While I was on my break from blogging, I was falling in love again with reading. Since I was a young girl I have loved to read (In fact, my parents have a great story about grounding me from my books when I was three...it was devastating to my little life).
My love affair with books has had highs and lows, with seasons where I consume fiction and seasons where I trudge through books of theology both loving and hating the work. I have had seasons where I read book after book voraciously and then there are the recent seasons in which I read more slowly.
For the last couple of years I have read more slowly because I have put rules on myself when it comes to reading. I have told myself I MUST finish every book on my night stand before I can move on to another book, and you know what? Sometimes I just don't like a book and so I don't want to finish it!
Well, while I was on my blog break I decided it was time to read whatever my heart fancied. No more rules, no more guilt about the unread books piling up around my house. I was going to fall in love again with reading...and I did just that!
Here is what I've read over the last couple months:
The Year of Biblical Womanhood by Rachel Held Evans. I have been a long time reader of Rachel's blog - sometimes giving her a fist pump in whole hearted agreement and other times completely disagreeing with her opinions. As I've read her blog, I realized I really like Rachel. I wish I could be as open and opinionated without the fear of retribution that she receives on her blog. So, when I read about her book, I was immediately intrigued and bought it for my phone (yes, sometimes I read on my phone). Rachel takes a year of her life to literally live out what the Bible says about being a woman (she even lives in a tent one month during her period to uphold the Old Testament laws about living seperate when "unclean"). To me, the book was humorous, insightful, and I was surprised at the humility of Rachel as well as the beautiful lessons God taught her on this journey.
Interrupted by Jen Hatmaker. Jen has gotten quite a bit of buzz recently on the internet, and it is about time. This lady is hilarious, honest, and not afraid to tell the world how it is. Interrupted is the story of God's abrupt interruption in her and her husband's life in which they begin to ask big questions about church and whether or not Christians are really living a life that reaches those who are often forgotten. This book convicted me and stirred me and I probably need to reread it.
Assaulted by Joy: The Redemption of a Cynic by Stephen Simpson. This memoir is one that I picked up for 50 cents at a book sale, and one day I just felt drawn to read it. It is a memoir of a self-described jerk and his journey to finding joy. Spoiler alert - his wife ends up having QUADRUPLETS...and that just bascially brings him to his knees and to some beautiful realities about joy.
Sparkly Green Earrings by Melanie Shankle. Loved this story of Melanie becoming a mother to Caroline. Melanie told story about story about the crazy and sweet moments that come with motherhood. This is a great book for any mother to read. You will relate, laugh, and relate some more!
Love the One You are With by Emily Giffin and The French Gardener by Santa Montefiore - these are a couple of fiction books I read over the last few months that were kind of mindless. The best thing I can say about these two is that The French Gardener inspired me to start working in my yard, which I needed to do desperately!
Obviously, I like to read memoirs & personal stories!
In the last week I have had a few people ask for suggestions of what to read this summer. Not sure what you are in the mood for, but I thought I'd let you know what I'm planning on reading this summer!
Jesus, the CIA, My Father and Me by Ian Morgan Cron. I'm actually almost finished with this and I have loved it.
Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg. I have read several suggested reading lists by women I admire and this book is almost always listed. Josh actually bought me this book over a month ago and encouraged me to read it. I'm planning on focusing on it while in Europe in July.
Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brene Brow. I feel like everytime I turn around or troll the internet someone is talking about the brilliance of Brene Brown. I need to be more vulnerable, so can't wait to read this one!
Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist. I read Shauna's blog and she inspires me. Josh and I have been talking lately about how we need to open our table more often and have people really become community in our lives. I feel like this book with give me the kick in the pants and the encouragement to do just that.
Paul's Letter to the Philippians (New International Commentary) by Gordon Fee. In the last six months I have been drawn to Philippians like a moth to a flame. It has always held a special place in my heart, but as I dig in more to the gold in this book, I just want to know more. I respect Gordon Fee, and I love a good commentary so this was an easy choice for me.
Persuasion by Jane Austen. I love Jane Austen. I have since my junior year in high school, and most who know me would guess that Pride and Prejudice is my favorite Austen book. As I get older, Persuasion is now my favorite. It is more subtle and yet the ending is exhilarating and will make you swoon! If you have never read this lesser known Austen masterpiece you should read it this summer. I always read one Austen novel a summer, and this year it will be Persuasion.
How about you? What is on your list to read this summer?