Q2 | books of 2018

007. the year of magical thinking / joan didion.

not what i thought it would be. (didn't actually know what it was.)
accidentally the second book i've read about grief this year.

008. 100 days to brave / annie f. downs.

at first, i wasn't sure i wanted to read this at all.
it ended up being the only daily devotional i've ever finished.

009. walking on water / madeleine l'engle.

if you're curious about what it is to be creative.
if you've ever labeled art as either "christian" or "secular."

010. tell me three things / julie buxbaum.

if you liked what to say next or enjoy YA fiction in general.
if you're looking for some real high school nostalgia.

011. fangirl / rainbow rowell.

a super easy and fun read, especially if you spend a lot of time holding sleeping babies. not my favorite YA book i've read.

012. redeeming love / francine rivers.

i loved this story so much, and the experience i had reading it.
it felt like God's love was radiating off the page.


013. tailor made / alex seeley.

one of those books i think everyone needs to read. let me know if you want me to send you a copy. (mostly not kidding?)

014. and david perceived he was king / dale l. mast.

coincidentally read alongside tailor made, which was a double dose of much-needed identity truths. such a good read.

017. a wrinkle in time / madeleine l'engle.

one of those didn't read it in high school books.
one of those read it in a day books.

016. come matter here / hannah brencher.

always love hearing stories and insight from hb.
i thought the second half was better than the first half.

017. the art of memoir / mary karr.

round two with this one.
for anyone writing a memoir.


books of 2018: Q1

favorites of all time.

Q1 | books of 2018

001. the sacred enneagram / christopher l. heuertz.

great next step after reading the road back to you.
(some parts were kind of boring to me though.)

002. writing down the bones / natalie goldberg.

THE BEST if you're into writing (or creativity).
still worth skimming even if you're not.

003. it's okay to laugh / nora mcinerny purmort.

if you've ever experienced grief, or know someone who has.
one of those crying on one page / laughing on the next books.

004. if you only knew / jamie ivey.

must read if you grew up in church.
must read if you didn't grow up in church.

005. someday, someday, maybe / lauren graham.

if you're into fiction, are interested in (or at least fascinated by) the acting life, a fan of lorelai gilmore and/or sarah braverman.

006. what to say next / julie buxbaum.

if you're into young adult fiction (like me, apparently?).
fascinating insight into asperger's syndrome.

books of 2017 | 006

i'm cheating. i finished these in january, but i was like 90% finished with both of them and just want to keep 2017 in 2017. okay.

love wins (rob bell)

"so controversial." the first thing anyone ever says about rob bell or this book, and they're not wrong. this is the first book of his that i've read, but i've listened to a few podcast interviews with him. he makes a lot of bold statements and pushes back against many ideas that a lot of christians would file under "obvious" beliefs.

my thoughts about rob bell, and this book, are the same as my thoughts about anyone sharing what they believe to be true. i don't take what he says or believes to be factual. i read the bible and form my own opinions, but i'm open to hearing other interpretations, which i measure against my own.

love wins is probably one third questions, one third scripture, and one third conclusion. the questions aim to poke holes at what you might think is obvious, the scriptures aim to challenge you to re-think, and the conclusion is the part where he shows how the dots connect and make sense for him.

i finished this book with things i found interesting to consider, new goals for what i'm looking for when i read the bible, and generally the same beliefs i had before starting it.

simply tuesday (emily p. freeman)

this has been sitting in my kindle app for at least two years. it was on sale, but i'm a hold-the-book-in-my-hands-and-turn-the-pages kind of reader, what can i say. except that i wish i hadn't waited so long.

this book is pure gold, full of love for the average, everyday kind of day. aka, my love language. it spoke directly to my heart about things like starting small, remaining faithful to your own work, trusting god, and playing the role you were created for.

in contrast to the grueling hard work of a monday, the excitement of a friday, or an activity-filled saturday, she highlights the potential of a simple tuesday. but it's less about learning how to slow down and more about recognizing what's beautiful about the already slow parts.

