Currently Reading (2018 Book List)

New Year, New Books. Yes? That is how it works for me.

I still haven’t had a chance to work on my goals (sick kids, no school). But books? That list is going strong and I’ve already dived in.

I’m sharing what I’m currently reading and what is on my list for the year.

Reading List Recs 2018 | La La Lovely

Just as am cool with Goal As You Go, I’m also way cool with selecting books as you go. In fact, I hugely believe that the right books will find you at the right time. BUT…. I totally geek out at making a reading list for the year. Because I love reading and books (like as in the tactile feel and look of them) so much this is pretty much as fun as a kid with toy catalog and marker in hand at Christmastime.

I’m not austere about the process or the plan. The listing actually goes on throughout the year in places like my Amazon wishlist, Pinterest and in the Notes App on my phone. When I see something that strikes my interest or that someone recommends I take note. In January I put it all together. The list is always incomplete because inevitably I will always add to it and, in all truth, I don’t usually finish my list. Some books get bumped to the next year or off the list entirely because I stay attuned to my heart and the whisper of the Spirit and my own whimsy.

Since this list is a little lengthy I’m going to categorize my  (as I do in my journal).

Also, I should note that I read categorically. I read several books at a time, rather than reading one at a time. I usually always have some form of spiritual/ personal growth book going along with fiction or story….If I get completely carried away in a story then the other may sit for awhile. But I love to read growth books in the morning and then story based ones in the afternoon or evening. Now if find a learning booked that is based in story or beautifully written, then I could read it anytime of the day. But I try to read only for relaxation in the evenings. What are your reading habits? I’m always intrigued by the reading habits of others.

OK, here goes…

Reading List Recs 2018 | La La Lovely

READING NOW /

The Last Mrs. Parrish / I saw this one on Reese Witherspoon’s bookclub and thought I’d give it a go. I’m a few chapters in and I’m not so sure. Girl pretends to be something she is not to get something that is not hers to take. I’ve seen enough of this in real life. Have you read? Should I keep going? One reading habit I changed last year, was giving myself permission to quit a book.

Busman’s Honeymoon I love a good mystery. But not the gory kind. I recently saw a fellow book lover reading this and thought I’d give it a go. I’ve put in a lot of hours watching British Mysteries this year (Midsomer Murders-ahem) and I like to read a few now. I’m only a short way in but, I have a feeling I may be reading more Dorothy L. Sayers this year. Also, I’d like to take a stab at Agatha Christy Books (no pun intended).

Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art by Madeleine L’Engle. This has been on my list for awhile and was put on the shelf while I was writing my book. In just the first chapter my creativity tank is refueling. I’m eager to get to writing—yes, to begin another book—but first to observe, to be, to behold beauty and to ponder what cosmos I can find and express from the chaos (Cosmos from chaos, as she calls it). You know when you read something and think…they are my people? Madeleine is my people. I want to devour this book but I also want to read it very very slowly. A few things, from the first chapter that I can’t get away from:

“The artist is a servant who is willing to be a birth-giver….I believe that each work of art, whether it is a work of great genius or something very small, comes to the artist and says, ‘Here I am. Enflesh me. Give birth to me.’ ”

“The artist, if he is not to forget how to listen, must retain the vision which includes angels and dragons and unicorns and all the lovely creatures which our world would put in a box marked children only.

Emotional Healthy Spirituality / This book is a game changer. It’s going on my special shelf that is for life-changing books. Ones I plan to share about. Ones I plan to re-read. Ones I plan to pass out. I kept seeing this title floating around the internet and knew that I wanted to read it. In fact, I downloaded a sample and began it sometime last year, but there it sat on my Kindle. Last month this author’s name kept coming up in a meeting I was in. I said, “Wait, I’ve been wanting to read that book….I think this is a sign that now is the time.” My friend went into his office and came with a copy in hand. This book is one that I believe everyone should read. It’s been a gift to me and I’m trying not to speed through it. I’ve been on a journey towards emotional health, for the past two years, and this book has really confirmed the path that I’m on and is giving me tools to continue on. We must go back to go forward. Our family of origin and childhood have much to do with the adults we are today and how we view and respond to life. Scazzerzo says, “Looking to the past illumines the present. But make no mistake about it; it is painful.” This is hard work, but it is good and worthy work. My copy is filled with red-pen-underlines (another reading habit of mine: I must have hard copies for growth books to accommodate my red-pen-underlines and notes). I use my Kindle mostly for fiction and travel).

