The last few months, as the weather has changed to winter in Michigan, I’ve been able to compile a list of books I’ve read. Wondering what to read next? ;) This is a post you’ll want to bookmark ~ here are 7 books you’ll want to read next!
I often read during the kids afternoon quiet time, in the evening before bed, and sometimes even during the daytime when everyone is contently playing. My goodness, my life as a mother has evolved greatly since entering motherhood in 2012. It’s beautiful to reflect on.
PS. it’s worth mentioning the book descriptions are all from Amazon, however I wrote my personal take on the book immediately following the author’s name.
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Chasing Slow by Erin Loechner ~ Immediately driven to know more about Erin’s experiences as a blogger and design enthusiast, I read this book twice (back to back) because I found myself nodding my head “yes” with every single page turn. I appreciated Erin’s realness to share openly about her challenges and setbacks, while continuing to encourage herself to keep moving forward ~ that no experience is a wasted experience.
DESCRIPTION: You’re here, but you want to be there.
So you spend your life narrowing this divide, and you call this your race, your journey, your path. You live your days tightening your boot straps, wiping the sweat from your brow, chasing undiscovered happiness just around the bend. Higher! Faster! Better! Stronger!
And on and on you run.
Viral sensation and HGTV.com star Erin Loechner knows about the chase. Before turning 30, she’d built a fan base of one million women worldwide and earned the title “The Nicest Girl Online” as she was praised for her authentic voice and effortless style. The New York Times applauded her, her friends and church admired her, and her husband and baby adored her … In Chasing Slow, Erin turns away from fast and fame and frenzy. Follow along as she blazes the trail toward a new-fashioned lifestyle—one that will refresh your perspective, renew your priorities, and shift your focus to the journey that matters most. Through a series of steep climbs—her husband’s brain tumor, bankruptcy, family loss, and public criticism — Erin learns just how much strength it takes to surrender it all, and to veer right into grace.
Missional Motherhood by Gloria Furman ~ Currently reading this book, I find I’m savoring each page and really focusing on the words Gloria has chosen to share with us. At first glance, my mind loves that she says we as women are ALL called to motherhood, because “mother” is both a verb and a noun. We can do it! We can press on! We all share in this mission! (Thank you Molly for the recommendation!)
DESCRIPTION: There’s no such thing as “just” a mom.
Despite the routine tasks and mundane to-do lists, motherhood is anything but insignificant. God has designed motherhood as part of his greater plan to draw people to himself—instilling all women, whether called to traditional mothering or not, with an eternal purpose in nurturing others.
In this book, Gloria Furman searches the Scriptures for the mission of God in motherhood. She opens our eyes to God’s life-giving promises — promises intended to empower each and every woman as she makes disciples in her home, in her neighborhood, and around the world.
Bittersweet by Shauna Niequist ~ I finished this book within days, which is a bit fast for this mama of three little ones ;) Each chapter is a short story based on Shauna’s perspective of “bittersweet” (see below), and I really really enjoyed her personal, real life experiences. And yes, I absolutely laughed out loud, cried, and felt my heart tighten a bit as Shauna so courageously shared across 40-some chapters.
DESCRIPTION: The idea of bittersweet is changing the way I live, unraveling and re-weaving the way I understand life. Bittersweet is the idea that in all things there is both something broken and something beautiful, that there is a moment of lightness on even the darkest of nights, a shadow of hope in every heartbreak, and that rejoicing is no less rich even when it contains a splinter of sadness. It’s the practice of believing that we really do need both the bitter and the sweet, and that a life of nothing but sweetness rots both your teeth and your soul.
Bitter is what makes us strong, what forces us to push through, what helps us earn the lines on our faces and the calluses on our hands. Sweet is nice enough, but bittersweet is beautiful, nuanced, full of depth and complexity. Bittersweet is courageous, gutsy, audacious, earthy… You will find Bittersweet savory reading, indeed. “This is the work I’m doing now, and the work I invite you into: when life is sweet, say thank you, and celebrate. And when life is bitter, say thank you, and grow.”
Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly ~ (historical fiction) Also currently reading this book, which is so beautifully descriptive in it’s story telling that I am also reading this very slowly. A serious read, yes, but also one perfectly written for book club should you find yourself lucky to be in one ;)
DESCRIPTION: New York socialite Caroline Ferriday has her hands full with her post at the French consulate and a new love on the horizon. But Caroline’s world is forever changed when Hitler’s army invades Poland in September 1939—and then sets its sights on France.
