I have two difficult drafts that I’m working on that I keep editing and restructuring and sometimes avoiding, which is why I haven’t been posting as often. I need a break from the emotional energy required by those posts.
So on to books.
I am currently reading…
- The Princess Bride by William Goldman
This is a reread; I bought an awesome paperback edition of this classic on my last Powell’s trip and have been itching to revisit the story. I’m picking up on more of the humor this time around and the story is flying by. Goldman’s word choice and structure are so creative. I’m having a lot of fun.
- Things That Make White People Uncomfortable by Michael Bennett
A quick Google Search of this author proved…unfortunate. So that’s kind of bumming me out. But I’m not very well-versed in matters of race and institutional prejudice. I want to be better. I’m trying to get woke.
- Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
This one may take me a while to get through, but I’m enjoying it more than I thought I would. I normally don’t like history – and Claire’s husband Frank is a history buff, which is the WORST – but the female characters in this book are so enjoyable that I’m loath to skip this adventure.
- The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
I’m a little horrified that “autism romance” is a genre…but I just watched a documentary about the diversity and progessiveness of romance, so I’m able to appreciate this story more than I might have a couple months ago.
- Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
Woof. This might be going on the Books to Sell pile soon. I’m only a few pages in. My uncle talked it up so much – the author is a Christian, this book won the Pulitzer prize – so I want to give it a fair shot. All my Googling, though, shows there’s not much to the story: a dying pastor chronicles his life for his young son. I’ll try my hardest, but no promises.
I plan to pick up…
- Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
I’ve honestly avoided this book since its release. My last foray into folklore-inspired fantasy became a drudge when an initially-interesting novel asked me to commit tons of worldbuilding details to memory. But people have been losing their minds over this book and I’ve heard the romance is reminiscent of Zutara. I saw it, I checked it out, here we are.
- An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
I’m into bummer accounts of marriage these days. Ooh, a woman struggles to stay faithful after her husband’s imprisonment? Sounds like fun.
- Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
I followed a Youtuber’s recommendation and fell in love with the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy. That Youtuber raved about this series and its romance, so I bought the first book.
I had to put down…
- The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
Much as I loved the writing style, I wasn’t all that interested in the title character’s sad life. Just did a Wikipedia scan; I made a good choice.
- Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir by Jenny Lawson
I loved the first third of this book, but reading about her marriage for some reason kicked up my anxiety. I’ve decided family drama is too stressful.
- I Have Lost My Way by Gayle Forman
I don’t think I like Forman’s writing as much as I once did. I revisited If I Stay recently and felt nothing. As soon as the first-person perspective started in this novel, I found I did not care.
- Six Thinking Hats by Edward De Bono
WORST Spiritual Health book so far. de Bono comes across as an arrogant, small-minded asshat. His book opens with a claim that his method is the MOST IMPORTANT cultural change in the last three hundred years. Doooooooouche.
- My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent
I knew this book would be brutal, but I couldn’t stomach the rape that occurs at the end of the first chapter. I tried my best, but that was too much for me.
- The Dream Lover by Elizabeth Berg
Berg writes a perfectly fine account of author George Sand, but the protagonist spends more time on her family history than I can honestly care about.
I’ll be spending lots of time with these books while I puzzle over my upcoming blog posts.
I have books from childhood that I love and books that I constantly reread. This list consists of books that have impacted my actual life in big ways. Continue reading “Lauren’s Go-To Reads: Actual Influences”
I don’t often recommend Christian relationship books.
I’ve found Christian authors take one of two tacks: either the author treats love with a measure of whimsy that makes them sound stupid, or they quote, “Marriage is HARD,” enough times to show they have no faith in the reader’s ability to retain information.
Licensed counselor Debra Fileta embodies a perfect combination of practicality and hope. Combining Scripture with modern psychology, she finds a balance between empowering readers to make good choices and encouraging them to trust God.
Her perspective is both realistic and refreshing. She never presents formulas, hoping instead readers will take the path toward health. Using examples from her own life, Debra outlines common difficulties that come up in marriage and how to solve them. Unlike others, however, she doesn’t make her experience The Standard; she acknowledges often that every marriage is unique and couples need to find what works for them.
I can tell Debra loves her husband, Jon. That’s what has turned me off about marriage advice in the past; Christians can fall so heavily on the “difficult duty” view of marriage that it’s hard to tell they even like their spouse. Debra writes about the differences between herself and Jon without dinging her husband. As she writes in her book, she and Jon are a team, a fact evident with every page.
The best part of the book, a true miracle in Christian writing: with Debra’s readable style, the 200+ pages fly by.
Want a good marriage, either present or future? Say hello to your new best friend.
Release date: May 1, 2018