I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite books of this spring/summer. The majority will be fiction since that is the cycle I am in right now. (All of you lifelong bookworms know how the seasons change) I am shying away from Christian non-fiction right now for personal reasons. I couldn’t read one more book, no matter how GOOD and inspiring it is, that had nothing but answers and solutions. I need to leave space for the unanswered questions in my life–so for the time being I read stories instead.
*As a disclaimer, I do not endorse these for everyone. I have a very clear individual sense of what I can and cannot read. I know when I have to put a book down because the “ugliness” it describes is too much or is in violation of my conscience. You have to research what you read and use your own discretion for your conscience and situation.
1.) Lila, Marilynne Robinson. This was my favorite book this year by far. It is a beautiful, haunting story full of unanswered questions, yet clear hope and love. The two books that proceed this in the series, Gilead and Home, are also amazing, but I think this was my favorite.
2.) Baby Catcher: Chronicles of a Modern Midwife, Peggy Vincent. Funny, engaging stories from a modern midwife. I laughed out loud and cried too.
3.) East of Eden, John Steinbeck. This came close to rivaling Lila as my favorite. It was definitely the most surprising. This was one of those books on my “ought” to read list. You never know if you will finish that type just relived you can say you read it or actually discover you genuinely love it. This was the latter. *This book has the most matures themes on this list. Not recommended for teens.
4.) All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr. Most popular book I read this summer. I wanted to love it so much, and I did. Just not as much as I wanted to. It was described as a “enduring love story” , which threw me off. I was unconsciously waiting for love story. I think if I would re-read this again knowing it is a book about how lives intertwine during hardship and war I would love it as much as I wanted too. Such beautiful writing through out.
5.) The Select Journals of L.M. Montgomery Volume III, L.M.Montgomery. You can ignore this one unless you are an L.M. Montgomery fan. These are hard to find in the States so I was overjoyed to find one at my local used bookstore. I found this fascinating as only a die-hard fan would.
6.) The Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from a Nature-Deficit Disorder, Richard Louv. I am not finished with this one yet but so far find it FASCINATING.
7.) Telling the Truth: The Gospel as Tragedy, Comedy, and Fairy Tale, Frederick Buechner. This was a re-read but I found it meaningful for what I am working though in my spiritual journey. Fredrick Buechner is the doubting preacher, the theologian with more questions than answers. Sometimes you just need to know you can hold faith and doubt in the same hand for a season and it’s OK! I also read two more of his books this year Telling Secrets in the Dark, and The Magnificent Defeat, both collections of sermons.
What Alice Forgot, Liane Moriarty. I actually read this book last year but it gets honorable mention because I read three other Liane Moriarty books while I was sick this spring and none were as good as What Alice Forgot. This book will speak the most to married women between the ages of 25-60 🙂 Fun, light story but with deep undercurrents. * this book also deals with mature themes, but is not explicit.
Roughing it in the Bush, Susanna Moodie. If you like Canadian history this is a must read. If you have no interest in that subject it is still a classic and has witty, charming observations from a early Canadian settler’s wife.
And no, I did not read To Set a Watchman this summer. Some obscure time from now I will quietly pick it up and read it through. Quietly. Once all the loud voices have hushed.