An ocean away from Caroline, Kasia Kuzmerick, a Polish teenager, senses her carefree youth disappearing as she is drawn deeper into her role as courier for the underground resistance movement. In a tense atmosphere of watchful eyes and suspecting neighbors, one false move can have dire consequences.
For the ambitious young German doctor, Herta Oberheuser, an ad for a government medical position seems her ticket out of a desolate life. Once hired, though, she finds herself trapped in a male-dominated realm of Nazi secrets and power.
The lives of these three women are set on a collision course when the unthinkable happens and Kasia is sent to Ravensbrück, the notorious Nazi concentration camp for women. Their stories cross continents—from New York to Paris, Germany, and Poland—as Caroline and Kasia strive to bring justice to those whom history has forgotten.
The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan ~ This book started a little slow for me, however once I was a couple of chapters in I found myself adoring the main character, Nina, and the adventurous life she was pursuing. The storyline is set mostly in Scotland, features a traveling bookshop, and highlights a completely different lifestyle as the backdrop… I absolutely loved this book and am hoping for a sequel.
DESCRIPTION: Nina is a literary matchmaker. Pairing a reader with that perfect book is her passion… and also her job. Or at least it was. Until yesterday, she was a librarian in the hectic city. But now the job she loved is no more.
Determined to make a new life for herself, Nina moves to a sleepy village many miles away. There she buys a van and transforms it into a bookmobile — a mobile bookshop that she drives from neighborhood to neighborhood, changing one life after another with the power of storytelling.
From helping her grumpy landlord deliver a lamb, to sharing picnics with a charming train conductor who serenades her with poetry, Nina discovers there’s plenty of adventure, magic, and soul in a place that’s beginning to feel like home… a place where she just might be able to write her own happy ending.
The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls ~ This true life story had me reading with my eyebrows raised for most of the pages I turned. At times uncomfortable, Jeannette’s story is raw and honest as she takes you on an erratic ride of her childhood and young adult life.
DESCRIPTION: The Glass Castle is a remarkable memoir of resilience and redemption, and a revelatory look into a family at once deeply dysfunctional and uniquely vibrant. When sober, Jeannette’s brilliant and charismatic father captured his children’s imagination, teaching them physics, geology, and how to embrace life fearlessly. But when he drank, he was dishonest and destructive. Her mother was a free spirit who abhorred the idea of domesticity and didn’t want the responsibility of raising a family.
The Walls children learned to take care of themselves. They fed, clothed, and protected one another, and eventually found their way to New York. Their parents followed them, choosing to be homeless even as their children prospered.
Secrets of a Charmed Life by Susan Meissner ~ (historical fiction) If you’re looking for a real page-turner, this is the book to read! There were many elements of the storyline that drew me in, either with the relationships shared, home life details, or personal hobbies described. Time and time again I was unexpectedly surprised as details unfolded. This is my second book read by this author, and Susan’s writing is every bit as constant(ly good) as the other.
DESCRIPTION: Current day, Oxford, England. Young American scholar Kendra Van Zant, eager to pursue her vision of a perfect life, interviews Isabel McFarland just when the elderly woman is ready to give up secrets about the war that she has kept for decades… beginning with who she really is. What Kendra receives from Isabel is both a gift and a burden — one that will test her convictions and her heart.
1940s, England. As Hitler wages an unprecedented war against London’s civilian population, hundreds of thousands of children are evacuated to foster homes in the rural countryside. But even as fifteen-year-old Emmy Downtree and her much younger sister Julia find refuge in a charming Cotswold cottage, Emmy’s burning ambition to return to the city and apprentice with a fashion designer pits her against Julia’s profound need for her sister’s presence. Acting at cross purposes just as the Luftwaffe rains down its terrible destruction, the sisters are cruelly separated, and their lives are transformed…
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FILL ME IN! What have you read recently, which books did you love, what would you highly recommend? What should I read next? Do you prefer paperback (hand raised!) or e-reader? Do you read quickly or are you a page savor-er? If you’re looking for the full list of books I’ve read, click right here…
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