Bookworm’s Book Reviews: July 2016 Edition

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I have been making time for reading quite a lot this summer. I know once school starts on August 16th, I’m going to have to make time for reading more. I’ll share how I’ll do that when the time comes, but in the meantime, here is the list of books I’ve read in July. I hope you find something on my Bookworm’s Book Reviews : July 2016 Edition review list to add to your to be read list.

Bookworm’s Book Reviews

Bookworm's Book Reviews- July 2016 Edition

The following are books that I’ve rented from the library this month. 

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I Do It with the Lights On: And 10 More Discoveries on the Road to a Blissfully Shame-Free Life

From the star of TLC’s My Big Fat Fabulous Life and the YouTube sensation “A Fat Girl Dancing” comes an empowering memoir about letting go of your limitations and living the life you deserve. Right now.

Whitney Way Thore stands five feet two inches tall and weighs well over three hundred pounds, and she is totally, completely, and truly . . . happy. But she wasn’t always the vivacious, confident woman you see on TV. Growing up as a dancer, Whitney felt the pressure to be thin, a desire that grew into an obsession as she got older. From developing an eating disorder as a teenager, to extreme weight gain in college, to her ongoing struggle with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), Whitney reveals her fight to overcome the darkest moments in her life. She holds nothing back, opening up about the depths of her depression as well as her resilience in the face of constant harassment and mistreatment.

Now Whitney is on top of the world and taking no BS (Body Shame, of course). And she’s sharing the steps she took to get there and the powerful message behind her successful No Body Shame campaign. She even reveals her favorite “F” word (it’s probably not what you think), the thrill of doing it with the lights on, and the story behind the “Fat Girl Dancing” video that started it all.

Exuberant and utterly honest, I Do It with the Lights On is the inspiring story of how Whitney finally discovered her fabulousness when she stepped off the scale and into her life, embracing herself unconditionally—body, heart, and soul.

I grabbed this book up at the very last second while I was at the library. I’m an obese woman. It’s not something that I’m proud of nor something I intentionally let happen. I blew up while I was pregnant with my first child, and have NEVER been able to lose the weight since. I came close while I was pregnant with my last daughter, but six months after she was born it all came back! While reading this book, I related to everything Whitney shared in her book. It was like I was reliving a good part of my own life.

I remember all too well what it feels like to be skinny and beautiful and turning heads in a positive manner when I walked into a room. Even my son can’t get over how beautiful I was as a teenager when he looks at pictures of me as a kid. Luckily for me, I’ve been blessed with a man who loves me unconditionally and he still finds me sexy as hell to him. I honestly believe it’s because he can wear his rose colored glasses and still sees me as I was. (Which he has flat out said as much! However, he feels my weight is also a weight of honor because it got there as a result of giving birth to three wonderful kids.)

Prior to reading this book, I was filled with shame and resentment about my weight. Although I’d still love to lose this weight, it’s not a matter of me feeling like I’m a worthless person if I don’t lose it. I’ve got my worth back. I’ve always believed that my weight didn’t make me who I am, but it has hindered me from being as confident as I was as the skinner me.

It’s a good read for anyone who doesn’t have positive self-esteem regardless of your size.

A Girl’s Guide to Moving On: A Novel

Girls Guide

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • In this powerful and uplifting novel, a mother and her daughter-in-law bravely leave their troubled marriages and face the challenge of starting over. Leaning on each other, Nichole and Leanne discover that their inner strength and capacity for love are greater than they ever imagined.

When Nichole discovers that her husband, Jake, has been unfaithful, the illusion of her perfect life is indelibly shattered. While juggling her young son, a new job, and volunteer work, Nichole meets Rocco, who is the opposite of Jake in nearly every way. Though blunt-spoken and rough around the edges, Rocco proves to be a dedicated father and thoughtful friend. But just as their relationship begins to blossom, Jake wagers everything on winning Nichole back—including their son Owen’s happiness. Somehow, Nichole must find the courage to defy her fears and follow her heart, with far-reaching consequences for them all.

