On My Book Shelf (Summer 2016)


After getting this all sorted and typed out, I realized how um... light this list is.  And then I realized that's pretty much how they usually are.  And THEN I realized that "light" is pretty much just my preferred reading style, with the occasional heavies thrown in here and there. You know, just enough to retain the feeling of actually having been to college without feeling like I'm still in it.  For better or worse, there you have me.  Which is why this book has been sitting in my living room for months untouched while I've gone through two Mindy Kalings in the meantime.  Look for it on the fall list! (She says with cautious optimism.)

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Just Finished Reading

Ina May's Guide to Childbirth changed the way I looked at giving birth.  Even though I had Moses in a birthing center, with education from great midwives, there was something about this book that resonated deep enough to actually stick in my bones when labor came on with Taavi.  And my control and presence of mind was vastly different this time around. I can't recommend it enough.  (there are a few parts that are so hippie they're uncomfortable, but mostly it's awesome)

Everyday Sacrament: The Messy Grace of Parenting
 is a beautiful look into how the mundane of family life actually mirrors the grace we find in the sacraments. It's a great way to press a reset button for weary moms.  I had the privilege of meeting Laura a month ago and if you aren't reading her blog, remedy your craziness right now.  She's one of the most lovely writers on the web.

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) was everything I wanted it to be.  And by that I mean a worthy counterpart to Tina Fey's Bossypants.  Which was a relief, because I had thought that maybe every other comedienne's book attempts would be a laugh-free disappointment.  (Looking at you, Amy Poehler.)  All I really want in a comedy book is to be spurred to read excerpts out loud to my husband.  Is that too much to ask?  Mindy thinks not.  Also Mindy wants to hear about how fun marriage is and is sick of hearing about how hard it is all the time.  Challenge accepted, Ms. Kaling. Challenge accepted.  Coming soon.

Why Not Me?  Why not you, this book? Because you were lame.  Sure you had your funny moments, and okay the parts about meeting President Obama were super cool, but I never read you aloud to my husband so basically you failed. It's possible that I mostly feel this way because the section on how everyone secretly likes filming sex scenes was basically the worst thing ever.  I want 2011 Mindy back.

Currently Reading

Taste and See: Experiencing the Goodness of God with Our Five Senses I'm enjoying slowly making my way through this one.  It's meant to be chewed off bit by bit, spurring on a lifestyle of mindfulness and meditation.  The days that I try to tear through several chapters are the ones I enjoy it least.  When it works best it is ingested a little at a time and intentionally applied to your daily life.  Ginny is another Catholic blogger whom I admire.

Assimilate or Go Home: Notes from a Failed Missionary on Rediscovering Faith is, in so many ways, my story.  Starting out thinking you would change the world and save all the souls, being broken along the way, and finally understanding that communion is the greatest goal, not conversion.  It's a story about trusting in the wide mercy of God and offering yourself as a mere player in His hand.  I've only just begun this book but it resonates so deeply that I've already contacted D.L. Mayfield and asked to do an interview.  So be on the lookout for that post in the next few weeks!  I think it will deeply encourage us all.

Will Be Reading

Who Does He Say You Are?: Women Transformed by Christ in the Gospels I love Colleen Mitchell.  She is feisty and endearing and hilarious and has an enviable sense of style.  But what I love most about her is her heart for mercy and compassion.  She is the real deal and I can't wait to read this babe of her heart. (Also on her website she's made a quiz, "which Gospel woman are you?" It's fluffy and quick and just lots of fun.  I got Mary Magdalene so I can die happy now.)

Falling Free: Rescued from the Life I Always Wanted is my most anticipated read of the year.  I preordered this baby in February you guys, and it comes out in September.  That's commitment. I've been following Shannan's blog for three years, ever since a friend of mine sent me a link to this post when we were in the throes of hard things with Alyosha and I cried buckets and read it over and over for weeks.  Shannan's story of letting Jesus reconstruct her understanding of what it means to follow Him is both challenging and inspiring, and since she is a master wordsmith I know this book will be phenomenal.

What Alice Forgot
 A member of my local book club proposed all reading different books by this author and then getting together to discuss them.  That sounded like a fun proposition to me, and this is the one the library had available therefore it is my pick! ;)  Has anyone read it, or anything by Moriarty? What should I be expecting?

Between the World and Me has been teasing me all year.  I've heard so many good things!  Anyone been through it yet?

For the Kids

The Horse and His Boy We just finished this classic with Alyosha, the third Narnia book we've read with him.  He's enjoyed them but still doesn't seem to be able to completely follow the storyline or understand the details, so I think we're going to take a break from Narnia for awhile.
Magic Tree House  is a more age-appropriate series for Aly, and he's been loving them.  He can even read it independently, though I'm not sure how great his comprehension is that way.  But I like this series because it is a simple introduction to historical periods and cultures.


Heckedy Peg might be my favorite picture book ever, and not just because the mother is a complete badass.  There's a big family, magic, wicked witch, disobedient children, and a mother who fights and redeems.  It's just the best.  It might be a little scary for very small children, so steer clear if you have a very sensitive child.  But I think most kids will love it.                    

Alright, your turn! What have you finished? What are you starting? What are you loving and hating?  Hit us up in the comments or on FB!                  

Someday, the light will shine like a sun through my skin & they will say, 'what have you done with your life?' & though there are many moments I think I'll remember, in the end, I will be proud to say, I was one of us.

(Brian Andreas, Storypeople)