what I'm into :: summer 2016 Sarah Bessey

It’s been far too long since we’ve chatted about something fun like books and I think we could use a bit of fun. I am, as my husband lovingly calls me, a pseudo-hermit bookworm (it’s one of his favourite endearments for me – right along with “absent minded genius.” Someday – when the fear of the moment has dissipated – ask me about the time when I thought someone had kidnapped one of the tinies because she wasn’t at after-school-pick-up and so I caused a minor panic at the school only to have my husband remind me patiently that I had given permission for her to go to a friend’s house after school. Oops, stand down, RCMP, stand down.).


I need to tell someone about the books I’ve been reading because Inspector Gamache is my new hero and I want to live in Three Pines, Quebec (well, I think would like to live there…it does seem rather murder-y by my tastes).

So let’s talk about what we’re into right now, eh? Can’t wait to hear your lists in the comments – you all were the ones who turned me onto Inspector Gamache and so I’m eternally grateful.


The Inspector Gamache Books by Louise Penny. I’ve heard of these books for so long but I’m not a huge true crime person. (Okay, so I’m highly sensitive and even the previews of shows on HBO give me nightmares) But I do love a good mystery and I love good characters so I decided to give it a try as a treat to myself. This series is now one of the great delights of my life this year. I’ve devoured all eleven books in short order – they are glorious. The first couple of books start out as typical “solve-this-murder” sort of books (without being gory or cruel or gratuitous, it’s more about the story and the characters) – very satisfying Saturday night read – but as the books go forward, the layers and complex storytelling becomes even more clear and right around book three or four you begin to realise that everything is connected and everything means something and something major is unfolding and OMG MUST KEEP READING. it’s a deeply human series with flawed and beloved characters whom you grow to love deeply for their very flaws and their courage. (I need someone to share my unreasonable love for Jean-Guy.) (And Myrna.) (And Clara.) (Also is anyone else ravenous for food while reading these books? they make me more hungry than even the Pickwick Papers did. These folks are always sitting down to some luscious meal.) Here are the books in order. Just go ahead and order all eleven right now to save yourself the panic of finishing one without having the next one right beside you:

  1. Still Life
  2. A Fatal Grace (In earlier Canadian editions, it’s called Dead Cold)
  3. The Cruellest Month
  4. A Rule Against Murder
  5. The Brutal Telling
  6. Bury Your Dead
  7. A Trick of the Light
  8. The Beautiful Mystery
  9. How the Light Gets In
  10. The Long Way Home
  11. The Nature of the Beast
  12. A Great Reckoning (because of course I’ve pre-ordered)

In other reading lately…

Thumbprint in the Clay: Divine Marks of Beauty, Order, and Grace by Luci Shaw :: This is one of Luci’s prose offerings (I”m a huge fan of her poetry) and there are flashes of real intimacy in the essays, glimpses into her struggle and wrestle with God, her doubt and her wonderings. Those moments almost sneak through and peek at us in the essays – which are all about order and beauty and found grace. It’s a beautiful book of course but I found it also made me sad and contemplative, it will stay with me.

Living the Resurrection: The Risen Christ in Everyday Life by Eugene Peterson :: I haven’t read Eugene Peterson’s work for a few years but this book reminded me why I love his work so much. He has the pastoral knack for taking big theological things like the resurrection and making them so accessible and necessary to the rest of us. He’s refreshing and curmudgeonly and I underlined most of this book.

The Givenness of Things: Essays by Marilynne Robinson :: I loved Gilead, Home, and Lila so I picked up Marilynne Robinson”s book of essays but it took me a loooooong time to get through them. They were more aimed at a Calvinist and American mind-set (neither of which I shared) and they were quite dense. I’m glad I read them and I learned a lot, but this isn’t a book I’ll re-read. My favourite line from the book comes early: “The spirit of our times is one of joyless urgency.” Ouch and amen.

