what i’ve been reading {fall 2015}

{To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee}

I haven’t read To Kill a Mockingbird since early high school, and with all the buzz about Go Set a Watchman this summer, I thought it was about time to pick the classic back up.  And goodness gracious I had forgotten how good it was.  And with the re-reading I realized how much I had missed the first time I read it years ago.  You don’t need me to tell you how good To Kill a Mockingbird is.  So I’ll just say this: if it’s been awhile since you’ve read it, don’t hesitate to pick it back up.

{Hungry Monkey: A Food Loving Father’s Quest to Raise an Adventurous Eater by Matthew Amster-Burton}

As a picky eater who really wants to do everything I can to not have a picky eating child (but who also believes that sometimes nothing can be done about it) I really enjoyed this book.  It’s a humorous book all about a dad and his daughter and their eating adventures: the things she likes one day and doesn’t the next, her adventures in learning to cook, and the trials of bringing snacks to preschool.  It also has a some great recipes in it, which is always a win for me.

{Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal}

Kitchens of the Great Midwest is unlike anything I have ever read before, and I loved it.  It is the story of a chef named Eva, and how she becomes, through challenging circumstances, one of the most famous chefs in the country.  But instead of a completely straightforward story, it’s told from the perspective of different people in Eva’s life: her dad, a boyfriend, a cousin, etc. (so somewhat like Olive Kitteridge from what I understand, although I’ve never read it).  It sounds unusual, but it works so well and I adored it.  (Also–I feel like I should give a language disclaimer.  This book has it.)

{Displacement by Lucy Knisley}

This is my first ever graphic novel/memoir.  I was unsure how I’d feel about it, but I thought it was fantastic.  Displacement is the story of Lucy Knisley’s cruise vacation with her grandparents, where she acted as their guide/caregiver.  It was an easy read, but it was also full of reflections on family connection, mortality, and aging.  I really enjoyed it and will be adding more graphic novels/memoirs/non-fiction books to my list now.

{Sabbath in the Suburbs: A Family’s Experiment with Holy Time by MaryAnn McKibben Dana}

I’m not sure what my expectations for this book were, but whatever they were, the book far exceeded them.  Sabbath in the Suburbs is a family’s year long attempt to keep the Sabbath with young children and a busy life and a minister who has to work on Sunday.  It is in the vein of The Year of Living Biblically and The Year of Biblical Womanhood, but of course all its own.  I thought it was so well written and was full of so much wisdom about the Sabbath that challenged me to think about it in a different way.  It has also inspired me to be better about keeping the Sabbath in one way or another (it is full explanations of how sabbath can look different for different people, as well as “sabbath hacks”).  And it is full of grace for when we fail at our attempts, because it happens inevitably.

{The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion}

I finally got around to reading this bestseller book from a few years ago about a professor with Asperger’s and his attempt to find a wife.  It is a cute and funny and light read, but to be honest I didn’t love it as much as I thought I would.  Because the book is written from the perspective of someone with a very scientific and practical mind, what seems creative at the beginning, gets a little exhausting by the end.  That being said, it’s a good easy read if you’re looking for a feel-good story.

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