Category - Books

What I’m Into – February 2016

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If I thought January was a whirlwind, February quickly became a cyclone!  For me, most of the month was about performing in the musical Thoroughly Modern Millie – from weekly rehearsals to the fastest tech week process I’ve EVER experienced, to the wonderful gift of a 3 week show run.  {A rarity at regional theatres in my neck of the woods}.

I also snuck in any available minute to spend time with my hubby.  We enjoyed a visit from my husband’s Mom, I read a few fantastic books and got excited about planning my best friends baby shower and starting to write again.

{As usual, any pennies earned from the affiliate links below, if used, go towards keeping the lights on here at ye olde blog – thanks!}

Books

What I Read

After You by JoJo Moyes

I didn’t know what I was going to think about the sequel to one of my favorite fiction reads of 2015.  I very much appreciated that Moyes took the time to flesh out an interesting sequel story for Lou, the protaganist in Me Before You.

 I would gander a guess that many diehard fans of Moyes’ first book didn’t like this book as much as its predecessor, but I don’t think the intention was for this story to have that same kind of lustre.  I was sucked into the story quicker than I expected, and I felt the resolution was satisfying.   Was it my favorite fiction read ever? Not really, but if you were invested in the characters in Me Before You, I think you’ll enjoy this read.

Four Seasons In Rome: On Twins, Insomnia & the Biggest Funeral In the History of the World by Anthony Doerr 

Oh my word, I absolutely LOVED this book!  Written by the Pulitzer prize winning author of All The Light You Cannot See, this book checked out off many boxes of my favorite reading components–memoir writing about living in Italy {one of my favorite places on Earth} for a year, written in sumptuous prose.

There’s no plot twists, no huge developments–the main events of the book are described in a somewhat clunky subtitle {my ONLY non-rave about the book, and that’s a small point that didn’t matter}.

The simple narrative may have been another reason I loved it – Doerr managed to write about everyday discovery in a new country alongside his wife and their newborn twins with a seamless beauty and a distinct and stunning writing voice.  Its one of the first books I’ve read in a long while, where MULTIPLE passages of prose were underlined JUST because they were written so beautifully.   This is one of my favorite reads of the year and is one of the best travel memoirs I’ve ever read–DON’T MISS IT.

Searching For Sunday: Loving, Leaving & Finding the Church by Rachel Held Evans

This is a case of a book coming back into my hands at the exact moment I needed it.  I first bought and started reading Held’s latest memoir last year right when it was released.  I enjoyed the writing and the story, but found it just wasn’t resonating with me and where I was in my life at that moment.  I put it down to read another time, and it sadly got buried in my ever-growing-to-read-stack.  {What can I say, I’ve got #booknerdproblems.}

I picked this book up this month when I was feeling much of the heaviness that Helds seems to feel about her faith, her ever evolving theology, and her journey with the church.  This is her story, to be clear, but I couldn’t stop underlining, resonating, ‘hmmm-mmmm-ing’ and cheering her on.

As of late I am having a lot of the same feels as she seemed to go through in this book, and having her story through her words felt like having a fellow spiritual traveller/companion with on my own journey.  I think this is some of Rachel’s strongest and most beautiful prose yet–I absolutely LOVED this book.

What I’m Reading

Roots & Sky by Christie Purifoy, Coming Clean by Seth Haines, Out of the House of Bread by Preston Yancey, The Art of Memoir by Mary Karr, For The Love by Jen Hatmaker & Curious Faith by Logan Wolfram.

What I’m Watching

Tellyvision: Shondaland fans, rejoice–Thursday night TV came back with a vengeance this month.  I’m watching How To Get Away With Murder & Grey’s Anatomy–I’m in awe that the writers on Greys are still spinning mesmerizing storylines that suck me in.  I’m still watching Scandal, but am really only holding onto that show by a virtual thread–though they’ve got my attention with the upcoming election story angle–here’s hoping it’ll reel me back into the show.

I’m loving and simultaneously dreading the end of Downton Abbey. (GAH, that episode with Edith and Mary!).  Other faves are Top Chef, Younger, and Blackish–I’m pretty sure Ruby is my spirit animal.

Netflix: I’m loving Mozart in the Jungle, and look forward to some down time when I can continue binge watching The West Wing.  And like the rest of my blogisphere compadres, I’M COUNTING DOWN TO THE GILLY {GILMORE} GIRLS RE-BOOT!!