How to Be Here: A Guide to Creating a Life Worth Living by Rob Bell :: I deeply appreciate Rob Bell’s work and usually enjoy his books quite a bit but this wasn’t one of my favourites. While I enjoyed it, I’ll be damned if I can remember a word of it as it wasn’t his usual bold and new themes.

Bad Feminist: Essays by Roxane Gay :: Brilliant, uncomfortable, blistering, funny, sad, whew. This woman is the ministry of making us uncomfortable in all the best ways because she makes us better. I didn’t track with all of the pop culture essays because our tastes are different but who knew that a feminist critique of Sweet Valley High was what was missing from all of our lives until now?

Bellweather Rhapsody by Kate Racculia :: I didn’t like this book for most of the time I spent reading it but then there was a twist there at the end that genuinely shocked me and made me finish the book. I didn’t really like any of the characters and I confess I’m not a huge “band kid” (I was more the kid smoking under the bleachers than the kid joining extra curricular clubs) but it was a great weekend read.

Eligible by Curtis Sittenfield :: To celebrate Jane Austen, a crop of “modern re-tellings” of her works were released recently. I read most of them and this is the only one worth your time in my opinion. It’s hilarious, un-put-down-able, summer evening OMG kind of read. Jane is a yoga teacher, Kitty and Lydia are addicted to CrossFit, Bingley is famous for appearing on a reality show like the Bachelor and I am here for it. If you’re looking for an easy summer read that just works somehow, this might be your fun pick.

My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem :: I’ve always loved Gloria Steinem’s books – she’s an incredible writer – but this one about her travels is just wonderful. I particularly loved her stories about the early days of the feminist movement and the “talking circles” – how simply gathering women together and letting them tell their stories – was what gave the movement it’s power and connection.

Assimilate or Go Home: Notes from a Failed Missionary by D.L. Mayfield :: I read an advanced copy of Danielle’s book and wrote an endorsement for her. This book is inconvenient and necessary, hopeful and unflinching, humble and wry; it is as ferocious as love. During this age of the Church when we too often worship worldly obvious success, we need to receive D.L. Mayfield’s ministry of subversive truth-telling.

Very Married: Field Notes on Love and Fidelity by Katherine Willis Pershey :: Another one I recently endorsed! “Very Married is the book we have all been waiting for: hopeful, inclusive, practical, theological, honest talk about the complex sacrament of marriage as both reality to be lived and metaphor to be embodied. Pershey is a pastor at her core, and on every page of this book, her calling is evident and wholehearted. I’m grateful for her honesty, for her wisdom, for her work in this conversation. Now when I’m asked to recommend a book about marriage, I finally have an answer: Very Married!”

Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand in the Sun, and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes :: I picked this one up on a whim in the library and I’m so glad I did. A quick read but maybe that’s because I couldn’t put it down. The book is funny and candid and honest but what is most striking to me is her voice – her ability to write with that unique and strong voice is incredible.

I read quite a bit more these past few months but this is enough to share! You can find me on Goodreads for most of the books I’m reading as I go along.

TV & Movies

We did finish the second season of Broadchurch, of course (which is AMAZING AND EVERYONE SHOULD WATCH IT) but other than that all my favourites are on hiatus or gone altogether now. I keep trying to find a new show to enjoy on Netflix but I’ve swung and missed with everything from The Good Wife to Father Brown to Grey’s Anatomy (which I stopped watching back on in Season Six and so made a half-hearted attempt to get back into it but NOPE and NOPE).

So I’ve been re-watching the Ninth Series of Doctor Who (which is the most recent) and I’m going to go ahead and make a controversial statement without qualification or apology: that was the best season of Doctor Who ever. Ever ever ever. My mouth is hanging open by the end of every episode: I’ve cried, I’ve laughed, I’ve had my brain broken. The characters, the relationships, the story, the social commentary. I just rewatched the two-parter of the Zygon invasion (stay with me here) and that 10 minute monologue of the Doctor’s at the end brought me to tears all over again. Phenomenal.

