three books


During a recent visit, I asked my mother how she would describe me as a reader while growing up. She immediately responded by saying I always was reading a book. To further emphasize the point, she said during frequent trips to visit grandparents, my brother would know the route as his face was turned towards the window and the scenery, mine was envisioning the scenery on the page.

Reading relaxes me.
Reading centers me.
Reading informs me.
Reading transports me.
Reading is what makes me…me.

My last post was about the first year back to work. I mentioned not having
a lot of time to read. But how like God to have me assist a fellow book lover to and have book chats all during the week. We speak the same language.

Several friends have told me how much they enjoy posts about books. I thought it might be fun to from time to time to share three books in these three categories:

  • Books I love
  • Books I have recently read
  • Books I am reading

These are not reviews, simply an appetizer to whet your reading appetite.

As you see from the stack, I am already cheating. I can’t help myself.


Books I love

The Night Circus: Books read during the summer, I tend to remember the most.
If a book can draw you away from running around in the sunshine, it’s a good book.
I read this during the summer of 2011 and it captivated and transported me.

“The circus arrives without warning.
No announcements precede it, no paper notices on downtown posts and 
billboards, no mentions or advertisements in local newspapers. It is simply
there, when yesterday it was not.”

It’s the story of Marco and Celia, two young illusionist who have been trained by two masters to compete in a “game”. That is all I will say. It is on my re-read list as I recently learned it is being made into a movie, which excites and scares me. I am not sure I want what I envisioned to be cast on a screen instead in the mind.

Girl Meets God: I adore memoirs. This is one of my favorites. Lauren Winner tells the story of her conversion from Judaism to Christianity. It is written in sections according to the Christian church calendar and is intermixed with her grief in missing her Orthodox Jewish traditions. Lauren writes with such intelligence, humor and honesty.

“Easter, it seems to me, is the most profoundly Jewish of all Christian holidays. For a Jew becoming a Christian, bodily resurrection is no surprise. It is what we had been expecting all along.”
Books I recently read:

Coming Clean (not pictured): I had the pleasure of being in a writers’ workshop lead by Seth Haines last year. I was anxious to read his first book. Coming Clean is a recounting of the first 90 days of Seth’s sobriety. It’s a journal about cravings and being unable to pray in life’s harshest moments. We all crave something don’t we? What are we using to cover our pain, our fears, our doubts?
Coming Clean is brilliantly honest and candid.

Books I am reading: 

My books are toppling over at the moment. The only way to decide what to read next is based on library due dates and which books cannot be renewed. Sigh.

Four Seasons in Rome:  Once upon a time, I spent 10 days in Italy. It was part of a 3 1/2  week holiday during my semester abroad. As wonderful as that sounds right now, it pales in comparison to being given the opportunity to write in Rome for a year. Within those 365 days, Anthony Doerr created All The Light We Cannot See.

When Breath Becomes Air: This book doesn’t need much introduction as it seems to be everywhere. As of last week, I was #322 on the library hold list. My sweet neighbor and friend Stephanie surprised me by knocking on my door to give me her library copy and share her personal connection with Paul Kalanithi. Paul Kalanithi was a brilliant neurosurgeon who was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer. I have a rare evening to myself and anticipate finishing it tonight. I know it won’t be an easy completion but when we read or listen to each other’s stories, we honor their footsteps.

The Better Life: Don’t you love the cover? I’ve had this book for a while. I read some of it and then it got buried under a pile of books, no doubt. It is simply a tiny book of short chapters about small things that can be done right this very instant to make your life better.


I would love to know what you are reading OR what books you love?


Want more book ideas?
My favorite Tuesday morning ride to work routine is to listen to Anne Bogel’s
podcast What Should I Read Next?

You can find it here. A new episode every Tuesday.




6 thoughts on “three books

  1. Jody,
    What a great collection of books. You are adding more to my never-ending book list.
    Especially the John Piper book. I am reading the Anthony Doerr book to nudge me back
    to All the Light…I remember we were having similar blocks.
    My friend, I had no idea you were in town last week. I saw the Writers Connection photo.
    Sob. I can’t make Thursdays…I miss being able to go!
    You never have to stop listing books…ever.


  2. jodyo70 says:

    Yes, my dear, we are kindred spirits. I am awash in books, yessiree.
    This is the second place this week I’ve heard mention of Anthony Doerr’s memoir about living in Rome; I’ll have to add it to my list:
    What am I reading? (all at the same time, I might add)
    Lilias Trotter’s biography “A Passion for the Impossible”
    Christie Purifoy’s “Roots & Sky”
    an old book by a woman named Gladys Taber (Tonia Peckover mentioned her) “Stillmeadow Seasons”
    “The Golden Skylark” a collection of stories by Elizabeth Goudge
    John Piper’s book, “Seeing Beauty and Saying Beautifully” about C.S. Lewis, George Herbert (poet) and George Whitfield
    on deck:
    A.J.’s book ‘This Glorious Dark’
    Paul Pastor’s book “the face of the deep” about the Holy Spirit
    okay, I’ll stop.

    Read on!


  3. Oh I love Everyday Sacred! I need to revisit it. It held so much wisdom and life lessons. I cannot wait to hear more of your thoughts on Life in Motion. xoxo


  4. Felicia Gaskins says:

    An all time favorite is Everyday Sacred: A Woman’s Journey Home by Sue Bender. I read Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina by Misty Copeland. As an African American singer, Misty’s doubts and challenges about how to fit into the arts was all too familiar. I am reading The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration. My family was part of that migration of African Americans from the American south to the East and West. Keep writing your books blogs. I love them.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. We are kindred spirit Kayla!
    One of my reading goals for the year is to read more about other cultures. The book you mentioned sounds so interesting, I will add it to my list! I am planning to read The Lemon Tree if I can get it in before I have to return it to the library. Have you read it?

    I completely agree about books coming when we need them. It is so interesting how I can set a book down for a time and then at a later date, it is just what my soul needed.
    Thanks so much for reading and sharing what you are reading.


  6. A post about books goes straight to my core. These statements:
    Reading relaxes me.
    Reading centers me.
    Reading informs me.
    Reading transports me.
    Reading is what makes me…me.

    Oh my word, Reading defines me.

    Currently, I’m reading The Russian Concubine by Kate Furnivall. It gives a look into a pre-communist China, and reveals how we really all have the same basic needs to be loved and deserve good homes, food, and basic civil rights.

    It’s hard to nail down my favorite books. They change by the day. I may remember what touched me in a nonfiction book one day and what moved me in a fiction story on another. There’s truth in every bit of writing, and I think it becomes clear when we need them.

    Liked by 1 person

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