TOP 5 FRIDAY: Current Reads

on June 8, 2012 in I heart books., TOP 5 FRIDAY with 47 comments by

TOP 5 FRIDAY is when we each list five of our favorite things, depending on the topic. Feel free to join in via the comments or by posting on your own blog and linking back here. Play along. It’s Friday.

. . . . .

I’m a serial multi-book reader. I like to have different books going all at the same time so that I can have a variety of experiences at any given reading moment. Also, I am a book nerd and I am always wishing that my job was to read books and take naps. Annie Parsons calls that job title “Lady of Leisure.” I want that job.

Or the job I have. Whatevs. 🙂

Anyways, so I’m reading, no joke, five books right now. How convenient for our Friday. So in no particular order, here are the books that are in process of being completed by your book addicted blogista.

 . . . . .

1. You Lost Me by David Kinneman

If you do any type of ministry to those that are 19-29 years old, you need to read this book. In fact, if you KNOW anyone who is in that age group and has chosen to leave the church, let me tell ya, you should read this. It has opened my eyes, even as tears poured out of them, to the changing culture and how it is effecting those in the generation below me.

. . . . .

2. MWF Seeking BFF by Rachel Bertsche

I met the author on a random trip to Parnassus Books, Nashville’s cool indie bookstore, and I’m SO glad I did. I got to hear her speak and I immediately purchased this book. I am enjoying it. It’s my “car book” – the one that hangs in my vehicle so that if I get somewhere early, I have something to read. So it’s going slow, but I like it immensely.

. . . . .

3. The Secret Keeper by Sandra Byrd

Sandra is a good friend of mine and I actually used to work as her online assistant [fun facts about Annie Downs!] and so I get to read all her stuff before the rest of the world and man, this Ladies-In-Waiting series is unreal. I am about halfway through this book and I relish those last moments of the day when I snuggle down and read before I fall asleep. The plot and the characters are so well written that I feel like I am watching a movie and living the scene and know the characters. Y’all. She’s good.

Also, I only read fiction before bed. [fun facts about Annie Downs!]

. . . . .

4. Million Dollar Speaking by Alan Weiss

This book was recommended to me by a professional speaker and while I do speak and I do have dollars, I do not have a million of them. I’m not even sure that’s a goal, but the goal is to use my life to make Jesus famous to those who don’t know Him [or don’t know Him for who He really is], and the more people I get to speak with, the more that happens. So maybe let’s call this “Million Ears Speaking.” I like that goal.

Also. Professional development is always a good idea. You can quote me on that.

. . . . .

5. Empty Promises by Pete Wilson

As I already told you, my small group is reading this together through the summer. It’s so rad- one of the girls makes a short video for our secret facebook page each Monday recapping that week’s chapter and prepping us for the next. I like the slow pace of reading and discussing- it’s great for summer.

. . . . .


What are you reading right now?


  1. posted on Jun 08, 2012 at 8:03 AM  |  reply

    Right now, I’m reading book five of the Outlander series. I stumbled into it and did not know what I was in for. I was reading a blog and the writer said “I love Hunger Games but I love Outlander more.” And so I downloaded the book and did not know what hit me. I’m devouring these books as fast as one can devour a thousand-page book.

    • posted on Jun 08, 2012 at 2:56 PM  |  reply

      I love the Outlander series! They’re lengthy but worth it. I cannot wait for the next book to come out next year.

    • Annie
      posted on Jun 14, 2012 at 8:53 AM  |  reply

      Oh man! I want to read those. I’m adding them to my summer list.

  2. posted on Jun 08, 2012 at 8:18 AM  |  reply

    I’m reading three. 1. You Are a Writer: Jeff Goins 2. Platform: Michael Hyatt 3. Firefly Lane: Kristin Hannah

    And I must not leave out various children’s books that I read to my princess and 3 jesters throughout the day!

    • Annie
      posted on Jun 14, 2012 at 8:53 AM  |  reply

      Love your list. Jeff is a great dude.