I haven’t seen a movie in a dog’s age but I’d love to see the new adaptation of Jane Austen’s unfinished novel Love & Friendship but who are we kidding, we all know I don’t watch movies.


Okay, fine, so I’m on the bandwagon and totally obsessed with the Hamilton Broadway Cast Recording right now. I used to be a staunch Loyalist but Alexander Hamilton and Lafayette are making me rethink….


Richard Rohr on The Robcast Episode 86– this is Rob Bell’s podcast which I almost always enjoy but this interview with Fr. Richard Rohr blew my mind and made my friend Kelley and me use up our 15 minute limits on Voxer repeatedly. So much to consider and think about here! I love podcasts that make me think.

10 Friends Every Woman Should Have on Sorta Awesome Episode 54 – this is my favourite “putter around with friends” podcast. More of a girlfriend chat show, I love to listen to it when I’m out on an evening walk by my lonesome or even cleaning the house. This episode is a must-listen. I loved it and totally agree – no one friend can be “everything” to us and so the freedom found in building a “life council” is pretty amazing.

Mary Oliver on On Being with Krista Tippett – Mary Oliver is one of my favourite poets and yet I’ve never heard her voice! This was such a treat. I found myself walking twice as long as I meant to walk just because I wanted to keep listening. It’s an old episode which they rebroadcasted in honour of her birthday.

I’ve been on a few more podcasts myself recently – you can check the full list of my podcast appearances right here.

Jesus Feminist is on sale!

And a bit of good news: My publisher just put everything on sale so you can grab my first book “Jesus Feminist for just $3.99 ebook edition or $9.41 in the paperback. (for USA customers) Not sure how long that will last.

Out of Sorts: Making Peace with an Evolving Faith is also on sale (by the looks of it, $9.40 for the paperback which is more than 40% off!) so check that one out, too.

I’d love to hear what you’re reading or listening to or watching as we head into summer, too! Always out for a good recommendation.


Detective novels and late nights,


affiliate links

Off Brand
[Love Looks Like] Choices
thank you for sharing...
  • Pin this page12
  • 315
  • JennaDeWitt

    Broadchurch! They are filming s3 right now and I’m so excited.

    Oh you Moffat-lovers. 😉 We RTD people know series 4 was clearly the best. haha

    Related: can you believe we get Chris Chiball for Who after Broadchurch is over? 😀

    I’ve recently gotten into The West Wing on Netflix and I LOVE it. So funny and well-written. If you haven’t seen it, I’d give it a shot. (Yes, I know it’s been huge for a long time. My parents watched it when it aired, but I have no memory of it being this awesome.) But s2 is hitting home especially hard with everything in the news these past few weeks. How was Sorkin so prophetic all those years ago? Or maybe nothing has changed…

    • Up until this season, I would be in complete agreement with you: Season 4 is brilliant. And I’m a Tenth Doctor girl, too! But this one….whew. Amazing.

  • Jill Jensen

    Hahaha! Thanks to you, I’m also living in Three Pines this summer. I have number #4 on request at the library right now. And, even though Los Angeles is suffering in the heat, I’m dying to pull up an armchair at the fire in Olivier and Garbi’s B&B. Penny’s writing is beautiful, and I agree about the increasing depth of plot and characters. But that Ruth!

    • Ruth! Her and Jean-Guy’s relationship is surprisingly wonderful.

  • Rea

    You had me at ‘controversial statement about Doctor Who’. Don’t know if I would say Series 9 is my favorite (I’m probably with Jenna…series 4 was one of my favorite, but then Donna was The Best companion by far). I will grant you thought that The Zygon Invasion/Inversion episodes were masterful, and the War Speech was possibly the most perfect Doctor moment ever. And Heaven Sent was strangely compelling.

    I’ve heard enough good stuff about the Inspector Gameche series that now I think I need to check them out.

    • Heaven Sent was so compelling – great word for it!

      • Larry Sparks

        Heaven Sent is top ten Doctor Who, all time.

