This year I became a grandmother, so the genre of some of the books I read is changing. I read a couple of books about caring for a new Mom, and they are listed here, as well as fewer books than normal. Turns out I’d rather hold a baby than read a book! These are listed in no particular order, except maybe the order in which they were read. I would love to hear your thoughts on any of these books, or recommendations for 2020!
Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottleib – a memoir written by a therapist about her own need for having someone to talk to. This gave insight into how much – and how little – those speaking into our lives may actually know about themselves.
Men Without Women – by Haruki Murakami- short stories of various types of men in Japan who have found themselves without women in their lives. I found this to be interesting and thought-provoking, and very different from what I normally read.
Lioness Arising – by Lisa Bevere – an invitation to women to be both fierce and gentle; to guard and tend to the family and work strategically with others, stepping in to all that God has created us to be. Sometimes the connections to lions were a little tiresome, but overall this book was very convicting.
The First Forty Days – by Heng Ou – a beautiful book that teaches the reader how to care for the new mom, who is then able to adequately care for her newborn. Filled with information and recipes, this book can teach anyone something new. I highly recommend reading it if someone you love is giving birth soon.
The Fourth Trimester – by Kimberly Ann Johnson – another good book about the importance of caring well for the new mom. Lays out all the ways life changes with a baby in the house and family. In my opinion, this book is more for the mom to read, than for the caregiver.
Daring Greatly – by Brene Brown – probably the book with the most impact this year, for me. Brene Brown invites the reader into the discomfort of vulnerability, making a case for its importance in authentic relationships. I listened to this book on Audible, the author was the reader and it held me to the end, and in search of the next one.
Deep and Wide – by Andy Stanley – our church leadership reflects the Northpoint Community Church model, one that I didn’t fully understand until I read this book. Stanley explains the layout of his successful church and the thinking behind it.
Heating and Cooling – by Beth Ann Fennelly – a short story or thought for each week of the year, if you can keep yourself from reading ahead. I read the whole thing in one sitting and laughed out loud more than once. I’m just glad I’m not her mother.
Talking to Strangers – by Malcolm Gladwell – I listened to this book, read by the author, and was in no hurry to get to my destination after a six hour drive. Fascinating, yet simplistic, like two other books of his I have read.
Where’d You Go, Bernadette? – by Maria Semple – I was told this book was similar to The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, a favorite of mine, so I was ready for greatness. This did not live up to expectation, but was enough to hold my interest in a light read. Better than the movie, for sure.
In the Dark, Dark Wood – by Ruth Ware – a fictional account of a murder that takes place at a ‘hen’, a bachelorette party for people who no longer know, or care about, each other. Honestly, I had to look this book up to remind me what it was about. Don’t bother.
Atomic Habits – by James Clear – Straightforward book about how to break bad habits and create good ones incrementally.
The Language of Flowers – by Vanessa Diffenbaugh – a beautifully written, difficult to read account of a young woman who was mostly lost in the foster care system. This book completely captivated me.