Wednesday, January 25, 2017

5 books I can't wait to read

(And no they aren't actually any of the ones pictured here).

I have a voracious appetite for books. I did not realize this until recently, my love of reading was sort of suffocated to death by years of motherhood along with anxiety and OCD and an inability to sit the flip down (excuse my language) and just read a freaking book without first straightening the pillows and vacuuming the carpet and folding three loads of laundry. And prepping dinner. My to-do list was never-ending and my environment was chaotic. I always figured "I'll read again once I'm organized."

Well. News flash! THAT never happened. Living with four other humans meant my attempts at achieving mise en place (a French culinary term meaning "everything in it's place") in my home were undone twice as fast as I could do them and I JUST PLAIN COULDN'T KEEP UP. I got super annoyed and resentful at my people for constantly trashing my space, all the while pining after books I longed to have time to read.

But here I am now, finally reading. And reading quite a lot, actually. Many times I am asked how on earth I find time for all this reading. My dear friends, I am proud to share with you that I have discovered the secret to having time to read:


Sorry if that wasn't the solution you were hoping for but it's the only way I've found that works. In the name of self-care, I let go of *some* (but not all - important detail!) of my dreams of a perfectly organized home and gave myself permission to lay on the couch and read. At first I felt exceedingly guilty, as if I was indulging in a pleasure NOT allowed in motherhood. But then I quickly got over it and now it is probably accurate to say that I read every day for anywhere between 15 minutes and 1 hour. You would be surprised at how many books one can plow through when one makes it a priority. I enjoy my life soooooo much more and though there is almost nothing that beats a clean house - let's be honest - it only ever stayed clean for about 3 minutes and so my time is spent better elsewhere than in anal pursuit of the impossible.

Anyone with me? It's OK if you aren't. I wasn't either until very, very recently. I'm sure Graham would still argue I still obsess a LOT about the cleanliness of my floors and my bathrooms but I've come a long way and I'm all the better for it.

Although I do get a great deal of reading done now at home both during "quiet" time (which I mandate as often as possible so I can have this sacred chance to read) and at bedtime, my most productive reading intervals happen on vacation. Vacations are for reading in my book (pun intended!) My ideal vacation is an airplane trip anywhere south where the sun shines hot and the pools are plentiful. My packing list is simple: a couple of swimsuits, two running outfits, a pair of headphones, my Kindle and charger, my nighttime reading light and at least 4 books. No matter the length of the trip. I could be going away for one night or twenty - my bag always contains multiple, multiple books. You never know when you might finish one and regret not having another. Or just not feel "in the mood" for heart-wrenching historical fiction and wish you could switch on over to some good chic lit. I always make my husband lug the backpack through the airport (which I have crammed with like a bajillion books) as his "personal item." Heaven knows it's too heavy for me to carry and my load of literature could never fit in my checked bag without resulting in an upcharge for "overweight" luggage. Such are the hazards with traveling with me - one must bring along ones muscles and a back brace. I like to think of myself as mostly low maintenance otherwise but that question would be better directed to my husband....

Anyway, nothing beats reading poolside with a book and a beverage, am I right?! I have an ongoing list that I keep in the "notes" section of my phone where I track all the books I'm pining after. Whenever someone mentions a book they loved or I hear a speaker raving about a particular author, I jot it down on my list. When I near the end of my current read, I log into the library app on my phone and put the next book on hold. This system works out pretty well except for the handful of times when I placed a long list of books on hold at the same time, thinking their availability would be naturally staggered only to have them all become available at once. Like a crazy person, I checked out all 7 of them anyway and, in the 6 week period I had between checking them out and renewing each once, I made it through 5 1/2 of them. I'm pretty proud of that accomplishment, actually. (Also, it is important that I point out I was on vacation for four of those days).

Now that 2017 is here, I'm excited to dive into the top 5 books currently on my reading list and I thought it would be fun to share these books with you. I gave my own synopsis of each book but you can also click on the titles or images below to find out more. I'm guessing that if you are reading this blog, there is a high likelihood you are sort of like me so maybe you would enjoy them too? (Disclaimer: I haven't actually read any of these yet but they are all on my hold list at the library and my goal is to read them before the end of the year.)