  • Brenda P

    I have yet to see season 9 because I haven’t been able to stream it without buying the whole season, and it’s driving me crazy that there’s a whole series out there that I know nothing about.

    I’m reading Heart Made Whole by Christa Black Gifford. Slowly, because it’s intense and I don’t want to just read it and then put it away; I want to read it and apply it. I’m also listening to the Head to Heart podcast as I read, and it’s nice to have the info in the book plus Christa and her husband having a conversation about how it’s applied to their lives.

    I’m digging Grace and Frankie right now. I’ve heard marvelous things about season 2, and while I’m still working through season 1, I really enjoy having two female protagonists who are older and in a new season of life. Plus I adore Lily Tomlin’s hair with its wild curls and gray streaks.

  • I read Still Life and felt kind of let down, but I’ve heard the series gets better and your description has convinced me to keep at it. I also LOVED that podcast episode with Richard Rohr. I’m reading his book The Naked Now at the moment. He is a wise one.

    • Still Life is good in the canon but as a stand-alone, I can see how you’d feel that way. It does get WAY better in writing, story-telling, etc.

  • Holly Keane Atkinson

    Love & Friendship is definitely worth the watch. We laughed. A lot.

  • I still can’t say that Peter Capaldi has me as the Doctor. I want to say I love him, but I still don’t. I do like him, though, and given that all of my shows are on hiatus, too, maybe I’ll go back and rewatch this last season.

    I will say that I’m rewatching “Daredevil” and slowly getting through the second season, I’m re-watching “Jessica Jones”—have you seen this? Hunh? Hunh? It has DAVID TENNANT in it, in the scariest role in television, in my opinion. Neither of those are PG viewing by any stretch, but I love the faith and justice themes in Daredevil, and I like the honest dealings with what it would be like to be a gifted individual, and also have PTSD, in Jessica Jones.

    I’ve also just discovered “Flashpoint”—yay Canadian television!—in part because one of the actors lives down the street from my mom and dad.

    Finally… I NEED YOUR SECRET! How can you read so many books and have tinies at the same time?!?! I am clearly incompetent.

    • After Season 9, I fell hard for him. He’s in the top four for me now probably even top two. Rewatch it and you’ll see the love. I haven’t watched Flashpoint yet or Daredevil or Jessica Jones. I was going to try JJ because of Tennant but I heard it was really dark and so didn’t. I probably couldn’t handle it!

      • Edie Raye

        The feminist in me loved JJ for the realistic portrayal of the aftermath of rape/abuse. I find it irresponsible and misogynistic to use rape as a plot point without addressing the way it changes everything. (I’m looking at you, Outlander. And GoT. Which is why I don’t watch you even though everyone says we are meant to be together.) Also, the central relationship is a friendship between two women that is strong and broken and powerful and vulnerable and really one of the most beautiful things on TV. However, it is very dark and if you have to be careful about that sort of thing then it might not be for you. I don’t watch murder shows because my mind/imagination doesn’t need the fuel. Not even the funny ones like Bones or Castle.

      • Larry Sparks

        He’s one of my top two, I believe. Peter Capaldi and Jon Pertwee.

    • Oh, and the reading: I read fast and I ignore responsibilities. 😉

    • Courtney Massicotte

      Oh Flashpoint… yep, loved that one in general and bonus that it’s set in Toronto! I was pretty sad when they wrapped it up.

  • Wendy Beauvais

    May I recommend Catastrophe? (A UK channel 4 series) Adult themes, but I thought it was hilarious, and I am generally into your recommendations :).

  • Mia

    For some who-knows-why reason I’ve always been completely uninterested in Doctor Who, but your faithful promotion of the series has me rethinking my stance!

