What I Read This Week

This week was a busy reading week for me as I snuck a little extra reading in while my thirteen-year-old was at the orthodontist and stayed up late one night to finish a book. Since I fall under my state’s shelter-in-place order, my children have dropped tae kwon do and gymnastics during this pandemic, and I have to admit that it’s really cut into my reading time.

My children are able to do Zoom music classes and they’re doing small groups for Bible study class over Zoom this fall. They’re even doing a once-a-month art lesson over zoom. However, none of these add to my reading time, as at home, I inevitably find chores, grad school work, and scrolling Twitter to fill these times rather than reading.

This was a really good reading week, however, and I finished four books! Here are the books:

boys and sex

Boys and Sex tells the inside story for many young men who are attempting to navigate hookups and romantic relationships in their late teens and early twenties. Orenstein does not pretend that she’s telling the story of all boys, but she weaves together the stories of twenty or thirty boys who have agreed to be interviewed. They discuss porn, relationships, hookups, consent, and things that have crossed the line. The biggest takeaway? Boys struggle just as much in a toxic sexual climate as girls do.

I had read Orenstein’s Girls and Sex back in 2017, and when I did my heart hurt for those young girls and for what my own young girls would be navigating in just a few years. I wondered what the atmosphere was like for boys, especially as I have two sons. I feel just as much concern for them after reading this book. There are three things that I want to emphasize for them now that I have read Orenstein’s work: 1) You do not have to have sex or hookup with a large number of girls to prove your masculinity. 2) Make sure you get verbal consent for anything you do. 3) Do not take advantage of drunk girls.


Hebrew for Life is a practical guide for the student of Biblical Hebrew. The authors help unpack the reasons for learning and retaining Hebrew, strategies for practice and what steps to take continue to build fluency. There are also some interesting technical and devotional thoughts expressed along the way.

This is very similar to Greek for Life, which I read in 2018. The basics of the chapters are the same, but this book has been revised to apply to Hebrew. They are different enough that each bears reading, especially if you’re reading them a couple of years apart like I did. I found that it helped my motivation in both languages.

the lies that bind

In The Lies that Bind, Cecily Gardner is a transport from the midwest to New York City, attempting to make it as a writer, but struggling as a second-rate reporter. She’s just broken up with her boyfriend, Matthew, and is very lonely. She’s sitting alone at the bar, contemplating calling Matthew when Grant Smith enters her life. Cecily and Grant make an immediate connection, and Cecily begins to fall in love. However, there’s something off about their relationship, and Cecily is not sure what it is. . .

This book is a little nonsensical, and I didn’t really enjoy being in Cecily’s head.  However, I enjoyed the plot and the romantic elements. There’s a lot going on here, and as I attempted to describe the plot to my teen daughter, I realized how much it had in common with a soap opera. Let’s just call it farfetched. Or maybe frothy and enjoyable. It might be great if you’re looking for something fun, but I don’t think its Giffin’s best.

I wouldn’t read the jacket cover or the goodreads description. They really give too much away and write about things that happen halfway through the book. I will say that this is slightly historical fiction, and 9/11 plays a big role in the plot of the book. I think I can say that without giving too much away.

100 year old man

The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared revolves around Allan. Allan is turning 100 years old, and as his nursing home is throwing him a party to celebrate, Allan decides to flee the nursing home and make a new start. He doesn’t really have a destination in mind, but as he leaves, he finds his way along on a completely new adventure. His present adventures alternate with chapters from his past, telling the story of how he travelled across the world with pure luck and his abilities as an explosive expert leading the way. Readers also get to see him interact with many famous politicians along the way.

Reading this book is part of my commitment to read more of the books I own and from my backlist as I plan my reading this year. I’ve actually owned this book on my kindle for about 18 months, and was happy to be able to cross it off my list. Sometimes older books fall off my list because I am distracted by the “new and shiny.”

This book is humorous and fun to read. I found myself feeling critical of it for two reasons. 1) Everything that happens to Allan seems to happen by sheer dumb luck. I’ve never met someone so lucky. 2) Many of the actions in this book are immoral and unlikable on the part of both villains and good guys. Allan’s emotional detachment from his morals made me have a hard time rooting for him, and I need someone to root for–even if that someone is not a terribly moral person.

Still, I kept turning pages as I wanted to know what would happen next and how Allan was going to make the best of (or get out of) each situation that he got himself in.


Well, that’s about all for this week. Hope everyone has a great week and finds some great reads along the way!

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