Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’d Love to Read With My Book Club/If I Had A Book Club

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This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, is: Ten Books I’d Love to Read With My Book Club/If I Had A Book Club (or you could pick a specific kind of book club — like if you had a YA book club or an adult book club or a science fiction book club etc.) I don’t have a book club and honestly I go back and forth on trying to find one in my area. I love books, obviously, and sharing my thoughts on them, but I don’t generally do well in group discussions. I’m usually far to quiet to be heard when I try to speak up and often just don’t want to. So for this exercise, I’m going to pick books I feel would have good discussion in my fictional book club where everyone is polite and no one talks over other people and everyone has their turn to speak, if they so choose.

Pride and Prejudice

1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Of course there would need to be a classic book and there would need to be an Austen book! This is well known and there are many themes and character progressions to discuss! And of course we could then watch the mini series with Colin Firth afterwards.

Definitely, Maybe in Love (Definitely Maybe, #1)

2. Definitely, Maybe in Love by Ophelia London. After reading Pride and Prejudice, we would then read a modern retelling of it! We could discuss how faithful to the source material it was, what was different, what we expect in retellings.

Truth, Lies, and the Single Woman: Dispelling 10 Common Myths

3. Truth, Lies, and the Single Woman: Dispelling 10 Common Myths by Allison K. Flexer. We would need a non-fiction, reflective book. My fictional book club is comprised of both the chronically single and some in various states of marriage. We would discuss the myths, how they relate to us, what we believe.

Dangerous Girls

4. Dangerous Girls by Abigial Haas. We would definitely need some twisty, mind-screwing mystery that would have us discussing our suspects and our reactions to finding out the truth.

One Plus One

5. One Plus One by Jojo Moyes. As contemporary women, we would of course need some Contemporary Women’s Fiction. This book provides many POVs to discuss.

Me Before You

6. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. We would also need something with a controversial topic that will make us question our own moral beliefs.

The Best Man (Blue Heron #1)

7. The Best Man by Kristan Higgins. We would need a good old romance to swoon over and give us a break from the heartache of the previous book!

The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1)

8. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. We would need a great YA series to fangirl over. This series has so many wonderful and complex characters to discuss and deconstruct! And love the crap out of!

The Night Circus

9. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. We need something with just beautiful writing.

Attachments

10. Attachments by Rainbow Rowell. We would each get to pick one of our all-time favorite books and make everyone else read it!

Would this be a book club you’d want to be part of? What books would you want to read in your perfect book club?

Truth, Lies, and the Single Woman: Dispelling 10 Common Myths by Allison K. Flexer

Truth, Lies, and the Single Woman: Dispelling 10 Common Myths

I received a copy of this title from NetGalley. It does not impact my review.

Synopsis from Good Reads:

Single women are neither unloved nor forgotten. Truth, Lies, and the Single Woman: Dispelling 10 Common Myths combats the lies that destroy the joy and confidence of unmarried women.

In her groundbreaking book, Allison Flexer dispels the following myths surrounding single women:

1. Because no one has chosen me, I’m not valuable.

2. God has forgotten about me.

3. Sex outside of marriage is okay.

4. My past can’t be forgiven.

5. I’m not beautiful.

6. Getting married will solve all my problems.

7. There is something wrong with me.

8. The church values married people more than me.

9. It’s too late for God’s plan to work so I should settle for less.

10. My life is on hold until I find a spouse.

Single women will gain practical steps to accept and believe God’s truth and why Flexer says the question, Who am I? is best answered by asking, Who is God?

I don’t normally read non-fiction books and especially not those that appear to fall into the self-help category. When I saw this on NetGalley it reminded me of some posts I saw on Facebook not too long ago about this very topic, so I thought I’d check it out. Also, I am almost 31 and chronically single.

What I liked best about this book is that it was not, “10 lies keeping you from finding a spouse” or “stop believing these lies and you’ll get married!”. It focused on 10 lies/myths that single women may believe about themselves and the harm these lies can cause to our psyches and then the truth that we should believe to live a fuller and happier life. AND this full and happy life does not necessarily involve marriage.

While this book is obviously focused on singledom/marriage, the lessons can also be applied to many other areas of life. Not having the job, lifestyle, or friendships that we want can also cause us to believe things like “God has forgotten about me”, “There is something wrong with me”, or “It’s too late for God’s plan to work so I should settle for less.”

Basically the Truths to combat these lies all fall under the umbrella of trusting in God. The author acknowledges that this is often much harder than it sounds. But by building a relationship with God we can learn to give up control and recognize that He has a plan for our lives, and there is a reason that we are going through the things that we are, or not having the things that we want. Flexer uses scripture to back up all of her claims, as well as help guide the reader into how exactly to go about accomplishing this.

For me personally, the following excerpt had the greatest impact:

During some of those darkest times, I was often drawn to these verses in Psalm 30: “Sing to the Lord, all you godly ones! Praise his holy name. For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime! Weeping may last though the night, but joy comes with the morning” (vv. 4-5, NLT).

Honestly, that last promise made me angry. I didn’t understand it. After nights of sadness or weeping, I woke up expecting joy – sometimes demanding joy – but it wasn’t there. God, why do you keep giving me this promise of joy in the morning when I can’t find my way out of the darkness?

Over time, I learned that God’s definition of “night” is different from ours. Our night of weeping may go on for months or even years. His timing is not our timing, and his ways are not our ways. On those dark days when life doesn’t seem very abundant, God is with us in the darkness and through the weeping. “Though I sit in darkness, the Lord will be my light” (Micah 7:8b).

And God will bring joy in the morning. It’s a promise and you can cling to it…

I’ve mentioned before on this blog that I struggle with depression and anxiety. I’ve been told basically that I suffer from these things due to the sin in my life and God is punishing me. My faith in God has been denounced by others because of it. Not the best way to help one get over these things, let me tell you. But this passage helps to explain what I feel and believe. God does not promise a perfect life. He does not promise that there won’t be weeping or dark times. However, He does have a plan for our lives and He promises joy. Whatever I’m going through, He will eventually bring me through it – even if it may take months or years. And just like someone’s current state of singleness, it’s part of God’s plan.

Overall, I found Truth, Lies, and the Single Woman to be an interesting read. It is obviously a faith based read, so those that do not believe may not enjoy it, but I think that regardless of ones faith, we all believe these lies some times and it would be helpful to realize that you’re not alone. While this book is geared towards women who struggle with the idea of always being single, it offers insights into many other aspects of life and it really spoke to me in regards to my depression and anxiety. I would recommend this book to those who are struggling with being content with where their lives are currently at. I think I would give this book about 3.5 stars.