is not linear, but more cyclical. I learned that a response to a trigger does not mean a failure. I learned that I was never supposed to attempt forgiveness on my own. I learned that I can take forgiveness as far as I can and when I get stuck, the blood of the lamb will help me overcome the rest. I have a partner in life that will never forsake me. Thank you, Lysa T. for writing this book!

So what is next?

I am currently reading “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” by Suzanne Collins, “The World America Made” by Robert Kagan, and will soon be starting the “Nothing To Prove” bible study by Jennie Allen.

What are you reading? Have you read any of the books mentioned above? I’d love to know your thoughts. Comment below!

XO – Olivia

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