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My Favourite Books of 2015

Sarah Bessey Favourite Books 2015

Rather than wait and do my usual “Favourite Books” post at the end of December, I decided to do it now so that you can mine the list for gifts! (If you’re still gift hunting, I put together an ethical gift guide that empowers women, so check that out, too.)

Does anyone else ever go into a bookstore and feel overcome with sadness because there are simply too many good books and so little time to be alive? I have to believe in libraries in heaven because that’s how I’ll spend my first millenia.

I didn’t get to read as much this year as usual what with, well, life. But what I did read, I mostly enjoyed sincerely. (I love to read novels, spiritual memoirs, and theology books mostly so the list is skewed in that direction.)

As usual, these books weren’t necessarily published in 2015, rather, I read them in 2015.

Here are my favourites:

Finally Comes the Poet: Daring Speech for Proclamation by Walter Brueggemann :: The Bruegge (nobody tell him that I secretly call him that, m’kay?) is my consistent favourite. Ever since my dear friend Kelley Nikondeha introduced me to his work several years ago, I’ve been on a steady task of reading his body of work and it is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. This year, I read this deceptively slim volume for preachers/proclaimers and let me tell you, if you are a creative or a proclaimer in any way, this is the book I’d hand out over any other books aimed our way this year. The Bruegge Abides, man.

Telling the Truth: The Gospel as Tragedy, Comedy, and Fairy Tale by Frederick Buechner :: Buechner is another perennial favourite of mine but this one somehow escaped my notice for many a year. And I’m so glad I encountered this book. It’s transformative for those of us who feel compelled to share the Gospel particularly through art. This was the book that introduced me to the phrase “obey the sadness” from King Lear and, if you’ve read my own latest book, you’re familiar with it as a chapter title, I’m sure. (Incidentally, out of the entire book, that chapter is my own personal favourite.)

For the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards by Jen Hatmaker :: Jen is one of my dearest friends but that’s beside the point, truly. This book came to me at just the right time. I needed almost every thoughtful and challenging word of it, right down to the sentences when I laughed so hard, I barked out loud.

Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar by Cheryl Strayed :: I just happened to pick this book up this year without ever having read a Dear Sugar column or listened to the podcast. So zero expectations going in and I was absolutely dazzled. This book felt like standing in front of a blinding light. I loved it and I learned so much from it, even from “advice columns” that had nothing to do with me. It’s ferocious and unflinching. (Head’s up for anyone who finds a bit of adult language offensive – this one is salty.)

Coming Clean by Seth Haines :: Coming Clean is not simply a book for alcoholics; it’s a book for anyone who has dealt with pain and been left scrabbling after God when their coping mechanisms fail or easy answers run out. This book is a mirror, held up for all of us to behold our addictions and the ways we’re all still recovering. Raw, sobering, miraculously ordinary, hopeful, beautiful, and yet terrifying. Seth is an honest writer, and there is no higher praise.

Wild in the Hollow: On Chasing Desire and Finding the Broken Way Home by Amber C. Haines :: I want people to read this anointed book for dozens of reasons: Amber‘s voice, her writing, is incomparable to anything you’ve read before. But even beyond that gift, she writes about desire, our longing for home, with a deeply orthodox and yet mystical and sensual soul. This book made me feel homesick and at-home all at the same time. Only Amber could so beautifully and rightly write into the parts of our human experience that usually defy words.

The Givenness of Things: Essays by Marilynne Robinson :: This is the first non-fiction book of Marilynne Robinson’s that I’ve read and it’s beautiful, eloquent, smart, and I pretty much underlined the entire book. Every time I read an essay, I returned to the world feeling like everything – including me – was stronger and brighter and wiser.

Texts from Jane Eyre: And Other Conversations with your Favourite Literary Characters by Mallory Ortberg :: Mallory is a humour writer and this book is probably the funniest I read this year. I love a good irreverent life-humour book – like Amy Poehler’s Yes Please or Jenny Lawson’s Furiously Happy – but for some reason, this one just became my favourite of the year. It’s so sly and wicked and filled with inside jokes for us English Lit nerds. I nearly pounded my knees over Cathy and Heathlcliffe’s text messages to each other.

The Lake House by Kate Morton :: I adore a big gorgeous gothic mystery novel set in England. Kate Morton never disappoints. After a long wait, she finally released a new novel and I pretty much devoured it in a weekend. This book is perfect for a cozy winter night’s reading – but be warned, you might stay up later than you expected.