What I’m Listening to

I’ve been constantly adding songs to my 2016 playlist this month from the playlists that are curated by Tsh Oxenreider as part of her Upstream Field Guide e-course.  I think she and I are musical kindred spirits–she most definitely has the spiritual gift of the mixtape.

Through the UFG playlists, I’ve discovered the score to one of my favorite movies, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.  I already own the popular soundtrack, but the score by Theodore Shapiro, featuring the vocals of Jose Gonzalez has become another favorite this month.

Blogisphere Beauts

Michelle DeRusha: Why I Wear Lipstick and Shoes When I Write

…Maybe you’re an artist or a small business owner or a writer like me, wrestling with your definition of success.

…If this is the case, here’s my advice for you: do one small thing every day that reminds you that your work — whether it’s mothering, volunteering, entrepreneuring, freelancing, caretaking — is important. Do one small thing every day that reminds you that you are valuable. Do one small thing every day that reminds you that you and your contributions are legitimate and worthwhile, whether you get paid a little or a lot or nothing at all.

Anne Bogel at Modern Mrs. Darcy: When You’re Living in the Wrong Movie

I said: Maybe you’re in the wrong movie.

He said: I think I am. But what’s the right one?

Believe it or not, this conversation made total sense to us.

Tsh Oxenreider at The Art of Simple: How I Use My Bullet Journal & How to Find Inspiration When You’re Uninspired

I’m unabashedly a writer-downer of things; in fact, the sheer act of writing helps me remember and process.

 

The past few years, I’ve learned that my immediate environment critically affects my mood, from the clutter on my desk to the natural light pouring through my window (or lack thereof), to the walkability of the streets outside my front door. I used to apologize for that, but I don’t now. It’s how I’m made. I’m deeply affected by my surroundings.

Interviews/Podcasts at Offcamera.com: I first discovered these interviews through Leigh Kramer and Anne Bogel’s blog posts.  I’ve specifically loved the episodes with Connie Britton, Matt Damon {see Anne’s post above for more on Damon’s interview} and Olivia Wilde.  I’m looking forward to listening to the interviews with Jon Hamm and Will Ferrell as well.

 Favorite Moments

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I have to say I’m giddy and euphoric whenever my husband surprises me.  Our Valentines day was both celebratory and low key, surprising and perfect-to-me.  {I’m sorry for those readers who hate cheesy Valentines stories, but I waited a long while to find my Valentine, so I choose to celebrate our love as much as I can.}

My sweet husband and I enjoyed a delicious dinner at a new-to-us restaurant {he looked smashingly handsome in his new blazer}, then he surprised me with a date-night-excursion to Painting With A Twist.  {He even brought a bottle of my favorite ‘sweet wine for us to savor as we painted our picture together.}

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Thoroughly Modern Millie & Making New Friends

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One of the things I’ve loved about performing in Millie this month has been getting to know an entirely different community of actors than I’ve known locally in past years. {And yes, that’s really me in the picture above in a full blown black wig.}   Everyone in this cast is funny, compassionate, interesting, and a sheer delight to be around.  They have been light and joy to me, as I’ve struggled lately to find real community in my day to day life.

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The difficult thing about doing regional theatre is the leaving of the show–the short bursts of creativity and excitement, then the letdown of getting back to the daily grind and not seeing people you saw for hours on end every single week.

I hope to have made genuine and true friends through this production.  I’m so grateful to know every person in this cast, and I hope to have imparted to them even half of the joy and energy they have given me.

 This Month’s Quintessential Essential Oils

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DIY Valor Spray: I made myself a bottle of Valor spray this month, and it quickly became my best friend at theatre rehearsals.  Performing a character role in a fast and furious rehearsal process sometimes left me insecure and unsure of myself.  I don’t care how woo-woo it sounds–dousing myself in the delicious musky scents of Valor helped my creative process immensely. It also helped my Valor essential oil bottles go the extra mile.  {Especially now that Valor is out of stock due to seasonal plant harvests–BOO.}

White Angelica and Northern Lights Black Spruce:

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These essential oil beauts were my new-to-me oil purchases this month–they smell  AH-MAZ-ING! I think NL Black Spruce might be one of my favorite tree oil scents {next to Frankincense}, and I loved that my nose picked up the scent of Rose in White Angelica.

For more of my Young Living Favorites, check out this month’s Favorites video on my YouTube channel.

