It seems there are two types of readers in the world: the ones who only read one book at a time, and the ones who are always actively reading at least 3 at once. I have always been the latter.
I simply cannot imagine how else I would have gotten through thick (excellent) biographies like Bonhoeffer without simultaneously re-reading a Harry Potter classic. How would I know what mood I’d be in?! This is basically the same logic used when I pack 7 outfits for a 2-night getaway. Obviously.
Also, though it takes longer to finish one book while reading three, I typically end up finishing them all within a few days of each other, making me feel incredibly accomplished. It’s a win-win.
Without further ado, here’s what I’ve read lately:
In this case, a beautiful cover did equal a beautiful book. I saw Rebekah speak at the IF:Gathering in February, and then I immediately went out and bought her book. She talks about anxiety in women, and how the stats are up to 1 in 4 women on some sort of anxiety or depression medication. Those are staggering statistics, but this book, written in memoir form, tells her own personal story through anxiety, hope, transitions, and Jesus. I absolutely loved it. Not enough people are talking about this, and the issue is only going to become more prominent. Worth a look.
2. The Language of Flowers byVanessa Diffenbaugh (2011)
True confession:: I 100% picked this book because it was a bestseller and duh– it’s supposed to be about flowers. Well, it just was not nearly as lovely & whimsical as I had hoped. The story follows a girl aging out of the foster care system in San Fransisco, who has an affinity for flowers and their meanings. I was intrigued by the story, though saddened at the same time. For those interested in the foster care system, this is a valuable story, but don’t go in with happy expectations.
3. Daring Greatly by Brene Brown (2013)
I saw Brene speak at Catalyst a couple years ago, and wasn’t sure what to think of her. She stuck out in a room full of ministry leaders, as her official job title is something along the lines of “shame and vulnerability researcher.” See? I just don’t really have a box for that one. This book kept coming up though, in blogs, books, and random conversations, so I decided to give it a try. It was extremely research-heavy, (clearly) so not for the faint of heart, but she is spot-on. We run from opportunities to be vulnerable, when life is found in these moments of daring greatly. I liked it, but this probably shouldn’t be your summer beach read.
4. Let Me Be a Woman by Elisabeth Elliot (1999)
This has been a year I wanted to intentionally study what the Bible has to say about femininity, so in between Scripture passages I’ve perused through books on the subject. This one, hands down, is the best I’ve read on the subject. Elisabeth Elliot is one of my heroes, so I tend to love everything she writes. This one is a compilation of letters she wrote to her daughter during her daughter’s engagement. I found it so interesting how relevant each letter still is, even a few decades later.
5. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (2012)
Everyone has been talking about this book for months, so it was really only a matter of time until I picked it up. Hollywood already has a movie in the works, and whether you read it or wait for the silver screen, bring a box of tissues. I see why it’s a bestseller: the prose is exquisite, the story simultaneously captivating and heartbreaking, and it’s a quick easy read. It’s good, by all literary and human standards, but goodness. These characters need hope. (Sidenote: this is why I love reading non-Christian fiction. If reading gives one an insight into the minds of humanity and helps us build empathy, then here’s a golden opportunity to gain some perspective.) Worth your time, but consider it a PG-13 rating.
Besides that I’m still not entirely sure how to pronounce the author’s first (or last) name, I adored this book. It’s written in a memoir format, and fights for the idea of living a simple life. What’s not to love? Tsh spent several years living abroad, and this shaped her ideas of what was “necessary” in life. She may come off a little strong in a couple of areas, but she’s such a gracious lovely writer I barely noticed. Also, I’m all for living simply. I recommend it!
Of course, I also wrote a whole post about Malala’s book and how much I loved it, so feel free to shift it to the top of the reading list. Then of course add in a couple more, because why read one book when you can read three?!