What I’m Reading {September 2018}

What I'm Reading_ September 2018

It’s back to school, which means new rhythms and fresh starts.

Back in January when it was cold and I couldn’t imagine ever wanting to be outside again, I made ambitious reading goals. But then the Wisconsin winter thawed (it’s magic every time!), and our little family rushed outside every chance we got.

All of this means my reading goals have fallen a bit behind. You’d think I’d get used to it since it happens EVERY YEAR. Life is tricky like that.

But alas– no need to fret! I made some good headway in September. Not quite on pace yet, but the goal is still in sight.


Frederik Backman

Rating: 5/5

I wasn’t sure what to expect. Small town drama with a thick theme of hockey? Normally not the kind of book I’d think twice about picking up. But after hearing about how great it was by THREE different people whose reading tastes I respect, I gave it a whirl. The first half of the book was enjoyable enough; a bit of a slow start. However, I gulped the last half of the book in one day. While the book is about hockey on the surface, it’s NOT about hockey. It’s about people, relationships, loyalty, community, leadership, and family. I also found this book to be strangely applicable to our current national conversation of #boyswillbeboys.  If you liked A Man Called Ove, you might like this one too.


I'd Rather Be ReadingI’d Rather Be Reading

Anne Bogel

Rating: 4/5

I’m a huge fan of Anne Bogel and all things Modern Mrs. Darcy and What Should I Read Next. It’s only natural that I would also enjoy her newest book, I’d Rather Be Reading: The Delights and Dilemmas of The Reading Life. What’s not to love about a whole book dedicated to all things bookish delight?! Bogel’s personal essays cover the gamut of reading topics including: how great books find us when we’re ready for them, how to organize bookshelves, and the biggest bookworm problems (all my library holds came in today!). I love that Anne takes the bookish life seriously without taking it too seriously. If you wish that you could just hang out with another bookish friend and talk all things books, this one could be for you! My only wish is that the content was a bit more robust.


The Ministry of Ordinary PlacesThe Ministry of Ordinary Places

Shannan Martin

Rating: 6/5 (not a typo!)

I first discovered Shannan Martin when writing a book review of her first book, Falling Free, for Englewood Review of Books. I immediately knew she was a person I could learn from– she was down-to-earth and she seemed captured by a vision of loving people well, not because of some connection or resource or status they could offer, but because they are human beings worthy to be loved.

I was so very excited to be a part of her launch team for her newest book, The Ministry of Ordinary Places. It’s the best book of 2018 and people would be totally dumb not to read it (how’s that for an endorsement?!). Shannan Martin is the only person I follow on Instagram who consistently makes me feel better about the world because she is constantly holding up the ordinary and saying, “Hey! Come over here and take a look… there’s goodness and love right here. God is at work in your midst.” She never makes you feel like you need to live in the right neighborhood or have better kids or vacation in better spots or #domore #buymore #pretendlifeisn’thard. Instead, she point out where she sees God showing up in her life, and encourages her community to do the same.

And of course, I always have a stack of books in the queue…

Books Hanging Out on My Nightstand:

Us Against Them by Fredrik Backman
Invitation to Retreat by Ruth Haley Barton
Stretched Too Thin by Jessica N. Turner
Being Consumed by William T. Cavanuagh
The Big Disconnect by Catherine Steiner-Adair
The Pastor by Eugene Peterson

Your turn: What’s next on your reading list?



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