What I’m Looking Forward To In March

Having a short break from the hustle and bustle of a crazy-busy show rehearsal/performance schedule; working on creating lots of content for YouTube and pursuing writing projects; much more time with my hubby and friends and planning my bestie’s baby shower.

What were you into this month?  Let me know in the comments!

{As always, I love linking up with Leigh.}

Soul Keeping – Words & Music For Soul Care

 

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Given the fact that my favorite genre of book is the spiritual memoir, I can safely say that I am no stranger to reading books about the soul.  I still remember picking up books like Thomas Moore’s Care of the Soul when I was barely old enough to understand its depths.

While I’ve read books that focus on aspects of soul care, until I read this book I don’t think I’ve ever read words that so accurately and simply define what a soul is in ways I can understand and actually comprehend.  The soul is such an intangible part of us, and yet it is everything.  Its breath and life, and the part of ourselves that will endure when our bodies are long gone.

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John Ortberg’s latest book, Soul Keeping: Caring For the Most Important Part of You is a book to move through slowly, lest you miss all the wisdom packed in its pages.  This is a book best served with a side of contemplation–one that requires swigging and sloshing around its wise passages like fine wine.

One of my favorite aspects of the book is the glimpses Ortberg gives us into his lifelong friendship with Dallas Willard.  The book is dedicated to Willard, with various quotes, stories and interactions with him on every aspect of the soul.   One of my favorite quotes from Willard imparts profound truth:

 “The most important thing in your life,” Dallas said, “is not what you do; it’s who you become.  That’s what you will take into eternity.  You are an unceasing spiritual being with an eternal destiny in God’s great universe.”

The book is broken down into three sections: what the soul is, what the soul needs, and the soul restored.  At times he does get a tiny bit long winded, but usually brings the reader’s attention back with a story or quote from Willard.   One of my favorite things about Ortberg’s writing is his ability to converse about complicated topics, while always remaining conversational and relatable.   Ortberg takes his deft hand and breaks down heady thoughts; distilling the information into easy to understand morsels.  This was one of my favorites:

 The will is a form of energy.  You can drive and stretch and push the will.  The mind has an endless ability to think and feel.  You can direct your attention.  You can focus and study.  The body is your little power pack.  You can place demands on your body.  You can exercise it, strengthen it, hone it, and force it to run for miles.

But it is the nature of the soul to need.

Ortberg speaks my artistic language when he reminds us of an important fact about the soul.  “We can’t seem to talk about beauty or art without talking about the soul–particularly music.”   I was inspired by this book to create a Soulkeeping Playlist. {To listen, click on the Spotify link below.}

If you’re looking for a book to speak beyond the surface of life, and enrich your soul and spirit, look no further than Soul Keeping.  Open its pages, grab a cup of coffee or hot tea, {and perhaps take a listen to my SoulKeeping playlist while you read?} and get ready for the nurturing of your mind, spirit and soul.

Ortberg reminds us that “the best place to start doing life with God is in the small moments.” Any time spent in these pages will be well worth it to your own spirit and soul.

{I received a copy of this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers  book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.}

2015 Book Releases I Cant Wait to Read

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The last few years I have made a list in my journal at the end of the year where I write down the upcoming year’s book releases I’m excited to read.   As I perused my list this year, I realized a plethora of my favorite authors are on that list.  Being that booklist posts are my favorite, I thought I’d share these titles with you.

Here is my current list–sure to grow as the year goes on– of anticipated 2015 reads!

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Searching For Sunday: Loving, Leaving & Finding the Church by Rachel Held Evans:   I’ve been a big fan of Rachel and her writing since reading her fantastic memoir,  A Year of Biblical Womanhood.  She writes and says things I believe but can’t always articulate, or am afraid to write about.  I don’t normally resonate with ‘leaving church’ stories, but I can’t wait to read hers.

Fringe Hours: Making Time For You by Jessica N. Turner:  Though this book comes out in February, I am reading a copy now, as I’m on Jessica’s book launch team.   For women who struggle with ‘doing it all’ {and who doesn’t}, this book has  practical advice and wisdom on finding time for yourself and creating margin for the important things in your day.  So far, I’m underlining and ‘MMmHmmm-ing’ through each chapter I read.

Scary Close: Dropping the Act & Finding True Intimacy by Donald Miller:    I’ve pretty much read every book Donald writes–I’ve been a big fan of his writing since his first book, Prayer & the Art of Volkswagen Maintenance.  {Its now out of print, but was re-issued as Through Painted Deserts} Its been awhile since Don has written a memoir-like book such as this one, and if the first chapter is any indication of the rest of the book {he sent one out to his email subscribers}, I think I am going to love this book.

