Time seems to be moving at an all too rapid pace right now. So before February has disappeared, here’s what I read in January:
Liturgy of the Ordinary- Tish Harrison Warren
A brilliant book which takes you through an ordinary day finding God in the midst of the everyday stuff we do. The first chapter on waking up and starting the day from a place of being worthy feels like a theme of the year that I will come back to time and time again. This book felt like a really refreshing drink of a read, reminding me about the good things of belonging to the Maker all over again.
Turtles all the way Down- John Green
I love John and Hank Green, we’ve been watching their YouTube videos for a while and love their refreshingly positive look on the world – the kind that acknowledges the crap but then looks for the hope and the good in the midst of it all – not cheesy but believers in the reality that kindness and hope make a difference in our world. John has been very honest about his struggles with OCD and wider mental health issues. These things also play out in this book. I really enjoyed it for a closer look of what it’s like to live with OCD and anxiety. It also made me cry loads at the end but I’ll not spoil it for you…
A Song for Issy Bradley- Carys Bray
I’m not sure if I liked this but I couldn’t put it down. It was very unsettling, child deaths and a very religious family raised all of my fear levels. Unsettling but kind of hopeful. Maybe.
Braving the Wilderness- Brene Brown
One of the first must read books of the year. This felt so important in our age of echo chambers and only hearing voices that agree with us. Brene argues for a bigger picture. More interaction with those who think differently to us. More nuance and understanding. More people standing in the wilderness and belonging out there between the silos of opinions in this world. Oh so good. Read it now.
I thought there would be cake- Katherine Welby-Roberts
A quiet kind of a read. Reflections from someone attempting to wrestle with where we find our worth and value and how to start to believe in the reality of a God who really actually loves us. An interesting and reflective read on the start of a journey into maturity.
Champion- Sarah Millican
I refer to Sarah as my new best friend because I loved this read and have started mainlining her excellent podcast Standard Issue- a magazine type show for women that doesn’t really care about the traditional things women’s magazines tend to involve. It also involves lots of funny women having hilarious chats. I think it’s because Sarah is around my age that I have really enjoyed her reflections on life so far. I’m also going through a bit of an only reading things written by women stage at the moment. (That’s a blog post in itself.) I’m loving the different voices I’m hearing and starting to own and love the reality that I am a women too. (Part of me thinks it’s odd that it’s taken 40 years but at least I’m catching up with, deeply loving and identifying with the voices of women)
My Animals and other Family- Clare Balding
Yep, another woman I now love. This one contains stories from her childhood and teenage years mainly told through the horses she owned and rode. Again, reading about a woman forging her own path in a world that was very anti women doing anything has nurtured my love of being a woman and the voices of women. (Maybe that blogpost will come soon…).
The Road Back to You- Ian Morgan Cron & Suzanne Stabile
Everyone (might be an exaggeration) at our church seems to be slightly obsessed with the Enneagram. We thought it might be time to get on the bandwagon. This is a really helpful clear introduction to it all. On the surface it can seem to be a bit of a personality analysis tool but it’s actually way deeper and more profound than a Myers Briggs type thing.
The book had a really helpful emphasis on understanding and having compassion on each other as we try and work out who we are and the things that affect how we relate to the world around us. I found it very helpful and am looking forward to finding out more. This year I feel like I’m on a journey to know who God has truly made me and enjoy the freedom which comes with that discovery. The enneagram definitely seems to be a good companion on that journey.
(It does come with a health warning not to start labelling all your friends and family with numbers that they might not understand, saying oh you’re such a 7 might not be such a helpful thing to do with it… Also this book was easy to read and funny. That’s a good combination.)
Cartes Postales- Victoria Hislop
Short stories from the Greek Islands, a lovely varied read.
The Music Shop- Rachel Joyce
I loved this book so so much. It was a celebration of all that music can do to your soul and I was reminded how much I love music all over again. If you love music and a collection of slightly eccentric characters this one is for you.
Over to you- what books have you been loving this month?