May 2023 Book Reviews

I've been trying to make a post like this every month - here's the one from April. My reason has been that I read a lot, but I find myself forgetting what certain books were even about! So, I'm trying to slow down & keep track a little better.

I painted the boys' bedroom, so I popped my AirPods in, borrowed a few books from Hoopla, & listened while I painted. Lots of reading happened those couple of days.

Here are my short & sweet book reviews for May.


Raising Emotionally Strong Boys by David Thomas

If you're a parent of a boy, this book is a wonderful resource! I listened to it through Hoopla & then immediately started listening to it again. It is a book that I will be adding to our own family library of parenting books. While I can't say that I always agree with every single piece, but David Thomas offers such great insights & advice. Our society has sold boys short for way too long. They deserve to grow up as emotionally strong as we encourage them to be physically strong.

The Davenports by Krystal Marquis

Set in the Chicago of 1910, this book follows 2 sisters, their friend, & their maid/companion as they navigate this fascinating time. They have to deal with racism, voting rights, the industrial revolution, class divisions, parental expectations & all while grappling with what it means to be Black in post-slavery America. It's definitely worth the read!

Five Children and It by E. Nesbit

Such a strange book, but this was our lunchtime read aloud. It took us a while to get into it, but the scrapes these kids get themselves into started to grow on us. The children find a creature who will grant them a wish a day. The sibling connections & old-fashioned ways of kids make this a classic.

Theater Shoes by Noel Streatfield

This one was a read aloud with my daughter. The wartime setting was unique & I think we both learned a little about those times of ration coupons & bomb damage. The characters learn lessons about selfishness, materialism, lying, arrogance, & dealing with difficult people. I'm looking forward to reading the other shoe books with my girl.

M is for Mama: A Rebellion Against Mediocre Motherhood by Abbie Halberstadt

I'm not sure where I stand on this book. On the one hand, she has lots of truthful things to say. On the other hand, as I listened to the book, the tone of the author seemed so harsh & almost arrogant. Maybe reading the book myself would have been better. I just a softer, more humble tone would've been more accessible & feel less judgmental. We are to speak the truth in love. (Ephesians 4:15) And if we say all these wonderful things but don't do it in love, we are just a noisy gong & clanging cymbal, right? (1 Corinthians 13) The overall message is one I agree with, but I think it's just tough to gauge someone's true heart behind something from shiny pictures on social media.

Raising Worry-Free Girls: Helping Your Daughter Feel Braver, Stronger, and Smarter in an Anxious World by Sissy Goff

This is the companion book to the one I read earlier this month by David Thomas. It was good, & I definitely think I'd read more of Sissy Goff's writings. This wasn't super relevant to me at this moment. Yes, my daughter can be a bit of a worrier. She doesn't have quite the level of worries that are addressed here. This would be a great one to revisit when she gets a little older, though.

The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis

Probably one of my least favorite of the Narnia books, my oldest & I are still working through the series. (YES, we're reading them "chronologically" instead of in publication order. That's just how they were numbered in the set I got & I didn't know there was such a debate over it!)

The Time-Saving Mom: How to Juggle a Lot, Enjoy Your Life, and Accomplish What Matters Most by Crystal Paine

Crystal is an encouraging voice in the space of motherhood, housekeeping, & so much more. She is also one of those social media people who doesn't just post the shiny moments. She comes off as a humble encourager & this book is no different. She acknowledges that she felt unqualified to write this book & that what works now might not always work. Life is full of seasons. Some are fuller than others. This book has some great resources & tips - for all of us who are trying to find more efficient ways of living. Moms or not.

Find Your People: Building Deep Community in a Lonely World by Jennie Allen

Jennie Allen has been so helpful to me. Her book Get Out of Your Own Head was instrumental in a lot of ways. And many women have grown in their walk with God because of If: Gathering. This one is well-timed as I'm still navigating the community-building season.

The God of the Garden: Thoughts on Creation, Culture, and the Kingdom by Andrew Peterson

After reading Wingfeather, I saw this one on sale & ordered it right away. His writing is beautiful & poignant. The nostalgic longing for childhood innocence, the dogmatic arguments for footpaths, & his ever-growing (pardon the pun) obsession with trees. You get a glimpse into the mind of a beloved author & musician.

Adventuring Together: How to Create Connections and Make Lasting Memories with Your Kids by Greta Eskridge

Greta is amazing. She is a homeschool mom, but this book can be for any parent who wants to capitalize on these fleeting moments that we have with our kids. I love how she doesn't imply that adventures have to be grand or expensive. They can be as simple as a book borrowed from the library & read together. Or a walk around the local park. Finding the fun & being ready for anything. I think I'm going to have to become a backpack mom now...

Beholding and Becoming: The Art of Everyday Worship by Ruth Chou Simons

Lots of great wisdom in this book. It's on the shorter side, so it was a quick read. I listened to it, so I missed all of Ruth's stunning artwork. But it was still an encouraging, challenging read.

Betrayal in Time by Julie McElwain

OK, so I feel like I have to keep reading these books. I read one last month. I enjoy mysteries, but these are pretty mild compared to many others out there. They're fairly clean though, so if that's more important to you, it's a good option.


Are you a reader like me? What are your favorite types of books to read? Any especially good ones you think I'd enjoy?

Also, do you listen to audiobooks? I enjoy them, but I still love physical copies when possible.

Let me know in the comments!

Cheering you on!


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