Summer Reading: July Book Review {The Patriot Book Tour}

There’s just something about summer and reading.  Most days I have intentionally spent some time reading a book, as it is one of my favorite activities of summer!  I pretty much keep a book with me at all times, never knowing if I will end up somewhere with time to kill or grabbing something to eat I have my book to keep me company. You can catch up on my June reading here:  Summer Reading: June Book Review and here’s what I’ve read in July…

American Sniper. I am more a book than movie person, I haven’t seen this movie, but have wanted to read the book for a while. I read this book over the 4th of July weekend and was reminded again of our troops and their sacrifice for our freedoms. It was equal parts amazing insight to how gifted Chris Kyle was and heartbreaking to know at the end his story doesn’t continue. His intuition for how to fight in a war coupled with his bravery and intensity for his purpose to serve his country is truly legendary. I know there are hundreds of thousands of soldiers who could have this same book written about them.  It seems an even greater loss to know his level of military intelligence and war strategy is gone, he could have continued to make such an impact for our troops!  The line that stuck with me from this book that I hope gives his family left behind comfort is this: “I am a strong Christian….I believe the fact I’ve accepted Jesus as my savior will be my salvation”.

The One and Only. After 430 pages of fighting the war on terror I needed to lighten it up a bit.  I’ve never read Emily Giffin, but after finishing this I have heard from several friends who have read other books of hers that this is their least favorite. So, maybe I should have started with Something Borrowed/Something Blue. Oh well.  The main thing I didn’t like about this book was I knew how it would end within the first couple of pages. It was a good story, I love a romance (a la Nicholas Sparks) but I like a little less predictable. I did like that story was set in Texas and centered around football. Easy, breezy, light, fun read.

Service. Back to what is turning out to be my July Patriot Book Tour, I have had Service for a couple of years and hadn’t read it, but was determined to this summer. Both of these books were written in 2012, however, reading American Sniper and then Service follows the SEALs and their missions chronologically. When Chris Kyle’s SEAL Team left Ramadi, Marcus Luttrell’s SEAL Team went in. I read Lone Survivor when it was released, but Service also goes back to Marcus’ rescue from Operation Redwing in greater detail and it is truly a miracle that team was able to get in and retrieve him. Both books give a real insight to the sacrifice given and lifestyle lived by our service men and women, to do a job they feel called to do. One statistic that has stuck with me from Service is the last counts of service members on active duty is 0.77% of the population in the US, that’s less than 1% serving the greater than 99%.  I’m in the 99% and humbled by the sacrifice of our service members. In the words of Marcus “Service is selflessness–the opposite of the lifestyle that we see so much of in America today….But you don’t have to be a Christian, or even particularly religious, to serve. You just have to be willing to understand your place and put yourself at the end of the line.” Thank you to those who serve selflessly in our Military.

Beautiful Day. Once again, a light read was in order after continuing battles in Ramadi. Elin Hilderbrand was another author I’ve seen recommended by several people who read a lot of the same types of books I do, which is how this book got on my list. It was another I wasn’t super impressed with, but was a quick and light read, a love story on Nantucket and family mishaps and drama along the way. Sometimes seemingly far fetched, but often times likely relatable to some family circumstance you’ve endured. I read this in a weekend because my next books were ready at the library and this was the last of the 3 I had checked out and it was time to trade out! 🙂 #LibraryAddict (Perks of my library system: put in the request online and they pull the book for you, or get it from any County library, and it’s ready on a shelf right by the checkout. Easy in and out in 2 or 3 minutes without having to search the shelves!)

American Wife. Back to my July Patriot Book Tour. If you are a spouse of a service member serving away from home, this book likely takes a page from your life and that life is tough. You have my utmost admiration and respect. The roles a spouse behind plays are too numerous to name all while living for 2 and 3 minute phone calls, sporadic emails and unknown outcomes. What Taya does and American Wife details goes beyond. She is committed to marriage where SEAL marriages are most likely to end in divorce, like 80% likely. Taya is raw and honest about life stateside while her husband was deployed, she fights for her marriage and for her family while supporting Chris and learning to trust him to lead their marriage and family. The aftermath of Chris’ death is ongoing – lawsuits, financial strain and trials coupled with how to continue his legacy and move forward as a widow and mother.

Taya has strong faith and wrestles like anyone grieving would with understanding how Chris’ murder happened, and how to have peace with God. “Whatever questions I have about faith, I know for certain Chris himself is in a place where he’s happy. I deeply believe that. It’s the people he has left behind who suffer, not him. And I know that life goes by in the blink of an eye. I have no doubt that we’ll see him soon“. The Chris Kyle Frog Foundation has been established to assist troops post-deployment with keeping marriages and families in tact. What an amazing gift to our military families out of such tragedy. Her book is written for any American wife, the best to the worst of marriages, there is always hope and Taya and Chris worked hard to fight being a SEAL statistic. We can all learn from these pages about fighting for faith, family, what’s right and through grief . God bless Taya and their children and may Chris Kyle rest in peace.

Your Beautiful Heart. Throughout the summer I have been reading this devotional by Lauren Scruggs and finished it up this month. I don’t think I’m likely the “target audience”, but this was an encouraging book about the heart and pursuing God in all circumstances. I think it is perfect for 20-something women, post college, entering the workforce and learning how to navigate life. But, truly anyone would be encouraged by Lauren’s heart and stories paralleled with scripture and discussion/thought questions.

Up next for me…The Kitchen House and What Alice Forgot. If you have a great book recommendation, i would love to hear it!

Keep reading, 

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