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr :: It took me a while to get into this one. Everyone swore it was worth it and they were right. At about a quarter of the way through, I nearly abandoned it but then the light turned on and I couldn’t put it down. A marvellous novel, I loved it.

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman :: Neil Gaiman re-released one of his quintessential novels this year and I picked it up at the library. Well, I could not put it down. It’s weird, scary, and absolutely fascinating.

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie :: What is there left to say about this brilliant book? It’s won every single award for good reason. I loved the characters in this book so much that I missed them when it ended. Plus it’s gob-smackingly insightful. It’s sad, complex, funny, wise, and witty. It made me love people more.

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simison :: This is one that surprised me. I was given it as a Christmas gift and when I read the back, I wasn’t that interested to be honest. I let it sit on my side table for nearly half the year, reading everything else first. But one night, I picked it up and 24 hours later it was finished. Just a good novel to read – funny and interesting.

A few more I loved:

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

The Fringe Hours: Making Time for You by Jessica N. Turner

Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church by Rachel Held Evans

Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People by Nadia Bolz-Weber

Malestrom: Manhood Swept into the Currents of a Changing World by Carolyn Custis James

Man Enough: How Jesus Redefines Manhood by Nate Pyle

Shameless Self-Promotion Time

Check out my own two books for your Christmas lists:

Out of Sorts: Making Peace with an Evolving Faith and/or Jesus Feminist

If you want to talk more about books:

My 10 Favourite Books of 2014

10 books that changed my faith

10 books that influence my parenting

10 books by Canadians I wish the world would read

10 books for tinies and 10 books for older tinies (ages 4-7)

10 books I read over and over (and over)

10 spiritual memoirs

My daily books + 10 books of poetry

 

Your turn: What were your favourite books of 2015?

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Continue Reading · book review, books · 19

How to Help Launch “Out of Sorts” (in Doctor Who GIFS, because, well, of course)

Me, 5 days before the official release of my new book:

I’ve heard from a lot of friends and readers who want to know how to help or support the book release. Which is amazing. Seriously. I have been overwhelmed by the generosity and support of so many friends, bloggers, writers, readers, pastors, podcasters,  and churches.

(Related: TUESDAY. *faint*)

Obviously, I’m a little excited for November 3 and the official release of Out of Sorts.

 

If you’d like to help promote or spread the word about Out of Sorts, here’s how:

Buy the book! I know, I’m a marketing genius. Someone should take notes.

Review it: On Tuesday, post a review on every online retailer you’ve ever heard of – you can use the same review everywhere – Amazon (in the States, Canada, or the UK), Chapters, Book Depository, Books-a-Milion, wherever. Apparently, the Amazon reviews are a big deal in particular so it would be nice to have a few right off the bat. If you’ve read the book already or written a review for GoodReads or your blog, just copy and paste that review over at Amazon and it would be a help. (Of course, if you hated it, ignore this advice completely, bless.)

Spread the word on social media. This is a biggie. Take a picture of the book for Instagram. Find it at a bookstore and take pictures. Download or screen grab memes you see about the book and share those. There are some wonderful ones already available! Post about the book release or share quotes from the book on Facebook or Twitter.  Heck, I’ll take MySpace, I’m not proud (obviously). Tag it with #OutofSortsBook so that I can see it, if you don’t mind. Otherwise, I’ll lose track.

Yes, Doctor, yes, I do want to update Twitter. 

Participate in the synchroblog. I’ll be hosting an old fashioned synchroblog after the book’s release so if you could plan on participating in that, that would be lovely. I know these things have fallen out of fashion, but I still like them. We’ll be all writing around the prompt “I used to think ______ but now I think ______.” It can be as silly or as serious, as theological or as cultural as you like. And after that, I’ll select one of those posts and feature it as a guest post on my blog and give that person 3 copies of the book, too!

Read the first four chapters of the book FOR FREE! My publisher is giving you a sneak peek. Click to “grabb” the first 4 chapters right here.

Listen to and follow and share the Out of Sorts Playlist. These songs were my companions as I lived out the stories in the book and so now they can be your companions as you read it! Bit of old-school Jesus music is good for the soul, right?

Gather a few friends for a book club or discussion group.

Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and keep an eye out for the news about the book. I’ll post about interviews, reviews, podcasts, that sort of thing. If you comment or like those statuses, then more people will see them. (Zuckerberg plays a cheeky game, my friends.) So check them out and, if you like them, please share/comment/like! I’ve already done several of these so you’ll see them on the pages.