CLASSICS /

I love letter writing. My sister and I have been writing letters back and forth for years (we’ve been on a long hiatus but are about to begin again). Those letters are prized possessions to me.  We are both writers and I hope that one day our letters will tell some of our story to our children our children’s children. I think letter writing is a lost art and I’m hoping to do a little letter writing project in this space sometime this year—so stay tuned.

Amy, my sister, got me these two books for Christmas and i can’t wait to read them.  Letters by two of my all-time favorite authors. Sigh.

Charlotte Bronte Selected Letters

Jane Austen Selected Letters

To Kill a Mockingbird / I feel rather ashamed to admit I have never read this book. I don’t know how I didn’t read it in school? Anyways, I’ve schooled myself through much of my adult life and this year my curriculum includes To Kill a Mockingbird.

The Novel Cure / I’ve been wanting this book for years. It’s the book lover’s medicine cabinet. A pharmacy for the bibliophile. Feeling sad? Happy? In love? This book will point you to the notion for the state of your soul.

What is your favorite classic? I’m always looking to add a classic to my list.

NON-FICTION /

Truth and Beauty: A Friendship / The writing is supposed to beautiful. But it sounds like there is some sorrow and at this point in my life, I can’t do tear jerkers. Anyone read?

The Glass Castle / Another that I can’t believe I haven’t read. I love a good memoir.

FICTION /

The Hazelwood / I love fairytales and imaginative stories. Part of the storyline of this book is a grandmother who wrote fairy tales and a granddaughter who has to work it out in the real world. The plot intrigues me. I just hope it isn’t dark.

Bear Town / Fredrik Backman is my new favorite fiction author. I fell completely in love with his writing when I read My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry— it was magical and real in the way life can be if we keep our eyes and hearts open (I wrote more about it here)—my favorite read of last year. I hear A Man Called Ove is amazing, albeit sad (which is why I’m having to hold off on this one) but I did follow up with Britt-Marie Was Here and am still thinking about the character and a few sentences that have stuck with me.

I love historical fiction…I still have to research thee. Any faves?

PERSONAL GROWTH /

The Highly Sensitive Person / I’m certain I am one and I want to be better educated.

The Empath’s Survival Guide / Another book that I think may help me my over sensitive soul.

Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life / I’ve been wanting to read Richard Rohr for a while now. And as timing would have it a friend read me a quote from this book that also has everything to do with the journey that I’m on. This one is next after Emotionally Healthy Spiritually.

Writing Down the Bones / I want to be a better writer. I guess I can call myself an author now, but what I really am is a writer. I can’t not write—it would be like holding my breath. It’s what I’ve been doing since I was a kid. It’s what I want to be doing for the rest of my life.

Tools of the Titans / One person I love to follow for book recs is fellow book lover Laura Tremaine. She’s been sharing bits of this one on Instagram and I’ve really enjoyed the wisdom.

Dance Stand Run / I got this one before the holidays and just haven’t had the chance to fully dive in. This is book breaches the topic of holiness, which can be taboo and rarely talked about these days. I’m ready for Jess’s fresh take on a “The God-Inspired Moves of a Woman on Holy-Ground.”

How the French Live / I’m super excited about this book by Si of the popular design blog, French By Design. I’ve long followed this blog so I have no doubt it will be gorgeous. The book follows several French families and tells a bit about how they live (and also includes a family recipe). I’m fascinated by how families live in other parts of the world. And to me, it’s obvious that the French know how to enjoy life. Enjoying life with my family is a high priority, for me, this year.

