A couple weeks ago I posted on Facebook that I had been reading too many serious non-fiction books and I needed some lighter fiction to read on vacation. People weighed in with some great suggestions and although I am a slooow reader I took them up on several and thought I’d report back. So here’s some fiction and a couple of terrific non-fiction books you might want to check out.
Maisie Dobbs. This was an engaging read that takes place just after World War 1 in London. Maisie Dobbs, a detective, is like a female version of the PBS series “Foyle’s War”. I love the setting and the period in history and found the historical information on WW1 and its aftermath to be sobering. A cool mystery.
The Invention of Wings. People have been recommending this to me for years, but because of some vague recollection of something I read previously by the author that I didn’t like, I’ve resisted. My loss. This book chronicles parallel lives, based on a real woman of privilege in early 1800’s Charleston S.C., and her slave girl (close in age). It is beautifully written, engrossing and enlightening.
The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry. Quirky, different, and a quick, read. This is the story of a young widower on Alice Island in New England who runs a book store and discovers a toddler left to his care. It’s a bittersweet story of love and loss and choices that change us. I always want inspiring and uplifting endings and didn’t really get it here.
Skios. My friend, Joanne is a voracious reader with much broader taste in books than mine (Read: she’s smarter and more literary). If you haven’t checked out her blog, you should. I got this suggestion from her, but I’m not crazy about farce or mistaken identity so I probably should have given this one a pass. It’s about a man (who I pictured looking like Hugh Grant) assuming the identity of a visiting lecturer at a gathering uber-rich folks on a Greek island and the mishaps that ensue. For me it was alternately entertaining, ridiculous, frustrating and tiring waiting for all the story lines to finally converge.
All the Places to Go (How will you Know?) John Ortberg has impacted my spiritual journey more than any other. This new book, about open doors and discerning God’s will, is immensely readable and relevant, filled with John’s delightful humor. He has great insights about biblical characters as always. Most of my copy is underlined. Highly recommend!
One last thing…I don’t know if I’m the only one, but the change of seasons really affects my appetite. Blustery fall days with crimson leaves make me want to make soup. Lovely spring days like we’ve been having lately make me want to bake cookies. Similarly I find my appetite for God’s Word can change with the seasons of my life. Lately I’ve been ravenous, gobbling up Scripture like someone gobbling up chocolate after Lent.
I’ve written here before about how I like to mix up what I do for devotions, but one constant this year is a “Bible in One Year” reading plan through the YouVersion online. The one I’m using was created by Nikki Gumbel who started Alpha. I love it because his commentary identifies a unifying theme each day. I have found this particular discipline so valuable and strengthening. I have grown in my love of God’s Word and amazement at His care for every detail of our lives.
Now it’s your turn! What have you been reading that’s engaging, inspiring, uplifting??