Friday, March 20, 2015

Book Stack


Things are prone to changing around here, but the one thing that never, ever does is the teetering stack of books by my bed. And on my floor. And strewn around the entire house.

I'm heart-deep right now in a book I'll have to tell you about in a separate post because it's EVERYTHING and I don't have enough words for it.

For now, this is the rest of the stack. Some I've finished, some I haven't. One I won't.

From the top!

Orphan Train - Christina Baker Kline
My friend Kim loaned this to me but I haven't started it yet. Kim and I go together like Santitas and salsa, yet we've struggled to find common ground with books. More specifically, she likes what I pass on to her and I grumble and grouse about her recommendations. Our only conclusion is that I'm the problem, and I can't say I disagree. This one might change all of that.

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success - Carol S. Dweck
I have a child who seems to hold the opinion that since he is smart, he should never have to try. At almost anything. This perplexing "condition" inspires me to whack my head against the wall. A wise woman who loves him very much suggested this book to Cory and I. She has a similar son and it helped them tremendously. Stay tuned. (ps - It's possible that I was afflicted by the same condition from grades K-now, a fact my mom recently reminded me of. I'm pleading the 5th.)

Paper Hearts - Courtney Walsh
My friend Courtney wrote this and it's so much fun. I just hear her voice when I read it. It makes me smile! Courtney is completely hilar and humble and rad, all qualities which shine through in her fiction. I'm not quite finished with this one, but close!

You're Loved No Matter What: Freeing Your Heart From the Need to Be Perfect - Holley Gerth
Haven't started it yet, but I've heard great things about this new title from Holley.

The Beautiful Daughters - Nicole Baart
I have loved everything Nicole has written. She started out writing Christian Fiction, and I discovered her somewhere along the line as she was transitioning to traditional publishing. Her writing is lyrical and her stories are real. The Beautiful Daughters is available right now for pre-orders and will officially drop in April.

The Beauty of Grace: Stories of God's Love by Today's Most Popular Writers - Dawn Camp
So many of my friends are in this one! I can't wait to clear the deck and start it.

The New Parish: How Neighborhood Churches are Transforming Mission, Discipleship, and Community - Sparks, Soerns, and Friesen
I started stalking DL Mayfield a year or so ago and willingly submitted myself to her bossing-around immediately. We look at the world in a similar way, leaving just enough room for debate to keep things interesting. When she posted a picture of this book on Instagram, I went to Amazon and bought it in a nanosecond. (I haven't started it yet because I'm too busy loving another one of her suggestions...)

Scary Close: Dropping the Act and Finding True Intimacy - Donald Miller
There's a lot of hype about this one, but I'm three chapters in and I'm hooked. I'll have plenty more to say about it.

Looking for Alaska - John Green
I mean, John Green. Be mine forever, John! Keep being intelligent and witty in my ear! His writing is remarkable, and totally PG-13, so just be aware. I gobble up his words. I don't know what it is exactly, but he grabs me. This isn't my favorite JG read, but I still adored it.

Making Piece: A Memoir of Love, Loss and Pie - Beth M. Howard
The title! The cover art! Beth Howard lives in the American Gothic house in Iowa (the one in the famous painting). I'd heard about her. When I stumbled on her book, it was a WIN and when I read the introduction, I was ready to faint dead away from a pie-induced coma of literary excellence. But then I kept reading and it lost me. I only made it to chapter three before I returned it to the library. The truth is, it pains me to ever say anything remotely negative about a book.  It's like saying someone's child isn't cute. You just can't go there. It's all in the eye of the beholder, etc...Maybe I didn't give it enough time? At the end of the day though, these books aren't going to read themselves. Sacrifices must be made.

What are you reading?
I'm all ears.


Literally.

*all of these are Amazon affiliate links, which means if you buy one, I'll get a tiny bit of the $, which will allow me to buy more books, which means if my kitchen floors never do get mopped, it's sort of on your heads. Go in peace.

27 comments:

  1. Oh my gosh. This made me laugh, "The truth is, it pains me to ever say anything remotely negative about a book. It's like saying someone's child isn't cute". It's true, isn't it? I love when you show us your book stack. I haven't done one in a while. I'm in the middle of three books right now, which kind of has me feeling crazy. The Sacred Year, by Michael Yankowski, The Elite, by Kiera Cass, Art Inc by Lisa Congdon, and, ironically enough, Essentialism, by Greg McKeown (I put it down so I could "focus" on the other three. . . ). Oh! I also have started Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist, and I have Scary Close waiting for me - my son snatched it away before I could get to it. Thankfully. (No wonder I feel scattered lately!!)

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    1. Did Emily put you up to reading Essentialism? I feel like I need to find that one. Have heard a little about The Sacred Year, too.
      So many books! So little time!
      I always tell Cory that's the one aspect of jail that sounds positively awesome. :)

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    2. I don't know Emily well enough for her to put me up to it (that would be awesome though!!). Currently she has no idea who I am. However - I did see it on Myquillyn's blog (also has no idea who I am) when she was going through her resting phase - which totally appealed to me. So it ultimately it probably DID all start with Emily! ;-) I just finished my teen lit fiction, so I'm going to try to get on to something a little more. . . um, adult?

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  2. I feel like I either make time to read or binge on Netflix. I go back and forth with which one floats my boat. I was in the middle of Desperate, and I really do like it. Then my daughter broke her arm, another kid got a snot thing happening, etc, etc, so I decided to focus on Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on Netflix. Best decision I made all week.

