May Book, TV, and Movie Review

May 29, 2020

Happy Friday friends! It is hard to believe that we ending May! In some ways the days seem to move so slowly, and then other times it feels like they fly by during this time. Today I am so excited to share my book, movie, and TV review with y'all for May! Before I start though- if you have any suggestions for me for June please let me know! I am constantly looking for new ideas so please pass on your suggestions! 

I have shared so many times here on the blog about my love of Robin Jones Gunn's writings and so when her newest book was released this Spring I was so excited to save up my pennies and read it. I really enjoyed it and it had some things to really think through that I think are so relatable to lots of people (especially if you are married) with the concept of "emotional affairs". I haven't seen another Christian book address this in a tender way like this one did and so I would whole heartedly recommend it.

Similar book recommendations that I have read by Robin Jones Gunn that I would recommend to this book: 
This was the first book in the series (but you could read them as stand alone books too) that I have talked about this book SO much on the blog - but it truly was something that I feel was her best book ever written! I took away so many precious nuggets from the story, cried and laughed through it and was completely encouraged. You can find it to purchase HERE

Also by Robin Jones Gunn, this series (not written in first person *smiles*) is incredibly sweet and encouraging. You can read the books in any order but they do loosely follow and build on each other if you want to read them in order. And guess what? Hallmark is releasing the first book in the series (Secrets) as a Christmas movie this December! I am SO excited!
Over the last year I have been given so many (well-meaning) suggestions on books to read for grief. Many of them I found completely unhelpful and discouraging and a few i thought were "okay" but just didn't relate to me at all. At one point we were handed the first book in this four part book series, called A Time to Grieve. The paperback book is thin, easy to read and at first I tossed it on our table without another thought. A couple of weeks after my father died I picked it up (I am embarrassed to admit) to more become sarcastic over the book then anything. I opened it up and then started to read and immediately had tears. It was well written, incredibly kind and compassionate, and came from someone who obviously had experienced deep grief in their own life. 

I can't recommend them enough and have started to hand them out to friends who are going through incredible heartache like we have experienced. And we have read through them hundreds of times ourselves. 

If you are grieving and feeling like no one understands I can't recommend this series enough. Take the chance, reach out and get a copy because they will feel like a friend is tenderly embracing you. 

If you are looking for a gift for a friend who is in grief I can't recommend this enough either. When you order it you receive four books:
Book 1: A Time to Grieve (to be sent 3 weeks after the loss)
Book 2: Experiencing Grief (to be sent 3 months after the loss)
Book 3: Finding Hope and Healing (to be sent 6 months after the loss)
Book 4: Rebuilding and Remembering (to be sent 11 months after the loss) 

You will receive note cards even to include with suggested comments and notes to your loved one at these different stages and you will also have a reminder card so that you can help remember people throughout the year. I have to admit... this has been the hardest thing for me- people at the beginning are all around and then they just seem to forget... these books provide a tangible way to reach out and to remind people that you care deeply about them. 

*full disclosure: you can find this set of books cheaper on the Stephen's Ministry website*

Similar book recommendations that I have read on grief that I would recommend to this book:

This book is not just for those in grief but for those who may be struggling with different circumstances in life. It is tenderly written and was an encouragement to me. 

I really wanted to love this book like so many people did (and recommended to me) but for me it was not something that I found as encouraging as the books above. I do think that it would be helpful though and encouraging for some people so I am listing it here too. 
*smiles* And all of my former students who may be reading this are laughing out loud that I am mentioning this book... 
When this book came out in 2011 I was so excited and shared it with a ton of my former students who may or may not have been as excited. *smiles* I recently saw that it was on Amazon for $6 and wanted to read something lighthearted and fun and purchased it. It was interesting to read again the story of them but also the early days of their childhood, time at the university and their dating era. My mom ended up reading it too and we both agreed that it was something that was lighthearted and interesting to read!

Similar book recommendations that I have read that I would recommend to this book:

This is written by the same author who wrote the book above and is something that was really interesting to read if you like reading about the royal family. 
{four} Choosing Life
I mentioned this last month, but wanted to mention it again here. I originally bought this devotional back in 2013 and have returned to it off and on over the years. I have always admired and appreciated Dodie's testimony of being miraculously healed of Cancer and her faith is so inspiring. This past month I decided to use this as my devotional again and I have been so gently encouraged. There is a devotional for each day and I find them to be simple and yet so full of truth! I definitely recommend this one! If you want to check it out you can find the book HERE.
{five} Choosing Life
I also mentioned this last month but wanted to mention it again too. I originally bought this book back in 2013 when I was first very very sick. It had a profound impact on my life then, but reading it through this past month ... after the loss of my dad was heart-wrenching and deeply healing. I took my time re-reading it and wept through it in many parts. Pete Greig expressed in more eloquent words than I ever could so many thoughts and feelings that I have had and struggled with and I can't recommend this book enough. I plan to do a whole post on it again but in the meantime - get the book. It is worth every single penny. If you want to check it out you can find the book HERE.

Movies & TV
Life has been so busy moving into the cabin and enjoying time at the lake that we haven't spent anytime in front of TV. When we have though we have been very purposeful to choose things that are light-hearted or funny or that are inspiring.We are still in the middle of somethings so I am going to save those reviews for next month y'all! 

If you are curious about other book reading lists I have done in the past you can find those posts below: 

Happy Friday friends! Thank you so much for reading today! What about you- what have you been watching and reading that you would recommend? 

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