After my accident, people brought me books.
They know me well.
Here are five recent reads.
- 4/5 stars…. The Other Americans – It’s described as “at once a family saga, a murder mystery, and a love story, informed by the treacherous fault lines of American culture”
I don’t think I can better describe it. It’s told through multiple points of view – although I felt most “in” Nora’s story. Her father is killed in a hit and run and she’s convinced it wasn’t an accident. While investigating she moves home and falls in love with an old high school friend, who also happens to be a vet and a policeman.
It made me think about divisions of race, economics, immigrants, war and marriage all within one story. And… it’s a page turner
2. A Million Miles in a Thousand Years – A perfect book to read at the beginning of the year.
A writer gets offered a deal to turn his memoir into a movie – but…. the memoir is too boring – there’s not enough conflict, or risk. And so… the author decides that that means his life is boring – and with the help of the “Great Writer” he decides to work to live a story worthy life.
He falls in love, bikes across America, and finds his father – learning that the same things that make a good story, make a good life.
It was a great way to talk to my kids about goals. Goals can be kind of boring. But when it’s phrased as….. what do you want your life to look like? Where’s the conflict in your story? It makes it more interesting… well it did for me, the jury is still out on whether or not the kids caught my passion.
3. Navigating Mormon Faith Crisis, a Simple Developmental Map- I fought against the idea of “stages of faith” for a long time. To me it sounded like a way of creating a hierarchy of faith. With those in “higher” stages looking down on those below.
But… As with many things – I understood more as I took the time to draw closer. And….I love Thomas Mcconkie. Every time I hear him speak I come away changed for the better.
So… I read the book. He makes learning and questioning and growing in faith sound exciting and normalizes the hard times.
I can’t name the stages of faith – but I came away with a deeper desire to appreciate everyone where they are at and be grateful for what they have to offer – including myself.
And— it’s a super fast read.
4. Their Eyes Were Watching God – The main character is a black woman in the South about a hundred years ago – even though it’s set in my country, everything about her life was foreign to me.
Three marriages – the hard work – the heart break – the laughter – the culture… all so different than my own. But that’s the beauty of books – they allow you to live somewhere you could never reach on your own.
The Choice, Embrace the Possible – One of my top three books from last year.
The first third is about her family, her time in Auswitchz, and her rescue of her husband, who was being held as a prisoner in the soon to be Soviet Union.
Unlike other WWII books I’ve read…. most of the book is about her life after the war. How she healed, is healing, and how she is working as a psychologist to help others heal from their wounds – both large and small. Towards the end she is asked to speak at a conference at one of Hitler’s homes…. What she does is achingly beautiful.