  3. Sarah
    posted on Jun 08, 2012 at 8:20 AM  |  reply

    Your blog never fails to make me smile and then miss you more. I love that as I read this I hear your voice saying it. Anyways! Obviously, I’m reading Empty Promises. I’m kind of behind but I’m trying! also on my list:
    -Cold Tangerines by Niequist (an eye opener and life changing book)
    -Spirit Filled Temperment by LaHaye (a cool look as to the way the Spirit puts different characteristics in each of us and how to deal with the ones you don’t like!)
    -my Bible (Always good. I’m on day 155 of 365!)

    Love this and you, pretty lady.

    • Annie
      posted on Jun 14, 2012 at 8:53 AM  |  reply

      Love your list. Love you. Amen.

  4. Kristinia
    posted on Jun 08, 2012 at 8:38 AM  |  reply

    I’m reading the Courageous Book for women by P. Shirer and I love it too. Also reading the Meaning of Marriage by Tim Keller with my man as we navigate our dating relationship right now. Both are challenging and providing so much insight to myself through Christ.

    • Annie
      posted on Jun 14, 2012 at 8:54 AM  |  reply

      I want to read those. I’ve heard awesome stuff about both.

  5. posted on Jun 08, 2012 at 8:43 AM  |  reply

    I am currently only reading one book. I finally started Little Alters Everywhere and I love it! It makes me want to read Divine Secrets of the YaYa Sisterhood, even though that is not my favorite movie ever. I don’t dislike it, but I just don’t love it. But I can see how it would be better as a book.

    • Annie
      posted on Jun 14, 2012 at 8:54 AM  |  reply

      I haven’t heard of Little Alters Everywhere. What’s it about?

  6. posted on Jun 08, 2012 at 8:45 AM  |  reply

    I am just starting The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson, and I’m totally sucked into The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare.

    Your books look good. I’m off to add them to my to-read list!

    • Annie
      posted on Jun 14, 2012 at 8:55 AM  |  reply

      Ooohhh…. I haven’t read either of those, but I super trust your list.

      Also. The Fault In Our Stars. Amazing, right?

  7. Israel
    posted on Jun 08, 2012 at 8:57 AM  |  reply

    I’m a serial multi-book reader too! My Current Reads
    1. Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe,Superathletes,and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen -Christopher Mcdougall
    2. Little Bee -Chris Cleaves
    3. The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer -Siddhartha Mukherjee
    4. Persepolis -Vincent Parronaud
    5. For Whom The Bell Tolls- Ernest Hemingway
    6. When I Don’t Desire God:How to Fight for Joy- John Piper
    I’m also reading all my accounting/business law textbooks but those don’t really count. Your blog never fails to make me smile. Thank you!

    • posted on Jun 08, 2012 at 9:41 AM  |  reply

      The John Piper book profoundly changed my relationship with God. It’s a good one!

      Funny, I am also reading Little Bee or in the middle of it.

    • Annie
      posted on Jun 14, 2012 at 8:57 AM  |  reply

      I want to read all your recs, Israel!

  8. Laura
    posted on Jun 08, 2012 at 8:58 AM  |  reply

    -Kisses from Katie
    -Crazy Love (for the umpteenth time)
    -Tintinalli’s Emergency Medicine (sad but true)

    • Annie
      posted on Jun 14, 2012 at 8:58 AM  |  reply

      Crazy Love is SO good.

  9. posted on Jun 08, 2012 at 9:39 AM  |  reply

    I as well is am a multi-book reader. Mostly because I never know what sort of mood I am going to be in.
    1. How to Get A Date Worth Keeping (I followed a recommendation of yours. Thank you.) It is definitely changing the way I think about dating.
    2. How People Change by Timothy Lane and Paul David Tripp
    3. The Book Whisperer by Donalyn Miller (ever the teacher, Professional Development in the summer.)
    4. To Die For by Sandra Byrd (another recommendation by you!)
    5. Young adult books, I just finished ‘The Downsiders’ we get to choose new novels for this next year and I am reading through the recommended ones to be sure I would like to use it in my classroom.

    Keep the recommendations coming!

    p.s. My Friends and I saw MWF seeks BFF in a bookstore one time and it prompted a very interesting discussion.

