When I spent a year in Australia, Casie and I became BFFs with the local library and soooooaked up reading time. On my last day there, I expressed my thanks to the front desk for the refuge they provided to a bookless foreigner like me – and all for free! But once I moved to Texas and began working full time, reading books other than the Bible or articles for the sake of proofing became much less of a priority. Between 2012 and 2015, leisurely reading became almost non-existent for me.
So at the beginning of 2016, I resolved to read two books a month, which sounded like a totally realistic goal, right? 24. I could do that.
I read 13 books last year. I’m glad I read those 13 books. It meant I spent less time scrolling Instagram (when will I understand that Instagram is actually not very fulfilling?) and more time getting lost in the words others wrote to be shared and loved.
But this year, I want to read more. So here’s to carrying over that 2016 goal to 2017. Do you want to read more this year too? Here are 5 recent reads that I absolutely loved:
1. Two Hours: The Quest to Run the Impossible Marathon • Ed Caesar
This is about long distance running, elite marathoners, and the possibility of someone someday breaking two hours in the marathon. This book is well researched and a good, easy read. And, it provides a great backdrop for the SUB2 project Nike is now working on with 3 elite runners. (The current marathon WR is 2:02:57.)
2. Bird by Bird • Anne Lamott
“Writing and reading decrease our sense of isolation. They deepen and widen and expand our sense of life: they feed the soul.”
I adore this book filled with practical tips and wisdom on writing. Now, Lamott sprinkles in some language that I wouldn’t use and theology that I don’t agree with, but that doesn’t stop me from loving the gift she gives me a the reader of her insight on the craft of writing.
3. Hinds’ Feet on High Places • Hannah Hurnard
In this allegory of the Christian faith, the loving Shepherd invites crippled, trembling Much Afraid on a journey to the High Places, where she is promised swift hinds’ feet and restoration. He helps her through the journey as she overcomes fears and the temptation to quit. I first read this in college, and the reminder for me both times of reading was this: The Christian’s journey is not easy. Life is hard, but God is faithful. He will never leave us or forsake us.
4. Hope Heals • Katherine and Jay Wolf
Have a box of tissues near for this one. At the age of 26, Katherine had a massive stroke, changing the trajectory of her, her husband and her baby boy’s lives drastically. The thread that weaves through this memoir of sorts is hope – an overwhelming, anchoring hope in Christ in the midst of what truly seems like one of the most tragic circumstance imaginable. I am grateful Katherine and Jay were brave enough to share their very hard story. It made me – and three months later still makes me – stop and remember Jesus truly is the one who brings hope and healing to our broken souls.
5. The Kite Runner • Khalid Hosseini
This novel captured my attention from the start. It features themes of guilt and redemption and explores the relationship between and father and son with lots of twists in the plot. I didn’t want to put it down.
What’s on your to-read list?