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The Bookshelf, April 2019 #1

 

This is a Soul: the Mission of Rick Hodes, by Marilyn Berger. Rick works in Ethiopia among kids with serious back, or other health, issues. I loved reading about his work, kind of a Paul Farmer for back issues, or an Annalena Tonelli.

Running Down a Dream: Your Roadmap to Winning Creative Battles, by Tim Grahl. Tim shares personally and practically about his dark night of the soul in pursuing his creative dream, and how he dug his way out of it. $0.99!! Seriously. Ninety-nine cents. Go get it.

The Carrying, by Ada Limon, poems. Ada said in an interview, “I think poetry is a way of carrying grief, but it’s also a way of putting it somewhere so I don’t always have to heave it onto my back or in my body. The more I put grief in a poem, the more I am able to move freely through the world because I have named it, spoken it, and thrown it out into the sky.” Love.

Kindle Deals

Hidden Figures, $2.99. Probably, you’ve seen the movie. But have you read the book? Book before movie!

The Not-So United States of America, by Doug Mack. What do you really know about all of the USA?

What are you reading?

*affiliate links

The Bookshelf, March 2019 and Kindle Deals

Holy Envy: finding God in the faith of others, by Barbara Brown Taylor. Holy envy is right.

The Rock that is Higher, story as truth, by Madeline L’Engle. Could I have spent the past two weeks with any wiser women?

Invited, the power of hospitality in an age of loneliness, by Leslie Verner. I had the privilege of reading an ARC (advanced reader copy) of Leslie’s lovely book. If you don’t follow her at Scraping Raisins, you should.

Inside Al-Shabaab: the secret history of al-Qaeda’s most powerful ally, by Harun Maruf and Dan Joseph This is a must read for anyone interested in the Horn of Africa. Incredibly informative but far from boring in a textbook kind of way.

Mudhouse Sabbath: an invitation to a life of spiritual discipline, by Lauren Winner. Lauren grew up Jewish and converted to Christianity. In this book she writes about spiritual practice and how Judaism informs her Christian faith. It is lovely.

Running Down a Dream, by Tim Grahl. If you’re a writer or a dreamer, this book is for you. How to beat the Resistance and get the work DONE. Also, check out Tim’s website, for writers it is the best site for marketing that I’ve found.

Everything Happens for a Reason and other Lies I’ve Loved, by Kate Bowler. I read this last year, too. But now that I have cancer, I needed to read it again.

 

Kindle Deals (prices may have changed)

The Furious Longing of God, by Brennan Manning

Winter Hours, by Mary Oliver

The Tigress of Forli: Renaissance Italy’s Most Courageous and Notorious Countess, Caterina Riario Sforza de’ Medici, by Elizabeth Lev (a book I read in researching my book)

Among Schoolchildren, by Tracy Kidder

Searching for Sunday, by Rachel Held Evans

*contains affiliate links

The Bookshelf, August 2018

(post contains affiliate links)

This month I’m sharing books both my dad and I have loved and one he recommends, which I have not yet read, but its on my to-read list, once he finishes.

Made for These Times, by Justin Zoradi, a book about doing work that matters (fun fact: my brother-in-law is mentioned by name in this book).

The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown. An inspiring, historical sports story about the Olympics held in Germany before World War II and the US rowing team.

Barking to the Choir by Gregory Boyle. Excuse the multiple mentions in the past few months of this book. I bring it up again because of how deeply it impacted my dad. He stopped every chapter or so to wipe his eyes and read several paragraphs to my mom and I. It is a book that will change the way readers live and love.

The Day the Revolution Began by NT Wright. This had been on my to-read list but my library didn’t have it. Turns out, my dad has it and had filled it up with notes and thoughts. It is taking me a while to get through because I’m reading both the actual book and his notes.

Devil in the White City by Erik Larson. I love all of Larson’s work. This book is about the Chicago World’s Fair and an unsettling series of murders.

 

And here are the books I read this month.

Out of Sorts, by Sarah Bessey. It is about time. Finally, got my hands on this book and I love it. I love how she makes loving Jesus so beautiful, even in the middle of great, big questions.