A Simplified Life / Finished this one but will likely use it as a reference throughout the year. Emily Ley has some really great tips for simplifying life. I’ve found a few game changers from her.

Nourish / In the past few years I have discovered how our physical health has much to do with our spiritual and emotional health. I’ve become aware and tried to incorporate small changes, but I still have much work to do. The approach of addressing the spirit, soul, and body is one that I want to take and that is what this book is all about. I’m looking forward to reading this book by Katie Farrell of Dashing Dish and learning more about health as it pertains to what my body and my soul. 

Recharge / This book by Julie Montagu (of Ladies of London fame…I have no shame in admitting I watched Ladies of London… I loved Julie and she is from an almost neighboring town…Midwestern girl in London). It’s is about a year of self-care. I listened to a tip Julie had, on Instagram, about dealing with toxic people and it was really profound. Self-care is not just “treat-yo-self” days (shout out to my Parks and Rec peeps)…sometimes it has a lot to do with the way we think and the tone of the inner dialogue. I love that this book broaches the foods we eat as well as our self-esteem.

CHILDREN’S BOOKS /

Harry Potter / Another confession…haven’t read. Haven’t watched.

A Wrinkle In Time / Have been wanting to read for years. Now is the time for the movie coming out. Hoping to read this one aloud to my kids.

The Spiderwick Chronicles / Liam and I picked this one up at the library. We’ve just started it. I’m really intrigued and hoping it doesn’t get to creepy for my kids.

COOKBOOKS /

I la la love cookbooks. I love to buy them.

Five Ingredients by Jamie Oliver / I love the simplicity of this and I love Jamie Oliver (always and forever).

At My Table: A Celebration of Home Cooking / Nigella is my favorite. While I truly love her recipes, I often watch her (FYI- I found her Simply Nigella episodes online here) shows to relax. Listening to her talk about food is like reading a beautiful novel—her vocabulary and descriptives are thoughtful—she is a writer after all. Also, I adore scouring every last detail of her kitchen and her jaunts out in London. I dream of perusing her larder (aka pantry) and bookshelves in real life. As an Anglophile who also loves to watch cooking shows…well, this is pay dirt. Back to the book….I love to see what people cook in their everyday—for their family, friends and loved ones and that is what this cookbook is all about. Not fussy (Nigella is never fussy which is yet another reason I adore her) just everyday feasting.

The Forest Feast / I received this last year (as in 2017) for Christmas and it is sooo cool. Unfortunately, somehow, it got covered in water and ruined. I loved it so much I want to buy it again. If you love cookbooks with a lot of pictures…this one is for you.

Some other books that have been on Amazon List for a while:

A Room Called Remember

Braving the Wilderness

Cure for the Common Life

The Obstacle is the Way

On Becoming Fearless in Love, Work and Life

What is on your reading list this year? OR what have you read recently that you’d recommend? I’m all ears!

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Currently Reading

It’s been awhile since we’ve talked books . . . Here’s what I’m currently reading (want to read and have read) . . . .

Currently Reading

I’m not one to hoard information. In fact, I am most myself when I collect it and share it.

I hate that we haven’t discussed books for some time.  I excited to tell you what I’m loving, but I very much want to know what books have been on your nightstand.

Here are the books that have been piling up on my nightsand:

My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry  / I’m totally smitten with this book. It was magic, really (and I’m very stingy about this kind of a compliment when it comes to books). Simply put, this book is why I love to read. And why I love to write. It somehow encapsulated magic and the mundane all at once. The author, Fredrik Backman, brilliantly weaved an imaginary world together with the most hurting human one that we live in. I was especially partial to the main characters because they were a grandmother and granddaughter. The girl’s life was greatly impacted by her grandmother and to that, I can relate. It made me miss my grandmother, even more than I already do. It made me grateful that I had a grandmother that left me my very own clues to carry on and be assured that everything would be ok. It made me want to be a grandmother–a smart and ever-so-slightly crazy one. The writing made me want to read everything that Backman pens. I don’t write fiction (this story makes me want to try), but I long to communicate the human experience in the way he does–in such an eloquent down to earth way. I borrowed this book from the library but ended up throwing a copy in my cart at Target because I couldn’t help but underline such beautiful sentences and sentiments, like:

“Having a grandmother is like having an army. This is a grandchild’s ultimate privilege: knowing that someone is on your side, always, whatever the details. Even when you are wrong. Especially then, in fact.”

