Halfway Through 2018: Books You've Read or Hope to Read?

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Back in January I asked what books were on your 2018 reading list and loved hearing from so many of you! Now that we are over halfway through the year, I am curious which books you've read and which ones are still on your list. Any must reads? Unexpected finds? Books that were hard to get through?

I'll get us started in the comments below. Join me?

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Looking back on the books I listed back in January, I have only read Sheryl Sandberg's Option B. I appreciated her insights on tangible ways to show up (in actual helpful ways) when our friends and family face unexpected trauma. However, I'm not sure where it went from there. Good read but has not stuck with me like I thought it would. 

I just finished the book Everything Happens for a Reason: And Other Lies I've Loved and would highly recommend. The author, Kate Bowler, writes in the most refreshingly honest way about her stage IV colon cancer diagnosis in her 30's (she is married with a young son). I would describe Kate as a strong Christian who is not afraid to ask the tough questions. She talks about theology as she also mentions that she has taken up cursing for Lent. She tackles church, the big questions (is heaven really better than earth? how could it be if it means I don't get to see my son grow up?), and doesn't offer any neat or tidy answers. Her faith and humanity (cancer sucks) are so interwoven. Check it out for sure. Bill Gates agrees

My favorite non-fiction book I've read this year is The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. Though a bit older (came out in 2015) I just recently heard about it and it was one of those books I stayed up too late reading. The author paints such a vivid picture of life in Occupied France during WWII. The characters are real and the decisions they must make often unfathomable. Grapples with questions about bravery, sacrifice, and morality during wartime (or in times when all options are unthinkable). Highly recommend.

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Sounds like some good reading, Stac! Here's my updates:

I read:

Tattoos on the Heart by Gregory Boyle and absolutely loved it. Such great challenges to make grace part of our daily rhythm and rethink the way we relate to others, especially those who come from very different places than we do.

Of Mess and Moxie by Jen Hatmaker. I laughed, I cried, and I reflected on a lot of different aspects of life. A great encouragement to keep pressing on through all of life's messes.

Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist. I've always connected so deeply with Shauna's writing, so I think this will be a permanent fixture in my book collection. Just like with Bittersweet, I'll probably come back to this one again and again. Learning to rest and care for ourselves in certain seasons is so important!

Waking Up White by Debby Irving. This one is an incredible reflection on what is looks like to recognize your privilege as a white person living in America. By being so transparent with her own experiences and her own journey, Debby is so easy to relate to and helps the reader to wrestle with the tough topic of racism in America without the sense of accusation/guilt I think so many of us dread. I finished feeling empowered with strategies and insights to shift my perspective rather than overwhelmed and ill-equipped to have such desperately needed conversations. In my mind, this is a must-read! I will caution, though, that it's not a fast read... at least it wasn't for me.

Ruined by Ruth Everhart. Another powerful must-read that speaks to the #MeToo movement. In this memoir, Ruth unpacks her journey with faith, the church, and abuse after she is raped as a college student at Calvin. As the church today continues to seek ways to respond to the #MeToo movement and speak out against abuse in the church, Ruth's perspective is so important.

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L'Engle. I read this one before going to see the movie this winter. A classic book that didn't necessarily translate the way I wanted it to in the movie. But it was definitely great to re-visit a book I hadn't read in years and read it with fresh eyes.

I just started Tell Me More: Stories About the 12 Hardest Things I'm Learning to Say by Kelly Corrigan and so far, I've found Kelly's stories to be raw and compelling. In some ways, I related so closely to what Kelly shares, and in others, I see stark contrast between my life and hers. I've enjoyed thinking through both sides and searching out practical tips for going deeper in the conversations I have with friends and family.

While it hasn't exactly been one book per month, I'm on track for 12 books this year, so I'll take it :)

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Hello there! Haven't read the book "Discernment: Reading the Signs of Daily Life" by Michael Christensen and Rebecca Laird (based on Henri Nouwen's writings) but seeking a review from anyone who has? Have you read this? How did it impact you? What did you learn? What did you disagree with? Who do you think should (or must) read this? 

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 After Coming across a video of Professor Jordan B. Peterson, a clinical psychologist and now tenured at the University of Toronto after having taught at Harvard, I bought his book 12 Rules for Life : An Antidote to Chaos.  I'm in Chapter 3 now, and although he does not attend a church, I'm quite convinced that the man believes in Christ, though to what extent is unclear.  Anyway, the man is persecuted by the left; the politically correct, by what he calls the Social Justice Warriors (who don't necessarily fight the Biblical version of social justice, by the way); the LGBTQ movement, feminists and so on.   If you start looking you wil find TONS of his videos on YouTube.  He makes sense.  I recommend it.  BTW, I found a hardcover edition at Chapters with 40%off the retail price.