I’ve talked books and recent reads over on Instagram, but it’s been awhile since I’ve shared a proper list. I’m going to try to make this more of a habit, again. Reading is, indeed, a habit (although, necessity would be the more fitting word) of mine and I’m rarely scant of recommendations. My favorite question to ask a person is often “What are you reading?” Their answer can range from interesting to predictable to fascinating, to helpful to telling.
Speaking of reading, my blogging friend (and one of my fave follows) Laura Tremaine just started a new Podcast– Ten Things to Tell You–the first episode, When Do You Read?, is all about reading. What I love is that all of her podcasts offer a few prompts (for us to tell each other). This episode asks:
When do you read?
How do you read?
What do you read?
I’ll share my answers below. I’d love for you to share your answers in the comments.
Now, here are a few books I’ve read in the past month or so:
I love a page turner. Something to solve. Something to keep me up at night. Something to keep me guessing during the day. And Something in the Water did not disappoint. The gist: a shocking find on a couples honeymoon, changes everything.
I never knew I was such a mystery girl (was so not into Nancy Drew in my youth), but here I am devoted to mysteries (so long as they aren’t gruesome or scary) in print and on TV (tell me your’ve faves!).
Something in the Water Steadman’s debut novel and, I have to say, I’d read her works again. Interestingly enough, she is an actress, by day, who you may have seen on Downton Abbey.
I should note, there is some colorful language in this book.
Shannan Martin is at the top of my list when it comes to faith-based writers. The girl knows how to string a sentence together and speaks the language of humanity–raw and real– while guiding the reader to hope and growth.
Shannan and I share a similarity in the call to paying attention and look for beauty amongst the sidewalk cracks as well as the, seemingly, crummy days. It’s funny because when Shannan was reading my manuscript (she endorsed La La Lovely) she mentioned we had some similar themes. Her writing and life’s work of loving her neighbors (which she so simply, and eloquently describes) is compelling.
The Ministry of Ordinary Places has stayed with me (that’s how I always know I’ve read something really good. I can’t quit it in my mind). It has challenged my thinking and is challenging me to look at what I so often have labeled as mundane as ministry.
I’ll be recommending this one for a good long time.
03 / Let Your Life Speak
I’ve known of Parker Palmer’s book for sometime. A classic on calling and vocation. I’ve seen many a friend’s read this book and rave about it. It’s been on my mental reading list for some time. I was set to start another book, when a well listening friend said…”You might want to start with this one.” She has sage advice, so I took it and ordered the near-pocket sized book the next day.
It’s not that I feel super confused about calling or vocation (Shannan’s book is, truly, simplifying, my thinking in this regard), it’s when my friend told me that he shares about a deep depression and how much of his life began after it.
And lo, and behold it is one of the best things I’ve ever read on depression–in defining it–giving language to what many cannot. It is hopeful (yet, honest) for those fighting depression and extremely insightful for those who do not know how to be there for a loved one suffering with depression.
Parker’s talk of going inward and describing that journey was very familiar to me. And the wisdom offered from his journey invaluable.
If you find yourself on a spiritual journey or are someone that loves the enneagram and wants to be the person they were created to be then I highly recommend this quick read (although, I recommend you read this one slowly).
It’s going on my life-change shelf.
04 / Rest
I’ve only just begun this book (so don’t be surprised if I want to go on about in my next “reading” post), but I’m pretty obsessed. It’s not often that I just can’t wait to get back to a non-fiction book, but such is the case with this read.
The idea is that work and rest are not antithetical. Rather . . . deliberate rest is the key to productivity. Case studies of successful creatives from from Dickens to Stephen King, along with Scientists and Athletes peppered in, have quite a few things in common. The pattern is interesting.
It’s actually been really freeing because I see this very similar to the way I, naturally, tend to work. I’m always beating myself up that I’m not able to sit at my desk M-F, 8-3, while the kids are at school. Shorter spurts work, if you know how to work them well. And, if you know how to rest, properly.
Enlightening read for creatives, and anyone, wanting to both maximize their work and rest–they go hand in hand.
I’ve probably talked about this book over on Insta. I was eagerly awaiting to read this new release by Kate Morton–she is my favorite fiction writer. The way Morton writes about homes, their personalities and the people they are tied too rings so very true to me. Im always underlining her sentences and falling in love with her characters and the places in which they live.
While this wasn’t my favorite book of her’s, it’s a good read. The tale weaves in out of generations with a found journal, a group of artists, a missing family jewel, a murder, lost love and many secrets to solve. The setting is 1860’s England until the present day.
Confession: I read this a few years ago. But, if you like to read books before the movie comes out . . .this was a fun, quick read. The movie, staring Cate Blanchett is set to hit theaters in March.
When do you read?
I read whenever I can. I try to read in the morning as it helps set me up for the day. I find reading very grounding. Morning reading also really stimulates my mind and gets me thinking. If I’m caught up in a mystery or some type of story, I try to sneak in reading here or there throughout the day. Reading is also very relaxing for me. I don’t alway read before bed, but I like to. I’m hoping to make it more routine. There are some nights where I’m just so exhausted that even reading seems like too much–on those nights I’ll watch a show before bed. It’s either reading or TV. I cannot just turn the lights off and go to sleep.
How do you read?
I read in all forms. Print–which is my favorite. If Im reading a personal-growth or self-help book I almost always want my own hard copy so that I can mark it up and write notes. I do this sometimes with fiction, as well. If I see a gorgeous sentence, I can’t not circle, underline or highlight it. A lot of fiction I read on my Kindle (mysteries, for one). I love my Kindle for travel and for late night reading or if there is a book I literally cannot wait to read. It’s also great for downloading samples of books. As for audio–it’s my least favorite. I signed up for an Audible account before a road trip and then accrued quite a few credits. I now have a few books that I’ll be listening to. If listening, then I prefer to listen to memoirs read by the authors, humorous books, or self-help that comes across more like a teaching. Maybe I just haven’t listened to right story yet?
How I read is also kind of slow. I’d like to read faster. It also takes me longer to finish a book because I usually have at least 3 books going at the same time–which I read at different times of the day. Or different days depending on how I’m feeling.
What do you read?
Well I think I’ve answered this question above. But what I’m always reading is 1. Always my Bible 2. Always Spiritual Growth books 3. Always Self-Help / Personal Growth books 4. Always Fiction 5. Sometimes Classics 6. Sometimes Business or Marketing books 6. Sometimes Biographies
What about you? Please share your answers in the comments, Friends!
PS – More recs here.
*image via The Slow Traveler–my new favorite Instagram follow