There’s been a lot of heavy stuff with talking about the pandemic and racial injustice and parenting.
But there is good too and I really wanted to focus on that today.
What tops my good list?
Today, let’s talk books. Books, books, and more books. Fiction and nonfiction. Kids and adult. I’ll even throw in podcasts!
I love to read, but I wasn’t getting nearly as much read as I had hoped to until the world stopped.
Because I was curled up in my hidey-hole, I focused on fiction for March – May. Fiction is my favorite. Well, good fiction. I love it so much!
So let me first recommend some of my favorites: both The Huntress and The Alice Network from Kate Quinn, The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides, The Dinner List by Rebecca Serle, The Dutch House by Anne Patchett, and I’d Give Anything by Marisa de los Santos.
Those last two are some of my favorite modern authors of all time so if you haven’t read them already, start with Run or Bel Canto by Patchett and with Love Walked In by de los Santos. (I also started The Parisians and hated it so much that I promptly stopped after Chapter 3.)
And while it is neither fiction nor a quarantine read, I tell everyone they have to read Educated by Tara Westover – I am still obsessed with this book.
In the nonfiction camp, I was rereading Present over Perfect by Shauna Niequist which I love, The Book of Joy by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama, and Burnout by Emily Nagoski and Amelia Nagoski.
I just read nonfiction slower, so I have not finished the last two yet. (Because I pick up a new fiction book when things slow…) I do like them both and would recommend.
For the kids, we are ALL over the map. I was reading the Harry Potter series out loud to the boys which we all loved, but now we have finished. Sniff sniff.
We have started both Artemis Fowl and Gregor the Overlander series together but haven’t finished either of the first books yet. They are okay. It’s no Harry Potter. When we finish both of those, we’re going to read the Lord of the Rings series, and start with The Hobbit. We’re hoping to find something to carry us away like Potter and his pals.
For little bit, she just does not love to read as much. When we read together, she likes period fiction or mysteries. We read several Great Depression era fiction books in the spring and she enjoyed those (like R, My Name is Rachel).
I went through my mom’s storage unit and we pulled out all my old books. So I have a huge collection now of Nancy Drew books, including my mom’s original books from the 1950s, so I’m hoping those may grab her attention. And we’re reading through a Janette Oke series together because she has decided she wants to be a pioneer woman. (Not the chef, a real one, with a covered wagon.) We’re part way through the Love Comes Softly set, and then will move on to the When Calls the Heart set because the Hallmark series based on the book has utterly captured her imagination.
As a family, we’ll read Where the Red Fern Grows for 5th grade. That and Wonder were required reading but we finished Wonder before third grade (and loved it!).
Now, what’s on my nightstand now?
I decided after months of fiction, I needed to be thinking about some important issues. On the issues of racial injustice in our country, I’m reading White Fragility by Robin Diangelo and have Be the Bridge and Between the World and Me up next. On the issues of parenting tweens, especially focused on technology rules of the road and conversations about their bodies and sex, I’m reading The Tech Wise Family by Andy Crouch and Teaching Your Children Healthy Sexuality by Jim Burns, both loaned to me by one of our ministers, as well as 5 Conversations You Must Have With Your Daughter (and companion book for Your Son) recommended by a good friend. On the faith front, I’m reading The Eternal Current by Aaron Niequist and Calvinism in the Las Vegas Airport by Richard Mouw. (I also have about a half dozen books on the faith front I really want to get to stacked by my nightstand!) On the leadership front, I am reading The Fireside Chats of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and rereading Plan B by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant.
(And I have Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie also on my nightstand, because I need at least one fiction book at all times…)
Now that I’m driving again, I’m getting to listen to podcasts again! Hoorah! I just finished the compelling and eye-opening NPR investigation podcast called White Lies about the murder of a minister in Selma, Alabama during a 1965 civil rights protest. (If you like this mini podcast format, I also highly recommend The Dropout about Elizabeth Holmes!) I listen to Elevation to get my sermons from Steven Furtick, but I was also recently introduced to Miles McPherson at The Rock Church and have added him to my playlist.
I keep Jen Hatmaker and The Daily in the queue, and I listen depending on topic.
For the kids, we are loving Wow in the World with Mindy Thomas and Guy Raz! Little bit has listened to dozens because four out of five days of the week they are super short! I would really love some more kids podcast ideas! We’re about to try Smash Boom Best because little bit is obsessed with debate.
And to think I was going to try and combine recipes in this post!
Cooking is tomorrow!
And Friday we’ll return with some Fashion Friday after a long hiatus. I’m back!