2017 was the year of reading for me. I learned so much from the diverse material that I took in during this year, and along the way I fell in some big time love with a few new authors. Some authors produce one big book and the rest are nothing to write home about. But these four are the real deal. I read through their nearly entire catalog this year and soaked up every minute. If you are looking to deep dive into some good work, this would be a great place to start.
1. Shauna Niequist
I love this woman. I’ve never met her, but I love her. I kind feel like we have the same soul brand. I love the way she adores words, the way she processes the world, and the way her reflections on it connect so deeply with me. I read Bread and Wine after it was recommended to me about a thousand times and it is now a solid member of my top five books of all time. The way she connects the tangible, like food and music and literature, to the intangible, like faith and hope and perseverance gets me every time. So now I’m officially hooked. I flew through Present Over Perfect, a book about rest that feels like a word just for me and I’m working my way through Savor, her 365 devotional this year. I’ve linked her website and podcast below and I can’t wait for you to get started.
2. L.M. Montgomery
I first read the Anne of Green Gables series when my family went on our one month marathon trip out west when I was about 14. I remember sitting on the side of a swimming pool in Pheonix, dipping my toes in the water and reading long paragraphs from the books aloud to myself because I just thought the words were so lovely. This year I read Blue Castle, one of Montgomery's few books for adults, and it that proves she has sticking power outside of the Anne series. I’m also linking you up to the miniseries on Netflix that came out this year about the first book in the Anne series, Anne of Green Gables. I’m still not sure how I feel about it, but I would LOVE to hear your thoughts.
3. Brene Brown
If you are in my daily life, you have definitely been on the receiving end of my retelling of some bit of wisdom from her books. Her research has changed my life and that is not an exaggeration in the slightest. I’ve flown through her books this year learning about trust, vulnerability, belonging, shame, and so much more. I still have Gifts of Imperfection left to read and I am holding on to it because I can’t bear to have it all over. I think her brand new book, Braving the Wilderness (mentioned last week), is a great place to start.
4. Louise Penny
Penny’s mysteries came into my life during this past year and I’ve blazed through five already. I described her first mystery as having an incredible sense of place and characters that you can’t help but love and relate with. The mysteries are consistently well conceived but it's the details, the descriptions of a meal or the subtleties of a discussion that get me. The best thing about this series is that the books are set at different seasons or holidays in a year, so you can pace your reading to match the setting. I’m a sucker for that sort of thing for sure. Also, I can promise you that nothing will make you want to visit Canada faster.
I know that reading these the work of these wonderful women will enrich your life, and I can't wait to hear what you think. In the meantime, feel free to leave your recommendations below. See you next week for part three!
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Welcome! I'm a wife, mama-to-be, foster mom, fourth year music teacher, and Jesus follower, and am chronically curious about just about everything. Join me as I explore the calling God has for my family's story.
"I am the Vine, you are the Branches. If you abide in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."