I’m wearing a fuzzy sweater, drinking a cup of tea, and finally sitting down to write something. Actually, my fuzzy sweater-wearing is ironic on two levels – – it’s only 90 thousand degrees outside (but fortunately -15 indoors, just the way I like it), and also my sweater isn’t naturally fuzzy. Even after washing it, the cat hair is stubbornly assimilating into its new home – my wardrobe. You’re welcome, Fashion World.
At the risk of narcissism, I’d love to share some of the delightful things I’ve discovered in the last month or so…Jonathan’s longer working hours have freed up a goodish bit of time for me to read. 🙂 Hello Library Addiction, my old friend!
Here are some books I’ve been enjoying.
I posted this on facebook last week, how I read this book in two sittings, and Jonathan and I are reading it together now, and how it’s answering my questions and being the best. People pleasing and perfectionism could be my middle names, but it turns out they aren’t paths to success, or even virtues. This book is challenging me to let go of shields, and explore God’s love in ways I really haven’t ever done before. I wish I could hand this book to me in college. So do yourself a favor, and give it to you. 🙂
Don’t worry, I’m not currently surprised by motherhood, haha! However, lots of my friends are entering this stage of the game, and I wanted to understand their lives better. Also, I like to do advance research, so this is my first ever parenting book. It was deeply moving, and made me want to hug my mom, and thank God for making every day life sacred. This book is a quick read, super sweet, and made all the better because she grew up as a missionary kid in Africa. 🙂
Inspector Armand Gamache Series by Louise Penny
I. Love. Mysteries. But only good ones, not cheesy ones. This series is SO FREAKING GOOD. Not quite as good as Dorothy L. Sayers (because who is?), but a lot more modern. Also, I double dog dare you not to fall just a little bit in love with Inspector Gamache. Heartbreaking, healing, incisively insightful into humans and their condition, beautiful prose, hysterical sometimes….I just love it. I’m currently reading three books in this series at the same time. Swimming in it. Also, can we talk about how delighted I am that Louise Penny is 1) a fantastic writer, 2) has already written 11 books, 3) is still ALIVE, and 4) has another book coming out just in time for my birthday?????? It is so exciting to find an wonderful author who is still alive and writing books. Small disclaimer, there is some language, and some dark thematic elements sometimes. No nasty gory stuff though, just real people problems.
(True confessions: I almost didn’t put this up here, because I didn’t want people to be disappointed that I read gritty things sometimes, but I do, so there’s that. 🙂 )
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I like to read books telling me how to better at not being a perfectionist. 🙂 I just want to get it right!! 🙂 It’s super normal and fine.
Jen Hatmaker remains hilarious, healing, hopeful, and her chapter on her 40s is my favorite. 😀 This book is delightful. (Actually, I got it as an audiobook read by the author. This was an excellent life choice.)
Along the lines of perfectionism, I deeply appreciate invitations to revisit things – books, places, people, movies, decisions…haha. 🙂 I usually accept.
But seriously, since figuring out that I was deeply wrong about “if you do things right, your life will be easy and full of readily visible rewards and pretty much no unexpected suffering,” I’ve wondered what other views I hold that aren’t very correct and helpful. I care deeply about women, and want to know how Jesus thinks about us. Here’s a taste of this book that I only just started, but can’t wait to keep reading:
“We can miss the crazy beauty of it because of the lack of fanfare in Scripture. Women were simply there, part of the revolution of love, sometimes unnamed, sometimes in the background, sometimes the receiver, sometimes the giver–just like every other man in Scripture, to be engaged on their own merit in the midst of their own story.
Jesus thinks women are people too.”
Misreading Scripture through Western Eyes: Removing Cultural Blinders to Better Understand the Bible by E. Randolph Richards, and Brandon J. O’Brien
Speaking of new perspectives, this book is blowing my mind. This is an accessible, thoughtful, illuminating, and exciting book. Have you ever felt like you knew all the Bible stories? This book will make you revisit all of your favorites with fresh eyes, and an eagerness to understand things you never knew before. I wanted to choose a quote, but was afraid if I started typing, I’d just copy out the whole book for you.
Language Culture and Teaching: Critical Perspectives by Sonia Nieto
To nerd out slightly – this is a teaching book, and it’s one of my new favorites. It’s right on up there with Love and Logic as far as forming my teaching philosophy. I love it. Basically, sometimes when engaging with students from cultures different from my own, I feel too entirely White. SO White. Glow-in-the-dark White. This book helped me to find good questions to ask, and encouraged me in my quest to be a listening teacher – someone who believes all my students have great things to offer that I didn’t know before I met them.
Occasions – by Kate Spade
I was slightly underwhelmed by this book. I’d rather look at her lovely products (especially anything with gold polka dots). 🙂 Kate Spade, I ❤ your classy look. True confessions, I do not feel the need for $40 gold tape dispenser, but I do believe that it is beautiful. 🙂 There were some cute and classy ideas for hospitality in here. It was especially fun to look at the pictures.
Hands Free Life: 9 Habits for Overcoming Distraction, Living Better,& Loving More by Rachel Macy Stafford
Similar to Present over Perfect, this book is a refreshing reminder to lock eyes with the people around me, relentlessly remove distractions from my life, and to rest. I’m really enjoying this one, and using it to help me focus before I read my Bible in the mornings.
I was surprised at how quick a read this was. This story of a young woman who escaped from a pre-apocalyptic cult was fascinating, heartbreaking, and incredibly hopeful. I loved reading about the merciful way God heals hearts, even if her experiences have been vastly different from my own.
Have His Carcase – by Dorothy L. Sayers
Because at any given time, I’m always reading a Lord Peter Wimsey mystery, a Mitford book, and a Woodhouse book. Just like I’m never not listening to Andrew Peterson or the Pride and Prejudice soundtrack. I’m also never not drinking some type of hot beverage, or thinking about the next time I can drink one. 🙂 My heart just needs these things always.
Note: This isn’t the first book in the Lord Peter Wimsey series, but it’s one I haven’t read in a while. 🙂
The Nesting Place: It Doesn’t Have to be Perfect to be Beautiful by Myquillyn Smith
I am currently preparing for married life, and redecorating my office, and helping lots of family members move in and out of school, their new married people apartments, and back to America. Let’s just say that I’m also never not moving boxes this summer. This book reminded me how fun it is to make spaces beautiful. It’s basically eye candy, and less overwhelming than Pinterest. 🙂
What have you been reading? I’d love to hear from you! ❤