whatimintosummer2014

what i read

This has been my summer of reading novels. I decided to just read for the fun of it this summer. I have so much book research I’ve been doing and the summer has been so heavy, filled with sorrow in so many ways for so much of the world, that I flat out ran for the escape route in my reading habits. And I loved every single second of it.

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes :: Thanks to a recommendation from Shauna Niequist (who never steers me wrong on novels), I decided to pick up my first Jojo Moyes novel. And then I disappeared for 24-hours while I devoured it. DEVOURED. This book was devastating. It was definitely my favourite of hers – the heroine of the novel and her family were so dear. And the questions it brought up and the conversations it sparked were so interesting. It was a runner-up for my favourite novel of the year so far, for sure.

The Girl You Left Behind by JoJo Moyes – Loved it. Another one I couldn’t put down. Such a fascinating dual story. So rare that I love both stories in a dual-story novel but this one worked beautifully. Fascinating period of history, too.

The Last Letter From Your Lover by JoJo Moyes – and the last Jojo Moyes novel I read was a hard one. I struggle with infidelity as a plot point to cheer for and so I appreciated the juxtaposition of an affair to “root for” and one to despise but even so, it was fascinating and un-put-down-able, too. Needless to say, I just did two-day shipping for her latest novel.

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty :: I have loved Liane Morarity’s novels since “What Alice Forgot” (still one of my favourite novels to recommend to women in the tired thirties with me.) This was probably my favourite of hers since that one – and that’s saying something. Such a great story. The characters were beautiful and real and flawed, I love each one of them and actually missed them when the novel was over.

All Fall Down by Jennifer Weiner :: I’ve liked some of this author’s novels but others….well, not so much. This one was a quick read but fascinating. Exploring the pull of prescription meds as addiction through the lens of an over-committed mom-blogger, you read it and think you know a million women that this could happen to. And the ending was so satisfying.

City of God: Faith in the Streets by Sara Miles :: I loved Sara Miles’ last book Take This Bread so much that my expectations were probably too high. But it’s a good book, really interesting. I always end up feeling a bit left out when people write about God as present mostly in cities – after all, I live in a small town in western Canada. But it was fascinating.

Simply Jesus: A New Vision of Who He Was, What He Did, and Why He Matters by N.T. Wright :: Book research! And so worthwhile.

The Relentless Tenderness of Jesus by Brennan Manning :: A re-read from years ago. It’s Brennan at a bit more raw and angry and I still love it. You can see his processes actually happening as you read through his work.

My Bright Abyss: Meditations of a Modern Believer by Christian Wiman :: Beautiful and devastating, a slow read but so good.

what i’m reading now

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce :: You know me and British novels….

The Complete Book of Baby Names :: BIG SMILE

Jane Austen’s First Love by Syrie James :: I love novels about Jane Austen, they’re my guilty pleasure. She wrote a good one a few years ago and so when I saw she had a new one out, I snapped it in.

Jesus and the Victory of God by N.T. Wright :: More book research and more perfection.

television worth watching

Besides the obvious….

My Big Family Renovation on HGTV :: Jen Hatmaker is a dear friend and I cannot tell you how tickled I am to be watching her show on the television! It just started in Canada, it’s on Thursday nights at 7 Pacific on HGTV.

Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyessey :: I’m slowly working my way through this show and it is blowing my mind. Absolutely stunning. I never figured I’d be someone who was enraptured by astrophysics but DAMN this is good.

Good news! Downtown Abbey starts on September 21 in the UK (and for those of us who can watch UK shows). Here’s the trailer for the new season. All I know is that Anna and Bates better CATCH A BREAK.

movies worth seeing

I have not watched anything but kid movies at home all summer long. And I’m not even sorry about it.

music worth hearing

The Undoing by Steffany Gretzinger :: This gal comes out of the Bethel movement but it’s less anthemic and more introspective. Really enjoying it.

Lullaby Hymns by Katy Kinard :: I grabbed this one for one of the tinies who likes to listen to music while drifting off to sleep. But I’ve fallen in love with it – just good old hymns done beautifully. The subtitle is “for the weary soul” and that has been so true. When my soul is weary, these are the songs I want to hear.

Waiting for Mr. Darcy instrumentals from Jane Austen movies – my favourite music for writing! And only $3.99 – probably because the titles are a bit mixed up for the music but whatevs. It’s good listening.

little things i’m enjoying

San Pellegrino limonata Italian sodas

I’ve kicked almost all of my other teas to the curb for Lady Jane Grey tea – it’s like a version of Earl Grey but much lighter with citrus undertones. So perfect in the mornings.

Roast beef dinners and mashed potatoes.

Knitting up this little owl tea cosy

And introducing my fall knitting project: right here, folks.

So, friends, what about you?

What’s on your nightstand? What television show or movie or music has captured your imagination? 

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