“There is something special about a grandmother’s house. You never forget how it smells.” SO TRUE…right? Can you remember how your grandma’s (grandparent’s) house smelled(s)?

“The mightest power of death is not that it can make people die, but that it can make the people left behind want to stop living…”

See…I want to read this all over again–and it’s only been a few weeks since I’ve finished it. I’ve done the next bext thing and moved onto another of his books: Britt-Marie Was Here. So far so good!

The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming / I love Nouwen. I think so much like him. Don’t hear me wrong. I’m not calling myself a great thinker as he was …I’m attesting to the same fears and irrational thoughts he so openly admits to and shares with us. A dear friend gave me this book a few years ago and I only pulled it off my shelf this summer. If you’ve ever read the story of the prodigal son in the Bible then chances are you picked your place in the plot. You gave thought as to whether you relate to the younger son (the prodigal) who ran or the older son who never left home. Through the imagery of Rembrandt’s famous painting, Nouwen shows us how we are all the prodigal, the older the brother, and even the father. I haven’t finished the book because the dog ate it. For real shredded it (insert eye-roll). I’ll be ordering another copy soon because I was just getting to the father. This book is a brick in the quest for finding home.

The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery / I’m all about personality tests and self-awareness. I’ve done Strenght Finders, I know I’m an INFJ, and there is no doubt I’m an introvert. This past year I’ve been hearing so much chatter about the Enneagram but felt overwhelmed in introspection as it pertained to writing a book. However, I was in the car with a  friend and she had this book and wanted me to try to figure out my number. She said it was a great help to understanding your mate and being understood (sign me up!). She gifted me the book, but I didn’t have the chance to really get into it until this past weekend. And boy is it enlightening. I love this particular book on the Ennegram because it shows you what you are like healthy, unhealthy, what you were like as a kid, how you tend to be in relationships, at work etc. A lot of lists. And steps to focus on for transformation. It made sense of so much (even quoting sayings that I find myself saying) and confirmed, completely, where and how I find purpose.  This is a resource that I’ll be returning to again and again.

The Poisonwood Bible / I read this earlier in the summer and it’s still haunting me. Not in a ghoulish way of course, but like any great piece of literature….a story that just won’t leave you alone. I’m still thinking about the characters. A family with four young daughters who move to the Belgian Congo to serves as missionaries. They all carry with them what they believe that they will need. The character development and storyline was so rich.

Finding the Lost Art of Empathy: Connecting Human to Human in a Disconnected World / Not finished but finding so much relevance in this book. It discusses the topic of grieving which is not touched on very often….at least not in detail. In my life, I really didn’t know how to respond to grief before I had suffered great loss. This book is such a gift in that it helps us understand the feelings and thoughts of grief. It gives language to what we might not be able to, along with practical insights into how to grieve with the griever.

The Authentics: A Lush Dive into the Substance of Style / This style book is on my list. It looks gorgeous and sophisticated. It’s sure to be a hit because it is by Melanie Acevedo, world-renowned photographer, and Dara Caponigro, founding editor of Domino. I had the amazing chance to work with Melanie on a shoot for the Land of Nod and I love following her on Instagram. I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of this book.

TELL ME …

What are you currently reading or what you have recently read?

Have you read anything that has moved you, brought about change, or has been a great escape?

PS: These are the books I talked about above along with books that are currently in my Amazon cart. My dad used to tell me that when I finished one book he would buy me another. I never really parted from that tradition.