    • Annie
      posted on Jun 14, 2012 at 9:16 AM  |  reply

      Larissa, well played on the dating book. I hope you benefit from it greatly. 🙂

  10. posted on Jun 08, 2012 at 11:23 AM  |  reply

    Serial multi-book readers unite! I’m usually reading about 5 books at a time too.

    Right now, I’m reading:
    1. Breaking Free by Beth Moore
    2. A People’s History of the Supreme Court by Peter Irons (have to let my law nerd have her fun)
    3. Love Does by Bob Goff
    4. The Anne of Green Gables series (rereading for the millionth time)
    5. The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson

    Fun fact about Amanda: Parnassus Books is one of my favorite places 🙂

    • Annie
      posted on Jun 14, 2012 at 9:17 AM  |  reply

      Anne of Green Gables. She is my longtime hero.

  11. posted on Jun 08, 2012 at 11:57 AM  |  reply

    You were Sandra Byrd’s assistant?? How did that happen? I’m totally envious, what was it like??
    My books:
    1 secret keeper- Sandra Byrd. Lol, I’m serious the copy is sitting right here 🙂
    2. Finally and Forever- robin Jones Gunn
    3. Split Ends- Kristin Billerbeck
    4. The Fiddler- Beverly Lewis
    5. Stress Point- Sarah Francis Martin

    • Annie
      posted on Jun 14, 2012 at 9:17 AM  |  reply

      You are reading many of my favorite authors at once. Nice!

  12. Jessica
    posted on Jun 08, 2012 at 1:31 PM  |  reply

    1. Anna Karenina- Leo Tolstoy. I have about 20 hours of traveling between tomorrow night and Sunday afternoon, and I think I can totally master it within that time frame.

    2.Wuthering Heights- Emily Bronte. I read this baby in one day. So disturbingly good!

    3. Hind`s Feet on High Places-Hannah Hurnard. Might have cried when I read this one.

    4. The Hunger Games- Suzanne Collins. I have the soundtrack from the movie, and it makes reading the book (again) even more intense.

    5. A.W. Tozer- The Pursuit of God. Amazing. Challenging. Also tear-inducing.

    • Annie
      posted on Jun 14, 2012 at 9:18 AM  |  reply

      I respect the intensity of your list. 🙂

      (I accidentally just typed “life” first and while I don’t know the intensity of your life, it’s a funny mistype.) 🙂

  13. Julie
    posted on Jun 08, 2012 at 1:54 PM  |  reply

    You guys challenge me. I am multi-book challenged. I don’t do it well. I need a book that keeps me going til the end. I just started:
    The Land of Painted Caves by Jean M. Auel. It’s the last of the series she wrote and I read 20 years ago and I need closure!
    Just finished Thunder and Rain by Charles Martin. Loved it.
    Recently finished Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. Inspirational.
    Recently finished One Thousand White Women. By: Jim Fergus. Enjoyed it.

    Will be looking for You Lost Me, MWF seeking BFF and The Secret Keeper.

    • Annie
      posted on Jun 14, 2012 at 9:18 AM  |  reply

      Looking forward to checking out some of your recs. Thanks, Julie!

  14. posted on Jun 08, 2012 at 3:02 PM  |  reply

    You already know I’m a book nerd but I am also glad to hear we share the same serial multi-book reading ways.

    1. Leaving Church- Barbara Brown Taylor: I am going to need my own copy of everything she’s ever written. Her books have been so beyond good for my soul.

    2. Roger Ebert’s autobiography: I’ve always had a fond place in my heart for Ebert after reading his reviews in the paper every weekend and watching Siskel & Ebert. We have the Chicago bond. I’m fascinated by his upbringing and how he fell into his newspaper career. Interestingly, a lot of the stories in his book were shared first on his blog.

    3. The Night Circus: Absolutely magical story about a circus that’s like nothing you’ve ever heard about before. Gorgeously written. The author has kept me guessing this whole time. Hoping I can finish it tonight!

