Welcome to April! Three months of 2019 are gone and I have read 10 books so far. I’m not a speed reader by any means and I don’t often read multiple books each week but I’m moving at pretty solid pace as far as I’m concerned.
One of the best lessons I’ve learned about being an adult is something I read in a book by Annie Downs. You get to like what you like. It’s taken me quite a while to understand that. I grew up being told that everyone’s opinion of me mattered. Different was not celebrated. It was hardly tolerated. When in reality, another person’s opinion of me is none of my business and the things that make me different are the things that make me great. I’ve always loved to read, but for a long time I wouldn’t talk about what I was reading with others because I thought I had to read things that were high brow and intellectually stimulating. Books that made people mull and muse over the workings of the world.
Over the years I’ve gotten beyond those literary insecurities and I just read what I like. And I always want to share. A good portion of the time, that means I’m reading YA. Young adult books will always grab my heart in a way that “grown up” books don’t. Often, I’m also reading children’s literature. If you haven’t picked up any children’s lit since you were a child, don’t sleep on it. Some of the best stories were written for middle and younger grades. (Try Fish in a Tree or The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.) Other times it’s Christian non-fiction or a salacious celebrity memoir. I read the dark and twisty and the light and cheerful. I am of the persuasion that all my books are intellectually stimulating and all of them are important. At least they are to me.
In the spirit of liking what I like, I’ve decided that for every 10 books I read, I’ll write a blog post about them. This might be the only blog post of its kind considering I only read 18 books last year. I love to read, but it doesn’t always get done. I’ll attempt to write a one line synopsis (OLS) because I think the more a person tries to explain what a book is about the worse it ends up sounding. Then I’ll tell you what my opinions were. (
Probably Definitely not one line.) If you follow me on Instagram (@_heatherina) these titles will be familiar. I post a picture and review each time I finish a book. If you’re interested in any of these books just click on the title or cover picture and it’ll take you straight over to Amazon.
Remember God is about understanding that God is always kind even when things aren’t going the way we expected them to.
As Christians, we often talk about how “God is in control” and we don’t need to worry because “God has perfect timing.” We speak in Christian cliches thinking those simple phrases will make us feel better, but if we’re honest with ourselves, they don’t. I was raised on these phrases and thought if I doubted these things, God would smite me with His angry fist from Heaven. But I couldn’t help myself. There were many times in my life when I talked to God and said, “Where you at bruh?” Reading Remember God made me feel like I wasn’t alone in my wondering and that trusting God and questioning Him are not mutually exclusive.
David Sedaris takes the reader on a hilarious journey through two parts of his life, growing up in North Carolina and his move to France.
A long time coming, but this is the first Sedaris book I’ve read. I love his voice and his sardonic sense of humor. I laughed so much while reading this. Michael had to listen to me read many parts out loud because I needed someone to enjoy it with me. If you like cynical and sarcastic, you’ll enjoy this book. “Jesus Shaves” and the title essay were my two favorite laugh out loud pieces. I already have another Sedaris book (Naked) waiting for me on my bookshelf.
A socially awkward young woman learns to navigate her life despite a tumultuous past and makes beautiful friendships along the way.
If I had to pick a favorite for the year thus far, this is it. It is wonderful. Full disclosure: First time I picked up the book I couldn’t get into it. I didn’t like Eleanor. She was bizarre and off putting. After giving it a second chance, per my #FinishIt2019 goal, I fell completely in love with the character and the book. I admire Eleanor because she is always herself and clueless as to why she should be any other way. She’s odd but so funny. The ending left me hugging the book. I don’t want to say too much because I’ll spoil it, but I will say, you will root for Eleanor the entire time.
Mo Isom gets to the heart of a subject the Church often neglects, sex and how God designed it.
This book was discussed on several podcasts that I listen to so I finally took the time to read it. I really liked it. I think it’s great book for anyone (married or single) who questions the “why” behind what the Church and Bible say about sex. It’s not just another abstinence book.
A baby is kidnapped during a dinner party and her parents try to get her back.
That OLS is crap but it is exactly what the book is about. This book has so many twists and turns it is scarcely believable, but if you like fast paced, plot driven books, this is a good choice. I found myself saying, “What the hell?” and rereading several times to make sure I didn’t misinterpret something. I like a book that takes me on a ride and this was a good evening read. You’ll fly through it because you’ll want to figure it out.
Jenny Lawson tells the most bizarre and often mortifying stories about her life.
If you like David Sedaris, you’ll probably like Jenny Lawson. The stories are golden. She’s funny in the strangest way. All of us have embarrassing stories but Jenny Lawson tells hers in the best way. All the Texasy parts made my heart smile. Her other book, Furiously Happy, is in my top 10 of all time. Lawson also has a great instagram account if you’re interested. (@thebloggess)
A young girl gets messages from someone who seems to know her with clues about a death that she has to try and prevent.
This was a re-read. I don’t often re-read books because there are so many on my To Be Read list that I can’t justify doubling up. That being said, I re-read this because of teacher things and it was still good the second time around. It’s a middle grade book and it will only take an afternoon to read.
As per the title, Bogel writes about all things bookish.
Any bibliophile will like this book. I love books about books and this was no exception. You can read it all at once, or one essay here and there. You don’t even have to read it in order. If, like me, you’ve reorganized your bookshelf one too many times or reached your limit of library holds or dreamed of owning a bookstore, this is a really sweet book for people like us. Also, check out her podcasts, What Should I Read Next? and One Great Book.
Twelve kids go to a lock-in at the library and wake up to find that they have to solve several puzzles in order to get out.
This is a cute middle grade book, probably suitable for about 4th grade readers. I liked it because the library described is the library of my dreams! Again, books about books will always get me. Also, I like riddles and puzzles and this book is full of them.
A couple escapes their war-torn country by stepping through magical doors that transport them to different places around the world.
I wanted to like this book so much more than I did. Mostly because I work with refugees and recent immigrants so I thought surely I would love it. Hamid write beautiful prose and it definitely has important purpose. It’s been on so many lists of Must Read Books so I know there are many people who love it. I think I’m more drawn to plot driven books that keep the story moving. If you like character development to tell the story, then this is perfect for you. It’s a great book, just not for me.
As a preview of things to come, I’m currently reading three books. I hate reading more than one book at a time because I feel like I never finish anything but these books got the best of me. I’m reading The Road Back to You about the enneagram because I’m trying to read more informational non-fiction. I’m re-reading The Secret Garden because children’s literature makes me happy and it’s springtime. Perfect for a garden book! And I just started a read aloud of The One-in-a-Million Boy that I’m reading with Michael
Thanks for joining me on this bookish adventure. What have you read this year or what do you plan to read? As always, your feedback is so helpful and appreciated. See you in ten more books.