It can be totally overwhelming to pick a new book and when reading time is limited I want to make sure that my choices are going to be well worth it. About once a month, I share my reading list in the hopes that it makes your reading list a bit easier to navigate and, more importantly, helps you discover books you really love. After all, life is too short to read books you don’t enjoy!
I’m linking up with Modern Mrs. Darcy to share my reading list this month.
On My Nightstand This Month
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My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout
This month my book club is reading Anything Is Possible, the companion novel to My Name is Lucy Barton, and while I was waiting for my library hold to come in for book club, I grabbed a copy of this title. It’s not a typical genre for me and as my friend told me, if you’re looking for a plot-driven novel, this isn’t it. But Strout’s writing is precise and her characters are intriguingly complex in this story of Lucy Barton’s life told in flash-backs and flash-forwards as her mother visits her in the hospital following an illness. I would say this book leans towards literary fiction and would be a great fit for those who love the genre or want to admire an author’s craft. The heavy topics of abuse and a failing marriage didn’t fill me up but in the end I’m glad I read it, especially as it fits nicely with Anything is Possible (but can be read in any order).
At Home in the World: Reflections on Belonging While Wander the Globe by Tsh Oxenreider
I’ve followed Tsh as a blogger for many years and have a read a few of her other books but this is by far the best thing she has written. Tsh and her family spent a year traveling around the world and my wanderlust-filled heart couldn’t get enough of her adventures mixed with ordinary stories of motherhood and marriage. Her honest and descriptive writing reads like an epic travel film and will have you wanting to pack your bags. Her own deeper self-discovery isn’t the dramatic stuff of Eat, Pray, Love or Wild but it is a beautiful and true and spoke to me as a mom and wife who daily feels both the pull of great adventure and the longing for home and community. I appreciate Tsh’s continued willingness to be vulnerable in her writing and can’t recommend this book highly enough, especially to fellow travelers.
Today Will be Different by Maria Semple
I really enjoyed Semple’s first Seattle-based book, Where’d You Go, Bernadette? for it’s lovely and zany characters plus fantastic settling. Today Will be Different is also set in Seattle and follows a day in the life of Eleanor, who knows she’s a bit of a mess. Her son Timby gets sick and she picks him up but hijinks ensue when she discovers her husband Joe is not at work like he said he’d be. I love Semple’s novels for their portrayal of Seattle and her ability to transport you to her city. Her characters tend to be deeply flawed but likable and while I think I loved her other book better, this one is a great light read for the beach or pool.
Jesus, My Father, The CIA and Me: A Memoir….of Sorts by Ian Morgan Cron
If you’re familiar at all with the enneagram book, Road Back to You, then you know Cron’s work with the hugely popular personality-typing system but this is a devastatingly beautiful memoir of his own childhood is a personal look into his experiences as the son of an alcoholic father who kept many secrets from his family. The writing is fantastic and funny but also honest and transparent about the impact of his father’s actions on Ian’s own life. Ian’s own faith journey, both high and low, is woven throughout the book as well. I’ve been on a memoir streak this summer and this is one of my favorites so far. Highly recommended!
Help, I need some new book titles! Leave a comment with your most recent favorite read. It’s been a slow reading month and I need some inspiration!
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Angie S. says
I’m tearing through At Home in the World right now and absolutely loving it. I wasn’t sure if it would leave me feeling cranky or inspired, and I’m thrilled that it’s the latter. It’s been a good summer of reading for me, and I have several books that I found un-put-downable: The Dry by Jane Harper, Born a Crime by Trevor Noah, and News of the World by Paulette Jiles.
I’m so glad you like it, Angie! I’ll have to check out a few of your other suggestions. I’ve been hearing things about The Dry and I think my husband read Born a Crime. Glad you’re enjoying a summer of reading 🙂
I LOVED At Home in the World (along with Tsh’s podcast as well!).I have been wanting to read My Name is Lucy Barton but a bit nervous about the tough themes in it. I’ll link my June reads, but my favorite was News of the World!
If you like literary fiction, I think Lucy Barton is worth it. Strout’s writing style is interesting to read.