Book Club On The Blog: Volume IV

It’s been a minute y’all.
Life in a nutshell right now: buying a house, planning renovations for said-house, not living in this house but making mortgage payments on it, creating elaborate narratives about what our new neighbors are like.  It’s a whole thing you guys.

In other news, I’ve been reading some good books lately and thought I’d share.  With fall here, I feel like I’m supposed to tell you to grab a book and get cozy under a blanket by the fire.  But we all know it’s more like: read your Kindle in bed with retainers in your mouth and kind of sleep-swipe a few pages until you pass out and your husband has to reach over you to turn out the light.  But I wouldn’t know.

  1. Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine // Gail Honeyman
    [Fiction]
    eleanor oliphant is completely fine
    If you enjoyed “A Man Called Ove”, you’ll like this one.  I thought Eleanor Oliphant was even better; it’s such a fantastic book.  She’s 30, living the life of a loner, sticks closely to her established routines, and is enormously awkward in social situations.  Eleanor meets Raymond from work and for the first time, she experiences friendship.  There are a lot of layers to this book that are pieced together as you read and get to know Eleanor more.  The novel is divided into three sections: “Good Days”, “Bad Days”, “Better Days”.  Lots of emotions but mostly a lot of love for Eleanor, who grew on me.
  2. These Is My Words // Nancy Turner
    [Historical Fiction]
    these is my words
    This is written as Sarah Prine’s diary entries in the late 1800’s, taking place in the Arizona Territories.  It’s strangely more entertaining than that first sentence makes it sound.  A friend recommended it and when I finally picked it up, it kept my interest each time I sat down to read.  With that said, while there is triumph and romance and adventure, there is also tragedy and a significant amount of trauma Sarah is working through as she journals. Some people may find it hard to push through certain parts.  It’s not a “feel-good”, light read, but in my opinion, it’s worth picking up and there are moments that will leave you cheering.
  3. Of Mess And Moxie: Wrangling Delight Out of This Wild and Glorious Life // Jen Hatmaker
    [Nonfiction: Humor/Essays]
    of mess and moxie
    Of Mess and Moxie read very similarly to Jen’s previous book, For The Love.  She balanced her content with humor, depth, and recipes- FIIIINE I TOOK PICTURES of the smoothie recipes before returning to the library so sue me.  (Fun fact- I’m meeting Jen and Nichole Nordeman on Monday. I’ve already made peace with the fact that they will be darling and even more wonderful in person, while I’ll probably say something that will result in carrying the burden of my awkwardness for the next three decades.  Almost guaranteed.)
  4. The Magnolia Story // Chip and Joanna Gaines
    [Nonfiction: Memoir]
    magnolia
    Hi, remember how I had to stage a house and channel all of my inner Joanna? (Which really means: I lost my ever-loving mind and long story short, I glued my fingers together.)  I joined the Fixer Upper bandwagon over the summer while all our house stuff was going down.  The Magnolia Story went on a summer vacay with me and was a great, easy beach read.  Chip and Joanna write in alternating voices/fonts and share their story- how they met, what their journey’s been like with Fixer Upper up until now, etc.  (Another fun fact: My sister-in-law borrowed the book at the end of our vacation, but y’all.. she didn’t get to finish the last two chapters.  So please make space for this humble brag: I sent her picture texts of the pages from the last two chapters while in the airport because I couldn’t let her not finish this book.  Is that OCD or deep and abiding family love.. who will ever know?)
  5. Best Day Ever // Kaira Rouda
    [Fiction: Thriller]
    best day ever
    Y’all don’t even knowwwww how fast I read this book.  To be fair- it’s a pretty quick read as it is, but it was an excellent thriller.  Paul and Mia live a charmed life: the perfect marriage, a big house, two beautiful children, lots of money.  Their story takes place in a 24 hour window on the way to their lake house, where Paul has planned “the best day ever”.  As you read, you realize not everything is as it appears, and the plot begins to twist and turn.  Slightly predictable, but still enjoyable.  (Disclaimer for some: occasional strong language)
  6. None Like Him: 10 Ways God is Different Than Us (And Why That’s a Good Thing) // Jen Wilkin
    [Christian Nonfiction]
    none like him
    Jen Wilkin wrote such a profound and important book in None Like Him. As humans, we reflect God’s image in numerous ways, but from the beginning of time, we’ve wrongly wanted to be like God. She writes,
    “God is (and we can be): Holy, Loving, Just, Good, Merciful, Gracious, Wise, Faithful…
    Only God is: Infinite, Incomprehensible, Self-Existent, Self-Sufficient, Eternal, Unchanging, All-Present, All-Knowing, All-Powerful” (paraphrased, page 24)
    This book does a great job explaining how limited we are in relation to God’s limitless attributes.  It breaks down big theological ideas so that they aren’t as intimidating.  Can’t recommend highly enough; I’ll be picking this up again and again over the years.book club on the blog

Books I’m Reading Now But Can’t Vouch For Quite Yet:
Always // Sarah Jio
I Remember Nothing: And Other Reflections // Nora Ephron

Previous Book Recommendations
Book Club on the Blog Posts 1, 2, 3

Finally: Unrelated to books, but completely related to my gym class nemesis, if you haven’t read my last post: People of the Gym: Group Fitness Participants please do so now.  Maybe one of you knows the girl who kept crowding My Spot at my last gym class and can forward the post to her, so she can get some chill.  Unresolved anger alert.

Back to books.. Your turn: What are you reading?  What needs to go on my list?