The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
Quick and easy novel with quirky characters. I laughed quite a bit and couldn't help keeping track of all of the main character's quirks. Entertaining and fun as the main character, Ron, a genetics professor, tries to help a bartender, Rosie, find her biological father.
When Fraser Met Billy by Louise Booth
There was a lot of this book I connected with. Louise's son, Fraser, has autism as well as muscle tone issues that made him have delayed motor skills. She writes on some of the struggles in their life as well as how life improved quite a bit when her son Fraser connected with the cat, Billy, whom they adopted from a rescue. Some of the stories were really beautiful and amazing. It wasn't the most well-written memoir I have ever read, but I was interested and connected enough to keep reading. I am not a cat person, but that might change if I could find a cat like Billy for Bug (and if I was not allergic. Achoo!)
The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White
I had never read this book before, even though I have read Charlotte's Web multiple times. I needed to preview it to see if/when I would read it to the boys. It is about a swan, Louis, who is born without a voice, and he learns to overcome it by playing the trumpet. To me, this story did not have the same magic Charlotte's Web has. I didn't like Louis being called defective, but the perseverance of Louis was inspiring as far as children's books go. Much of the book had wonderful descriptions of nature - so I will probably read it to the boys in the next year or so as we are trying to do a lot of nature study in our schooling. I'm glad I read this book, but it has not earned a place on my favorite list of kiddie lit.
The Hypnotist's Love Story by Liane Moriarty
I don't believe in hypnotism, but I really like Liane Moriarty's characters. This is the third or fourth book I have read of hers, and I wanted to befriend both the hypnotist and the other main female character in the story. This wasn't my favorite by this author, but it was another quick and fun read.
What Does the Bible Really Teach About Homosexuality by Kevin DeYoung
I went through this book with a class at church this summer. Kevin DeYoung is a Presbyterian pastor and also part of the Reformed/Gospel Coalition movement. I found his book very straight-forward and kind. He addresses questions, concerns, and objections in a thoughtful manner. He is theologically conservative so his answers reflect that. I am theologically conservative so his answers made sense to me, but also didn't embarrass me. (There are a lot of crazy theologians out there on both sides of this issue/question.)
Fear and Faith by Trillia J. Newbell
I first heard of Trillia Newbell when I watched the "A Time to Speak" panel about a year ago on race relations and the church. I have read a few blog posts by Newbell, but this is the first book of hers that I have read. She covered many of the areas we experience fear (failure, rejection, death of loved ones, etc) and then spent a lot of time on what to with these fears in terms of our faith. My favorite quote from this book is:
"When your fears tell you that you are alone, God whispers, 'I am your God.'...Your fears tell you that you have to be strong. God tells you, 'I will strengthen you.' Your fears will tell you that you will fall and fail. Your fears will tell you that you have to muster up the strength to be all that you think the Lord desires you to be, and that you must do it on your own. Your fears tell you that you don't measure up and never will. God tells you, 'I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.' Your fears will tell you to fear. God tells you, 'Do not be dismayed.'"