    4. Love Does- Bob Goff: Just started this the other day and I’m pretty sure I will love it as much as everyone else.

    5. Half the Church- Carolyn Custis James: Exploring the role of women in the church as well as around the world, James writes in such a clear and compelling way. I feel the need to shout “amen!” after every chapter.

    • Annie
      posted on Jun 14, 2012 at 9:19 AM  |  reply

      I’ve heard The Night Circus is amazing.

  15. posted on Jun 08, 2012 at 4:26 PM  |  reply

    This is so great! I love reading through these book recommendations!

    Here are mine:
    1. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte – I have 20 pages left! SO GOOD. Started out hating it, ending up loving it.
    2. Dead End in Norvelt – Jack Gantos – this is technically “children’s literature” but it’s the next book for our Book Club. Haven’t read enough to form an opinion yet. 🙂

    Next on my list – Robin Jones Gunn’s 2 new books (can’t help it – I LOVE her ever since Christy Miller), and Notes From a Tilt-a-Whirl by N.D. Wilson. 🙂

    • Annie
      posted on Jun 14, 2012 at 9:19 AM  |  reply

      Jane Eyre is a complicated book to experience. But worth it.

  16. Cathy
    posted on Jun 08, 2012 at 10:51 PM  |  reply

    I was reading my FB site when one of my friends posted your site,I am always looking for good books. The one that caught my eye is You Lost Me: I have a 20 year old daughter that exactly fits what this book is describing so I immediately went and saved it on Amazon. I am looking forward to reading it and others you posted.
    I love to read too. Though I can only handle one at time mostly. Right now I am reading for the 2nd time the historical fiction series The Zion Covenant, Book 4 Jerusalem Interlude by Bodie & Brock Thoene. I’ve enjoyed a lot of their work plus I enjoyed the Hunger Games series, too, recently.
    Thanks for posting your recommendations.

    • Annie
      posted on Jun 14, 2012 at 9:20 AM  |  reply

      I have learned SO much from You Lost Me. Praying it speaks to you.

      • Cathy
        posted on Jun 19, 2012 at 8:55 PM  |  reply

        You Lost Me – I am about 1/3 through the book and I not only see my daughter as the prodical of today but I can see myself during the 70’s and 80’s as a bit of the Nomad and then Exile as I left the church I grew up in to seek a closer walk with God and so on through the years. Thanks for the suggestion I will start trying that.

  17. Felicity
    posted on Jun 09, 2012 at 1:08 AM  |  reply

    I love to read, and often struggle to find good books so I find posts like this invaluable. I’ve just read Her Mother’s Hope and Her Daughter’s Dream by Francine Rivers, which were both awesome. I love Christian fiction. Well, her’s might be the only I’ve read. Hmmm.

    I also read the parenting book that everyone at incourage was raving about (Spirit Filled parenting by megan someone and Laura someone) which totally released me.

    Speaking of incourage, this weekend I ordered Emily’s book, Grace for the Good Girl and I can’t wait to get stuck into that. Looking forward to all God has to teach me through it.

    How long till we can add your book to our to read list? 🙂 Super excited to read it.

    • Annie
      posted on Jun 14, 2012 at 9:21 AM  |  reply

      Oh Emily’s book is one of the best reads out there.

      You should try, for Christian fiction, Sandra Byrd and Tricia Goyer and Mary DeMuth.

      My book comes out September 4. More of a “Fall Reading List” type book. 🙂

  18. posted on Jun 09, 2012 at 9:30 AM  |  reply

    Love this post…I too absolutely adore book list posts, they just might be my favorite. 🙂 I echo the words by Felicity, I’m excited to add your new book to my ‘reading stack’. I’m reading too many books, and loving it:
    Here’s the current stack:
    *What Women Fear by Angie Smith
    *Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes
    *One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp (just now finishing the last pages, have taken a full year to read it…on purpose…not normal for me 🙂
    *The Artist’s Rule: Nurturing your creative soul with monastic wisdom by Christine Paintner
    *Grace For the Good Girl by Emily Freeman (started last year,and postponed finishing it – now glad I waited as she’s doing a blog reader’s group 🙂
    *finishing the last few weeks of Beth Moore’s James: Mercy Triumphs study. Hard to get through in the best way – incredible teaching as always.
    Loved your book choices – Blessings to you! Excited to hear you speak at Allume in the fall – my first blogging conference!