Leanne has quietly ignored her husband’s cheating for decades, but is jolted into action by the echo of Nichole’s all-too-familiar crisis. While volunteering as a teacher of English as a second language, Leanne meets Nikolai, a charming, talented baker from Ukraine. Resolved to avoid the heartache and complications of romantic entanglements, Leanne nonetheless finds it difficult to resist Nikolai’s effusive overtures—until an unexpected tragedy tests the very fabric of her commitments.

An inspiring novel of friendship, reinvention, and hope, A Girl’s Guide to Moving On affirms the ability of every woman to forge a new path, believe in love, and fearlessly find happiness.

As a person who has lived through three divorces (ONLY because I was too afraid to marry the one I truly loved the first time around when I had the chance), this book was a lot of fun to read. I wish I had it when I was going through my first divorce because it would have saved me a lot of heartaches. It was a refreshing read because it gives a true picture of how divorce CAN be if you have the right support systems in place. Plus, it reminds women that they are worth more than staying married to someone who isn’t faithful to them. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll rejoice your way through this book.

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Wrapped and Strapped (Blacktop Cowboys Novel)

wrapped and strapped

In the new Blacktop Cowboys® Novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Hillbilly Rockstar strange bedfellows find common ground after the lights go down…

Flower child, vegetarian and humanitarian Harlow Pratt and gruff and strapping cattle ranch foreman Hugh Pritchett have been taunting each other for years. Hugh thinks she’s nothing but a spoiled rich girl, and he’s had enough of that life with his ex-wife. Harlow thinks Hugh is an ill-mannered trouble-maker who wouldn’t know fun if it bit him on his tight denim-clad butt.

When they’re forced together at the Split Rock Ranch and Resort, everything changes. They might be polar opposites, but working out their differences skin to skin, in the dark, seems to help their incompatibility a lot. But when trouble from both their pasts comes calling, Harlow and Hugh have no one else to lean on. Can they trust one another enough to make it through the hard times together… or will their tentative truce fall apart?

This is an erotic romance, but it’s not as hot and steamy as some of the other romances I’ve read. It is fun to read about Harlow and Hugh’s relationship. I think this is a wonderful little small town type of romance worth grabbing up. Considering the main characters are as opposite as can be, it reminded me a lot of Del and I because we are as opposite as they come!

Mind Your Manors: Tried-and-True British Household Cleaning Tips

Mind manors

The author of Servants tells us what made British households, of all sizes, shine.

 

British estates were known to be the epitome of cleanliness with their white-glove perfection. Through her meticulous research on servants, Lucy Lethbridge gleaned much knowledge about how these homes were made to gleam over almost two centuries, from the Victorian through the Edwardian years and beyond. The majority of household tasks were done with basic ingredients like lemon juice, white vinegar, and bicarbonate of soda, which feel very modern in their display of frugality and ecological soundness. Tea leaves were used to freshen up rugs and stewed rhubarb to remove rust stains. Here, Lethbridge reveals these old-fashioned and almost-forgotten techniques that made British households sparkle before the use of complicated contraptions and a spray for every surface. A treasury of advice from servants’ memoirs and housekeeping guides, and illustrated with charming art from period advertising and domestic classics, Mind Your Manors is the perfect book for all those who want to put time-tested cleaning methods to work.

I literally picked this book up thinking it was about manners etiquette because I read it so quickly. Then when I went to read it, I realized what I actually picked up from the library. I decided to go ahead and read it to see if I could glean more life hacks that would help make my life easier. Low and behold, there were plenty of cleaning tips in this book that I could use in my life. I actually liked learning about the cleaning habits of the olden days too, and that is surprising since I’m NOT a history buff at all!

The author managed to make learning about the history of cleaning entertaining and relatable at the same time. She gave practical tips that could be used in our society today as well. It’s a quick simple read worth picking up.

