I so quickly and freely give book recommendations, and May and June have been FULL of great books that I want others to read! So, here’s a list of what I consumed in May and June, and some categories so you know which ones I think you should definitely pick up! 🙂 (italicized ones aren’t finished yet)
Easy Fiction…aka “Beach Reads”:
- “Divergent” by Veronica Roth – I committed the unforgivable literary sin of seeing this young adult film before reading the book, but I still liked it. It’s interesting and dystopian fiction never really gets old for me. However, it bears a little too much similarity to “The Hunger Games” trilogy for me to be really invested. Ergo…
- “Insurgent” by Veronica Roth – I’m halfway through this one…at Barnes and Noble. I don’t think these are books I’ll read again, but I do want to know what happens, so I read it in the store and then put the book back on the shelf. I’ll follow it up with “Allegiant” afterwards, the last book in the trilogy.
- “Girls in White Dresses” by Jennifer Close – I found this on clearance at a bookstore and thought it looked good. And it was, a cute, interwoven story of a group of twenty-something girls in the New York area and their lives and relationships. I read most of it in the hammock, and I already know I will pass it on to Stacie to read next, because she will love the snarky narrating.
Came highly recommended:
- “Results May Vary : Christian Women Reflect on Post-College Life” by Linda Beail – picked this up because it featured a chapter by Jamie Noling-Auth that I was dying to read, and was pleasantly surprised by the whole book being refreshing and relevant. Nice to read the community of women, especially in higher education, who find themselves outside the generic roles oft-expected of women.
- “Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead” by Sheryl Sandberg – I chose to listen to this one on Audiobook, which was great – I can imagine it might be a little psychological at parts in print, but I loved it. There are so many things I’ve noticed in the workplace recently because of what Sheryl talks about here. A must-read, in my opinion, for everyone, but especially for women.
- “Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World” by Bob Goff – this was a big trend read at APU this last year, and so I finally borrowed if from my roommate to read. It took a while to get into it, but in the vein of Donald Miller, I liked it. The chapters are short and light, and he promotes a view of God and faith in a delightful and charming without being too shallow.
- “Cold Tangerines: Celebrating the Extraordinary Nature of Everyday Life” by Shauna Niequist – blog post on these re-reads coming soon.
- “Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way” by Shauna Niequist – ^
- “The Land Between: Finding God in Difficult Transitions” by Jeff Manion – we are reading this in our Wednesday night study, always an encouragement in the midst of transitions to know that we are not the first or the last followers of Christ to feel that in-between.
The Life-Changing, Instagram-Worthy-Quotes, Everyone MUST Read:
- “Jesus Feminist: An Invitation to Revisit the Bible’s View of Women” by Sarah Bessey – Got the chance to meet Sarah Bessey at a Junia Project event a while back, and then immediately picked up her book to read, and loved it! She perfectly and graciously explains how being a feminist, both for her, and for me, is not in opposition to or contrast with her Christian beliefs, but that they are very much interwoven and inseparable. Her gentle voice in this book relieves so much of the antagonistic potential of the subject and the disagreements that often come with it.
- “Carry On, Warrior: The Power of Embracing Your Messy, Beautiful Life” by Glennon Melton – I’ve never laughed out loud as much at any book as I did this one. Glennon’s brutally honest way of living and writing makes her an innovator in the Christian world, as she unapologetically breaks down every expectation we have of how Christians “are supposed to look” and shares about addiction and parenting and imperfections in a way that is beautiful and bold.
- “I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn’t): Making the Journey from “What Will People Think?” to “I Am Enough”” by Brene Brown – this is the book I’ve been reading and recommending to everyone recently, as it opened my eyes to the very real experience of shame in my life and in the lives of those around me, and has empowered me and shed light in a way that I didn’t even know I needed. This book actually inspired Women’s study on Monday nights this summer, and it has been great content and discussion each week so far.
- “The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are” by Brene Brown – A great follow-up to “I Thought It Was Just Me”, a smaller, more simplified collection of her ideas.
- “Unglued: Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions” by Lysa Terkheurst – This one was also in the vein of Brene Brown’s books, though from a categorically Christian perspective, which I loved. She gives some great practical helps for dealing with emotions, and her style is simple and friendly.
- “The Invention of Wings” by Sue Monk Kidd – Everything about this story spoke to me, and I felt so personally connected to one of the main characters as she discovers and pursues her own call to the issues God stirred up in her heart, and I was floored to get to the epilogue and learn that this is a piece of historical fiction and that the main characters, the Grimke sisters, really did pioneer the female abolitionist movement. I know that this is a book I will cherish and re-read often.
- “When the Heart Waits: Spiritual Direction for Life’s Sacred Questions” by Sue Monk Kidd – The fact that I am reading a book whose central analogy is the metamorphosis process of caterpillar to butterfly should tell you everything you need to know about how formational it is. I’m even reading it slowly, to savor each chapter and insight. I realized that Sue Monk Kidd is now one of my all-time favorite authors, and that I am wise to devour anything and everything she writes. Her voice is so clear and strong and beautiful, and she writes precisely the way I want to sound to myself and to others.
I’d love to chat more about books if you are interested, that would make my day!
Next up on my bookshelf are:
- “The Dance of the Dissident Daughter: A Woman’s Journey from Christian Tradition to the Sacred Feminine” by Sue Monk Kidd
- “Sabbath as Resistance: Saying No to the Culture of Now” by Walter Brueggemann
- “Learning to Walk in the Dark by Barbara Brown Taylor
- “A Long Obedience in the Same Direction: Discipleship in an Instant Society” by Eugene Peterson
- “Gift from the Sea” by Anne Morrow Lindberg
- “Love is an Orientation: Elevating the Conversation with the Gay Community” by Andrew Marin
- “The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance—What Women Should Know” by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman
- “My Mistress’s Sparrow Is Dead: Great Love Stories, from Chekhov to Munro” by Jeffrey Eugenides
Here we go, July!