It’s Monday and I have given up

January 23, 2023

To wit, this exchange I had with a friend on Friday:

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Me: I’m trying to get it together over here

Her: I’ve given up hope of ever getting it together

Me: I need to do this. I was almost to the gym before I realized I left my headphones at home which meant I had to do my workout in silence like some kind of animal–a dolphin perhaps? Or a gym rat
Then when I changed out of my swimsuit I discovered I left my bra at home.

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Also, to continue last week’s trend, I got to two places early this past week only to wind up late because of parking. Again. So, yes, I have given up on ever getting ahead this month. You win these first three weeks, January. I’m just keeping my head above water and making a wave when I can here for the rest of the month now.

Still, I managed to finish two books this week:

Enemies (Berrybrook Middle School, #4)Enemies by Svetlana Chmakova
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I just love this series so much. I hope Chmakova goes to the end of the alphabet.

The cover story is about Felicity (“City” to the cute boy who has a crush on her) no longer being friends with her former bestie Joseph who has dumped her for reasons unknown. However, that’s not even the core story, amazingly enough. Really, the story is about Felicity, who feels like she can never finish anything, entering a business contest and having to learn how to be a good team member with her friend Tess. The bit with Joseph becomes important because Felicity is also learning how to navigate different groups of friends, and Joseph is still in one of them. There is also a great subplot in here about having a golden child as a little sibling as well as one about having to do a group project with someone who refuses to participate (the opposite of Tess and Felicity’s business contest). The resolution with the group project kid was fantastic, both the one that the students came up with and the one the teacher did.

No Akilah in this one, though, so sad face on that. Bonus points for Felicity being excessively annoyed by Tess’s overt flirting with her boy gamer friends and for Felicity having a huge gang of boys she hangs out with.

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Wholehearted FaithWholehearted Faith by Rachel Held Evans
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Okay, first things first: I read this with my ears and while I love the idea, in general, of having Evans’s friends narrate her audiobook, the first section is about her childhood in the south where she mentions more than once living and growing up in both Alabama and Tennessee and it’s narrated by someone who is clearly Canadian so it was very jarring to hear a Canadian read ABOOT a Southern woman’s PRO-cess. It seriously took me out of the text every time.

That said, the words themselves are stellar. I can’t believe I haven’t read Evans before (though her first book is on my to-read list) because she gives voice to a lot of the conflicted feelings I have about the church and, ultimately, why I can’t quit it. She is thoughtful, feminist, and kind and renders God’s love as bigger than our understanding by showing how we can apply our limited experience of it to our neighbors. As it was, I found myself “mm” and “mmhmm”ing as I listened.

This book is stellar, especially for anyone who has ever questioned what they’ve been taught in the church, and I found the afterword by Nadia Bolz-Weber an excellent ending as she directly addresses Rachel’s death and what this final book means to those who love her.

I wish I had eyeball read the book as well so I could’ve highlighted all the passages that stuck out to me, but (Canadian opening aside) the audiobook was so well done that I have no complaints.

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I said Wholehearted Faith was stellar twice, which must mean I liked it.

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Have a great week, everyone!

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  1. Darin Johnston

    I’m reading the book, ” Raise Your Game” by Alan Stein, a sport phycologist. I’m also starting the third book in the series titled, “The Chronicles of St. Mary’s”, titled “A Second Chance”. The books are by Jodi Taylor, and are about time traveling historians! :)

    I’m excited about both books: one is for personal development, the other is like candy! :)

    • Akilah

      I love a candy read. Yay.

  2. Jinjer

    Hahahahaha I can totally relate to your text conversation.


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