What’s On My Bookshelf

It’s been a while since we’ve talked books here, and since books are basically one of my love languages, it’s high time we rectify that.  We’ll pretend that I’m not sitting at the library listening to some chick talking on the phone (nevermind the ‘phones off’ sign) and that you’re not reading this on your screen, but instead that we’re sitting on my couch with two mugs of fresh brewed coffee with frothed milk and maple syrup.  Sound good?  K.

A Mile Wide by Brandon Hatmaker

I can usually tell the impact that a book has on me by how much underlining I do throughout it.  Well, this one is underlined-UP.  I actually want to reread this book with my husband 1) because we’re quirky like that and like to read books together and 2) I think it would lead to some GREAT conversations.

From the back cover of the book: “In A Mile Wide, Hatmaker invites those of us tired of living Sunday to Sunday, exhausted by a mile-wide-but-an-inch-deep religion, to gain a fresh perspective on everything we think we know about faith – from identity to discipleship to community, to doing justice, and more.  By taking a second look at how the gospel works in us and continues to work through us, we will find it has the power to change everything.”

Y’all.  This book is RICH.  Hatmaker not only put into words some of the thoughts and struggles I’d had for years about the way church is ‘done’ at times, but he also challenged me, especially in the way I view community.  As a work-at-home wife and non-native to the town I’m living in, my church has been about my only source of community for the past few years.  Don’t get me wrong – it’s GOOD community.  But it’s also made for a very small, same-minded circle at times.  The pages of this book gently nudged me out of my introverted comfort zone and into the bigger story of missional living where I am right now, whether that looks like starting a conversation with the neighbors when we meet at the mailbox or chatting with the girl working out next to me at the gym.  This is definitely one to reread and marinate in.

*I was honored to be on the launch team to help promote the book before it actually releases (September 13 – mark your calendars!).  Not a hard job at all.  Run. Run quickly to your computer or bookstore or whatever and pre-order this book – or get it next week!  You won’t be sorry.*

Audacious by [Moore, Beth]

Audacious by Beth Moore

This quote: “If you’ll be obedient to God – and I mean truly obedient, not obnoxious, overbearing, and intolerable – the consequences of your obedience will be His problem, not yours.”  Lord help.  How many times have I equated my level of obedience as a prescription for others’ obedience?  Hashtag obnoxious.  Or, worry myself sick over all the possible outcomes of my obedience before I ever take the first step, forgetting that the consequences are up to Him, not me.  I’ve been a Beth Moore fan for years, and her latest served as another nudge towards intentional, missional living.  Thanks, BH and BM for tag-teaming up on me. 🙂

Read this if you feel like you’ve lost a part of yourself, your love for Jesus, or maybe both, to the endless list of ‘shoulds’ and demands in your life.  Or if you find that hopelessness has made itself at home in your soul, and you’re too scared to even imagine what it would look like to really love Jesus radically and live your life fully.

A Million Little Ways by Emily P. Freeman

One of my goals this year was to read five books on writing.  Considering that this is book number one and it’s already September, I think it’s safe to say I may not make it to numero cinco.  But this was SUCH a great one to start with.  I’ve been reading through it slowly, a chapter a week or so.  Emily’s words read like lyrics to a song, giving your soul permission to uncover that thing (or things) that makes you come alive and embrace it not just as a funny little quirk, but as God’s design for you.  Read this if you’ve ever questioned those little dreams and desires stirring around inside your heart and thought that there was surely no space for them in real life.

Attaching in Adoption: Practical Tools for Today's Parents by [Gray, Deborah D.]

Attaching in Adoption by Deborah D. Gray

While not necessarily required reading, this one reads almost like a textbook, or maybe handbook is a better word.  We borrowed this book from our social worker during this adoption process (because needing to learn all the things!).  It took me a WHILE to finish, mostly because it was so full of information that I needed time to process before moving on.  Deborah Gray is basically an expert on all things adoption and in helping adoptive families bond and address attachment issues together.  This is one that we’ll probably end up buying and sticking on the bookshelf, running to check when we have a freak-out moment thinking “what in the world do we do in this situation?”  Deborah Gray to the rescue.

The Nest by [Sweeney, Cynthia D'Aprix]

The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

This was a Summer Reading List pick (never mind that it’s already September).  Anne Bogel is basically a book whisperer, and I was on pins and needles back in May waiting for her annual summer list to come out.  Because she has excellent taste and I LOVE browsing a good, curated book list…and also because my Goodreads to-read list doesn’t quite have enough books on it yet.  Ahem.  This one was just ok for me, although I’m not completely sure why.  The characters were really well developed and memorable and I found myself pulling for them – even the ones who consistently did stupid things.  I think I’ve just been more in the mood for books that give me all the ‘warm fuzzies’ (like Anne of Green Gables, which I’m currently rereading for the 23rd time.  And it’s only $0.99 on Kindle right now!), and this one just didn’t do it for me.  Grade: ‘A’ on the character development, ‘C’ on the warm fuzzies.

PS – This review based on ‘warm fuzzies’ would probably drive my husband – and others –  crazy.  I guess that’s what you get when an INFP does book reviews.

Still Life by Louise Penny

This was another pick from Anne Bogel’s summer list.  I LOVED this one.  This is book one in a series following Chief Inspector Gamache as he investigates small-town murders in the province of Quebec.  I was attempting to describe the book to my hubby by saying it was like Anne of Green Gables meets The Mitford series meets Gilmore Girls meets murder mystery.  He looked at me like, “how can any of those things possibly go together?”  Probably a legit question.  It really is though!  The descriptions of the small Canadian town in fall, the likeable, quirky cast of characters, the mystery unraveling bit by bit…so good.  This is definitely a series I’ll be digging deeper into.


That’s it for now.  Any good recommendations for a fall reading list?  Harry Potter is perfect for fall I know, but the hubby and I just recently finished those…

*Book links are Amazon affiliate links*


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