reader. winter 2016

It’s been a really good winter for reading! Here are my recent most memorable reads this winter. As always, several faith/life books, a handful of memoirs, and of course one about food!

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Out of Sorts by Sarah Bessey = If you read one of these, read this one. “Making peace with an evolving faith” is the subtitle. It’s a beautiful story of her own faith, but written in such a way that is thought provoking for discussion. This would be a wonderful book to read with your spouse — each chapter tackles a certain faith topic (Bible, church, community, miracles, liturgy, etc) and it is so engaging. YES. I plan to do this one again taking time to do the discussion questions with Matt. About twice a year I find a book that speaks to us in a powerful way and creates movement in our life, and this year, I think this one is one of them.

Hands Free Mama by Rachael Stafford = Designed to read one chapter a month for one year, each chapter inspires you on a discipline to put down the phone, get rid of to-do-lists, and be fully present with your family. Matt and I discussed several chapters together on this one too — it is beautiful. YES YES recommended (written for parents, but very applicable even without kids!).

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barba Kingsolver = Oh my word THIS ONE is AMAZING. “Author Barbara Kingsolver and her family abandoned the industrial-food pipeline to live a rural life—vowing that, for one year, they’d only buy food raised in their own neighborhood, grow it themselves, or learn to live without it. Part memoir, part journalistic investigation, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle is an enthralling narrative that will open your eyes in a hundred new ways to an old truth: You are what you eat.” (amazon). YOU guys. If you love food memoirs, and health and wellness. This one is a must read!

Pastrix by Nadia Bolz-Weber = This pastor’s narrative is likely very controversial, and it is amazing. She finds herself as an adult, a tattooed comedian surrounded by addicts, depressives, and cynics and somehow becomes their pastor. It’s full of prayer and profanity and it was absolutely fascinating to read. It’s been on many must-read-lists and a New Yorks Best seller for good reason. If you want to be pushed out of your comfort zone, this one is fascinating!

Why not me? by Mindy Kaling = I love short essay’s, and when I saw Mindy Kaling had a new book out, I grabbed it from the library and really enjoyed it! As expected, her writing is hilarious, light hearted, real, and simply a fun comedic take on her life.

Winds of Skilak by Bonnie Rose Ward = A modern-day adventure about a couple surviving in the Alaskan wilderness. Their faith is tested and skills are pushed to the limits to simply live. Um….it was really good, but I REALLY get nightmares from these survival-type-memoirs, so I won’t probably read it again. But it was intense!

Fly a Little Higher by Laura Sobiech = Local to Minnesota, she writes about her son and his battle with cancer as a teenager and it’s impact on her faith. I’ll tell you, these books as a mom are VERY hard to read. But it was a beautiful memoir and one I read in one sitting.

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert = A quick bestseller, this book about creativity was really interesting. The book was a little long and I needed to return it about half way through the read, but it’s on my wait list again. It really was inspiring with my interests in reading/writing, music, photography, even cooking/baking — anything have to do with creativity she speaks to those areas.