Does that blanket look casually strewn? And that stack of books … perfectly haphazard? Because I really just want to straighten the pile and stack the books biggest to smallest, or maybe according to color. This photo is my attempt at seeming easy breezy. Like I just happen to stack my books perfectly imperfect. But really I was the 6-year-old girl who organized her pile of presents on Christmas morning (in a straight line, each touching the present before). The picture fools you though, huh?
In case you're wondering what I've been doing this winter, this is it. I've been curled up on that edge of my couch reading book after book. It makes for a really pleasant day when it's 0 degrees outside. Actually, I think it might even be -5 or -12 today. I can't keep track. Basically it's very, very cold.
In case you're stuck inside looking for new books to read, I've got you covered. As always, you can follow my reading list on Goodreads.
The Lemon Tree: An Arab, A Jew, and the Heart of the Middle East by Sandy Tolan The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is so complex and heartbreaking that sometimes it seems utterly hopeless, especially to me, someone that has a vested interest from thousands of miles away and isn't sure what to do or how to help. The Lemon Tree brings the region to life and melds the facts with a true, peaceful human-interest story of an Arab and a Jew and one shared house. I thought about this story long after I finished the book. (*****)
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling I laughed out loud more than a couple times while reading Kaling's memories and musings on her own life (The part about her jumping off the high dive as a kid? I died.) But as I went on I kinda felt like the funniest parts were concentrated at the beginning of the book and I lost a little bit of my interest. I recommend picking this up if you're in the mood for a fluffy, easy read. (***)
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt An engrossing, suspenseful, sometimes highly disturbing read (in the best possible way!) that surprised me with just about every page turn. I feel like I can't sum the story up in one sentence, so if you're into thrillers and really beautifully written prose then you need to pick up this book. (****)
Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris David Sedaris' wittiness amuses me to no end. He makes me laugh. He makes me cry (because I'm laughing so darn hard!). Mostly I just can't believe that one human being can have such a smart sense of humor. Me Talk Pretty One Day is a book of satirical short stories based on Sedaris' life. (****)
The Zimzum of Love: A New Way of Understanding Marriage by Rob and Kristen Bell Rob Bell has such an engaging writing style, and I thoroughly enjoyed his newest venture written with his wife. I haven't read a lot of books on marriage (although I probably should!), but this one was such a positive, gentle reminder of how a good marriage should look … and how you can get there if you aren't there yet. (*****)
Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis A must-read for anyone exploring Christianity and those who are already there. Lewis breaks down Christianity and builds it back up in a compelling and intelligent way. I need to read this book about 50 more times to completely absorb the enormity of it all. (****)
Still Life with Bread Crumbs by Anna Quindlen I really enjoyed this fiction story about a once-famous photographer trying to find herself again. This is an entertaining and relatable read for all people, not just photographers! (*****)
Stitches by Anne Lamott This is my favorite Lamott piece yet. She expertly combines wittiness with really big and important notions, like what we do and where we turn after life takes a detour. Her authenticity and relationship with God inspires me. I'll be coming back to this one again and again. (*****)