Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee :: Oh, the book of books this summer. My thoughts are still such a swirl on this book. I can’t seem to articulate them. I loved it for what it was though. But I have to point you towards my buddy D.L. Mayfield’s essay about this book – it’s on the money. If you only read one more thinkpiece about this novel, make it that one.
Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar by Cheryl Strayed :: Profane and sacred all at the same time. It’s not for everyone but it made so very glad to be alive.
Americanah by Chimamanada Ngozi Adichie :: Absolutely gob-smackingly brilliant. I couldn’t put it down. Complex, wise, funny, real, and interesting.
Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay :: This was a fast, fun, and delightful read – great for a summer day. I figured out the twist within about a second but that didn’t make it any less fun to read all the way through.
The Truth According to Us by Annie Barrows :: One of my perpetual comfort reads is The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society which was co-written with Annie Barrows, so I was very excited to see her new book at the library. I snatched it up and devoured it in a weekend. Again, a great summer book, a fascinating story, with such fantastic and strong female characters.
How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish :: This one is a classic for a reason. I read it, nothing much new but still a helpful resource.
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion :: I had this one sitting on my side table for months. I just couldn’t seem to pick it up, always preferring to read something else first. Well, I reluctantly picked it up when I’d finished all the other reading on Friday night and did not put it down until I was done. I had misjudged the story and the cover but once I started, i fell in love with these characters. A delight.
Scape by Luci Shaw :: Luci Shaw is my favourite living poet and this is her new volume of poetry. It’s quintessential Luci. I want to be her when I grow up.
The Enneagram: A Christian Perspective by Richard Rohr and Andreas Ebert :: I’ve been doing a bit more reading about the Enneagram, thanks to my friend, Leigh Kramer, who is an Enneagram Coach. It’s been helpful in many ways (I’m a Type 9, if you’re into that sort of thing). (For the uninitiated, it’s an ancient form of personality types/temperaments.)
Wearing God: Clothing, Laughter, Fire, and Other Overlooked Ways of Meeting God by Lauren Winner :: I would buy this book all over again just for the chapter on God as birth-giver/midwife. I adore everything Lauren Winner writes – she’s impeccable – but this was a great book.
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo :: Unpopular opinion confession: blergh. I didn’t like this book. I mean, I get it, “what brings you joy?” is a great question. But I felt like this book was wildly unrealistic, especially for those of us with a houseful of children or a partner or, you know, any sentimental attachment to the world.
Own Your Life: Living with Deep Intention, Bold Faith, and Generous Love by Sally Clarkson :: Sally Clarkson is one of my favourite mothering writers (two of my favourites are her The Mission of Motherhood and The Ministry of Motherhood). She’s a bit more conservative than me in many ways and her family’s habits/values differ at times but I love having older women like her write about how they raised their children and kept their home and did life as a family. I find such value in her words for that aspect of my life. It’s so encouraging for us “in the trenches” – kind of like having a mothering mentor in a book.
Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives by Gretchen Rubin :: Zzzzzzzzz. Waste of time, I’m afraid. It’s one big book of common sense.
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr :: A brilliant and wonderful book. It took me a while to get into it but I stayed with it since, you know, Pulitzer and all. And boy, did it pay off. Such a beautiful story.
The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan :: I never can resist a bit of Angolophile lit. A bit raunchy at times but a fun read, for sure.
My big obsession this summer has been Broadchurch. Oh, my goodness. People. We devoured this show. It is masterful – the performances, the script, the story, the cinematography, the music, all the things. Cannot recommend it enough.
I’m also still going through Gilmore Girls on Netflix. Or as my son, Joe, calls it “That Fast-Talker Girl Show.” I’m into Season 2 and I’m feeling very suspicious of Jess right about now. Careful now, Rory. HARVARD.
I drank the Kool-Aid for Alabama Shakes and whoa, cannot get enough of this.
What is there even to say after that, right?
My favourite “Christian-y” album right now has been John Mark McMillan’s latest, You Are The Avalanche. I love his songs – no one in the at genre writes or sounds like this guy.
Okay, I rarely get bossy with you, my friends but I am about to get bossy. If you are a writer or a creative of any sort, you need to go right now to iTunes and subscribe to Elizabeth Gilbert’s new podcast “Magic Lessons” based off the ideas in her new book, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear (which will likely be on my Fall What I’m Into, already pre-ordered, amen). Each episode is super short – 15-20 minutes – which works beautifully with my life. I rarely have a full hour to listen to ANYTHING so this is ideal. The language can be a bit adult occasionally but really, it’s brilliant. Creatives, you need to be listening to this one. #WriterCrush
So that’s it for summer so far! We still have a bit of time left here as school doesn’t start until the second week of September.
I’d love to hear what you’re reading or listening to or watching this summer, too! Always out for a good recommendation.