I love to read. During lockdown, I raided my Stateside library’s ebook stash. I also had quite a few unread books on my Kindle.
And there was no time like the present.
Here are a few books I recommend from the first half of my reading year. (Note: I tend to stick to the three genres below.) These aren’t reviews, just recommendations. Take them or leave them and, by all means, create your own list and share it with me!
The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer. Delightful and entertaining. Reminiscent of Daddy-Long-Legs and Dear Enemy by Jean Webster.
Wonder by R. J. Palacio. This book dug down deep inside an issue and made it live and breathe. Of course, I fell in love with Auggie too.
How Does Sanctification Work? by David Powlison. I’m still digesting this one. It was a clear and profound presentation of sanctification. Don’t let the plain title scare you away.
Mere Christianity and The Four Loves by C.S. Lewis. Many writers go out of their way to be relatable and end up shallow or simplistic. Other writers present remarkable theology without a bit of humanity, as if the closer you are to God, the less of you will appear. But Lewis challenges both of those notions by presenting mind-blowing theology written with a voice so thoroughly human that I burst into laughter at times. I enjoyed both of these books.
Unseen by Sara Hagerty. This was an awakening book for me, encouraging me to “squander” time with God, not for brownie points, but because our relationship is that meaningful. Hagerty writes beautifully about finding who we are in the eyes of Jesus rather than the eyes of men. I also recommend her book Every Bitter Thing is Sweet.
Memoir & Non-Fiction:
Evicted by Matthew Desmond. This was a fascinating read. The narrator doesn’t downplay the tension between the privileged and underprivileged but showed both sides of the housing struggle. I didn’t always know what I was feeling as I read, but when I set it down, I knew the book was worth my time. Personally, I stayed away from from the political side of it (as I stay away from the political side of almost everything) and focused on the reality of people living the lives Desmond writes about.
Educated by Tara Westover. This memoir was captivating and sobering, even more sobering when I realized that the author and I are the same age and her story could have been mine. As an author, Westover had an incredible way of bringing back old details and showing their significance later in her story.
The Telling Room by Michael Paterniti. This story about an extraordinary cheese is set in Spain, making it even dearer to my heart. It has been a while since I overturned a book with such beautiful writing. For me, it was especially beautiful since part of it was used to describe my world. Do I recommend this book? It depends on your standards of cleanliness. My only complaint is foul language, which is, unfortunately, true to Spain.
The Library Book by Susan Orlean. fascinating history of a library fire. Not an all-absorbing story line, but excellent writing. In my opinion, Orlean’s style was reminiscent of Laura Hillenbrand (Unbroken and Seabiscuit). I hope to read more of her in the future.
I could make this list longer…
Grace for the Good Girl by Emily Freeman
Healing for Damaged Emotions by David A. Seamands
Onions in the Stew by Betty MacDonald
Jesus the King by Timothy Keller
Thin Places by Mary E. DeMuth
Adorning the Dark by Andrew Peterson
I Am Hutterite by Mary-Ann Kirkby
But I’ll stop now. I promise. Please do write me your own recommendations. I’m always on the lookout for a good read!