 

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Currently Reading

Currently Reading / La La Lovely

Here’s what I’m currently reading (and have recently read) . . . .

A few game changers, a few to get lost in, a few to inspire!

Currently Reading / La La Lovely

Present Over Perfect / This goes on my favorite list for 2016. I’m certainly a Shauna Niequist fan, but this one is tops for me. As a reader I’m learning that we find ourselves in other’s stories. Ours are not the same, but there are flecks that resemble strongly. There are many beliefs that we believe the same and many lies we’ve collectively bought into a long the way. Shauna’s story of being a workaholic who is on the road more than she is home, differs from mine, but what is very much the same is this driving theme of responsibility. Being the responsible girl who spends a lifetime, earning, proving and clawing at the elusive prize of being “good enough.” Part of my journey this year has been to untangle myself from the web and illusion of perfectionism. This book has been one of many that has helped me on my journey (at this point I call my self a recovering perfectionist). The two words that I’m carrying from this book are connection and community. In this season of my life and for the rest of my life what I’m really after is connection and community not perfection and performance.

Longbourn / It’s no secret that I love Jane Austen and historical fiction for that matter. Longbourn is the story of the servants in the Bennet household, of Pride and Prejudice – the downstairs if you will. They are faint characters in the Pride and Prejudice, but they are the ones that keep the household afloat.  At the time I was looking for a fiction book that had good writing, character development and a story I could get lost in. This was a little slow at the beginning, but I carried on as I got caught up in the characters (good character development) and had to find out what happened. I did enjoy Jo Baker’s writing. Have any of you read any of her other books? Which would you recommend?

Big Magic / If you are a creative type you will love this book. It’s kind of like a creative devotional if you will. This book is one that I will keep coming back to for advice and motivation. There are so many stories of artists and writers and creatives from days gone by that lived ordinary lives but did extrodinary things. Not because they felt they were special or unique but because they had a story to tell or art they wanted to create and for them this was the only way to live. The biggest takeaway – for me- in this book is that if you have an idea, it is likely a story that needs to be told. And if you are unable to tell it, it will move along to someone else.

Simply Styling / I love a good design book. Beautiful photos to inspire and get my creative juices flowing as well as to give me a little nudge to change things up a bit in my house. This is the prettiest design book I’ve seen in awhile and I have to say I’m extra excited about it because my friend Kirsten wrote it. Chances are you’ve heard of Kirsten’s super popular design blog, Simply Grove! Kirsten is a superstar when it comes to styling – I watched her work her magic in my house (you can see photos here)! While I love to redcorate, I find styling the best (and most affordable) way to make updates that can have a big impact and this book, is giving me some great pionters and inspiration!

Falling Free / Shannan is such a great writer. She has a way with words…they sort of dance into sentences. I started reading this book late in the night, with my little book light contraption and had to make myself stop because I didn’t have a pen to underline. I wanted to underline wisdom and I wanted to underline good writing. I think the tagline in her title says it all….”Rescued From the Life I Always Wanted.” Just that line conjures up an anticipation and anxiousness to read on. All of our journeys are different and yet, I’m finding, very much the same. My life is turning out not the way I expected it to and I think that is the case for most of us. We can fight it or embrace it and live the life we were meant to live. I’m learning much from Shannan’s life.

The House Between Tides / I’m not too far into this book, but I’m taken by the landscape and setting of the book which is deep in the Highlands of Scotland. The story revolves around an old home that holds a secret. The home was once owned by a famous, and eventually, troubled painter in the early 1900’s. It’s sat in ruins for years, but eventually a distant relative inherits the house and finds herself solving a mystery. The story goes back and forth between modern day and days gone by. A bit like a Kate Morton story – and well, she is my favorite.

The Giver / I’m reading this book with my 11-year-old. It’s a fascinating tale of a colorless community that everyone conforms to and at a certain age everyone is assigned a job. The main character, Jonas, begins to learn about the secrets behind his community. I’m always fascinated by these types of tales and a little creeped out by them.