Savor: Living Abundantly Where You Are, As You Are by Shauna Niequist:  Shauna’s last book, Bread & Wine was my favorite read of 2013. {I wrote about it, and even created a foodie playlist here.}.  Unfortunately, this book doesn’t look to be a completely new title, as its a devotional with sections of her previous books.  But it looks like there will definitely be new content.  I look at it as a reading appetizer before the  book she’s currently working on, Present Over Perfect.  {I only know these things because I read her blog and follow her on Facebook. So yeah, I’m pretty much a fan girl of her writing.}

Wearing God: Clothing, Laughter, Fire & Other Overlooked Ways of Meeting God  by Lauren Winner:  Lauren Winner is one of my favorite writers, bar none.  I don’t think I’ve heard of any authors writing about the concept of this book, which is intriguing.  I’ve been looking forward to this book for awhile now.  If Lauren writes a book, I’m pretty positive I’m going to devour it.

What the Mystics Know: Seven Pathways to Your Deeper Self  by Richard Rohr:  I’m just discovering the remarkable writing of Richard Rohr, though I’ve heard of his work for some time.  I read through his book, Wondrous Encounters: Scripture for Lent last spring and loved it.  I’ve got some of his other titles on my to-read list, but this one jumped out at me as the one I want to read first.

Out of Sorts: On Being Comfortable With Unanswered Questions by Sarah Bessey:  I found Sarah Bessey’s blog a few summers back, when she wrote out her own fabulous reading/booklists posts.  I am a huge fan of her book,  Jesus Feminist, and pretty much anything else she writes.  {Read my interview with her here.}  The only bummer about this book is its not set to release until August–I can’t wait to read it.

For the Love: Fighting For Grace In A World of Impossible Standards  by Jen Hatmaker:  I first learned of Jen Hatmaker when I read her book, 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess.  With her family’s  HGTV show, and her presence in the Christian speaker/conference scene, she has become a bit of a writing superstar. {And from my own hometown no less.}   I learned of her upcoming book by following her hilarious updates on Facebook.  I also loved an essay she shared from her upcoming book in her newsletter.  This is another book slated to release in August–its definitely on my summer reading list.

Rising Strong by Brene Brown:  I know absolutely nothing about this upcoming release, but I know that if its coming from Brene, I’m going to read it. I loved discussing her book Daring Greatly for the Red Couch Book Club at SheLoves last year, and I worked through her book The Gifts of Imperfection with her online Oprah e-course.  I think this going to be a huge book this year.

What new or upcoming book releases are on your list?  Let me know in the comments, so we can grow each other’s reading lists!

My {Favorite} 2014 Reads {And A Giveaway!}

 

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I’ve said it before, and I’ll probably say it again: end of the year and booklist/reading posts are some of my favorite reads in the blogisphere!  {And its always fun to link up with Anne at Modern Mrs. Darcy.}

I was surprised when I checked my yearly reading list in my journal, and discovered that I  read the same number of books this year as last year.  {My grand total this year was 35 Read about my 2013 reads here.}

I’ve divided my 2014 reading list into my absolute favorites and runner-up-faves.   I honestly could probably have switched the lists depending on when you asked me.  All of the books I read this year were truly fantastic.  My favorites weren’t necessarily better than the other books.  They simply struck a chord, or came into my hands at the exact moment I needed to read them.

All of my reads were at least 3 stars, but mostly 4, with the occasional 5 stars.  I am not one to stick with a book if it fails to captivate my attention.    If a book didn’t hold my interest, I stopped reading it and moved on.  Chalk it up to ADD and good taste. 

I also started and stopped reading many a book this year that was fantastic in its own right, but didn’t speak directly to me at the time.  Until I read a book cover to cover, it doesn’t appear on this list.

I’m also giving away a book I loved this year and a journal to one reader who comments below!  Don’t let the long list of titles deter you – its so easy to enter this giveaway–I’d love for you to win!  {See the end of the post for details!}

 

{This post is chalk full of affiliate links.  If you purchase something through any of these links–at no additional cost to you–I may receive a small compensation that will go directly back into running this blog.  Thanks so much for supporting All Manner of Inspiration!}

My Favorite Reads of 2014 

{Not all of these books were written in 2014, but I read them all this calendar year, and listed them in the order I read them.}

Pastrix by Nadia Bolz-Weber:   I started off last January by flying through this book  I couldn’t stop nodding in agreement at points Nadia made, marveling at her wisdom and underlining passages like mad.   I’d never read a memoir like this before, and that’s no doubt due to Bolz-Weber’s incredibly unique voice.  The book’s chalk full of colorful metaphors {meaning f-bombs and the like}, and while its not my everyday normal kind of read, it was one of the best books I read this year.

