Hit the Books, the Second Half
Last week, I posted the first half of my favorite reads this year. Welcome to the second half.
The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Society, Annie Barrows & Mary Ann Shaffer (fiction)
Such a jewel of a read, this shows how language can connect people no matter what’s going on in the world. A London writer receives a letter from a member of a book society— a society formed across the English Channel in the midst of World War II. Their relationship begins with the exchange of letters, proving the power of words over & over again. I don’t want to say too much more about this one for fear of giving something away– just take my word along with the New York Times (bestseller’s list!). I’ve never thought much of living on an island, but this book has me dreaming of an English isle visit in my future.
For the Love, Jen Hatmaker (memoir)
Jen Hatmaker is my spirit animal. Everything she writes makes me want to stand up & cheer. Even though I swore I wouldn’t succumb to being just another fan waiting for a handshake & hello, I did get to hug her in her backyard a few months ago, & I didn’t hate it. For the Love is your favorite get-together with a close friend—you have the ability to go from parenting struggles to fashion to Jesus to recipes in a quick hour. You can cry & laugh in the same sitting & get up feeling not only completely normal and relieved but also empowered. This is my kind of read.
Favorite Quote: “This really is your one wild and precious life. You matter so much. You are writing a good story for your children. Your community and church need you, your neighbors and family need you, God adores you and Jesus is obsessed with you.” (204)
Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand, Helen Simonson (fiction)
Major Earnest Pettigrew is opinionated, proper, & always makes time for an afternoon cup of tea. A retired widower, he leads a quiet routine until an unlikely friendship forms with the local shopkeeper. Polar opposite backgrounds allow them to learn from each other while helping one another navigate family struggles. The major is not your typical hero, but he is a hero, & I love him.
The Meaning of Marriage, Timothy Keller (memoir)
Blake & I have read a few books on marriage together, but this one I can almost guarantee we’ll read again in the course of our marriage. Reading Timothy Keller is like joining in on an incredibly wise yet intimate conversation with someone you admire greatly. His knack for unfolding stories and sharing wisdom over questions & issues every couple faces is such the gift. Encouragement & challenge are melded together helping readers take an internal look at our own hearts, growing to be the partner & person we were created to be.
Favorite Quote: “To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial. To be known and not loved is our greatest fear. But to be fully known and truly loved is, well, a lot like being loved by God. It is what we need more than anything.” (101)
Daring Greatly, Brené Brown (memoir)
I heard about Brené Brown because Jen Hatmaker references her a handful of times in For the Love. This is a read for anyone who wants to be a strong leader for their community, workplace, and family. To lead well, we must be able to connect, and to connect, we must learn the ability to be vulnerable. Brené Brown is an empathy and shame researcher so not only do we see her share from her own memory pool, but we read the thoughts of many people she interviews.
Favorite Quote: “When we stop caring about what people think, we lose our capacity for connection. When we become defined by what people think, we lose our willingness to be vulnerable. If we dismiss all the criticism, we lose out on important feedback, but if we subject ourselves to the hatefulness, our spirits get crushed. It’s a tightrope, shame resilience is the balance bar, and the safety net below is the one or two people in our lives who can help us reality-check the criticism and cynicism.” (169)
Books on my shelf waiting anxiously to be read:
Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert
Carry On, Warrior, Glennon Doyle Melton
Simply Tuesday, Emily P. Freeman
You and Me Forever: Marriage in Light of Eternity, Francis Chan
I’m always looking for more reads, so tell me your favorites!