  • Julie D

    I remember that you loved some of the Jojo Moyes novels, well here in the Uk we have ‘me before you’ on the big screen. It’s adorable, true-to-the-book, and gut wrenchingly heartbreaking even when you know what’s coming. UK tv you absolutely must see is ‘happy valley’ ,seasons 1and2. Sarah Lancashire is sublime in this.
    I’m reading ‘journey into God’s heart’ by Jennifer Rees Larcombe. It’s a sort of autobiographical how-to, from the daughter of some prominent UK evangelists, an intriguing insight in to post-war evangelism in the UK, she also talks of the challenges of being completely healed from crippling illness. It’s like listening to the life story of a very wise aunt. Fascinating and inspiring.

  • Sarah L Weedon

    I just finished listening to a podcast series called The Liturgists – wonderful discussions about important stuff. And if you like the Inspector Gameche books, try the Chief Bruno series by Martin Walker – very similar “feel” but in a small town in France.

    • The Liturgists are so interesting!

    • Judy

      I’ve been looking for recommendations by big fans of Gamache! Thanks Sarah! I just started the Duncan Kincaid series by Deborah Crombie and I’m a fan so far…

  • Tristan Sherwin (ﻥ)

    TV wise: We’ve just binged watched the whole of season 1 of Wayward Pines, and True Detective (Season 1) — both were very good.

    Reading wise: Just finished Jonathan Martin’s latest book (my review’s on my blog–LOVED IT!). Just started reading “Jesus” by Marcus Borg, after which I’ll be heading into some Bolz-Weber, Enns and Gorman. If I get through that during the summer, I’m then hoping to take a break with some fiction (possibly “People of Paper”, by Salvador Plascencia).

    • Jonathan’s book is SO GOOD. Totally agree. I’ve read Peter Enns’ latest few and the Sin of Certainty was phenomenal.

  • I just finished rereading Anne of Avonlea and have decided to follow LMM’s journey as an author and reading chronologically vs. story by story. So I’ve ordered Kilmeny of the Orchard (which I’ve never read) and am looking forward to it! Also obsessing over Hamilton. A little late to the party, but I just got the soundtrack and book and am devouring everything.

    • Kilmeny is good but wait until you hit The Tangled Web and the Blue Castle – two under-appreciated novels in my not so humble opinion.

      • Oooo… I haven’t read those either. 🙂 Treasures to come!

  • krista

    I like when you do these! It definitely costs me money on Amazon 😉 , but I’m always excited to see what you like!

  • I am obsessed with Inspector Gamache! I’m starting book 5 this weekend. Every book I debate about which character is my favorite but they have all stolen my heart for different reasons. I thought Year Of Yes was lovely, especially the last couple of chapters.

  • “The spirit of our times is one of joyless urgency.”



    Ouch and amen indeed. xoxo

  • I’ve listened to the Richard Rohr episode on the Robcast like 7 times.

    Ugggggggh. So. dang. good.

  • Beth

    The Listening Life by Adam McHugh. And if you listen to audiobooks, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. I don’t think reading it would have been nearly as enjoyable. The audiobook is like seeing a fabulous play.
    And I just heard Richard Rohr for the first time last week on The Liturgists podcast. Oh my! Looking forward to hearing more from him.

  • Heather

    I am trying to read one “meaty” book per week. By that I mean a book on which I can chew, underline and contemplate. I just finished Richard Rohr’s Falling Upwards and it is absolutely going on my top ten list for 2016. This was my first book of Rohr’s. Next up: Jesus Feminist or Immortal Diamond or Hidden Wholeness by Parker Palmer. I will read all three, but I am really torn with how to proceed. I am not a movie watcher either, but in an attempt to save money, we purchased this streaming box gadget (sorry can’t remember name but it’s legal), and I am obsessed with true stories. Rewatched Hotel Rwanda and watched “Truth” with Cate Blanchett. Highly recommend both.

    • Oh, goodness, I love Falling Upwards. So good. I’ve got Immortal Diamond sitting here in my stack so you’ve reminded me to move it up the queue!