A Million Little Ways: Uncover the Art You Were Made to Live by Emily Freeman:  This book is a GAME.CHANGER.  {I raved about it here.} This book reminds me at times of Walking On Water, my favorite book in the world.   If I get the privilege of writing a book someday, I can only hope its half as good as this one.

The Nesting Place: It Doesn’t Have to Be Perfect to Be Beautiful  by Myquillyn Smith:  Thank goodness for the blogging sisters Emily & Myquillyn!  {Emily, mentioned above, is Myquillyn’s sister}.  The Nesting Place is the only home design blog I read almost everyday, and that’s absolutely because its about so much more than that.  Her blog’s tag line became the title of this bestselling book for good reason.  This is the only home decor book I’ve devoured cover to cover.  While the suggestions,  advice and pictures are gorgeous and right on pointe, its her heart and soul message of seeking beauty and loving what you have and where you are that resonate so deeply with me.  If you only read one home decor book, make it this one.

Still Writing: The Perils & Pleasures of the Creative Life by Dani Shapiro: I found this book through friend and author Michelle DeRusha. {Her book, Spiritual Misfit is listed below–a fantastic read.}    I felt like Shapiro was both schooling me as a writer in the best ways, and sharing her heart and intimate feelings and experiences about the written word at the same time.  A must read for both aspiring and seasoned writers.

Found: A Story of Questions, Grace & Everyday Prayer by Micha Boyett: I knew I would enjoy reading a memoir by Micha in part because she’s a fantastic writer, but that’s not why I loved this book.  I loved that this book followed the Benedictine rhythms, that it made me slow down and breathe every time I picked it up, and that it bore her heart and soul about motherhood so beautifully without alienating someone like me who hasn’t been able to have children.  This prose sings with poetic beauty–don’t miss it.

Delancey: A Man, A Woman, A Restaurant, A Marriage by Molly Wizenberg:  I read Wizenberg’s first book, A Homemade Life, a few years ago and loved it.  I devoured this book as soon as it arrived in my mailbox.  A continuation of her story that chronicles opening her celebrated Seattle restaurant Delancey with her husband, I think I liked this book even more than her first one.

Breathing Room: Letting Go So You Can Fully Live by Leanna Tankersley:  I first heard about this book from an editor at Revell books, which made me excited to read it from the start.   {I also love that two of my favorite writers, Emily & Myquillyn LOVE Leanna and this book.  They podcasted with her with their Hopeologie site.}.  I carried this book around in my purse for 3 solid months, highlighting and devouring its sentences.  When I went through some unexpected health challenges, the truth in these words sank deep down into my bones.  Leanna shares her experiences as a military wife in Bahrain, and her everyday challenges, and the wisdom she’s gleaned–but really, my words don’t  come close to captivating the beauty of this book -please just go read it, it will do your soul and spirit good!

Favorite Fiction:

Astonish Me by Maggie Shipstead:  This book took me by surprise at how un-put-downable it was!  Centered around a ballerina and the people in her life, I thought Shipstead did an incredible job of getting into the mind and psyche of a dancer.  I only danced for a brief time, but I had friends who were professional dancers.   The culture, the extreme discipline and environment in the dance world really does breed the kind of mental anguish and perfectionism that these characters struggled through.  I couldn’t put this book down when we were on vacation in Colorado, and the feeling and the voice of the characters stayed with me long after I finished reading.  I hope I can find more fiction this captivating to read next year!

 
Runner-up Faves

{Translation: Just as amazing as the books above.   If I wrote this post on a different day, they may have landed in my favorites list too.  So many amazing books, so little time!}

A Year of Writing Dangerously: 365 Days of Inspiration & Encouragement edited by Barbara Abercrombie:  I’ll be coming back to this book again and again for sure.  Editor and writing professor Abercromie writes a page a day on various aspects of the writing life.  Its chalk full of wisdom, amazing quotes from a plethora or writers and exercises to use in your writing process.

