What I’m Reading August 2016


So, before we get to the books I’m reading … can I tell you my big news?

Excited to announce Praying for Girls: Asking God for the Things They Need Most || Coming Fall 2017 from Bethany House Publishers

I’m writing a book!

In May I signed a contract with Bethany House Publishers to write Praying for Girls: Asking God for the Things They Need Most. Y’all, for real, I can’t even explain how excited I am! You can read all the details over on the Prayers for Girls blog. And speaking of Prayers for Girls, are you a girl mom? {or aunt or grandmother or teacher …} We’d love to have you join us over there for real encouragement from real moms. I am still in shock over the precious, wise, and in-the-trenches-with-me moms God has brought together to challenge, encourage, and inspire us to lead our girls to the One who loves them most. And, of course, if you haven’t already, be sure to sign up for the free monthly prayer calendars. We’re spending August praying for our girls to display the character of Christ in all their relationships.

Writers are usually readers …

and I’m certainly no exception. Here are the books in my pile right now.

What I'm Reading ||August 2016

A Different Beautiful || Courtney Westlake

Y’all, I had the privilege of meeting Courtney a couple of years ago at She Speaks.  She is the gentlest soul. Her daughter Brenna has Harlequin Ichthyosis and this book is their family’s story of learning to see beauty in a new way.  Courtney writes with such transparency but also grace and a dash a humor. You’ll wish you lived on her street and you’ll want to meet Brenna. One of my favorite chapters in the book was chapter 12, “Everyone Understands a Smile.” In this chapter, Courtney reminds us we are all far more alike than we ever realize. These words, in particular, stood out to me and I’m still feeling the weight of their truth in my heart:

When we compare and compete, we divide … But when we connect, we bridge. (p. 104)

I don’t know about you, but I want to be a bridge-builder!

You’re God’s Girl || Wynter Pitts

This is the second of Wynter’s devotionals for tween girls and it is great! You can tell she has a passion for helping  girls see themselves through the lens of God’s Word. If  you have a tween {ages 8 to 12ish}, this is the book you need to get her! And really, if you deal with students in this age range at all, through school, church, community activities, or even in your neighborhood, I’d highly recommend getting this book as a resource for understanding what these girls face and how to encourage them.

The Happiness Dare || Jennifer Dukes Lee

I’m still reading this one. It’s taking me some time to savor the rich words of encouragement Jennifer offers. Y’all, I’m a pretty intense personality. I’ve always got a to do list a mile long and sometimes I lean more toward worrier than winsome.  Jennifer’s book is challenging me and I’m finding myself reading a section then picking up the Bible to dig deeper. And, as far as I’m concerned, that is always the mark of a great book! If you’re looking for an honest guide to help you understand the biblical value of happiness, Jennifer is your girl!

The Bigger the Hair, the Closer to God || Sue Buchanan

Um, don’t let the title fool you! This little treasure from 2007 that my husband bought me last month will challenge you while you are snorting your Pepsi through your nose laughing. {Nice visual, huh? It really did happen.}  Buchanan is absolutely hilarious but this book is more than just a funny read. Sue’s insights into how we forget to enjoy life are dead on. Each chapter ends with a challenge to unleash your BHL {big haired lady} and I loved how deeply practical and truly encouraging each one was.

HCSB Illustrator’s Notetaking Bible || B&H Publishers

I received this Bible last month from B&H and I will be doing a full review of it eventually. But I wanted to encourage those who have felt a little intimidated by all the beautiful and incredibly artistic pages in the Illustrated Faith feed on Instagram to check this Bible out. There are over 600 illustrations waiting for you to color {if you want} including gorgeous hand-lettered verses, simple doodles, and pretty images. But there is also plenty of room for you to make your own notes.  I’ve shared a few pictures of the Bible on my Instagram feed if you want to check it out.

A Sweet & Bitter Providence || John Piper

Scott also bought this little tome for me last month and I am loving it! One of my someday dreams is to write a book about Ruth and all the lessons we can learn from her story so I tend to devour books others have written about this remarkable woman in Scripture.  Piper’s book, though not very long, is rich with insight. Early in the book he writes,

As a means to that end — and everything is a means to glorifying Christ — the book of Ruth reveals the hidden hand of God in the bitter experiences of his people. (p. 24)

That may not sound so encouraging, but in this world so full of heartache, tragedy, and inexplicable sorrow, I find great comfort in knowing God is always at work for His glory and, ultimately, for our good.  If you are wrestling with finding God’s goodness in the midst  of a difficult season, may I suggest this book as a resource?

Okay, so those are the books stacked in front of my right now. I’m still meandering through Parting the Curtains: Interviews with Southern Writers. It is fun to get a peek inside the practices of different writers I’ve long adored. Also, if you haven’t yet checked out Litsy, I encourage you to do so. I’m not super great about using it daily but I love it for a way to share quick quotes and reviews and also to find out about books others are reading. If you haven’t heard of it, Litsy is a social media app for book lovers — think of it as the beautiful child of Instagram and GoodReads. {I’m TeriLynneU — find me and let’s be Litsy friends!}

What are you reading these days? Anything I need to add to my wish list?


Teri Lynne

P.S. Here are links to all the books I mentioned above. These are affiliate links so I will receive a small commission if you choose to purchase through them. And it’s pretty much a guarantee I will use those commissions to buy more books.

A Different Beautiful || You’re God’s Girl || The Happiness Dare|| The Bigger the Hair, the Closer to God|| Illustrator’s Notetaking Bible

A Sweet & Bitter Providence || Parting the Curtains: Interviews with Southern Writers

If you found this post encouraging, please share it with others! Also pin it for later …

Book recommendations from Teri Lynne Underwood including A Different Beautiful, The Happiness Dare, You're God's Girl, A Sweet & Bitter Providence, Illustrator's Notetaking BIble, and more ...


Read the Psalms this summer with Scripture Dig!

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