Back in the Game: A Stardust, Texas Novel

back in the game

New York Times bestselling author Lori Wilde welcomes you to Stardust, Texas . . . where dreams come true and love is always right around the corner

Wanted: ghostwriter. Must be female, a baseball fan, and have a great pair of legs.

Ex-pitcher Rowdy Blanton never saw a woman he couldn’t conquer or a team he couldn’t beat. And now that he’s off the field he’s ready to tell all about when he played the field. So he chooses Breeanne Carlyle to do the job—she’s got the requirements, but more important, there’s something about her that makes him want to be a better man.

Convinced there’s more to Rowdy than a good fastball, a wicked smile, and a tight pair of pants, Breeanne can’t help but be tempted. After all, it’s boring always being the good girl, and Rowdy dares her to be just a little bad. The stakes are high, but win or lose, this time Breeanne’s breaking all the rules playing the game of love.

This romance was very sweet and enduring to read. I love how their relationship was built on friendship FIRST. I had thought they were going to wait on sex until marriage judging by how the book was starting out, but they didn’t. Yet, I still found it to be a good romance story to read. (NOT that I think people should have sex before marriage, but I had my fair share of premarital sex so I have no room to judge.) (That’s a whole different blog post in itself!) This book was quite enjoyable to read, and I got a better ending than what I was expecting to happen.

The Billionaire’s Control: The Complete Story: An Alpha Billionaire Romance

Billionaire's Control

She needs this opportunity. He needs her tied to his bed and screaming his name.

Lizzy Wilder is desperate to stay in New York City with her sister Kat, the one person she trusts. Lizzy’s only hope is a programming internship at hot tech startup Odyssey. But there’s a problem: the company’s CEO is enigmatic billionaire Nick Marlowe–the impossibly sexy one night stand she never expected to see again.

Nick wants to pretend their encounter never happened, but Lizzy can’t forget it… and soon it’s clear that the in-control billionaire wants her too. They begin a secret affair, but it comes at a price: Lizzy’s total submission.

What’s scary is how much she wants to surrender to him.

When Nick’s past comes back to haunt him, threatening everything he’s built, Lizzy faces an agonizing choice. Can she give up the man who’s stolen her heart? And if she does, can he forgive her?

The Billionaire’s Control is a full-length standalone novel with a strong, vulnerable heroine and an alpha male billionaire hero. It was previously published with the title The Billionaire’s Need.

This book reminds me a good bit of the Fifty Shades of Grey novels, but it’s better written and the storyline is quite different. Yet, you still get those erotic submissive sexual scenes throughout the book. Del has a very controlling side to him, and it’s one of the things I love most about him. As a result, I’m a huge fan of books/movies/shows that have the male character as being controlling and possessive. You’ll see I read a lot of billionaire books because of the male character’s dispositions.

Considering Del and I had to keep our relationship a secret for over six years, this couple’s love affair reminding me of the thrill of being with someone without the world knowing about it. (Yes, there is a good bit of thrill behind having to secretly date someone. I think that’s why so many people have affairs. There again, that’s another blog post by itself.)

21 Myths (Even Good) Girls Believe About Sex Pursuing Love With Passion and Purity

21 myths

21 Myths (Even Good) Girls Believe about Sex uncovers the most believed untruths girls have about dating and sex. With honest, straight-forward language Christian author Jennifer Strickland shares the myths, the truths, and the practical ways you can enjoy the pursuit of passion and purity.

I know you find it ironic that I read erotic romances, but yet at the time believe in waiting for marriage before sex due to my beliefs.

(Yes, I know I’m guilty of not keeping my mind and eyes pure, but when you have the past I have reading and watching movies with overly sexual scenes in them mean NOTHING to you! (I was extremely sexually abused as a kid.) So, I tend to skim through the sex scenes in books more than I actually read them. I also know plenty of women who read them the same way I do.)

