SheReads: Five Gold Stars to a (Former) Reluctant Reader


On sherpas, real books and the real guy in the phrase: “38 women and Josh.”

By Destiny Loeve


Can I get somewhat sappy with you ladies today? I know, I know … this is a column about the books we read and love; but, if you’ll allow me to digress for a mere minute, I’ll tie it all together again with the book bits!

If you’ve been following us here at SheLovesMag you’ll know we undertook the audacious recently: a half-marathon fundraiser for the women of Living Hope. In all the talks, writings, and pictures, you may have heard the phrase “38 women and Josh” and wondered about that lone male who joined our entourage.

The “and Josh”? That’s my man. He ran for me. I guess there have been a lot of times in our life together that he was pushing hard and I took the supporting role. This time, he wanted to fill the support shoes. And he totally did. New blue Nikes. My personal sherpa, he rocked the four-bottle running belt, ensuring Gatorade, water and some kind of energy tab were a mere pass-of-the-hand away. My personal motivator, he kept my feet running when I know I would have settled for a walk. My greatest cheerleader, he was the first one to smother me in a hug past the line. He could have finished in two hours flat, but he came across the line with me at the more demure two-hours-and-38-minute mark.

This husband of mine is not one to shy away from a B.H.A.G. (big hairy audacious goal). He seems to gravitate towards undertakings like this. Matter of fact, (here comes the reading tie-in): his 2011 goal was to read 52 books in 52 weeks. I’m quite sure even I won’t be absorbing books at that steady a rate. Making this goal even more significant is that Josh is a self-proclaimed non-reader. For years, his mother (a librarian), and I (major book enthusiast) would debate with him over the merits of the written word.

I think he’s a reading convert now.

And it’s not light reading either: it’s business, theology, more business and more theology. I’m doing all I can to sneak a biography or some kind of fiction in the mix. Right now he’s working on John Piper’s Desiring God. I picked it up from his nightstand one day and wow, the foreward preached to me. So when his nose isn’t plastered to the inside, I tote it around looking for an opportunity or two to delve into the wisdom of a Christian Hedonist. (Interesting, not?) It travelled with me to my four-year-old’s gymnastics/dance class today but admittedly her pizza toe plies had my rapt attention.

So, that is my short (not actually that sappy!) shout-out to the husband I stay amazed with. It’s quite the journey traveling alongside him and I wouldn’t trade a minute of the adventure. Thanks for running and for reading, my love. You are constantly an inspiration.

About those Books 🙂

Now ladies, I really wanted to provide you with a bunch of book recommendations. The weather is shifting in my part of the world, and we’re welcoming rainy days, perfect for curling up with a great read. Here’s what some of our contributors have recently finished, are currently indulging in and what is sitting as of yet unopened on their nightstand. Plus we’ve thrown in a handy little rating system.

Destiny’s book rating system:

*****5 stars = Adored!Superbly crafted, brilliant ideas. I will re-read over and over and tell my friends to do the same.

****4 stars = Highly enjoyed. I was totally engaged throughout. A definite thumbs up on the recommendation.

***3 stars = Average. Average writing, average story, and averagely enjoyable. I’d possibly recommend.

2 stars = I finished it… but it’s nothing to write home about.

* 1 star = Not worth my time. Didn’t bother finishing.


What We’ve Been Reading

Destiny Loeve

  • Just read: Left Neglected by Lisa Genova, 3.5 stars
  • Currently reading: Desiring God by John Piper, 5 stars
  • Next to read: The Space Between Us by Thrity Umrigar


Idelette McVicker

  •  Just Read: The Liberating Truth, by Danielle Strickland ****4 stars

Half The Church, by Carolyn Custis James ***3.5 stars

Falling Upward, by Richard Rohr ****4 stars

  • Currently Reading: You Were Born for This, by Bruce Wilkenson ***3 stars

Women Who Run With Wolves, by Clarissa Pinkola Estes ***3 stars

Raising Your Spirited Child, by Mary Kurcinka ***3 stars

  • Next to read: Strengths-Based Leadership, by Tom Rath & Barry Conchie


Helen Burns

  • Just read: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Annie Barrows & Mary Ann Shaffer, *****5 Stars
  • Currently reading: Who Switched Off Your Brain by Dr. Caroline Leaf, *****5 Stars
  • Next to read: Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford


Kelley Johnson-Nikondeha

  • Just read: A Spirituality of the Road by David Bosch, ****4 stars

Half the Sky by Nicholas Kristof & Sheryl WuDunn, ****4 stars

Getting involved with God: Rediscovering the Old Testament by Ellen Davis, **** 4 stars

  • Currently reading: Hearing the Whole Story:

The Politics of Plot in Mark’s Gospel by Richard Horsley, a five-star read so far!

  • Next to read: Standing by Words by Wendell Berry

Mixed Blessings by Barbara Brown Taylor

Welcoming Justice: God’s Movement Toward Beloved Community by Charles Marsh & John Perkins


Kelly Dawson

  • Just read: Crazy Love by Francis Chan, 4.5 stars
  • Currently reading: Out of Control and Loving It by Lisa Bevere, 4.5 stars
  • Next to read: Leaders who Changed the World by Gordon Kerr

And if you’ll oblige me, one last one:


 … And Josh!

  • Just read: Onward, by Howard Schultz, *****5 stars

Communicating for a Change: Seven Keys to Irresistible Communication, by Andy Stanley & Lane Jones, ****4 stars

  • Currently Reading: Desiring God, by John Piper, *****5 stars
  • Next to read: The Dip by Seth Godin


How about you, book lovers? What have you been reading?


About Destiny

Destiny Loeve treasures most her roles as wife to one daring husband & mommy to three sunshiny children. She loves to see things grow in her garden, read great books, hang out at her church, meet all kinds of people & sit in her living room with friends. When not on maternity leave, she works as a pediatric nurse, and finds as many opportunities to volunteer in the community as possible.