Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Books I'm reading this Winter and Spring 2015

Here are the books* I am currently reading or have read this Winter/Spring. I will let you know my thoughts on them when I finish reading them! I will add my "reviews" in the order that I finish them. :) 

Non-fiction Books:

1.  Breathing Room by Leeana Tankersley: 

I love love LOVED this book! Breathing Room is about what it says; finding a place within our selves to breathe. It's a place that is free from criticism and self-contempt. Rather it's about advocating for yourself, being on your own time and learning to be gentle. We can reject the frantic and the toxic voices in our lives.  

Honestly I liked every chapter. When I read this book in January I was in a place where I resonated with so much of what she said. I was so relieved someone was writing about how I was feeling inside. I felt normal like the raging and chaotic emotions I had inside of me weren't all that crazy and if they were I was getting closer and closer to the moment where I too, one day, would try to pay for lunch with a baby wipe instead of a credit card. There's just too much good in here for me to fully share. You just have to read it. Leanna writes in a way that makes you feel safe to feel and safe to breathe. She writes in a way that helped me put my armor down and listen. It's scary to talk about certain things, especially things that have labels and a stigma. But she didn't make it scary. It felt more like a warm blanket that teaches you to exhale. 

Favorite quote:

"Sometimes I'm scared to let you see me and love me. But when I do, I am always anchored and winged"

2.  Scary Close by Donald Miller

Ahhh! I am such a fan of Donald Miller and his authenticity as well as his mad story-telling skills. I read this book with my book club which was fantastic because every week we could discuss what we learned, had questions about or what we were processing. This book is like Donald Miller's other books in that it's an easy-read. (you want to read it all at once) It's very engaging and has stories that connect you immediately. Donald's tone and voice is approachable. This book is about his journey and process into deeper intimacy. He talks about having a crisis of identity and how lonely and isolated he felt. He shares his "shame stories" and talks openly about his faith, his therapy and his relationship to Betsy. I am so endeared to this book. I could relate to so much of this book regarding performance anxiety, areas of shame, and wondering if people won't love me if I'm not impressive enough (or at least normal enough).

Favorite quote: 
"Sometimes the story we're telling the world isn't half as endearing as the one that lives inside of us"

3.  Bread and Wine by Shauna Niquest

I read this book for the second time this winter because it's amazing.  It makes me want to host fancy dinner parties always and celebrate life. If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it. I don't cook very often and I loved the book. I even tried a recipe, granted it was homemade salad vinaigrette, but it was good! The book is collection of stories and recipes about  life around your table. She talks about the ways "God nourishes us as we nourish others"  as the book cover so simply and profoundly puts it. I need to remind myself over and over again that God cares about my nourishment and that all these "physical" things like food, our bodies and sleep are really important. She talks about being "present over perfect" and about what it means to courageous in our daily lives.

Favorites quote:
One thing's for sure: if you decided to be courageous and sane, if you decide not to overspend or overcommit or overschedule, the healthy people in your life will respect those choices. And the unhealthy people will freak out, because you're making a healthy choice they're not currently free to make. Don't for one second let that stop you. 

4.  Savor by Shauna Niquest

This is a 365 day devotional about savoring each aspect of our life and learning how to live abundantly in this great big beautiful world God created. I am pretty picky about devotionals and generally end up feeling like they are overly clique and spiritual without really saying anything at all. This one I LOVE. I even wake up EARLIER to read it in the mornings with coffee. That really says something. They are short and each include a scripture and some questions to ponder. I have really savored my mornings reading these little gems daily. :)

5.  The ZimZum Of Love by Rob and Kristen Bell

I feel bad saying this but I have only made it through the first couple chapters. I keep putting it down and forgetting about it. This isn't a good sign...

6.  Bittersweet by Shauna Niquest

Currently reading this one before bed and it is fabulous. If you liked Cold Tangerines this book is similar in it's story-telling/memoir style. The way Shauna sees life and talks about God is really inspirational and a breath of fresh air always. 

7.  I Though It Was Just Me by Brene Brown

I am reading this book with my book club now and it is dense and research heavy. It is all about shame, empathy, vulnerability and connection. It is so good but I'm guessing it will take me half a year to finish soooooo there's that. I have to at least try to finish it before Brene Brown's newest book comes out in August! Can't wait!!!

8.  Set-Apart Woman by Leslie Ludy

I am currently reading this book as well! 


1.  Annes House of Dreams by L.M. Montgomery and Rainbow Valley by L.M. Montgomery

Starting last summer I began reading through the Anne of Green Gables series. They are so good! Montgomery uses such beautiful words and language to describe the settings and her characters are always unique and quirky. I'm sad I'm nearing the end of this charming series. 

 *I would also like to confess I have read 4 cheesy romantic old west novels (think 1870's, Texas). My mom sent me three and I devoured them. I ordered two more. I'm on my fifth.  I have really enjoyed reading ones by Karen Witemeyer and Robin Jones Gunn. Sometimes a good predictable "happily ever after" is just what I need. I also tried to ready Mansfield Park by Jane Austen for the second time and I literally just can't get through it.

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