This book is filled with many of the common issues and concerns that teenage girls have that may not always want to talk about with other adults. I feel that the author does a remarkable job of going into detail why these common beliefs are actually myths. She backs up her arguments with stories and Biblical verses.

She touches on everything from how to make proper decisions concerning one’s body to homosexuality and so many other topics in between. I believe my favorite myth buster she covered would be : Sex Is a Normal Part of Dating… Sex is a Normal Part of Marriage.

I think this is the biggest myth that our teens are faced with EVERY.DAY.EVERYWHERE! Even the romance books that I enjoy reading are filled with sex prior to marriage, and it bothers me that there isn’t a wider selection of Christian romances than there is at the library and elsewhere given away for free. (I get FREE books from Amazon ALL the time, and I can say for every 20 books I get free maybe 1 is Christian or wholesome to read.)

I love how the overall premise behind this book is to teach teenage girls how to be strong enough to save themselves for marriage. I’ve been more sexually active than the average person has in my life by a long shot. I can honestly say that the best sex I’ve ever had has been within the confines of marriage. It’s even more so now that I’m married to my first one true love of my life.

The marriage bed is as this author put it:

Sex within marriage is kind of like playing in your own backyard: you are your own property! You are safe, and you can run inside if you see a storm coming.

I completely agree with that statement. There are no hidden closets you don’t know about. There is so much more that I want to add, but that takes away from the book review.

This is a great book for any mother to give to their teenage daughters. Regardless as to whether or not you believe in Christ, I do feel that every teenage girl needs to know what they are worth having a man wait for her to be ready for sex. (Girls usually are slower to want that than a guy by a long shot!) I know that the average female teen does it long before they are truly ready for it in hopes of keeping the guy longer along with a whole bunch of other reasons. If nothing else, this book will help them to see sex from a different angle.

Disclosure: I did receive this book in exchange for an honest review; however, all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Child Training Boot Camp: A Thirty-Day Bible Study (Bible Study for Busy Mamas Book 5)

child training

Find time for meaningful Bible study, even in the midst of a busy schedule! This thirty-day Bible study is designed to help parents become more confident and proactive in child-training by spending time in God’s Word every day. In this study, you’ll learn how to teach your children the character qualities of obedience, peacemaking, wise speech, and gratitude. You’ll develop a deeper relationship with God both personally and in your role as a parent. This study takes a different approach than other studies in Pam Forster’s “Bible Study for Busy Mamas” series. Instead of studying one chapter of the Bible, you’ll learn to use topical Bible study methods to discover what God says about some of the typical challenges we face day after day with our children, including disobedience, bickering, unkind speech, and whining.

Here’s what you’ll find inside this 105-page Bible study guide:
~ Thirty days of short study assignments (5-30 minutes per day)
~ Optional activities that help your children learn right along with you
~ Tips on making time for your Bible study and choosing study tools
~ Instructions for using powerful (and free!) Bible study apps and websites

This is easy to read guide for Christian parents to follow. I found this study guide to be fun and quite educational for me. I loved going through the website and devotional style teaching while marking verses and key phrases in my Bible. It has helped me to see parenting in a positive manner. Somehow, it managed to remind me what I felt like as a kid with my own parents. I feel like I had several lightbulb moments due to this study-guide.

If you’re having issues with your kids, it is certainly a study-guide worth grabbing and doing.

Disclosure: I did get this book to review in exchange for an honest review; however, all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Which one of these books are you most interested in adding to your to-read list?

Are you reading a good book that I need to grab up??

Tell us in the comments so we can share our love of books together. 🙂 

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I'm an SC wife and homeschooling mother to three kids and a dog. It is our mission to inspire YOU to make the most of your moments by sharing ours. I LOVE interacting with new people and networking. I look forward to getting to know you more. Feel free to contact me at sharinglifesmoments@gmail.com.
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