Diamond In The Rough: A Memoir by Shawn Colvin:  Shawn Colvin is one of my FAVORITE musicians.  I found her music in college, and have loved it ever since.  Colvin’s lyrics are full of beauty, wit and story, and her book felt like an extension of her talent and creativity in the same vein.  This memoir is her story, and I loved reading it.

Spiritual Misfit: A Memoir of Uneasy Faith by Michelle DeRusha:  This fantastic memoir by one of my first friends in the blogisphere was one I had looked forward to reading for some time.  I have followed Michelle’s writing and publishing journey through her blog, and loved connecting with her at various conferences.  I absolutely love Michelle’s honesty about her struggle with unbelief.  She doesn’t mince words, and she shares truths and feelings we all think, but maybe don’t have the courage to voice out loud.  Michelle’s words always give me hope, and help me remember I am not alone.  This is a book with a genuinely authentic voice and bounds of beauty and clarity.

Unnaturally Green: One Girl’s Journey Along A Yellow Brick Road Less Travelled by Felicia Ricci:  I found this memoir on Amazon, while researching the apparently elusive ‘musical theatre memoir’.  Ricci is an extraordinary writer {with a degree in journalism from Yale to boot}, and shares her journey as a musical theatre performer who attains the coveted Elphaba understudy/stand-by job in the San Francisco company of the musical Wicked.  She is hilarious, witty and at times profound in her assessment of working in the wackadoo world of musical theatre that I love so much.  Reading this memoir made me want to take her out for coffee, perform with her in a musical, and beg her to write another book!

An Altar In The World: A Geography of Faith by Barbara Brown Taylor

I had heard of BBT in years past, but this was the year I discovered her writing for myself.  Of her two books I read this year, this was by far my favorite.  {Though I copied numerous quotes from her book Leaving Church into my journal, and marveled at the beauty of her writing.}  I had the privilege of writing a discussion post about this book for SheLoves.  Her words are reminiscent for me of a modern Madeleine L’Engle.   {And I don’t throw that type of compliment out lightly!}  This book helps me see the beauty and the spiritual in the mundane everyday, and her writing schools me with every sentence.  A must read.

 
The Rest of My 2014 Reads:  

{There’s truly not a bad one in this bunch.  A good handful of these books were almost in my favorites pile, and many listed below were in other blogger’s favorites lists.  I was truly blessed with the fantastic writing I read this year.}

Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

The Giver by Lois Lowry

Crowded Skies: Letters To Manhattan by Tara Leigh Cobble

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

Steal Like An Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative by Austin Kleon

A Year of No Sugar: A Memoir by Eve Schwab

Phantom {musical theatre script} by Arthur Kopit

The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

Travelling With Pomegranates: A Mother & Daughter Journey to the Sacred Places of Greece, Turkey & France by Sue Monk Kidd & Ann Kidd Taylor

Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of A Reluctant Chef by Gabrielle Hamilton

At Least You’re In Tuscany by Jennifer Criswell

Let’s All Be Brave: Living Life With Everything You Have by Annie F. Downs

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice In My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge & Found Self-Help That Actually Works: A True Story by Dan Harris

Tables In The Wilderness: A Memoir of God Found, Lost & Found Again by Preston Yancey

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Coast Trail by Cheryl Strayed

A Short Guide To A Happy Life by Anna Quindlen

Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers by Anne Lamott

 

What I’m Reading Now

My Salinger Year by Joanna Rakoff,  The Fringe Hours: Making Time For You by Jessica N. Turner, The Martian by Andy Weir, Small Victories by Anne Lamott,  On Being A Writer by Ann Kroeker & Charity Craig & The Sacred Year by Michael Yankoski.

 
Leave me a comment below to be entered to win one of the books I read this year, and a journal to start writing out your own year!
What were your favorite reads of 2014?

An Altar In The World – SheLoves Red Couch Book Club

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There are books that feel like an instant and perfect fit in your hands.  You seek them out, and hold them in a firm grasp, in part because so many people you love and trust have told you to ingest their words.  You’re also drawn to the title, and a few vivid paragraphs from the introduction.  You remember the specific moment  you turned to the first page, and couldn’t put it down.  You vacillate between devouring the words almost immediately, and forcing yourself to go slowly, so as to prolong your first read through from cover to cover.

An Altar In The World: A Geography of Faith by Barbara Brown Taylor is one of those books.

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Please join me over at SheLoves Magazine Red Couch Book Club to read the rest of this post and join the discussion!