Goodreads | 7

Goodreads_7_Jen Hatmaker So I know I just did a Goodreads post, but I tore through a couple books on vacation and had to share my beach edition with you all ... complete with sand. :) Really, is there anything better than soaking up the sun with a good book in your lap? We relaxed hard in St. Lucia and that means reading an entire book in one day. Enjoy!

7 by Jen Hatmaker. I needed this book. Badly. Nathan and I found it really ironic that I was reading it while vacationing on a tropical island because the premise of the book is how to live a simpler life. Everyone can use some simplifying, yes? I know I do, and Jen's (yes, we're on a first-name basis) seven areas in which she simplified were really perfect: clothes, shopping, waste, food, possessions, media and stress. Every month, she (and sometimes her family) would work on cutting back in one of these areas (read: only eating seven different foods for an entire month) to learn what it feels like to NOT have everything you want right at your fingertips. Did I mention that Jen is hil-AR-ious? For proof, check out her blog.

Every chapter spoke to me, but media, possessions and stress hit me the hardest. I realized how much time I waste by giving in to stress. It's MY choice to be stressed and I'm embarrassed to admit how much I let it take me over. This is an amazing, eye-opening read. I especially admire Jen's faith and her dedication to social justice issues, which are both the inspiration for the book. Read. Now! (*****)

The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen. This was the book that I read in one day on the beach. It was a super easy read (if you couldn't tell!) and a mindless mystery about a fictitious Southern town. The main character and a new/old friend stumble across a disturbing scene at an old mansion that's being restored. This leads them to uncover secrets that may or may not have to do with their own relatives. Kinda predictable. Kinda cheesy. But definitely entertaining. (***)