I’m really blessed that in this season of life, I’ve had lots of time for reading. My mornings used to be rushed, with a very scheduled wake up time, breakfast time, running time for marathon training, a quick shower, and rushing out the door with wet hair to get to work on time.
These days, I still have a scheduled wake up time (I will never be the girl who can sleep late, and it would be impossible for Eric to get ready without waking me anyway), but I linger over my morning yogurt and granola, and slowly sip my French pressed coffee. Sometimes I even (gasp!) read for a half hour or so before I head out on my morning jog.
With this new found freedom, combined with a lot of travel, I’ve given my library card a good workout this season. Here are a few of my favorites: (For far better descriptions of the books, you can click on the Amazon links.)
As a lover of books, food, and books about food, this one was a winner for me. This novel follows the story of Billie Breslin, who has taken a job at Delicious! magazine, where she answers reader recipe complaints. She discovers some old correspondence in the magazine archives and become determined to solve a decades old puzzle.
Every now and then, you find a book that feeds your soul. This was mine. It’s like Shauna was saying everything inside my head. She loves food. I love food. She loves community. I love community. It just took me back to all the times meals were shared with friends over our table, whether in Kentucky or in Oregon. Friends, community, and slightly larger bellies are formed around the table. And reading Shauna’s book made me want that so desperately in this new city. I laughed, I cried, I made lots of the recipes she shares at the end of each chapter.
I know that it’s probably considered cheating to include two books by the same author on a reading list, but that’s how much I love Shauna. I’m going to call her the female Donald Miller (my favorite author of all time). She writes about life in an incredibly relate-able and real way.
A young woman becomes a caregiver for a young man bound to a wheelchair after an accident. Will is grumpy, angry, and doesn’t want to keep living this way. Louisa tries to change Will’s outlook on life and winds up caring more than she thought she would. Romance, heartbreak, and tears, obviously.
Kitty is a single woman running a bookshop with her best friend. Then she starts having vivid dreams of another life where she is married with children. Eventually, the dreams and real life become indistinguishable, until Kitty has no idea which life is true and which is a dream. It kept me on my toes, for sure.
It took a few tries for me to get into this one, but I’m glad I kept up with it. I’ve been a Barbara Kingsolver fan since one of her books was required reading in high school. In this novel, a young wife in rural Tennessee is tempted to leave her unhappy life behind when she stumbles upon a miracle in nature that she can’t understand. This discovery changes her life and shakes up her small town. It’s kind of a slow read, but it’s a good glimpse of life in Appalachia.
This one was a mystery, full of twists. The story follows Jenna, a teenage girl, whose mother mysteriously disappeared when she was a toddler. Jenna launches her own investigation with the help of a psychic and a troubled private detective. The reader gets snippets of the missing mother’s journal entries, which give clues and add suspects to her disappearance. I thought I had the whole mystery solved several times, but I was always wrong.
I love mysteries, mostly because I always try to solve the puzzle, hoping I’m just as smart as the author. This one was a doozy. The main character has a form of amnesia where she wakes up every morning having no idea who she is or who this man is sleeping in her bed. It’s full of twists in a Gone Girl kind of way, and just when I thought I had solved the puzzle, I was completely surprised.
I’m always looking for new book suggestions! Any favorites?