May held some great books for me, and I can't believe it's taken me this long to fill you in on my readings last month. I must admit that June is moving slower with my reading, but no doubt July will pick back up since I'm traveling again. I need to let you know that the first book on this list is one that I think every person should read. It will be my favorite book of 2015 for sure, just like Girls Like Us was my favorite from last year. If you missed the podcast with Tasha Morrison, we talked about this book as well.

As of now I have read 22 out of my goal of 36, so I'd say I'm on good track to finish strong! How are you doing with your reading goal?


Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson. This book. This book. I can't say enough amazing things about this book, so I need you to trust me and go get it for yourself. I found myself reading parts of this book and my brain couldn't believe that what he was describing was 2011 America and not 1910 America. It didn't make any sense to me.

Bryan Stevenson was a young lawyer when he founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending those most desperate and in need: the poor, the wrongly condemned, and women and children trapped in the farthest reaches of our criminal justice system. One of his first cases was that of Walter McMillian, a young man who was sentenced to die for a notorious murder he insisted he didn’t commit. The case drew Bryan into a tangle of conspiracy, political machination, and legal brinksmanship—and transformed his understanding of mercy and justice forever.  

Just Mercy is at once an unforgettable account of an idealistic, gifted young lawyer’s coming of age, a moving window into the lives of those he has defended, and an inspiring argument for compassion in the pursuit of true justice. (Description from Goodreads)

Seriously go get this book now. I checked it out from my library and I'm going to still go and buy one because I just know I need a copy of my own to reference as I need.

The Girl On The Train by Paula HawkinsA compulsively readable, emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller that draws comparisons to Gone Girl, The Silent Wife, or Before I Go to Sleep, this is an electrifying debut embraced by readers across markets and categories. (Good Reads description)

I liked this book a lot and it kept me interested for the whole book. I liked Gone Girl and Before I go to Sleep and this did remind me of both of those. If you are looking for a good fiction for your Summer travels, this is a good one!


Choosing To See by Mary Beth Chapman

I could have sworn I read this book already, but after I got into the story I didn't remember any of it, and so I'm guessing I didn't. Mary Beth & Steven Chapman lost one of their kids to a tragic accident about seven years ago, and this is her story.

I actually remember where I was when I heard this news, and so the story felt closer only because we lived in the Nashville area at the time and had mutual friends.

I enjoyed this book a lot for a few reasons. First, I loved her realness about the tragedy. She allowed her raw emotions to bleed through on the page, and that allowed God to shine through even more. I've read a book before about a mom losing a child that had no faith, and there is such a difference in the narrative from a family that goes through tragedy with faith versus one without faith.

I also enjoyed her telling her stories of early marriage and motherhood. I could relate on so many levels, and so it made me see her as a real person throughout her story.

Running for My life by Lopez Lomong 

“Running for My Life is not a story about Africa or track and field athletics. It is about outrunning the devil and achieving the impossible faith, diligence, and the desire to give back. It is the American dream come true and a stark reminder that saving one can help to save thousands more.

Lopez Lomong chronicles his inspiring ascent from a barefoot lost boy of the Sudanese Civil War to a Nike sponsored athlete on the US Olympic Team. Though most of us fall somewhere between the catastrophic lows and dizzying highs of Lomong's incredible life, every reader will find in his story the human spark to pursue dreams that might seem unthinkable, even from circumstances that might appear hopeless.” (Amazon description)

My brother sent me this book for my birthday and I must admit I wasn't looking forward to reading it. I knew nothing about the story, and it just didn't seem like a book that I wanted to read on vacation. Instead I couldn't put this book down. I actually finished this book on our drive from Austin to Memphis and spent the last hour with my iphone as a flashlight so I could see the pages as Aaron drove.

*My brother is actually raising money and running in a race with Lopez soon, and I would love it if you would check out his website: Team Jordan

Unafraid by Susie Davis

“In 1978 Susie Davis watched as a thirteen-year-old classmate entered her classroom and killed her teacher. As a witness to one of the earliest school shootings in our nation, Susie faced years of paralyzing fear and an intense distrust of God. But God relentlessly pursued her and, over time, broke Susie’s fear addiction.
In Unafraid, Susie offers her hard-won insights about how we can trust God in the midst of our fears about violence, disease, and personal tragedy. With you, she asks, “How do we live unafraid? How do we remain aware of world events without giving in to fear? How do we make everyday choices to stop letting ‘What if?’ control us?”
As Susie shows us, it is possible to break fear’s grasp on our lives. We can be aware of the terrible without forgetting the beautiful. We can look up with joy and realize the remarkable truth: Jesus wants to take our fear and give us, in its place, true peace. Walk this liberating journey with her and learn what it means to live unafraid.” (Amazon Description)

I've known Susie for a few years now, and let me tell you when you meet her you will feel as though you are the only person in her world that matters at that moment. She is sincerely nice and genuine and those qualities are hard to find in women these days. I also loved this book.

The Prodigal God by Tim Keller

“In The Prodigal God, Keller takes his trademark intellectual approach to understanding Christianity and uses the parable of the Prodigal Son to reveal an unexpected message of hope and salvation.

Within that parable, Jesus reveals God's prodigal grace toward both the irreligious and the moralistic. This book will challenge both the devout and skeptics to see Christianity in a whole new way.” (amazon description)

This book. Oh this book. I loved it. Underlined almost the entire book and it's not that big guys. You could easily read this in a day.

I can boldly say that if you are follower of Christ you should read this book. Keller has a way of bringing to light the grace of God in a way that you might not have ever thought about before.

What are you reading these days?

*Affiliate links are used in this post*

Jamie Ivey