    • Annie
      posted on Jun 14, 2012 at 9:21 AM  |  reply

      Have you read The War of Art? It is GOOOOOOD.

  19. posted on Jun 09, 2012 at 8:55 PM  |  reply

    Ooo books are the way to my soul. And I find the way I most frequently encounter God. Some see/hear him in music or nature (which, to be fair, I sometimes do as well), but I most often encounter him in the written word. People’s stories (true or fiction) reflect Him back to me in breathtaking, gasp worthy ways at times.

    Anyways, I just finished reading
    1. A Life In Stitches: Knitting My Way Through Love, Loss and Laughter by Rachael Herron. A fun memoir that makes me itch to pick up my crotchet needles! In fact, that’s my plan for tonight 🙂
    2. Half-Magic by Edward Eager. A fun children’s book.
    3. The Alchemyst by Michael Scott. A young adult fantasy.
    I am currently reading
    4. Break Through: When To Give In, How To Push Back: The Moment That Changes Everything by Tim Clinton and Pat Springle. This is a book I am doing a review on, and it’s been very interesting. It talks a lot about co-dependency and where the line needs to be in our life for pleasing people.
    5. I am going to listen to 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson while I do my crocheting. Looks like a fun chick-lit book!

    • Annie
      posted on Jun 14, 2012 at 9:22 AM  |  reply

      I’ve never read Maureen Johnson- I’ve heard great things. That book is going on my summer list!

  20. posted on Jun 10, 2012 at 3:57 PM  |  reply

    i too am a multi-book reader.
    1. loving your kids on purpose ~ danny silk
    2. preparing your son for every man’s battle ~ stephen arterburn
    3. the trumpet of the swan ~ e.b. white (prereading a book for my son)
    4. here’s lily ~ nancy rue (prereading a book for middle child)
    i just finished the last book of a karen kingsbury series and was looking for some titles for pool/lake/beach reading. the list above will help narrow my choices down. several on the list are on my list to read ~ grace for the good girl being one of those. happy reading!

    • Annie
      posted on Jun 14, 2012 at 9:23 AM  |  reply

      Man, I haven’t thought about The Trumpet Of The Swan in a lot of years- what a great book.

      (Grace for the Good Girl is one of the best books I’ve read. Enjoy.)

  21. Merideth
    posted on Jun 11, 2012 at 9:09 AM  |  reply

    I was never someone who read several books at the same time. Actually, for years I didn’t read books much to begin with. I was the kid my parents had to try and bribe to get to read. That changed when I was a teenager, and much more so as I got older. Now, I have so many books availible to me through kindle(a lot of books were not accessible to me for years), and I don’t think I could read them all in a lifetime. But, it’s fun to try. I like the suggestions you made. I’ll have to check a couple of them out.I have a ton of books on my kindle I started and have not finished. Some include:
    1. Cleansed and abiding; Remember James-Michael Smith from Wesley? Well, he wrote this one.
    22. Quitter by Jon Acuff; Also know this author, and really enjoy reading his books.
    3. money, posessions, and eternity by Randy Alcorn; Has given me some great perspective on what I invest my time/money in.
    4. crazy love; I read this all the way through, but did it so speraticaly that I don’t remember a lot of it. So, I need to read it again.
    5. Then, there are a couple of books for professional development(a book on people who self-harm/cut and one on bullying), surrender to love by David Benner(former grad school professor), pride and predjudice, and many others I can’t think of.

    • Annie
      posted on Jun 14, 2012 at 9:23 AM  |  reply

      LOVE your list.

  22. posted on Jun 11, 2012 at 9:34 PM  |  reply

    I just finished The Night Circus and holy smokes was it magically awesome. Jason is reading it now and can’t put it down. Amazing book that will keep you guessing.

    • Annie
      posted on Jun 14, 2012 at 9:23 AM  |  reply

      Our book club is reading that this summer- can’t WAIT. Your recommendations have never let me down before. 🙂

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