Well, this is awkward.

Write a review or a response about the book for your blog.  

Buy a copy or two (or, you know, twenty) for your family and friends as Christmas gifts.

Ask your local bookstore to stock it. And then, when you go back and see it there on the shelf, re-shelve it right beside the nearest bestselling book you see. (I kid, I kid….I think.) For instance, Abbotsford friends, House of James has been so supportive, so ask there!

Saying “thank you” feels inadequate, but I must say it: thank you. Thank you for your support and help and for believing in this book.

In gratitude:

Now to close out this painful bit of self-promotion.

Me, next Tuesday, all day:

Continue Reading · blogging, book review, books, Out of Sorts · 21

What I’m Into :: Summer 2015

What I'm Into - Summer 2015 :: Sarah Bessey

Books

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.

TV

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.

Music

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.

Podcasts

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.

Cheers,

S.

 

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Continue Reading · book review, books, What I’m Into · 63

What I’m Into (Spring 2015)

What I'm Into : Sarah Bessey

books i read

The Beautiful Daughters: A Novel by Nicole Baart. I’ve always liked Nicole’s work but this is her best one yet. I couldn’t put it down and was genuinely surprised by the turn. It’s spiritual without being cloying, dark without being hopeless.

Savor: Living Abundantly Where You Are, As You Are by Shauna Niequist. I’m a big Shauna fan girl, it’s no secret. I adore her. This devotional gathers her best writing into a daily devotional centred on the theme from the title. Plus it’s just a beautiful book.

Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances by Neil Gaiman. I’m rather new to Neil Gaiman’s work, I became a fan after watching an episode of Doctor Who he wrote that I simply loved (The Doctor’s Wife). This work of short fiction is stunning and freaky and wonderful. I mean, I was skin-crawly and fascinated. His mind is SOMETHING ELSE. I especially liked “Diamonds and Pearls: A Fairy Tale” and “The Truth is a Cave in the Mountains.”

Scary Close: Dropping the Act and Finding True Intimacy by Donald Miller. #ConfessYourUnpopularOpinion time. Even though I have loved most of his prior work, I didn’t like this book very much. Sure, there were parts I liked and I know many people will love it but I found it big on name-dropping, and a bit simplistic. Plus I had a hard time suspending my disbelief to receive relationship advice here – it’s not yet earned. That might be my smug-married coming out but I figure relationship books, particularly marriage books, are best after a few years under your belt (like, say, 25).

An Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and Grace by Tamar Adler. I picked up this book at the recommendation of Jen Hatmaker and it is just as good as she said. I’m not a foodie in the least. I mean, I’m a good cook and I feed my family just fine but I’m never above Kraft Mac n’Cheese, if you know what I mean. But this book was so beautifully written, it made me love how this woman loved food.

Wild in the Hollow: On Chasing Desire and Finding the Broken Way Home by Amber C. Haines – I had a chance to read an advanced copy of this book. And I want people to read it for dozens of reasons: Amber’s voice, her writing, is incomparable to anything you’ve read before. But even beyond that gift, she writes about desire, our longing for home, with a deeply orthodox and yet mystical and sensual soul. This book made me feel homesick and at-home all at the same time. Only Amber could so beautifully and rightly write into the parts of our human experience that usually defy words.

I have done a lot of re-reading of last year’s favourites. Maybe it’s the late-night nursing talking, but I have just been in the mood for every single Liane Moriarity book ever written and I have indulged accordingly. Sometimes you just need a good story, right? I re-read them all: What Alice Forgot, The Hypnotist’s Love Story, The Husband’s Secret, The Last Anniversary, and my new favourite, Big Little Lies. I just love how she writes women so fully.

books I’m reading right now

Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life by Richard Rohr. This book might be saving my life right now. Sometimes revelation arrives slow and steady and sweetly. Other times, it’s like the wind blows in and breaks all the windows. This book is the latter. Whew, it’s ferociously good.

All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel by Anthony Doerr

The Royal We by Heather Cocks adn Jessica Morgan

The Rosie Project: A Novel by Graeme Simsion

Own Your Life: Living with Deep Intention, Bold Faith, and Generous Love by Sally Clarkson.

Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives by Gretchen Rubin

 

television worth watching

I actually binge-watched for the first time! Again: newborn. I hit all 13 episodes of The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and loved it. Loved it! I can’t remember the last time I’ve enjoyed a sitcom so this was noteworthy for me. I loved the premise, the strain of darkness under the jokes, Titus has my heart forever, and Kimmy, well, she is just so believable, so earnest, so real even though the whole thing is utterly unreal. (It’s on Netflix.)

I gave up on Gilmore Girls. I am still slowly watching episodes but I don’t feel much urgency.

Otherwise, it’s all hockey playoffs – Go, Flames! – and Love it or List It here. HGTV, my heart you.

Oh, the tinies and I have just discovered Phineas and Ferb, too. I was rather stumped for TV shows for the kids once they grew out of the preschooler shows. (Little Bear, we love you.) Everything seemed either too violent or too dumb or just plain annoying. But my friend Kelly at Love Well told me that her kids liked this Disney XD show and since I trust Kelly implicitly, we gave it a go. It’s funny, complex, creative, weird, and smart – we’re big fans now.

Our other kid favourite is The Magic School Bus. We have the DVD set of the complete series and it’s a perpetual favourite with the preschooler and the big kids, so that’s a win.

movies worth seeing

I haven’t watched a movie in a dog’s age. We keep trying but I simply lack the time and the attention span right now. See again: newborn.

music worth hearing

Home by Josh Garrels – I’m a big fan of this guy and his new album is stellar.

Born and Raised by John Mayer – I just can’t quit this guy. This is the album I listen to when I’m cooking on Sunday afternoons.

podcast worth downloading

Sorta Awesome – Megan Tietz of SortaCrunchy was one of my very first Big Blogger crushes back in the dark ages of blogging (think circa 2007). Anyway, years later we’ve become dear friends and so of course I was so sad when she quit blogging earlier this year. I mean, I was happy FOR HER but I was sad for me, you know? But she has branched into podcasting! And this is the perfect medium for Megan. First of all, I could listen to her read the phone book, she has such a great voice. But then she is so good at making you feel like you are just hanging out on her front porch, talking about life and everything that’s interesting or sorta awesome. It’s like being her neighbour. Sorta Awesome is available in iTunes (I’ve already subscribed) but you can also listen from a browser by clicking this link, or search “Sorta Awesome” wherever you listen to podcasts and you’ll find it.

stuff worth reading on the Internet

On Being a Woman After God’s Own Heart by Jenny Rae Armstrong

My 22 Best Practices After 22 Years of Pastoral Ministry by April Yamasaki

Consider by Richard Beck

This is Ace by Micha Boyett

Tools for the Highly Sensitive Mother by Amber C. Haines

What We’re For by Kathy Escobar

A Hidden Opportunity in Your Church by Nish Weiseth

Born This Way by John Blase

For God So Loved by Kelley Nikondeha

10 Ways to Support Women of Colour in Leadership by Austin Channing Brown

And just because it makes me happy to watch it now and then:

pins worth re-pinning

The text of an entire book on a t-shirt? TAKE MY MONEY.

My sister made this kale and potato soup with turkey sausage and SWEARS it’s amazing. She is much more the foodie than me.

The Best of Ted Talks for women right here.

No, you cried when you looked at these pictures of women one day after giving birth.

And finally, 40 Pinterest Complete Fails to make you feel better.

 

So, friends, what about you? What’s on your nightstand? What television show or movie or music has captured your imagination?

Linked up with Leigh Kramer for What I’m Into.

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Continue Reading · book review, books, What I’m Into · 42

What I’m Into :: January 2015 edition

What I'm Into

books worth reading

Texts from Jane Eyre: And Other Conversations with Your Favorite Literary Characters by Mallory Ortberg. Oh, man, I needed this book. I laughed until I whooped over the text convo between Heathcliff and Cathy from Wuthering Heights in particular. Mallory Ortberg is not only brilliant, she’s wickedly funny. For the book lover/English Lit nerd in your life, this is the book to cackle over.

All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews. My sister is a reader of serious literature, particular Canadian lit. She is always my dealer for the good stuff: she’ll give me the lowdown on the Giller Prize nominees and the Canada Reads contenders. Plus we both have A Thing for books about the bond between sisters – those books just hurt so good. So she gave me this one for Christmas and I called her up after finishing it, sobbing, asking why she did this to me. It is a book of two sisters, beautifully written, devastating, and I BAWLED through the last quarter of it. Who gives books like this to their hormonal pregnant sisters anyway? It was the best kind of cry though. (And for what it’s worth, I think it should have won the Giller.)