it's about matching up who you are and what your life looks like to the promises of god, and understanding that your part is not to feed the five thousand, but to give what you have to jesus. your part is not to figure out the means to the end, but to wait for god's hand to move.

even on a tuesday.

books of 2017: 001 | 002 | 003 | 004 | 005

favorites of all time.

books of 2017 | 005

present over perfect (shauna niequist)

shauna niequist is one of those writers whose words make me feel alive on the inside. her stories, her voice, her way of wrapping words around a particular feeling that i want to write on a piece of paper to keep in my back pocket so i can pull it out when i'm trying to explain something. it's like this.

this book is no different. there are elements of her life that i cannot relate to, of course. i am not a wife or a mom or an enneagram 7. but she is a woman and a writer and a human being. i still find myself lingering on certain passages, gasping at the way she reveals what's true for me too.

nothing to prove (jennie allen)

i kept hearing about this book and went back and forth, trying to figure out if i just know a lot of people who know and support jennie allen or if it was that and really a book i needed to read.

i was pleasantly surprised, and a little taken back, by how life-giving this book was for me. chapter after chapter, she digs deep into the book of john, offering a fresh perspective on the gospel, and challenges us to breathe in the truth and let go of that backpack we're convinced we need to carry. more than once i let out an audible, "oh" after reading her words.

books of 2017: 001 | 002 | 003 | 004

favorites of all time.

i received a free copy of nothing to prove by jennie allen from blogging for books
in exchange for an honest review.

books of 2017 | 004

the history of love (nicole krauss)

a fiction book! can you believe it?

it was added to my list after seeing this line quoted on tumblr, years ago: "once upon a time there was a boy who loved a girl, and her laughter was a question he wanted to spend his whole life answering."

i finally picked up a copy at the library a few months ago, but after reading a few pages, i ended up ordering one from amazon because there were so many things i wanted to underline. it less about highlighting quotable lines and more about wanting to dog ear whole pages.

i was intrigued by the storyline––about a writer who wrote a book and a girl named after the main character––but it was her writing style that kept me turning the pages. 

love lives here (maria goff)

if you've read love does by bob goff (which you should, if you haven't), you've heard about his wife, whom he calls "sweet maria." she has now released a collection of her own stories about love, faith, loss, what it's like being married to bob, and being a mom.

originally, i got a digital copy of this book for free from the publisher as part of the launch team, but i ended up buying a physical copy so i could mark up the pages. almost every page has something highlighted, as she shares lessons and advice i want to keep in my back pocket.

if you're wondering, like i was, about whether she'd print her phone number on the last page like bob did in love does – she doesn't; fittingly, she includes his phone number instead.

books of 2017: 001 | 002 | 003

favorites of all time.

books of 2017 | 003


playing catch-up. because the truth is, i haven't read anything since being sandwiched between those two snuggly pups last month. i've been working on other things! find out what by signing up for my email newsletter in the sidebar.

the road back to you (ian cron & suzanne stabile)

this book is a great introduction to the enneagram, a thing i've mentioned once before. the enneagram, in short, is an ancient personality typing system that focuses mainly on the drive behind your behaviors, instead of just the behaviors themselves, to help give you a better understanding of who you are, why you do what you do, and how you can be a better, healthier version of yourself. it has been such a game changer for me.

please figure out which number you are and then let's talk about it. it's my new favorite topic of conversation.

to kill a mockingbird (harper lee)

i "read" this in high school. in quotes because what i actually read was chapter summaries so i'd pass pop quizzes and exams. if i could give any piece of advice to my high school self, it would be to read the books.

and also maybe find out your enneagram number.

i didn't speed-read through this one. it wasn't a page turner. but i felt sad when i finished and thought about it for days afterword. i got it from the library, otherwise i would've read it again.

books of 2017: 001 | 002

favorites of all time.