Chasing Slow: Courage to Journey Off the Beaten Path
By Erin Loechner

I was listening to a podcast recently and the host interviewed the author of this book. Just the title alone - Chasing Slow - captured my attention because so much of what I am about lately involves learning to slow down and simplify and peel back the layers and really truly enjoy this life. The author, Erin Loechner was an online HGTV star and was living what most of us might view to be "the dream" when she realized she wasn't happy with her life. The book talks about her journey away from fame to a slower, quieter life. Y'all are going to be amazed because it was actually only published a mere two weeks (!!!) ago and I already know about it which is a total record for me, the ex-homeschooler who is always behind the times.

Grace for the Good Girl: Letting Go of the Try-Hard Life
By Emily P. Freeman

I'm pretty sure this book was written just for me, the "good girl" and the rule-follower. I probably should have read this book twelve years ago were it not for the fact that it hadn't yet been published. I still would call myself a good girl and now I'm raising at least one of 'em too so I can't wait to read about how to both comprehend and then extend more grace to myself, my kids and everyone else in my life. Extra bonus: I met the author of this book at the Hope Writer's Workshop I attended back in November. I found myself hanging on her every word as she spoke - she was inspiring and gentle and so human and vulnerable and endearing. It made me want to read anything she's ever written (she has 4 books so far) and so I'm starting here with grace.

Sex, God, and the Conservative Church: Erasing Shame from Sexual Intimacy
By Tina Schermer Sellers (Coming in April 2017 - Image not yet available)

I CANNOT EVEN TELL YOU HOW EXCITED I AM FOR THIS BOOK TO BE PUBLISHED!!!! Seriously. I'm so excited. This book is long overdue and I was thrilled to learn that someone is finally writing it. The author, Tina Schermer Sellers, is an Associate Professor of Marriage and Family Therapy at my alma mater, Seattle Pacific University. I first heard of her when she came to speak at the MOPS group at my church (the one week I was out of town 😭). My peers raved about her talk and in no time I was stalking her online and reading every single one of her blog posts. She has her PhD in clinical sexology and she launched the Northwest Institute on Intimacy (NWIOI) whose mission is to train psychotherapists in sex therapy and spiritual intimacy. She also puts on 3-day intimacy retreats throughout the year for couples desiring greater intimacy and connection in their marriages. I dream of attending one someday - they look incredible! She has been working on this book for quite some time and recently announced it's upcoming publishing date in April of this year. I am so grateful that Christian professionals are working to address the many ways the church has, often accidentally, made sex shameful. Thank you Tina for doing great work in this often-not-discussed aspect of marriage! Technically, I believe this book is written for psychotherapists in the field but I plan to read it anyway as sex in Christian marriages is a growing passion of mine. Book club, anyone?

The Memoir Project: A Thoroughly Non-Standardized Text for Writing & Life
By Marion Roach Smith

I'm dying to read this one. I don't know if I have a book in me yet or not but I do know that I love me a good memoir. There's something so gripping about knowing a person intimately through their writing, walking alongside them in their story, feeling all their feels. Regardless of my writing future, I would love to read what she has to say and work on strengthening my craft.

The Glass Castle: A Memoir
By Jeannette Walls

I can't talk about my love of memoirs without also sharing the name of a memoir I'm hoping to read. This one was recommended to me years ago, long before I started keeping my "Things to Read" notes section in my phone. It's title was lost for ages but then suddenly the book was mentioned via three different avenues, all in the span of one week. I was grateful to have it brought to the forefront of my reading list and look forward to entangling myself in the author's story.

Have you read any books lately? Or do you have a list of books you'd like to read? I'm always on the prowl for new reads so feel free to send any titles my way!

My affiliate link is used in this post. You can read my disclosure policy here.

No comments:

Post a Comment

posted by kelsie