Truly Madly Guilty / Honesty, not my favorite Liane Moriarty. It’s a good one to check out at the library….regardless, I still love her writing and story telling skill. I love all Liane Moriarty books, but my favorites are probably The Husband’s Secret and What Alice Forgot.

Against All Grain Celebrations This is the first cookbook I have by Danielle Walker and now I’m really wanting her Meals Made Simple cookbook. I can’t wait to try a few recipes for the holidays. Last year I missed out on so many things, like Pumpkin pie! Not this year!

Savoir Vivre: The Art of Fine Living / This pretty book was sent to me recently and I can’t wait to spend a Saturday reading through this book by the famous French Ladurée. It’s filled with lovely illustrations and tips on how to be at one’s best in any situation.

TELL ME …

What are you currently reading or what you have recently read? As you can see I love books!

A few more of my book recommendations here

Also, This is the book I’m about to pre-order!

| You can SHOP all of the books in this post right here |

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Currently Reading

currently-reading

One of my favorite things to ask others is, “What are you reading?” One, because it tells me about the person and two, because I’m always looking for new books to devour. I’m a serial reader in that I like to have many going at the same time. Here’s what I’m currently reading (or have read recently).

currently-reading

One of my favorite things to ask others is, “What are you reading?” One, because it tells me about the person and two, because I’m always looking for new books to devour. I’m a serial reader in that I like to have many going at the same time. Here’s what I’m currently reading (or have read recently).

Brazen /  I read Leanna’s first book Breathing Room, a few years ago. My mom bought it for me and I may have rolled my eyes, but then I read it found myself wiping my eyes through most of it. I found myself in the story of trying to keep it all together when I was coming apart. Brazen is somewhat of a follow up. Beautiful essays with the theme of coming out of hiding and speaking up. Again, right where I’m at.  Both Breathing Room and Brazen leave me feeling like I just had a rich conversation with a dear friend.  A conversation that I just can’t shake and starts the process of soul work. Here are some words that from Brazen that are sitting with me at the moment:

“Reclaiming our voice is about letting freedom crawl up and out of us in a way that is congruent with our becoming.” “Hiding can look like a thousand different postures and performances, but one of the most egregious is swallowing down our own God-breathed strength.”

All the Light We Cannot See /  I should have finished this book by now. I’ve checked it out three times at the library. I know. I know. The writing is gorgeous and the story compelling. So many people have recommended this book and I’ve only heard good things. The thing is, I suppose, I’m not finishing because I usually read before bed and many times I don’t want to read anything heavy at that time. If it’s the slightest bit stressful, I can’t do it. If I read fiction I want it to be light-hearted. An escape. I’m not sure if I will check this out a fourth time or just ask my friend Erin to tell me what happened in the end.

The Sleep Revolution / I was thrilled when this book came out. One thing I want to get better at this year is sleep. It sounds funny to say it like that, but I believe these days it is a discipline. Clearly it is a necessity, but it’s one that many of us are depriving ourselves from. Sleep is imperative to our health and if we would get refreshed sleep many of our ailments would take care of themselves. This book is filled with facts and science as well as practical advice on mastering sleep. I’ve ready many books on getting babies to sleep and now, in this stage, I’m learning a great deal about what is disrupting my sleep and what I can do about it.

Deliciously Ella Everyday  / I love following Ella on Instagram. I borrowed her first book from the library and loved it and knew I wanted my own copy of her new book. I love all kinds of cook books, but am particularly loving this one at the moment as I’m learning more about gluten free cooking.  This book is full of good recipes, but also lots of informative information about food and eating whole foods that has been really helpful to me since changing my diet.

The Last Anniversary / I like to read all of Liane Moriarty books. She is one of my favorite fictions writers. She develops wonderful characters and her stories always contain some type of mystery that leaves you trying to crack the character or the next chapter. I love her books because they are not heavy nor too light. Perfect summer reads.

