I love the week between Christmas and New Year’s.
With all of the holiday craziness behind me, I can relax in my “clean enough for who it’s for” house and pick up a good book. Seriously. The fridge is full of left-overs, the weather is too cold and (please, God) too wet to work in the garden, my shopping budget has dwindled down to nothing so there will be no trips to TJMaxx or browsing online, and because I’ve already stored up plenty of surplus calories for the year there will definitely be no baking. Also, MLB’s spring training is still a couple of months away. So, there’s plenty of time to read. Here are a few books that are on my Good Reads for Winter list.
A Little Salty to Cut the Sweet, by Sophie Hudson – I love the way this funny southern woman writes about her family. Reading the reviews on this book makes me want to hug my Gramma…and visit the South.
Rising Strong by Brene Brown – I can’t wait to crack this book open. Brene Brown is a respected social scientist and author of several best selling books that point us to stories of courage and vulnerability and getting back up when we fall down –good skills to have as Christian-women living out our faith in a world filled with those who find Christianity untrustworthy and unbelievable. Strength? Resiliency? Courage? Yes, please.
The Gift of Good Land by Wendall Berry – In this world of genetically modified wheat and growth-hormone treated cows, I want to read about small subsistence farmers who are growing good food on land that has weeds and pests and families that have taken care of it for generations. This book of essays promises to do that. I’m not sure about delivery on that promise as I haven’t read them yet, but I’m willing to invest a few hours to find out.
And, speaking of good food grown by local farmers, you’ve been watching A Chef’s Life on PBS, right? Farmer Warren Brothers is the best. And Lily. Love her.
The Prodigal God:Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith by Timothy Keller – I’m reading this AGAIN. Enough said.
For you winter readers who are in need of some suggestions, here are a few books that I’ve read recently…
Nine Parts of Desire: The Hidden World of Islamic Women by Geraldine Brooks – Written by an award winning journalist, this book will give you a ton of insight about the powerful influences and deeply embedded beliefs of Muslim women and how their place of birth dictates the course of their lives. This one is a must read if you want to develop an understanding of the escalating conflict in the Middle East and throughout the world.
The Secret Chord, also by Geraldine Brooks – This incredibly well-researched book provides the “back-story” of King David –a fictionalized version of David’s rise as King of Israel and the betrayal within his family before his death. This book treats readers to historical details and ancient world cultural norms that add rich color to the Biblical account of his life.
Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus by Nabeel Qureshi – This book gives us a peek inside a loving Muslim home through the story of a young American-born Muslim man who set out to disprove to a college room-mate that Jesus is God and Savior. Along the way, he discovered that he had been standing on shaky ground all along. I read this book on the heels of Nine Parts of Desire, finding it to be a powerful illustration of the deep traditions of the Muslim faith. I am grateful for the author’s honesty and clarity throughout the book, which helped me to develop greater understanding and compassion for the incalculable losses suffered by courageous Muslims who abandon their Islamic faith and families to become followers of Jesus Christ. You can hear the author tell his own story on YouTube.
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachael Joyce – This was my pick for the book club I belong to with six other women who love to read as much as I do. It tells the story of basic humanity. It tells the story of a very ordinary man who sets out on a journey that leads him to discover things about his past that he’d all but forgotten and the many people he meets along the way. It’s a story of loss and healing and faith.