This year was a year like none other for me, in the past I have had short seasons in life of not being able to concentrate on reading a whole book or sometimes even an article, but that has been when we were in the process of moving or going through a challenge short term. Last year felt like a slow slog, between surgeries and radiation, new medications and a continued pandemic. Books were no longer an escape for me, they were read for information only and I felt robbed of the ability to truly focus enough to get lost in other peoples’ stories. So if you have followed my past reading lists you might see some differences here, I hope to get back to more fiction and reading for the love of reading in 2022.
It’s Not Your Turn by Heather Thompson Day – I was on the launch team for this new author, and enjoyed this book very much. Day graciously shows the reader how to be excited for those around you who are succeeding, even if you are not. She gently reminds you that it’s not all about you and that God’s timing in our lives is worth trusting.
The Travelers by Regina Porter – this was the most involved book I read this past year, it is beautiful and complicated and important. The author glides over decades of peoples’ lives and follows two families and their intersections. The book is not linear, more circular and a minor character suddenly gets magnified while a major character may disappear for a while. I read it slowly because it was worth savoring.
Are You Really OK? by Debra Fileta – This was a blunt book that seeks to show the reader what healthy looks like emotionally, spiritually and physically. Each chapter ends with journaling questions to help the reader take stock. I appreciated the efficiency of her writing and her tact on a topic that can be very ethereal.
When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi – I have listed this memoir before, but I re-read it this past year with a different perspective and it gutted me all over again. Kalanithi is a successful neurosurgeon who is diagnosed with lung cancer. He goes from being a highly regarded doctor to patient on the same floor of the hospital where he worked. My best advice is not to finish this book while on an airplane, or anyplace public, for that matter.
The Midnight Library by Matt Haig – I read this book because the author is from my alma mater and I enjoyed it more than I expected to. I found myself describing the story line to my guy, a sign that I am either intrigued or irritated, and this was on the positive side. Nora Seed is a woman a who has been given an opportunity to choose a different life than the one she is currently living. She experiences many different realities and is faced with choosing the best one, which proves to be more difficult that one might think.
Strength-Based Marriage by Jimmy Evans – I read this book to consider using it for a marriage small group that we lead. Our church uses Gallup’s StrengthsFinders to help people determine their best fit in ministry. This book utilizes strengths to help marriages flourish. The author shares a lot of personal information about his own marriage and how difficult it was until they understood God’s plan to bring two people together with very little in common, but who needed to lean on each other. It’s a good book for someone who understands Strengths and the language that goes with it.