Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Summer Book Stack

Sometime back in May I found myself entirely fed up with learning. I was sick to death of taking in information, not to mention processing all of it. As Silas would say, I was feeling "bad in my body and in my head."

I felt like the whole world was bossing me and like I was over-bossing myself, along with everyone in my near proximity.

My gift to myself and the rest of us, I decided, would be a ban on learning for the duration of summer vacation. Shocking no one more than myself, I displayed stunning early follow-through with an eleventh-hour opt-out of Ruby and Silas's tennis lessons. Next, I funneled my momentum toward trashing the Library reading club flier and renewing my vows to all the old recipes languishing in the dusty corners of my culinary canon rather than dog-earing magazines like I've been known to do. Nevermind, homemade Tikka Misala! Ive got no time for your required ingredient scavenger hunts. Not this summer. This summer we will. not. learn. We're plum wore out.

My Summer of No Learning trucked smoothly down the rails for about 16 hours, until I decided to bake my first carrot cake from scratch for my dad and intriguing books kept showing up on my door. (Man across the street: "The Fed left you a package while you were gone." The Fed!)

I took one look at their smooth pages and gleaming covers and said to myself, "Nope."
Short story long, all bets are off.

I'm hopping between books like a spazzed-out toad with all the lily pads to himself.
My brain seems to want to keep learning, and I'm not just saying that because I dreamed (again!) last night that I was back in college, casually forgetting to attend classes for an entire semester.

It's summertime, and not to brag, but we keep accidentally learning thing - the differences between various types of sharks, the best route to my hometown in Ohio, how to wire water-speakers into our TV system, how to reboot Netflix after said water-speaker fiasco, how to cut plastic straws into miniature, pink front-tooth caps, the magic of chia seeds in strawberry jam, and the surest way to move beyond old wounds.

Since we've already ruined the plan, we might as well keep reading all of the books. As it turns out, it can't be helped.

What are you learning this summer?

I'm all ears.

And unfortunately, I still mean that quite literally.

Book Stack Details
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates*
Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv
Laugh With the Moon by Shana Burg*
Giddy Up, Eunice by Sophie Hudson*
Loving My Actual Life by Alexandra Kuykendall
A Mile Wide by Brandon Hatmaker*
Worth Living by Mary DeMuth
Subversive Jesus by Craig Warren Greenfield
The Locust Effect by Gary Haugen

 * I've read all of these in the past couple of weeks and I am ON A ROLL. I loved all of them!


  1. A Girl Named Zippy! Picked it up randomly off my mom's bookshelf (she had found it on a resort bookshelf on one of her and my dad's many wanderings). Memoir, set in a small Midwest town, funny child narrator.

    1. Haven Kimmel is one of my favorite authors! She even makes a sneaky guest appearance in Falling Free. ;)

    2. Yay! Oh man, I should have known you Indiana girls would stick together! Also reading Orange is the New Black and having all of the prison feels (as I imagine you do quite often).

  2. I'm Learning too keep bee's and it turns out This is also my Summer to learn about caregiving and palliative care and therefor about letting go. In between we learn about constructive dialogue in our marriage and just for fun I'm trying to bake my own pide (Turkish bread). Spellcheck wants to change it in life. But I've already learned I can't bake my life 😃

  3. Oh my word!!! As a 6th grade Science teacher..... I LOVE that you are reading Last Child in the Woods!

  4. "a spazzed-out toad" bahahaha. I just finished Amy Poehler's Yes Please, and am about to start Help Thanks Wow by Anne Lamott. Apparently I like to be the last one to read things. ;)

    1. Does it help your ego to learn that I have read neither?? :)

    2. It totally does! Ha! And now add Help Thanks Wow to your summer list. It's a short read and a great perspective!

  5. life is hard because there are eleventy million books i want to read, but how do you buy! all! the! books! so many dollar bills. so worth it, i know, but just how??? help me out.

    1. Well, I budget $20/month for books and I'm not above trashing that budget when necessary. But mostly, I get a lot of books for free. Hate me. (Actually, please don't.)

  6. "We keep accidentally learning things." Ha!
    Thoughts on Greenfield's Subversive Jesus?

  7. Well good. Because I totally want a "What I Learned This Summer" post from you when Emily links us all up together in a few months.

    Also shoot dang it I keep meaning to ask if I can mail my ampersand book to you and then I forget all the things. Does this count?

  8. Love your list! I am reading Fervent by Priscilla Shirer and Roots & Sky by Christie Purifoy. Next on my list or hopeful list are Breaking Busy by Alli Worthington, Penduka by Joy McMillan and Never Say No: Raising Big-Picture Kids by Mark and Jan Foreman. Can't wait to read A Mile Wide too. You are lucky to have it in your stack!

  9. I started reading the Ta-Nehisi Coates book a few months ago and the overwhelming heartache from that book made me put it down temporarily. I need to pick it back up and finish it once my anatomy course ends.

  10. I don't think I have commented here before, but I just had to. I turned 40 this year too, and I have the same recurring dream that you have! I am in school, sometimes College, sometimes High School, and it is the end of the semester, and oh crap...I forgot to show up and do all of my assignments. How am I going to fix this? Why did I forget to go to Science class? You had mentioned it before in another post and it made me laugh so I had to tell you. I was also a waitress during those years, so I will still have dreams where I am waiting tables and I am totally overwhelmed with tables and I can't get to everyone or I am taking an order for a table that has like 50 people and all my other tables are staring at me for refills or tickets. Okay, that's all. I'm crazy.

  11. Your self-effacing humor always cracks my butt up! :)