Station Eleven: A novel by Emily St. John Mandel. Another Christmas novel, this one from my husband. I have a weakness for apocalyptic/dystopian literature and this didn’t disappoint. It’s dark and yet brilliant, beautiful and sad. It’s also strangely believable, a perfect read for a weekend.

A Thing of Beauty by Lisa Samson: Lisa Samson is almost the only novelist from the Christian market that I read anymore. (Only exception: Nicole Baart, too.) This is apparently her last novel as she’s quitting writing so I really wanted to love it. And I did like it – it was a good read with her signature quirky characters and love-without-sentimentality. It’s not my favourite though. I’ll miss her writing. (My favourite of hers? The Passion of Mary-Margaret)

The Bible Tells Me So: Why Defending Scripture Has Made Us Unable to Read It by Peter Enns. Fantastic, fantastic book. Can’t recommend enough.

television worth watching

All my shows (all three of them) are on their year-long hiatus now and so I have finally started watching Gilmore Girls. I have lost track of the long list of people who tell me that I will love this show so I figure I might as well get started while I work on baby sweaters in these last weeks of pregnancy. So far I’m about 7 episodes in and I quite like it – don’t love it yet, but I like it.

I watched the series finales for Miranda over Christmas. The Christmas special was a big old let down but the New Year’s special for the finale was vintage Miranda. I loved that show. It just made me so happy.

I still owe my few-and-proud Whovians the recaps for the season finale and the Christmas special. I have it on my Gigantic List of Things To Finish Before Baby Arrives so I’ll take one for the team and watch a lot of Doctor Who in a bit here. Better late than never.

movies worth seeing

We went to see Interstellar in the theatre recently. We couldn’t remember the last time we went to see a movie in a theatre so it was quite a treat to watch on the big screen. Otherwise, movies and I are barely passing in acquaintance these days. I can’t seem to muster the energy for a two-and-a-half-hour commitment in the evenings. When all the award nominees were announced this year, I realised I hadn’t watched a single one. And I’m just fine with that.

music worth hearing

I’m not a huge music person. I prefer silence or quiet to music – particularly since we have three loud tinies in our home already and silence is a rarity. So I rarely listen to music and pretty much exclusively listen to CBC Radio in the car. But I will say that I have been listening to John Mark McMillan’s most recent album Borderland sometimes and I LOVE it.

stuff worth reading on the Internet

Christian Women Were Made to Lead by Karen Swallow Prior – Propel Women launched this week! If you’re a woman who leads, check it out.

Things I’ve Learned in 40 Years of Living by Kristen Howerton

Since I’m just a few weeks from giving birth again, these photos obviously made me cry. So beautiful! 30 Canadian Birth Photos that Will Make You Want Another Baby.

They Say the Church is Too “Feminine” by Kate Wallace

6 Great Studies on Women in the Bible for Groups at The Junia Project (please tell me you follow this site? Amazing resource for the church)

In case you hadn’t heard, we are shutting down Deeper Story. This letter from our founder explains why. I’m both proud and sad about it.

Good news! Jonathan Martin is back online and his writing is better than ever. I stalk his preaching podcasts, I admit it. Dude can PREACH.

Tsh Oxenrider has launched a new e-course that I think looks fascinating, Upstream Field Guide. If you’re wanting to live your live more simply and with more intention, I can’t think of a better guide than Tsh.

Relevant Magazine listened my new book, Out of Sorts, as one of the twelve books they are most excited about this year which was very cool!

I am planning on finally talking about the book itself – what it’s about, why I wrote it, all of that fun stuff – in the next week or two here so make sure you sign up for my e-newsletter to get the scoop first.

And finally, this short video is pretty much the best thing ever.

pins worth re-pinning

This quote.

This Beatrix Potter alphabet print for a baby room

This is my fashion philosophy and no apologies for my black.

I’m completely obsessed with brussels sprouts lately and this is only enabling me.

These women in science that you probably don’t know about – and should.

Tina Fey’s and Amy Poehler’s Golden Globes opening dialogue is absolute perfection. Only they could make me laugh so hard at absurd truth. Best joke: George and Amal Clooney.

And finally, Mr. Afternoon T.

 

So, friends, what about you? What’s on your nightstand? What television show or movie or music has captured your imagination?

Linked up with Leigh Kramer for What I’m Into.

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Continue Reading · book review, books, What I’m Into · 23