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{TryDay} Book Reviews & July Days

Updated: Aug 31, 2023

pile of notebooks and journals

So maybe writing a post sounded enticing as it keeps me in the comfort of the air conditioning! Heat has crept into our area, storms rolling through, humidity blanketing any physical efforts. Ah, summertime!

But really, I'm writing this because July is about to end - which is exciting in our house, because my husband won a photography contest and his picture was chosen for August on a local calendar. It's about to be the Month of HIM around here!

But before that celebration begins, it's time for the July Days Review:

July Book Reviews:

Here are the books I read in July. I didn't include the one I threw across the room it made me so angry. You're welcome.


Zero Days by Ruth Ware, if you've read any of her books, you'll like this one.

SAS (Short Attention Span) Review: A wife who helps her husband test security systems at companies has to prove who her husband's killer is. Good plot, quick-moving, good summer read. Rating: 7/10. Vibe: This book is an action movie in book form. PG-13 for some language.

(That's the only fiction one I read that I can recommend this month - the others were DNF (did not finish) or too "meh.")


The Gospel Comes With a Housekey by Rosaria Butterfield.

SAS Review: I'm gonna be honest: I'm torn. Is hospitality a way to show love to others? Yes. IS THIS BOOK THE MOST INTENSE BOOK EVER WRITTEN ABOUT HOSPITALITY? Also, yes. Butterfield's gifting is definitely in this area, and she is obviously great at the flexibility of opening doors and welcoming. But here's the thing: You will never ever compare to her schedule of opening her doors and I think that's okay. We can be encouraged by her ability to love her neighbor and then use that takeaway in the unique way our life enables us to implement it. I felt her message did not leave space for that and sounded a bit more "do this, this and this" and THEN you'll line up with being good at loving your neighbor. Hence my being torn: Good message, dogmatic delivery. (Hospitality book that possibly fit my personality a bit more closely? Gather and Give: Sharing God’s Heart Through Everyday Hospitality by Amy Hannon) Rating: 6/10. Vibe: Your mother yelling at you and even if she's right, you're still annoyed and are gonna sneak out tonight.

When God is Silent: Let the Bible to Teach You to Pray by John Koessler

SAS Review: I wrote a whole post on it, with questions and answers included between Koessler and I. Read it HERE. It's worth it, and *spoiler alert* yes, I recommend the book highly.

Misreading Scripture With Western Eyes: Removing Cultural Blinders to Better Understand the Bible by Randolph Richards and Brandon O'Brien

SAS Review: Good points, slow reading. Uses examples from Scripture that we misconstrue as Westerners, but how the point is taken/understood in other cultures. I struggled a bit through this one (that might be my fault? maybe theirs? hard to know, I'm just a Midwesterner, not even all the way Westerner. <That was a joke.), but I DO appreciate their points. So... worth it? Yes. But also could be a book you leave in your car, tote bag, etc. that you read a little at a time so it sinks in a bit more.

Rating: 6/10. Vibe: You're in class and you better listen, because there's going to be a test.


The Longest Race: Inside the Secret World of Abuse, Doping and Deception on Nike's Elite Running Team by Kara Goucher, Mary Pilon

SAS Review: Good, in the sense that I was familiar with the issue at hand (nike's small elite team being trained in Oregon by a coach who has now been "disbarred" for doping. Kara's point of view adds info to the issue of how he was abusive to his small team. Sad that organizations oversee with so little accountability from those who are in control/leadership. It was frustrating she felt she couldn't speak up, lest she lose her sponsorship...which is the vibe throughout. Rating: 7/10 Vibe: Trying to win.

July's Tries:

-It's my second month of blogging/posting and being back at it. It's been a few years, and yes, I know blogging is so 2009, but I'm trying to practice writing and really pay attention to growing in the area of writing, so thank you for being here!

Want to support me?

Follow, like, comment and share- it is SO appreciated!

Instagram: BSideBecca

Facebook: BSideBecca

-For the blog, I reached out to a few people who either wrote or helped me write a post (with more coming in the next months!) and I was inspired by each of them. One of my favorite things is that we all have unique giftings, interests and stories, and I love being inspired and sharing stories TO inspire! So if you want to read about my friends, links are here:

And the most read post of the month: 5 Ways NOT to Be a Help to a Friend in Need

three kayaks going down a river

-I tried kayaking for the first time in July! Ahhhhhh! I mean, I've canoed before and did once sit in a kayak in a tiny pond, but actually going out FOR REAL on a river? eep. My husband goes out once a week or so (weather permitting), so he's been wanting me to go along with him, but I hesitated... But on the 4th, we joined our friends (who have a tandem kayak) (tandem? is that the right word? double?) and did a total of four miles on the river by us. Beautiful! Plus, it was fun to be out early on the Fourth with very few people around.

a stitch along flower pattern

-And I started a Stitch Along project in January, which basically will add up to 365 flowers by the end of the year. Although I do not do a flower-a-day (as one should!), I am keeping up pretty well. I thought it would be fun to post a progress pic at the end of each month.

I'm looking forward to August - even though it's not the weather I love the most, it's still a fun month of getting back to schedules and routines, and being one step closer to FALL!

What did you try in July? Let me know!


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