Happy New Year! I've missed you! My Christmas decor is still up, Bear is snowed out of school and I haven't tried out the new exercise equipment I got for Christmas. Not once. I just hate for the newness to wear off or anything...Starting off with a bang!
Are you guys all snuggled in for the winter? With cold weather and snow here, for me that means more time at home curled up by the fire with a good book. If you are looking for something to read, here's what I've been reading and what I plan to read...Over the last month I've gone a little crazy and have been a reading fiend. I'm really leaning toward biographies and other nonfiction lately so there's only one fiction book listed, however, my friend has recommended a few fiction books she liked that I have on my 'Going to Read' List that is included at the end.
Here we go:
1) Orphan Train by Christina Baker Cline. I admit I listened to this as an audio book on audible.com instead of reading, (so great to listen while I do the dishes!) but I think that counts. I really enjoyed this one about an unexpected friendship between an aging out foster child and an elderly Irish immigrant who years ago was orphaned in New York City.
2) Love & Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs...I am in the middle of this one, it drags a bit but I would love to finish it because I truly believe it has such an important message on strengthening your marriage from a 'what men need vs. what women need' scenario. You can order a workbook to accompany it and I would love to participate or even lead a Bible study on it since it is biblically based.
3) Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance. Interesting memoir, especially if you are from the hills of Kentucky/Ohio. It kept me reading and comparing my Kentucky upbringing to his. Description reads - "From a former marine and Yale Law School graduate, a powerful account of growing up in a poor Rust Belt town that offers a broader, probing look at the struggles of America's white working class."
4) Call Me Tuesday by Leigh Byrne...another audiobook listened to on audible.com. Heart wrenching story about childhood abuse. Why do I do this to myself?? Reminds me a little of 'A Child Called It', if you are familiar with that one.
5) The Magnolia Story by Chip Gaines and Joanna Gaines with Mark Dagostino. Y'all know I love Chip and Joanna Gaines from the HGTV show Fixer Upper, and this book did not disappoint. Great to read about their faith, how they met and how their business began.
6) Mrs. Kennedy and Me by Clint Hill. I loved it. It's an account written from the point of view of the secret service agent who was assigned to Jackie Kennedy during the presidency of JFK. I do think the agent was in love with Jackie O. Wasn't everyone in love with Jackie O?
7) Still Points North by Leigh Newman. I had never heard of this, it was just a new one sitting in the library so I gave it a try. Not the most profound story in the world, but not terrible, I'm still reading but almost done. A true account of a child growing up in Alaska and the difficulties of her parent's divorce. One I wouldn't pay for, but a free read from the library is doable.
8) The Gospel of Mark - Lisa Harper. This is a Bible study I'm participating in. I can't tell you how much I fell in love with the author of this study (there's an accompanying video available also if you like to do it in a group setting). She's so relatable, so funny (and she LOVES chocolate, hello?) She's one of those people who teaches with such ease that you forget you are learning. Adore her and getting deeper into the book of Mark. If you like Beth Moore, you will love Lisa.
Edited to add:
9) I somehow left off a book written by one of my favorite persons on earth, Edie Wadsworth. Her memoir, All The Pretty Things, describes how she faced the hardest moments in her life, from growing up in poverty with an alcoholic father to facing her own demons and finding her faith.
RECOMMENDED FICTION (on my list to read soon):
9) All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. (Reviews say it's better to read than to listen to on audiobook). A French blind girl and a German orphan cross paths during WWII.
10) Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman. Description reads - A baby is washed ashore in a boat on an island where a childless couple lives. Against the husband's judgement, the couple claims the child as their own. When she is two, they return to the mainland and are reminded that there are other people in the world. Their choice has devastated one of them.
11) Cross the Line by James Patterson - The Alex Cross series- action/mystery. (I haven't read this series in a long time, but I usually love all James Patterson books, as long as he is the only author. Not always crazy about the ones with a co-author.)
A FEW OF MY ALL TIME FAVORITE READS:
Diary of Anne Frank Anne Frank
Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.
Kane and Abel by Jeffrey Archer.
By the way, there's always a book or two out there that's really popular that I just don't get...this one is a few years old, but I tried it and couldn't finish: The Shack by William P. Young.
Don't hate me if you loved it, but anyone else out there not like it, or was it just me?
Please let me know your favorite book list in the comments! I would love to add to my 'Going to Read' list for this year. I also would like to post on favorite Netflix shows and podcasts, if you'd like to comment below or email your favorites to firstname.lastname@example.org, I'd love to hear them also!