The past few months have been rough for me and these words carried me through a challenging moment in the middle of August. I took Sarah’s words out of context and pasted them over my own wilderness. They birthed a sliver of hope, a hope I desperately needed and am still clinging to:

Set out pilgrim. Set out into the freedom and the wandering. Find your people. God is much bigger, wilder, more generous, and more wonderful than you imagined. On the other side of your wilderness, you may even find yourself reclaiming it all – the tradition, the habits, the language. You may be surprised someday to find yourself right back where you began, but with new eyes, a new heart, a new mind, a new life, and a wry smile. Now, instead of being whatever label you preferred, perhaps you can simply be a disciple, a pilgrim, out on the Way, following in the footsteps of the man from Nazareth. You aren’t condemned to wander forever. Remember now: after the wilderness comes deliverance.

Essentialism, the disciplined pursuit of less, by Greg McKeown. This is a helpful, challenging read, especially for Enneagram 3’s, which (coming clean), I believe I am. Making choices, cutting back, saying no. You know, easy stuff, like that.

You’re a Badass at Making Money by Jen Sincero. Mostly, I read this because it was available from my library and I’ve been on the waiting list for her other book: You’re a Badass, for so stinking long. I thought it might be a kind of preview, but it was also really interesting. (I’m not great at making money, hence, I read the book. I’m still not, but maybe I’m less scared of talking about money. Maybe.)

Grounded, by Diana Butler Bass, about finding God in nature, in humankind, in our daily mundane and average, stunning lives.

Two Hours, by Ed Caesar, about the work of trying to break two hours in the marathon (written before Nike’s attempt this past spring)

What are you reading?

What I’m Reading, July 2018

Or, what my 12-year old daughter is reading, for the young among us, and the young at heart (personally, I still love books for this age), some classics and some new-ish books. She’s a reader, keeping mom happy.

The Giver

The Westing Game

This Island Isn’t Big Enough for the Four of Us. Oh man, I still just love and love this book. I can’t read it out loud to the kids without laughing. I must have read it a hundred times as a kid.

The Inquisitor’s Tale, Or Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog. Could barely tear her away from this one.

The Scourge

I have a hard time reading much while we are in the US, there is just a lot more to do here. Things like axe-throwing events, frog-chasing, mini golf, multiple graduation open houses, and so much more. Plus, I have a massive stack of magazines that piles up while I’m away, because yes, I still prefer to read magazines in hard copy format rather than online. So I’ve had a lot of Runners World and New Yorker to catch up on.

The Day the Revolution Began, by N.T. Wright, about the meaning of the crucifixion of Jesus. The particular copy I’m reading is full of my dad’s underlinings and notes, which is fun and adds another perspective to the book.

Dance of the Dissident Daughter, by Sue Monk Kidd, about spirituality and femininity

The Destiny Thief, by Richard Russo, about the writing life

The Bookshelf, May 2018

I had a minor crisis earlier this month. I read all the books on my Kindle.

I had no more new books to read.

It was terrible.

Thankfully after a few days, my library queue caught up with me and I now have way too many books to read again. Here’s a few.

What I’m Reading

Barking to the Choir, by Gregory Doyle. Do I laugh? Do I cry? I do both. A Jesuit priest working with gang members in LA. “We find ourselves on the lookout for moments of spaciousness and calm, when our hearts can be restored again to a place of beauty, innocence, and wholeness. Then we can hear what the Sufis call, “the voice of the Beloved.”

The Art of Work by Jeff Goins, about valuing our creative work as writers

Moonlight Sonata at the Mayo Clinic by Nora Gallagher

Riverine by Angela Palm

Home, James, by Emily Steele Jackson, a novel about a young Third Culture Kid

The Monk of Mokha by Dave Eggers (mentions Djibouti!). I loved this book, a fun, informative read on coffee and a riveting ride through Yemen just as the war broke out.

No Man’s Land by Eula Biss (finally, this showed up in my library but I highlighted so much I should probably just buy it)

A Writer’s Diary by Virginia Woolf. I get bored sometimes, reading other people’s diaries, but I really appreciate how honest she is about the issues of pride and of receiving criticism well, or not.

Voices in the Air, poems by Naomi Shihab Nye. “Reading and writing poetry gives us more yutori – a place to stand back and contemplate what we are living and experiencing. More spaciousness in being, more room in which to listen.” (Yutori is a Japanese word meaning essentially, life-space)

Original Blessing, by Danielle Shoyer. Another book in which I highlighted something on nearly every page. “Original blessing is the stubborn assertion not that we are perfect, but that we are loved. And this love has the power to transform even our shadows into light.”

 

What are you reading?