  • Phyllis

    I absolutely love Gamache and have read them all and listened to many of them on audiobooks! I have met Louise Penny several times and she has encouraged me in my writing! If you ever get a chance to go to a book tour/book signing for her, GO! She tells her story of becoming a writer and it is inspiring and real 🙂 Also, sign up for her newsletter~ I am moving to Canada because of LP and Three Pines! and Sarah, I love Jean Guy! I also love that Gamache is married and loves and respects his wife! ok I am done now! enjoy the books!

    • I know, right? Gamache and Reine-Marie give me life.

      • Phyllis

        YEs they do! also, try to meet Louise and also sign up for her newsletter! Love your posts and books, too, by the way! 🙂 I saw you in Raleigh but had to scoot out before I could meet you..:(

  • Loving and saving this, and agree with you on so much EXCEPT…
    Eligible was the worst book I’ve read in recent history. I wanted to like it. I currently live in Cincinnati, so at first the setting alone (plus a deep love of Austen) kept me going. Then I kept reading.
    I found the characters completely unlikeable, even Lizzy. Jane was okay. I thought the author put way too many current issues into the book to the point that it just felt like “SEE! I’M SO PROGRESSIVE!”(and I say that as someone who wasn’t offended by any of them, but… come on. Too much to believe in one family). She went so heavy on Cinci stuff that it became super distracting (I really don’t need to need every street she went running on today. Or what street the storage unit was on. Or how many time she went to this particular Skyline location and exactly what she ordered and what toppings she put on it EVERY TIME). Also, if you are easily offended, definitely skip it. A very conservative friend started reading it and was horrified.
    Please don’t hate me.

    • Ha! No hate! It’s not everyone’s cup of tea but after reading the other “updates” this one was much better by comparison so maybe my expectations were too low!

  • I’m in love with inspector gamache. He’s my (now not-so) secret crush.

  • Chelle

    Books: Currently reading Fangirl and The first Harry Potter. I didn’t read them when they came out probably because….conservative home guilt BUT I am going for it and I am loving it!

    Music: HAMILTON!!! and Oh my stars and garters the new Lumineers album “Cleopatra” is sooo good.

    TV: Oh my own I just finished Gossip Girl 🙂 and I am attempting to finish Greys Anatomy but not sure. With my hubster I watch Longmire and TURN. Both super good.

    Movies: I too don’t watch many anymore but I just re watched “About Time” and it is just the most delicious movie. I totally recommend it.

    • I love all these! And girl, I cannot BELIEVE you haven’t read HP. You are going to LOVE it.

      • Chelle

        I know I know…I am rather ashamed of myself 🙂 hahaha. It will probably be like DW for me. It took me a while to watch because I new I would be obsessed. Pretty soon I will be dressing in Hufflepuff colors.

  • Kate HendricksThomas

    I’m very late to reading Glennon Doyle Melton’s Carry On, Warrior but I am smitten with it.

    • Glennon is amazing – her new book is coming out soon and it’s so good!

  • Liz Milani

    LOVED this post! I discovered “Broadchurch” earlier this year and binged watched the two seasons in about a week. Great storytelling, beautiful characters! AND, I’ve fallen in love wth the music of the show… the composer, “Olafur Arnalds” won a BAFTA for the score (I think), and now he’s my go-to theme music for most days.
    Reading: Current author crush is Aussie “Geraldine Books.” I’ve just started her book, “The Secret Chord” which is a retelling of the story of King David. So far, brilliant. She’s not religious, and I think thats given her a more objective view of what we know about David from the scriptures. However, she is keenly insightful, and the spirit of her work is weighty. There’s some prose at the start of it written in the voice the Prophet Nathan which is stunning.
    Have a beautiful week! Thanks for all you do. xo

    • Oh, wow, that sounds so good!

    • Evonne

      That would be Geraldine BROOKS….a good writer!

      • Liz Milani

        haha – yep. Oops.

