A few days ago we all sat down for a little coffee date and I told you guys that I’ve tried to start reading a lot more lately. When I was younger I would just feast on books for hours, losing myself in different worlds, learning new things, and growing in ways that only reading books can do. As college came and went, so did my reading for the pure enjoyment of it, something that I regret deeply. I feel like there are so many years where creativity was lost on me, and there’s a peace that I get from devouring the written word. All that to say that thankfully I’m taking the time to start reading again, and here’s a short list of the most recent books!
7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker Besides the fact that I just feel like Jen and I could be best friends in real life (WOOHOO for Texans!), this is by far my favorite book as of late. If there was anything I needed to run far away from it’s excess in this life. The book is thoughtful and hilarious, and (full disclosure warning) will absolutely turn your life upside down in such a GOOD way. Every single chapter truly spoke to my heart, but the chapters on food, clothing and waste were especially poignant. I really can’t recommend this book enough!
Don’t Make Me Count to Three by Ginger Plowman We actually read this one for a mom’s bible study at church, and word on the street is that it’s a pretty controversial book because it does endorse spanking. HOWEVER I have to say that the best part of the entire book for me was the introduction. Whatever method a loving mother chooses to discipline her children, the fact is that discipline is important. The introduction is just a really solid reminder that it’s out of love that we teach our children right from wrong, that we teach them that their desires and emotions, while important, shouldn’t be the things that rule their lives. I just felt truly encouraged as a mother through the intro to the book, and would recommend any mom read it on that alone.
1000 Gifts by Anne Voskamp A couple of things here: I actually didn’t really adore the way this book was written; it was almost too poetic for my taste. It certainly is beautifully written though! BUT – and this is important – the heart behind it makes it one of the biggest influences in the changes I’m making in my life these days. It will make you so very thankful for every little detail of your life, and it makes me feel like I’ve truly begun to LIVE when I take the time to honestly and earnestly thank God for every bit of my life.
The Hole in Our Gospel by Richard Stearns Talk about conviction – this is the book to read if you know that you need to be motivated to help make a change in this world. Richard Stearns is the president of World Vision, and as such has been in places of the world and met people of the world where no one else bothers to know what’s going on there. I will be honest here: I spent the majority of the book with a box of tissue by my side and read it through tear-filled eyes. It will change your heart, again in the best way possible, and it won’t be comfortable, but it will be a gift from God.
Cold Tangerines by Shauna Niequest I am about 70% of the way through this book and I love it! As Shauna says in the beginning, it’s a celebration of the stories in her life. I love this idea – that all of our stories bring us closer to God and that all of our stories deserve to be celebrated for what they are. I can’t wait to finish it and move on to her second book, Bittersweet, soon after.
Help, Thanks, Wow by Anne Lamott I bought this book a few short days after the Sandy Hook tragedy on a whim after seeing it on a bookshelf at Barnes & Noble. Anne Lamott is one of my favorite authors ever – the way she speaks is both painfully true and beautifully hilarious, all mixed together in a big word cocktail. I loved that this was a short read and spoke very clearly about the three main things we pray about; more than anything it really made me examine the things that I pray about and how I talk to the Lord.
So what about you guys? What have you been reading lately? Any book recommendations? I know these are all in the nonfiction genre, but I love a good fiction book too!