I’m a reader. Most people who know me know this about me. I read every night before turning out the light. When I’m not reading, I wane in creativity. I have trouble switching off my thoughts at the end of the day and reading helps me turn the page to a new day.
Haha. I punned.
Seriously, reading is awesome and I love sharing a good book with someone. I’ve read fiction for enjoyment. Non-fiction for education. Biography. Fantasy. Young Adult. Children’s literature. It’s great.
These are my favorites of the last year.
A Gentleman in Moscow. Wow. So creative and smart. A joy to read and especially rich if you’ve read any of the Russian authors of the past. My personal take away was the challenge to live fully the life I’m given with all the parameters I face.
An added bonus is that you’ll feel smarter after you read this one.
Little Women. I ran out of books one night and trolled my Kindle for something to read or reread and found Little Women. I’d read it before but I read it again. This time, I came away with a renewed value for my role as a mother. She’s not the main character in the book in some ways, but Marmie is always there waiting, watching, knowing, and loving her girls.
I also identified with each sister in some ways and gained much from how they resisted their personal temptations. It gave me insight on my own road to maturity.
A Man Called Ove. I don’t want to give anything away, but this book is a must read. Do not watch the movie before you read it or you will lose the amazing experience the author unfolds in the way he tells this story. Be warned, there are some dark themes and some language.
In the end, it opened my eyes a bit wider to the importance of community in some very real and good ways. It’ll make you cry, so grab the tissues!
My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry. I read this because I read A Man Called Ove. This is by the same author. Its a bittersweet story of the loss of a grandparent from the eyes of a child.
In so many ways, we see our lives like children too. Maybe that’s why I liked the story. Again, Backman writes a strong theme of community. And, the writing is just great too.
Jane Eyre. Those Bronte sisters. So dark and gothic! I read Jane Eyre recently and was stunned. I’d read it before and the big thing I got was old, obsessive man. Young woman. Weird love story. Crazy lady in the attic.
Reading it again, I saw so much more. An orphan girl who never, ever had a place or belonged. No family. No love. No respect. She then faces the ultimate temptation. A family, a kind of love, belonging… but at a price. Loss of dignity.
To Kill a Mockingbird. I recently read this book again as an adult. It is a literary and cultural goldmine. Told from the perspective of an 8 year old daughter, it challenged my soul to feel the pain of those around me who suffer under the heavy weight of prejudice and have for centuries.
I need to have a book club so I can process it. My brain is full of thoughts and questions!
This is getting long, so I’ll stop here for now. Another post is bouncing around in my mind of those books that have mentored me more directly in ministry. Its kind of a silly division of lists, though. In some ways, both fiction and non-fiction alike are taken, evaluated, and incorporated into my life in some way.
So, don’t put down fiction because you think you’ll get more from a christian living or self-help book. Literature has a unique way of leading us too.
And, definitely never put down your Bible. Its at the top of all my lists.