This has been a good reading month for me. I read 3 books and listened to 4 audio books.
Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist
Loved it. Loved it so much I wish that I owned a copy. I really like the way she writes, its so personable. I did relate to some chapters of this more than others, but overall it was full of great advice and bits of wisdom.
Like: “The world will tell you how to live, if you let it. Don’t let it. Take up your space. Raise your voice. Sing your song. This is your chance to make or remake a life that thrills you.”
Like: “[Present over perfect is] about rejecting the myth that every day is a new opportunity to prove our worth, and about the truth that our worth is inherent, given by God, not earned by our hustling.”
My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout (audio)
This was an excellent, quick listen. I’ve wanted to read this author for a long time, and this seemed like a good place to start. This book isn’t plot-driven, but character driven, with very well drawn characters. By the end I thoroughly loved Lucy.
A favorite quote and recurring theme: “You will have only one story… You’ll write your one story many ways. Don’t ever worry about story. You have only one.”
The Mothers by Brit Bennett (audio)
Bennett did an excellent job dealing with some heavy themes without making them feel too heavy- mostly around mothers (which made this an excellent companion read to Lucy Barton). It dealt with our desire to become one, the loss of one, the longing for one, and abortion, or the “un-pregnant”. I’m very much looking forward to what comes from Bennett next.
A quote for you to think over: “Suffering pain is what made you a woman. Most of the milestones in a woman’s life were accompanied by pain, like her first time having sex or birthing a child. For men, it was all orgasms and champagne.” Do you think this is true?
Peter Pan by JM Barrie
“To die will be an awfully big adventure.” -Peter Pan
This was my first time reading this, and I was floored. I’m so glad I read it as an adult and a mother, which I think lends a depth to it. I was surprised by how sad this one was. Sure, for most of the book its about Peter and the lost-boys, pirates and Indians. But its also about a boy who chooses to never grow up, to remain a child forever, and therefore misses out on some of the best of what life has to offer- the wholeness that comes from both giving and receiving love.
The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon (audio)
Such a fun YA love story that is given a bit of depth by talking about issues like race and immigration, faith vs. science. I also very much appreciated the ending. Without giving anything away, I will say that a certain unexpected turn of events had me in tears!
“If people who were actually born here had to prove they were worthy enough to live in America, this would be a much less populated country.”
Gifts From the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh
What a treat this book was! Anne Morrow Lindbergh was the wife of Charles Lindbergh, an author and aviator in her own right. This memoir she wrote after a trip to the beach. She somehow manages to perfectly draw parallels between the shells she finds on the beach and life lessons she’s learned a long the way. Well worth the read, and one I know I’ll return to again and again.
I mean, this: “When you love someone, you do not love them all the time, in exactly the same way, from moment to moment. It is an impossibility. It is even a lie to pretend to. And yet this is exactly what most of us demand. We have so little faith in the ebb and flow of life, of love, of relationships. We leap at the flow of the tide and resist in terror its ebb. We are afraid it will never return. We insist on permanency, on duration, on continuity; when the only continuity possible, in life as in love, is in growth, in fluidity – in freedom, in the sense that the dancers are free, barely touching as they pass, but partners in the same pattern.
The only real security is not in owning or possessing, not in demanding or expecting, not in hoping, even. Security in a relationship lies neither in looking back to what was in nostalgia, nor forward to what it might be in dread or anticipation, but living in the present relationship and accepting it as it is now. Relationships must be like islands, one must accept them for what they are here and now, within their limits – islands, surrounded and interrupted by the sea, and continually visited and abandoned by the tides.” So insighful, right?!
At home in the world by Tsh Oxenreider(audio)
I wrote a little bit about this book here, so won’t go on too much now, but it did not disappoint. I so enjoyed following Tsh and her family on their adventure around the world, and I like Tsh`s little asides about how traveling and loving home are not mutually exclusive. This is seriously my dream.
“Tea drinking is a liturgy of comfort, and we partake of it everywhere in the world. It’s a ceremony of simplicity, nourishment for both the nomads in foreign tea houses and homebodies in their beds.”
I tried something different by adding a quote from each book in my mini-reviews. Let me know what you think. Did you like it? Did it make the post too long?