The beginning of the year always seems to require extreme effort to return to normal life. I'm always surprised by how much my reading rhythm is disturbed during the holidays and how challenging it feels to get back to normal reading time. Granted, one of my goals for 2017 is to be more consistent with workouts and those leave me with less energy for other things at the end of the day. However, my ultimate wish is to have a healthy body that will be able to keep up with a sharp mind... so hopefully it will all even out one day. This month's reading choices were based on things that either I've been wanting to read for quite a while, or books that came highly recommended.
Often, when I pick up a book, I don't have a clue what it is actually about. I'm usually interested in it because someone recommended it, shared how it affected their life, or because I heard about it through the social media grapevine and it looked appealing. I tell you all of that - because I had no clue this book was fiction when I picked it up! I definitely thought that it was going to be one of Lewis' theological works. It was a pleasant surprise and I enjoyed this book. (Is there any other way to experience a work of C. S. Lewis?) I found myself letting this book influence my gospel-oriented conversations in ways that I would never expect and mulling over it during brain down times like driving.
I listened to two hours of this book last year and then never returned to it butI tried it again because it came as a high recommendation from people I love. This time I started with the print version, read 69 pages and then didn't pick it up again for over two weeks. I ultimately returned it to the library without reading another page. I've heard that Brene Brown's works clicked for most women after a specific age... so I'm hoping that one day they will click for me too! I WANT to enjoy her research and thought processes.
I'm still very much in love with Louise Penny's Inspector Gamache novels. They provide a wonderful break from fiction books and are compelling stories that keep me turning the pages and cause me to completely lose track of time. This 6th installment in this series took things to a brand new level, unfolding multiple levels of the story and revisiting an old mystery! I cannot wait to read the 7th!
Gretchen Rubin is quite the researcher and has developed her own four personality traits. These traits reflect the way that we respond to external and internal pressures, for example the way we respond to mom wanting us to come over to dinner and the way we respond to ourselves when we think we should do the dishes.
I was so intrigued by Rubin's definitions and thoughts about the way different types of people essentially handle "shoulds." This was a light read that made me laugh as I thought about my traits and my friends' traits and how our traits contribute to good friendships and sometimes also make us misunderstand each other. I shared some good laughs with friends who had already read the book and ultimately learned some fun new things about myself and others!
I was thrilled to read another book by Adam McHugh. I love his style of writing and the way that he talks about introverted tendencies. Sometimes I brace myself for his work, expecting him to be cynical or negative (I don't know why) and am always pleasantly surprised to find that he discusses topics of the soul with an objectiveness and a conviction that are refreshing. I thought the majority of this book would be about listening to others, and while the two chapters on that topic were more than worth their weight in gold, I was halfway through the book before I realized that wasn't all he talked about. McHugh instructed on listening to God and nature and the Bible and so many other things. This is definitely worth the read for anyone leading a busy life and also for anyone who wants to learn how to listen in the midst of our rapidly changing culture.
What did you read this month? I'd love to hear!