  • Edie Raye


    Speaking of Krista Tippett – Becoming Wise has been feeding my soul. So much to chew on and digest. Just finished Annie Dillard’s latest collection of essays, The Abundance. Although most of the material was previously published I found it worthwhile to reread old favorites and discover stuff I missed the first time. And my total girl crush on Lesley Hazleton continues unabated with her latest, Agnostic. SO GOOD! All three are outstanding reads and work together well, reinforcing each other’s message.


    Mr. Holmes. Ian McKellen acts with his entire body and is a delight to watch. The movie is quiet and slow and sweet. It brought into sharp contrast how frenetically most movies are edited these days.
    I’ll See You In My Dreams, continues these themes. In a karaoke scene you get to hear the entire song instead of just a few lines and cut. Blythe Danner is luminous and her friends hilarious – makes you wish there were more vehicles for actors in their 60s, 70s, and 80s.
    Hammock. Lots and lots of Hammock.

  • Care

    Hey there! I just want to thank you for ‘Out of Sorts’. My friend sent it to me as a gift as I have been struggling with re-entry after a year away from home, part of it spent in Africa and part in London. I felt like everything I learnt was shaken when I returned, as well as the grief of saying goodbye to that season being overwhelming at times. Out of Sorts filled me up with so much peace and comfort, knowing that it was okay to grieve, okay to question, okay to have all those “I don’t knows” piling up in the corners. Thank you so, so much for giving space to my confusion and filling that space with love. It’s a book I’ll treasure and reread many times. Lots of love x
    PS. You should have a listen to ‘In The Heights’ – it was Lin-Manuel’s first musical and he won 8 Tonys for it 🙂 I couldn’t stop listening for a good 3 years 😛 x

    • Thank you so much, Care – love hearing that, just makes my day! xo

      • Care

        I’m so glad 🙂 you have been a spiritual “mama” to this girl’s heart from thousands of miles away, so please never stop using your voice and the words God gives you to speak boldly – I know there are countless others who will be craving the same thing. You have been put into your role for a reason, and I for one am so thankful that you’re being faithful in it.
        Blessings xx

  • Catherine Comes

    More books to add to my must-read list!! woo!! Haha.. You HAVE to read “Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie” by Alan Bradley! It’s a mystery book (the first in a series) set in England in the 1950’s with Flavia de Luce, a quirky, unintentionally mischievous, genius, eleven year old as the main character. I actually heard about it from Jen Hatmaker’s blog! I’m unashamedly obsessed haha.

  • Courtney Massicotte

    You didn’t like Father Brown… *jaw drops*. But it’s so cute and nice and easy… perfect lunchtime viewing when I’m taking a break! Plus, sassy!

    • I know, right? I was SURE I would love it but I was rather bored after three episodes and just meh.

      • I was also sure I would like it, but nope. I didn’t even finish the first episode.

  • Brittaney Borman

    Check out Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries on Netflix. It’s got a feminist female detective set in 1920’s Australia. We are on our second run through the series after discovering it in December. So much fun! Also, her wardrobe!

    • Oh, that sounds fantastic!

    • Handsfull

      Love this show!

  • Tasha Roberts

    I also just finished tearing through the Inspector Gamache series, and I’m a little sad and lonely now that I have to wait a few more months to hear anymore from my fictional friends in Three Pines. What am I going to do after August when I have to wait even longer for the next book?!? Also, after reading about Gamache and Reine-Marie, I finally understood the hashtag #couplegoals. I listened to the audiobooks, and the narration was excellent. I have a lot of love for Jean-Guy. And Ruth. And Rosa.
    As far as movies go, I recently saw Me Before You, and as a fan of the book, I was not disappointed. I also highly recommend Jessica Jones on Netflix. I’m pretty sensitive to graphic violence and general creepiness, and I’m not a comics fan, but my husband talked me into watching it. The first few episodes weren’t my favorite, but as the story unfolded, the series kept getting better. The characters were interesting, and Ritter and Tennant were both fantastic.

