11 books I'm itching to read this winter (and 2 I already have)
My list isn’t anything original, it’s pieced together from accolades in blogs much better than mine, user reviews on Good Reads, and personal recommendations from friends with good taste.
I tend to go through reading frenzies, where I’ll read 1-2 books a wee… and then remember that television exists and I won’t crack open a book for a month. Right now I happen to be in one of those frenzies where I’m overwhelmed by all the books I want to read.
The first two books on the list are ones I’ve recently finished. The rest are ones I’m itching to get my grubby little hands on.
1. “Torn” by Justin Lee (finished)
Justin Lee’s story is remarkable and an important one to be told. Growing up a committed evangelical, Lee really really really did not want to be gay – but he was. This is his story of how he came to terms with that. Regardless of what you believe about homosexuality, if you have ever been in either camp in the Christians vs. Gays war, this is worth reading.
2. “A Year of Biblical Womanhood” by Rachel Held Evans (finished)
I just adore Rachel Held Evans. Everyone should read her blog, for real. In fact you should go read her blog right now instead of reading mine. This book is a memoir-of-sorts in which Evans spent one year living as biblically literal as she could – and whatever you think that means, think again.
4. “Quiet” by Susan Cain
I know, this book was a big deal last year. But since I’ve just recently come out as a bonafide introvert, I’m finally going to commit to reading this one. It sounds like it could be be a textbookish boring read, but I’ve heard time and time again that Cain brings us a beautiful, engaging narrative in this book.
6. Minimalist Parenting by Christine Koh & Asha Dornfest
I read a review on this one in the New York Times’ Motherlode blog, and I bookmarked it because it intrigued me. I know I just said I don’t love parenting books, but this one seems a little different. We shall see. I don’t think of myself as a minimalist, but when I’m around other parents, I am reminded that I kind of am one.
7. Bread & Wine by Shauna Niequist
I have heard only wonderful things about this book. Several people have compared her writing to Anne Lamott, who Niequist greatly admires. This reminds me – must add whatever Anne Lamott writes this year to my list.
9. The Homemade Pantry: 101 foods you can stop buying and start making
Did you know you can churn butter in a Kitchen Aid? Joe got me this book by food writer Alana Chernila for Christmas, not because he is a chauvinist, but because he knows I’m fascinated by old fashioned cooking and making things from scratch.
1. “The Mermaid of Brooklyn” by Amy Shearn
I love reading novels that attempt to capture the beauty and challenges of motherhood, and Oprah.com writer Amy Shearn’s book looks like it mixes just enough fantasy to elevate the story from a typical tale of motherhood in New York.
2. “East of Eden” by John Steinbeck
Of all of Steinbeck’s more famous novels, this is the only one I haven’t read, and I’ve decided this needs to change. It’s perfect timing considering it’s the 75th anniversary of the “Grapes of Wrath” and my locale – which is where Steinbeck lived and wrote – will be celebrating in full force.
3. “The Circle” by David Eggars
This book popped up all over various “best books of 2013” lists, so I bought it for Joe for Christmas. He read it in one weekend and now it’s my turn to read. It’s about a scarily powerful corporation (which is not unlike a Google/Facebook mashup) in a postmodern society where “privacy is considered theft.”
4. “Arcadia” by Lauren Groff
This book also topped the charts for best novel of 2013. Groff tells a story of a boy growing up in a 1970s hippie commune. It is said to be filled with beautiful, raw pose and an even more compelling story.