Are y’all ready for more book recommendations? I didn’t get through quite as many as I’d hoped for February but what’s a girl to do? I’m busy and sometimes reading for fun just isn’t something I’m able to get to as often as I hope. At least I can say that the books I read this month were worth reading. Flight of Dreams by Ariel Lawhon was amazing (as expected!) and the others were good despite not blowing me away.

Here we are…my current recommendations are:

Flight of Dreams by Ariel Lawhon

If you missed out on reading The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress by Ariel Lawhon a few years ago you need to grab it up right now. I’ve followed Ariel Lawhon closely on Twitter (@ArielLawhon) watching for the updates on her follow-up novel, Flight of Dreams. As soon as I realized the digital ARC was available on Edelweiss I grabbed it up and got to reading. It definitely didn’t disappoint! 

Flight of Dreams is Lawhon’s take on the Hindenburg disaster of 1937. There are so many theories about what happened in the final minutes of that flight that caused the airship to go up in flames, killing 35 people. In this historical fiction novel, Lawhon presents her theory on what could have happened and tells it by incorporating the people that history confirms were actually on board the airship. Those who died in real life, die in the novel. Those who survived in real life, survived in the novel. Admittedly, I did a quick Google search before I started reading the novel to find out who was going to live and die but knowing this didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the novel. 

While the source of the explosion is pretty clear from early in the novel (if you pay attention) I still loved this book. Lawhon is just a great writer and it’s tough not to love everything she releases. Flight of Dreams is a book you’re going to hear a lot about; I recommend picking it up asap.  Check it out here.

Flight of Dreams by Ariel Lawhon is your next must-read book.

The Christian Wallet by Mike Slaughter

The Christian Wallet by Mike Slaughter offers a lot of advice that is very similar to the financial advice doled out by The Total Money Makeover financial author, Dave Ramsey. If you’ve read The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey you can probably do without reading The Christian Wallet. If you haven’t, well, then this is a good read if you want to start living more Christ-like with your money.

Slaughter encourages us all to keep the teachings of Christ in mind as we earn, save, and spend our money. He discusses our consumerism culture and the pressure to keep up with our peers and neighbors. He discusses charitable giving and tithing. He also shares financial advice about saving for emergencies and retirement. The end of each chapter also includes provoking questions to help you think about your financial situation. 

I didn’t agree with everything Slaughter said but overall, it is a solid financial resource. Check it out here.

The Girls in the Garden by Lisa Jewell

*Book not available for purchase until June, 2016*

On a midsummer night, as a festive neighborhood party is taking place, preteen Pip discovers her thirteen-year-old sister Grace lying unconscious and bloody in a hidden corner of a lush rose garden. What really happened to her? And who is responsible?

I so wanted to love this book by Lisa Jewell (who is a tremendously talented author). The concept is wonderful and the set-up is great. I mean, who would leave a 13-year old girl bloody and unconscious in a communal garden? It’s a private community and there are only so many suspects so I anticipated an exciting whodunnit but I feel like the guilty party was pretty evident from the beginning of the novel. Or maybe it’s just me. I’ve spoken to a couple of other friends who’ve received an ARC of this same book and they didn’t see it coming. I tend to be a highly analytical reader and by the end of the second chapter I saw the ending coming.

For reasons I can’t say without spoiling the book I feel letdown by the ending. I expected the investigation to come to a close and it didn’t. Jewell set up a couple of other characters as potential suspects (and made them quite creepy and uncomfortable) yet, in the end, they were innocent of any wrongdoing. Despite their innocence, they weren’t likable. There were a lot of great moments in the book but overall it left me feeling uncomfortable and annoyed.

The Girls in the Garden