  • Nicole Klix

    I’m willing to give Eligible a chance, but will you try The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet? As one might infer, this is the diary of Lizzie Bennet, who is working on her master’s in mass communications. For her thesis she creates a vlog (The Lizzie Bennet Diaries), little knowing how her public reflections will shape her future. I was about half-way through the book when I realized that its constant references to the vlog and supporting social-media tie-ins might mean that there was an actual vlog – and there is! 100 2-8 minute delightful episodes, which won the 2013 Emmy for Outstanding Creative Achievement In Interactive Media – Original Interactive Program. I’m not sure if this recommendation is for the book or the show, but either way it is worth checking out.

    • You know, Lisa-Jo Baker has been telling me FOR YEARS to watch that show and I think it’s time I believed you both!

      • Nicole Klix

        I’m so glad that the recommendation of a COMPLETE STRANGER has made you reconsider the suggestion of a good friend. 😀

  • Thanks for this! Added a couple more items to my “to read” list. As though it needed more items…

  • If you can only read one book this summer, this is it …



  • Amanda Brindley

    These are my favorite posts! A couple years ago, your winter time “what I’m into” introduced me to Neil Gaiman…..so you’ve changed my life 🙂 I loved season 9 of Doctor Who so. much. Thank you, thank you for taking that controversial stand. And thank you for this post that means I now have a bunch of podcasts to listen to and books to read. That’s pretty much the best gift I could ever receive. I think I’ll see if I can grab “Year of Yes” on audio for my roadtrip later next month. I just finished rereading N.D. Wilson’s “Death By Living” which is fantastic and “The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making” which is playful and beautiful and whimsical and lovely.

  • Jessie Buckmaster

    Richard Rohr was on the RobCast and The Liturgists the same week and it was heaven. I went for long walks soaking it all in. That man is incredible, and I just want to hug him and say thank you. I’ve been catching up on Emma Watson’s “Our Shared Shelf” book club on goodreads, some excellent feminist finds! I’ve gotten in a good reading groove lately and have been making my way through my unwieldy Amazon wishlist. I just read Station Eleven and loved it, but was dissatisfied with the ending, and I’ll be reading Eligible next, along with a couple of Austen-ite friends!

  • Louise

    Sarah, as a UK reader, if you liked Broadchurch then I recommend Happy Valley (series 1 and series 2) Gritty!

  • I love posts like this! Especially when book talk is involved. If you liked Shonda’s book try Rubin’s Happiness Project if you haven’t already. I think it is better written and more relatable while the same stunt genre idea. Off to check out some other recommendations!

  • Carrie Blumert

    Will have to pick up some Inspector Gamache 😉

    If you love The Shack, you will love The Shack Revisited. I am currently reading it and absolutely love it. It goes into detail the theology of the shack and how truth is weaved throughout. A MUST for those who love The Shack.

  • Kimberly

    Have you watched Grantchester (love!) and Endeavor?

  • Amanda Stewart

    I just finished Robinson’s new book of essays and thought “Fear” was incredible– so important for the American church to hear what she has to say. Listening to Robinson read her own essays makes them feel a little less “dense”.
    I’m disappointed in summer T.V., but have really been enjoying the BBC War & Peace mini-series, which you can rent on DVD from Netflix.

  • Pingback: what i’m into: summer, 2016 | the jelly jars()

  • On your recommendation, I’ve launched into the Inspector Gamache series. Now I’m spending all of my free minutes reading and plotting my move to Three Pines. Maybe we can actually meet and be neighbors there. I love dogs and baking croissants! In the meantime, my next blog post will be about getting caught up in a book series.

  • Kathy Forsyth

    I love the ninth series of Dr. Who as well!

  • I’m so out of it. I didn’t even know Rob Bell had a podcast. Thanks for linking!

  • Christine Granata Hunt

    I am also in love with Jean-Guy. His journey has been remarkable.

    Thank you for the inspiring list of other books to read!

  • Pingback: 2016 Reading Challenge – this is just something that is happening()