With the beginning of the year came so many good books! And, sadly, so little time to read them. At least in my life. 2016 started out with a bang, and I feel like I’m never going to recover – engagements, bridal showers, and birthday parties will soon become weddings, summer trips, and more birthdays. When I need to regain my sanity amidst the crazy, I find myself cancelling plans for the evening (sorry not sorry) and curling up on my couch. Or, what happened earlier this week, finding a spot in the crazy Trader Joes line that reached halfway to the back of the store, pulling out the book I always carry with me, and enjoying my half hour wait. I’m nothing if not always prepared!
So what’s everyone reading right now?? What’s next on your list? What’s worth adding to mine?
The Problem of Pain, CS Lewis
Okay, friends, don’t judge me. I’m still reading this. It’s so dense! And I keep getting sidetracked. Lewis is the type of author you need a good hour to devote to reading a chapter and soaking it in… and right now, I rarely have time for that. The few times I do, I’m slowly but surely making my way through this, and it’s wonderful.
For the Love, Jen Hatmaker
I knew nothing of Hatmaker before picking this up, so it was kind of a surprise to find out she has her own TV show and a handful of books. She is hilarious! She doesn’t hold anything back, and I love it. I’m almost done, as I can’t seem to put it down, and I’m sad to see it end. Great thoughts on everything from life in the church and non profit work to supper club and yoga pants. I’m a fan of it all.
No Matter the Wreckage, Sarah Kay
I’ve been a fan of Sarah Kay’s since I first saw her TED talk. She has a way with words that kills me – I stalk her spoken word on YouTube more often than I care to admit. I don’t know why it’s taken me this long to pick up her poetry, but I am loving it!
Out Of Sorts, Sarah Bessey
OH MY GOSH. Ohmygosh. That is my initial reaction to this book. It’s no secret I fangirl over Bessey hardcore. So much so, that I got to meet her last month and awkwardly mumbled 3 sentences to her, got her to sign my book, and ran away. ANYWAY – this book is a love letter. A love letter to those who have felt jilted by their faith, a love letter to those who’s faith seems to be changing and it’s scary, a love letter to those who’s faith seem, well, out of sorts, and mostly it’s a love letter to Jesus. Her experiences and her thoughts are so real and so raw, wrapped up in a poetic bow, given as a gift to us all. I know it’s only March, but I’m already calling it: this is the best book of 2016.
Modern Romance, Aziz Ansari
This. Is. So. Good. All my friends know I read this, because I can’t stop talking about it. Literally. This book is fascinating. I’m not sure if it would be as interesting to someone who isn’t currently single, as it’s about dating and romance in today’s society, so fair warning. But I loved it. Not only is Aziz hilarious, and throws in random food references (the way to my heart), but he teams up with some amazing researchers and puts together a really detailed study on various parts of romance in various cultures. I was equally laughing out loud as well as jaw-dropping from different findings. So, so, so good!
Me Before You, Jojo Moyes
Did I go home and order this book immediately after seeing a trailer for the upcoming movie?? MAYBE. I’m a sucker for reading novels-about-to-become-movies: partly because they typically pick good books, partly because there’s nothing I hate more than watching a movie before reading the book. Sometimes you get an okay story, sometimes you get a this-should-have-simply-been-
a-movie-and-never-a-book (cough Fault in Our Stars cough), sometimes you get something amazing. Me Before You is that something amazing – not only a story that captivates you, but a deep look at life as a whole. You’ll start to look at your life differently, and you’ll definitely start crying at some parts…. (even me, heartless Krysti Wilkinson, needed some tissues).
How to be Single, Liz Tuccillo
Remember how I just said I hate watching a movie before reading the book? That’s exactly what I did here. I saw this movie with some friends and was pleasantly surprised! A week or so later discovered it was a novel (did everyone else know this? Did I simply miss that in the credits? I had no idea). Figuring I was pleasantly surprised once, it could happen twice, I went ahead and gave it a try. The weird thing is, this book and movie have nothing in common. Okay, they have one thing in common: the story centers on a handful of women in New York. So… they have that in common with fifty other movies and probably hundreds of books. The book was an interesting read, more so because I had just finished Modern Romance and they made similar comments about romance and singleness in various cultures. Overall I’d say nothing amazing, but not bad!
See Me, Nicholas Sparks
Let me just be real vulnerable here: I read every single Nicholas Sparks book. Every. Single. One. And then, obviously, watch the horribly made movies (typically on Redbox, because they are never worth $10). I’m not perfect and neither are you, so allow me this embarrassing indulgence, okay? I feel like Sparks used to write really intriguing, heart warming, deep stories. (Maybe?) Now it feels like he keeps recycling various parts of various plots and putting new names on the characters. See Me was like a mixture of 4 of his past novels, but with a Mexican family thrown in (ooh, Spanish!) … yet I still read it and will still read his next one. I’m embarrassing. Moving on.
A Cure for Suicide, Jesse Ball
I found this book on one of those “best of 2015” lists, so I didn’t really have a reference point for it. It’s so weird. Maybe it was over my head, maybe it was supposed to be artistic, maybe it will be this wonderful social commentary 50 years from now. But… I thought it was weird.
I Have In My Possession and Can’t Wait to Start… (aka SO MANY)
Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age, Sherry Turkle
The nerd in me is so excited to read this – the manner in which we communicate has always been fascinating to me. Then Ansari quotes Turkle a few times in Modern Romance, which got me even more excited!
Traveling Mercies, Anne Lamott
I’ve forever heard great things about this book and Lamott in general
Start Something That Matters, Blake Mycoskie
It’s no secret that I’m rather obsessed with Toms Shoes. A friend of mine got me this, penned by the founder, and I’m excited to get some more insight from Mycoskie.
The Martian, Andy Weir
My brother has been bugging me to read this for so long, he finally bought me a copy (so he didn’t have to lend me his…). When I finally read it, I finally get to allow myself to see the movie!
Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn
I know, I know – I’M SO BEHIND. Jumping on the band wagon, trying to keep up with everyone over here.
Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances, Neil Gaimon
I fell in love with Gaimon last year, his dark and creepy fairy tale-esque stories are so captivating! I’ve heard really good things about this collection of short stories.
Life of the Beloved, Henri Nouwen
I’m not really sure if you’re allowed to be a Christian and not have read anything by Nouwen, so I’m trying to rectify that quickly…
Spinster: Making a Life of One’s Own, Kate Bolick
I stumbled upon this book while in the Feminist section of Powell’s earlier this month (yes, I am such a cliche). It looks pretty great and right up my alley.
Daring Greatly, Brene Brown
I am such a fan of all of Brown’s work! This is one of her most talked about books, that’s been sitting on my shelf for a while now, oops.
The Type, Sarah Kay
More of Kay’s poetry!