As a writer, you can imagine one of my greatest loves is reading! I love books. Some girls say they buy shoes or purses but my guilty pleasure is books. I buy plenty of the other stuff too, of course, but books I seem to buy by the dozen. One of the best perks about this writing business is meeting other authors and having them send me their books! I cannot imagine a greater honor or privilege than to read the words they have lived – and the lessons that took a lifetime to learn. After writing my own book I understand just how much life, love and LABOR goes into every single one.
Many of you have asked me how I’ve learned all that I know or understand people as well as I do. The answer: BOOKS! You will see I take liberties to read a wide variety of books and thus feel like I have lived a million lives. I make no apologies for not sticking to a genre or theme! That said, I’m very excited to share with you what I’m reading right now. Two I’ve just finished, one I’m halfway through, and the other two are next on my reading list. Here goes:
1. The Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins: This debut psychological thriller will change the way you view other people’s lives. Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. When it stops at the signal she has the chance to view a house and it’s beautiful couple on their deck. She begins to feel like she knows them. She gives them names and imagines the life they live, not far different than the one she used to have. But one day she witnesses something shocking – and it changes everything. Soon she is thrust into a dark, disoriented world where nothing is as it seems and everything’s at stake. This was a dark, psychological thriller I couldn’t put down. You can get it on Amazon here: The Girl on the Train
2. The Nightingale, by Kristin Hannah: With courage, grace and powerful insight, bestselling author Kristin Hannah captures the epic panorama of WWII and illuminates an intimate part of history seldom seen: the women’s war. The Nightingale tells the stories of two sisters, separated by years and experience, by ideals, passion and circumstance, each embarking on her own dangerous path toward survival, love, and freedom in German-occupied, war-torn France–a heartbreakingly beautiful novel that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the durability of women. From the very first line I was hooked: In love we find out who we want to be. In war we find out who we are. You can buy it here: The Nightingale
3. Unafraid, by Susie Davis: I cannot wait to dive into this one next. Ya’ll. My beautiful friend Susie Davis spent much of her life strangled by fear after her thirteen-year old self watched as a classmate entered their classroom and killed her teacher. It was 1978, and one of the nations earliest school shootings. The experience left her with a paralyzing fear that consumed her life and fragmented her faith. Now she’s sharing the whole story, and how God relentlessly pursued her, and freed her heart. This is a book for fear-ers everywhere. Yes, we live in an unsafe world, but we can trust God in the midst of it. It’s available everywhere books are sold and you can grab it here on Amazon: Unafraid: Trusting God in an Unsafe World
It’s gorgeous, isn’t it? One of my favorite covers ever.
4. Traveling Mercies, by Anne Lamott: Anne Lamott claims the two best prayers she knows are: “Help me, help me, help me” and “Thank you, thank you, thank you.” A woman whose life has been as difficult and raw as it is now beautiful, Lamott’s faith isn’t about easy answers, which is part of what endears her to believers as well as nonbelievers. Against all odds, and what appeared to be an unbeatable addiction to alcohol, she came to believe in God and then, even more miraculously, in herself. As she puts it, “My coming to faith did not start with a leap but rather a series of staggers.” At once tough, personal, affectionate, raw, wise, and very funny, Traveling Mercies tells in exuberant detail how Anne Lamott learned to shine the light of faith on the darkest part of ordinary life, exposing surprising pockets of meaning and hope. I’m a book-writer-in-er and unfortunately I borrowed this book from a friend. I was dog-earing so many pages that I had to order a copy for myself just to keep! Her story is precious to me also because of my own sister’s struggle with addiction and the HOPE that it bears for healing. I just sent her a copy too. You can get yours on Amazon right here: Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith
5. All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr: I’m not sure why I’m so drawn to WWII period novels this month but I am. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, and an instant New York Times bestseller, this is a story about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II. Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.
In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure’s converge. You can grab your copy right here: All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel
That’s it! Happy Friday my friends! It’s rainy here, which is always a really great day for a book. But then again, any day is a great day for a great book! Happy reading! xoxo