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    1. Isn't unbreakable kimmy Schmidt so funny? I'm not even totally a sitcom girl but I've been binge watching with my dh this week. It's nice to laugh and not think too hard.

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    2. Isn't unbreakable kimmy Schmidt so funny? I'm not even totally a sitcom girl but I've been binge watching with my dh this week. It's nice to laugh and not think too hard.

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  3. reading The Hardest Peace by Kara Tippetts. brutiful, to coin Glennon Doyle Melton. so hard to read, but can't stop.

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  4. Oh, how I LOVE it when you show us your book stack!! Gotta tell you, home girl, pretty much stick to the ones you love and read those, too!!

    I'm reading "Interrupted" by Jen Hatmaker.

    Was a little afraid to start it. Now, I'm praying, as she did, "God, raise up in me a holy passion".

    Waiting to see what He has planned!

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  5. Confession. I seldom read books (faith books) other than the bible. This is merely a fact, not me judging or trying to sound holy. Had I more spiritual wisdom perhaps I could sift through mining truth and discarding deception, but at the moment I do not.

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  6. I love when you do these posts...you help keep my shelves full:). Finished Scary Close a few weeks ago, now reading To Kill a Mockingbird, Hand to Mouth by Linda Tirado and Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson--SO good. On deck: The Allure of Gentleness by Dallas Willard and Searching for Sunday by Rachel Held Evans (not out yet...)

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  7. I went on a reading binge during our February snow breaks from school. By far the most captivating books I read were Half Broke Horses and The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls. I read Half Broke Horses first and I'm so glad I did. These are a MUST READ!!! I also recommend The Round House by Louise Erdrich. I also read The Witch of Blackbird Pond (my adolescent favorite!) as my 12 yr old son read it for school and Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library along with my 10 yr old daughter. Both were great!

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  8. The Fifty Year Silence, a beautifully written memoir about WWII survivors and family.
    Love Does
    Getting ready to start Blue Like Jazz. I love the recommendations I have found through bloggers like you.

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  9. Just finished Radical by David Platt. Excellent wake up call out of the typical American dream. In the middle of Instruments in the Redeemers Hand: People in Need of Change Helping People in Need of Change by Paul Tripp. SO GOOD (as are ALL his books). Also started Admiring God: The Best of George Muller by Roger Steer. I'm on a mission to read all about and of Muller, his faith and his mission. Also in middle of Tempted and Tried by Russel Moore (a great dig into to roots and process of temptation and how Jesus handled it) and finally How We Got the Bible by Neil Lightfoot. I need to better understand (and be able to defend) the history of the formation of THE book!! I can never finish one book before starting another!!
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    1. Radical rocked our dang world 4 or 5 years ago!
      Thanks for the other suggestions, too.

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  10. Try Voice of the Heart by Chip Dodd. It's a book that will give you lots of "aha" and "oh my goodness" moments as he explains how God created us and how to understand our neediness of Him. Crazy good book!

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  11. Orphan Train is a wonderful story. It is our communities One City/One Book choice this year.

    I also recommend A Parents Guide to Gifted Children by James T Webb. It's a little academic, but will definitely help with the understanding of that "I'm smart so I don't have to try" thinking. I have one of those who just hit high school, and is struggling with the idea that he does, in fact, have to "try".

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  12. I've been into Beth Moore Bible studies to expand upon my personal understanding of His Word. I've also been reading EVERYTHING ever written by Rachel Joyce. She paints such strong, emotional pictures with her words. First I read " The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry." A beautifully written book that will break your heart and heal it, all at the same time. Then I read " The Love Song of Queenie Hennessy". Again, so beautifully filled with words and descriptions that touch you right down to your soul. Makes you think long after the last page is turned. It makes you want to be a better person. It makes you want to be a good friend to others, and take joy in the small things. I wish that I could write like Rachel Joyce.

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  13. i am an unabashed fan of YA lit. i suspect i am just not mature enough to appreciate normal people literature, bc i want my characters colorful, my romance angsty, my dialogue snarky, ie teen lit.

    i have a soft spot for alaska as she was my first date with JG, followed by katherines, paper towns, the tiny cooper one and then the fault in our stars. probably stars was his best work but my fave at this point is paper towns. though i may have told you alaska in a comment/email a couple years back?? i'm inconsistent and unreliable like that.

    more recently i enjoyed the winner's curse, but again be warned that it's very teen litty. the second title, the winner's crime, just about killed my belief in the humanity of ya authors, because WHY COULD K&A NOT HAVE FIVE MINUTES OF BEING ON THE SAME PAGE?? throw me a literary bone here, ms rutoski. but no worries, i shall just place my heart on pause till the last book comes out. it's all good.

    i should probably log out and post this comment anonymously, but eh. i'm at that point in life where one just has to embrace one's inner-tween.

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  14. Mindset is a game changer. I am a teacher/mama and I not only use it in my home, but my classroom as well. Turned my head upside down and opened my eyes. Love it.
    I'm reading Language of Flowers right now and loving it.
    I'm curious to see how you like John Green's book, it has been on my "to read" list for some time. Happy reading!

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    1. I've read the John Green book, and I loved it! Have loved all 3 of his that I've read.

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  15. I recently read The Orphan Train and really liked it! I hope you do to! There are parts of it that are hard but such is life. Give it a chance:)

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  16. I love your book stack recommendations even if I seldom get them all read. A book that is really making me think is Longing for God by Foster and Beebe. Check it out!

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  17. LOVE John Green and Donald Miller. Alaska is definitely one of my favorites. Have you read Paper Towns?

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