The September Book Reviews

Today's post is the first of a new monthly series on my blog. At the end of each month, I will write a short review of the books I read during the month. I read a wide array of fiction and nonfiction and I'm sure you'll find a new book recommendation through the series. I also hope you will interact with the monthly book review posts by leaving comments on what you have read recently, both the good and bad books. It's a simple way for us to connect each month!

In September, I read 7 books which is a high number for a month of reading. But the high number is due to the number of shorter works I read this month. Before I tell you about the books, I recommend you check out Goodreads.  I use Goodreads to track my reading, find new books, and review books. It's a wonderful site and I've discovered many new authors through its recommendations.

1. Uprising by Erwin McManus - McManus is the lead pastor of Mosaic Church in Los Angeles. He has written many books and I've read many of them. I picked this one up off my husband's bookshelf in his office at church. This book wasn't my favorite McManus book, but it's a solid read on building your character with Jesus as a model.

2. Sizzling Sixteen by Janet Evanovich - This is the 16th book in the very popular Stephanie Plum series. I've read all fifteen earlier novels over the past several years. I enjoy reading the Plum books as a break from some of the heavier reading I do whether it's literary fiction or nonfiction books. If you are looking for a funny, enjoyable and quick read, I recommend starting from the beginning with One for the Money.

3 & 4. A Study in Scarlet & The Sign of the Four by Arthur Conan Doyle - Brian and I discovered the BBC series Sherlock on Netflix a few weeks ago and we were hooked. It's a great series and lots of fun to watch so it inspired me to read the Sherlock Holmes series. I read the first two short novels in the series. Honestly, I was a bit disappointed, but I hear the next book in the series, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, which is a collection of short stories, is better. I'll tell you my thoughts next month!

5. Missional Youth Ministry by Brian Kirk - Brian and his friend Jacob run the popular blog, Rethinking Youth Ministry.  This book was released awhile ago, but I finally picked it up. For my youth ministry friends, it's a great book on doing youth ministry differently than the traditional model of programs, games, and pizza. It's a combination of blog posts and new material so even as a blog follower, there was fresh material. For my friends in ministry, pick it up. For my friends who go to church, pick up a copy for your youth pastor!

6. Where the Truth Lies by Jessica Warman - I'm writing a young adult novel, so I'm intentionally reading more young adult literature, especially contemporary young adult. I found this book through my Goodreads recommendations. Overall, it was an enjoyable read and I especially liked the mystery aspect of the novel which the protagonist's nightmares. Overall, it's a solid contemporary young adult novel and I'm looking to read more by Warman in the future.

7. Living with Less: An Unexpected Key to Happiness by Joshua Becker - Living with Less is an easy, but great read. It's geared for students, and as a youth pastor, it's a great book to read in a small group setting. I love the message of living with less and it's a message that needs to be taught in our consumer society. Highly recommended for teachers, youth pastors, students, parents, and all others who work with teens.

That's what I read this month, but I want to know what you have read lately. So start talking (or commenting)!!

What have you been reading?
Have you read any of the books above and what were your thoughts?
What are you looking forward to reading this month or in the near future?