One Dish, Two Ways!

Summer Book Review Part 2

Summer Book Review Part 2

Hi everyone,

Over the weekend I was in Houston so no recipe post today. I feel bad that I’m not posting as many as normal but between work, remodeling our house, and it being so stinking hot, it’s just not happening!

However, I’m excited to present part 2 of my summer book review! Part of my summer bucket list was to read between 10-15 books. 16 is my count so far! Since it’s still hot and fall is a long ways away, a part 3 may be in your future!

Here’s what I’ve been reading (along with a snack of popcorn or Veggie Straws!)

Workin’ Our Way Home

About 10 years ago, I read Same Kind of Different as Me as part of our freshman common reading when I attended Abilene Christian University. Authors Ron Hall and Denver Moore traveled to my school for a speaking engagement and I had the honor of dining with them beforehand! What an incredible opportunity during my first few weeks of college! This book is about Fort Worth native/wealthy art dealer Ron keeping up his late wife’s (Debbie) promise to watch out for Denver, a former homeless ex-convict who had befriended his wife during the last years of her life. However, watching out for Denver is easier said than done. Denver marches to the beat of his own drum and consequently gets himself into some sticky situations, including escaping from hospitals. His character is so charming though and it’s hard to not like him! Read both books to find out how two people so drastically opposite join together as “Miss Debbie” would have wanted. Such a heartwarming read!

The Boys in the Boat

My mom recommended this book. She’s read it about four times. This novel primarily follows Joe Rantz, member of the US Olympic Rowing Team during the 1936 Olympics games in Berlin. The first half of the book details Joe’s depressing upbringing, including being abandoned by his own family. How Joe managed to persevere despite his circumstances is beyond me! Once Joe landed a spot on the freshman rowing team at the University of Washington, you learn more about his teammates and coaches. I learned so much about rowing and can now tell you what a coxswain does! If I had to guess, this sport requires more mental strength and unconditional trust than the physical aspect itself. The descriptions of each of the races were perfectly documented and I felt I was a spectator back in time! The book also goes behind the scenes of how the Nazi’s meticulously prepared Germany to host their international guests. They fooled everyone into believing they were the perfect hosts. Knowing how history played out, you can’t help but feel anger towards the whole situation. A very inspiring story about Joe and his freshmen rowing team!

Daring Greatly

I purchased this book several years back and it collected dust. Why oh why did I wait SO long??? First of all, the research nerd in me was very intrigued with Brene’s research with shame and vulnerability and how it permeates our relationships, relationships with our family, and in ourselves. Shame in particular has been a high interest for me and to have someone operationally define it was groundbreaking. Brene Brown has finessed her use of words and boy are they powerful. I wish I had purchased the reading guide or read this book with a friend. It took me a while to read the book only because I needed time to process each of her points. I can easily see myself reading this book again just to remind myself of the myths regarding shame and vulnerability.

Everybody, Always

There are no words. I absolutely loved this book. Author Bob Goff tells stories of showing love to those we may otherwise overlook, for example, the TSA ticket agent, a limo driver, and even a witch doctor! Reading about the relationships Bob cultivated with each of these individuals was heartwarming and challenged me to really think about Jesus’ commands to love ALL people. We may not like them at all. But we are charged to simply love. Please read this book. It’s not an incredibly long read but there are so many stories that are beyond inspirational.

The Lucky Ones

This was quite an interesting book and left me with mixed emotions. Allison receives a package from a former foster brother urging her to return home as their dad/foster dad is dying. After 13 ish years, Allison returns full of questions and discovers she may not know her former family as much as she thought. She uncovers dark secrets regarding her foster family and more importantly herself and the events leading up to her departure from her foster home. Great psychological read!


Aside from Everybody, Always, this was another top read for me. We meet August/Auggie who is entering school for the first time after being home schooled for an extended period of time. Auggie has significant craniofacial abnormalities and we follow his transition into the school setting. He unfortunately encounters bullying but makes some special friendships with friends who have his best interest at heart. I have not seen the movie yet as I wanted to read the book first but I’m really looking forward to renting it! This should be a recommended read for all students. I enjoyed the messages at the end about choosing kindness.

Thanks for letting me share more of summer reads! Let me know what you’ve been reading lately!!

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