Books Books, All Books {Quick Lit – Spring 2016}


Welcome to my dedicated book post :) What could be better, right?

Here’s what I read this spring and a few thoughts about each book!

In March I hit the weirdest slow spot with my reading. I didn’t want to read. Almost at all. It was very strange. I finished reading Out of Sorts by Sarah Bessey and then took life easy only reading my lent book and a book of poetry for Holy Week. It was just about right. (I got out of my slow spot, thank heavens!)

  • Out of Sorts: Making Peace with an Evolving Faith by Sarah Bessey – truth be told I had this one on my shelf longer than I thought I would. I struggled to dive in because I am struggling right there in that changing place myself and it made me a tad anxious about my own position. Out of Sorts seems written in a less prophetic and more personal tone than Jesus Feminist. It’s a story of becoming and being as a person of faith.

“For me, it was a subtle shift but a powerful one. Instead of becoming someone who “did” things, I simply took my place in my own life as it is now. Instead of waiting for the mythical “there” of ministry, I could simply live as if my life were ministry.”

-Out of Sorts, p222

  • All Our Untold Stories: Empathic Poetry for Holy Week by Jamie Wright Bagley – I don’t read poetry much, but I have always loved books that take real stories, especially bible stories (For example: The Bronze Bow or One Night with the King) and turn them into something I can relate to. My favorite section was written as if taken from Judas’ thoughts.
  • Show Me the Way: Readings for Each Day of Lent by Henri J. M. Nouwen – this was my first time reading a book for lent, and, though I missed a few days, I will definitely be doing it again. It as only a page or two each day, but I found it an excellent way to ground myself a little more in the happenings, back story, and different themes of the Easter season.

In April I jumpstarted my dry spell with two assigned books and some fiction. Exactly what I needed to get back into the book life.

  • The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick – Not a book I would generally pick up, but I was intrigued when it was described in an episode What Should I Read Next. Since I loved the movie and had another recommendation, I picked it up from the library and inhaled it. The movie is a great movie by itself, but the book has a slightly different angle that gives it more life and depth than what is possible when making a movie. Less emphasis on the outer relationships and more on the internal processing the drives relationships. I liked being privy to the inner dialogue and a little of the psychological tension that makes Pat’s character really come more intensely difficult, relatable, and human. I really enjoyed this one.
  • Before We Get Started: A Practical Memoir of the Writer’s Life by Brett Lott – an “assigned” reading for the Writing with Grace course from Ann Swindell. Excellent, honest, inspiring, and I may just need this one for my personal library. :)
  • The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin- I found this one also thanks to the What Should I Read Next Podcast. I was not disappointed. It was a quick read, but just delightful. Colorful characters, a little bit of book nerdery, and the ever-intriguing topic of human relationships.
  • Love the Home You Have – Read it, skimmed it. It was helpful in some ways, inspiring in others, and then it just got long so I started skimming. I found The Nesting Place more inspiring, because: pictures!
  • Light of the World by Elizabeth Alexander – Beautiful, tragic but intensely whole, insightful and challenging. Written by woman whose husband passes away suddenly, she lets us into the emotional worlds of their relationship, her marriage, the process of grieving and finding wholeness. I read Light of the World as part of the Shalom Sistas Bookclub and would highly recommend listening to Osheta Moore and Cara Meredith discuss the book on the podcast after you read it!

May found me catching up on ALL the What Should I Read Next podcasts and digging into my own mile long reading list so I had plenty of books to choose from. I also found my pace and read similar amounts of fiction and non-fiction as I have been trying for all year!

  • Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese – this lovely long book follows the story of twins born in Ethiopia to a nun and a surgeon. It has nuanced emotional depth and relationships, insight into a trade (surgery – so slightly graphic at times), historical relevance, and the added value of a story told over the course of many years. I thought it was fantastic.
  • The Contemplative Writer by Ed Cyzewski – Interesting little book about how the contemplative spiritual practices are helpful for writers and how writing is a spiritual practice.
  • No Bad Kids: Toddler Discipline without Shame by Janet Lansbury – This was one of those books where I would just like to absorb the knowledge, maybe memorize it even. Just so I could have the know-how for these crazy toddler years right where I need it. Lot’s of practical advice and knowledge about toddler development.
  • How to Be Here by Rob Bell – my word for the year is ‘here’ so this was too perfect a title to pass up. Lots of inspiration for daily and wholehearted living. Light and easy  encouragement to be right here. Just what I wanted.
  • Bel Canto by Ann Patchett – I picked this one up at a little free library and love it. The linguistic interest alone is enough to make my linguist heart happy. Set in a south american country during some skirmish adds a bit of cultural benefit as well. But lovely well-written characters plunged into a dramatic hostage situation with many different perspectives makes for an interesting read.
  • Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay – a lighthearted novel for the Jane Austen lover. :)
  • Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng – gritty content that may have made me put it down but relationships and characters were intriguing enough to get through it.
  • Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi – This novel was fantastic. I loved that it spanned many years in the character’s lives, explored tense cultural and racial topics, and let me into a unfamiliar perspective. A satisfying and challenging read.

What have you read and enjoyed this spring?

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Linking up with Literacy Musings Monday and Quick Lit

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