The Search for Significance / I wish I could say I’ve finished this one, but I haven’t. I read a little. Let it sit a little. Read a little. Think a little. My grandma sends me books to read, and this is one she sent. They aren’t just any books, they are books that have been a part of her journey and ones that are now becoming part of mine. This book is helping me to unlearn a lot of things and mainly is helping me to truly work through my tendency to perform, my need for approval and helping to re-define where and how I get my self worth. If I only take away the following from the book, then this book has certainly become a significant part of my journey:

-Self worth = Performance + Other’s Opinion (A lie that keeps us in bondage)
-I am deeply loved, completely forgiven, fully pleasing, totally accepted and complete in Christ (The truth that sets us free).

Bittersweet /I love essays and I love truth telling and Shauna Niequist is one of my favorite writers.  I had yet to read this book of her’s about change and the bittersweet moments in life and figured now was good time.

The House We Grew Up In  / I was looking for a new fiction author and stumbled across Lisa Jewell. The title got me and so I gave it a go. It was rather sad, but fascinating if family dynamics interest you.

The Third Wife  / I’m onto the next book by Lisa Jewell. While I found her other book a bit sad, I have to say I like her writing. When I highlight in fiction because I fall in love with a sentence, then I know I’ve found a good author. I just started this book yesterday, and am enjoying it for a fiction escape.

What have you read recently? 

I love recommendations. I feel like I might be due for a classic of some sort.

Other books I’ve read and recommend here.

| A Few Books on My Waiting List |

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Currently Reading

currently-reading | La La Lovely Blog

It’s been awhile since I’ve shared what’s on my nightstand and on my Kindle.  No need to keep repeating that . . .

currently-reading | La La Lovely Blog

It’s been awhile since I’ve shared what’s on my nightstand and on my Kindle. No need to keep repeating that . . .

I love to read and I usually have several books going at the same time.  I like to have both fiction and personal growth books within reach.  I love to be lost in a story with characters and mystery while I’m trying to work through the mystery of my own life in a thought out slow paced kind of way (the way I read personal growth, self-help, and faith based books).

Here are a few that I’ve finished over the past few months that I would recommend:

Wild in the Hollow  / I wanted to read this book the moment it came out and held off.  I had heard, from several people, that Amber Haines writing was poetic and gorgeous.  A few months ago, I met Amber and as we talked, like old friends, we found our stories to be so different and so the same.  I knew it was time to read her words.  And, when I did, I couldn’t put it down.  Her story was heartbreaking and whole.  And, her writing, as good as I had heard.  This lovely lady can write.  Her honesty and truth telling is compelling.   And, like me, I think you’ll find her story so different and so the same.  Read this book!!!!

Coming Clean / I wrote about this book last week.  The author of the book, Seth Haines, happens to be the husband of Amber Haines, author of the book I just mentioned, Wild in the Hollow. Yes, husband and wife authors.  And, yes, he is an excellent writer too.  The kind were you stop and pause and think, wow that was a fantastic sentence.  When I met Amber she gave me this book.  I couldn’t decide who’s to read first?  Husband or wife?  I was on a plane and picked up Sean’s out of my bag and it was just meant to be that way.  While I couldn’t put Amber’s down….and felt the same way about Sean’s…I read his book a little more slowly.  There were things in this book I had to spend a few days pondering on, like forgiveness.  Sean’s book is a journaling of his days of coming clean.  The first 90 days of his sobriety.  Yes, it’s about addiction, but it’s about so much more.  It’s about what we use to cover our pain.  While it might not be alcohol for you, it’s not for me, we all can be found using something to mask or avoid pain.  There is healing and hope found in this personal story of learning to walk into the pain, rather than away from it.

The Girl on The Train / Everyone loved this book, and there is a reason.  It is a page turner.  And, a good one.  If you love mystery… this is your book.  A little bit like Gone Girl only I liked it much better.  It’s not as dark.  I wanted to put that one down many times, but had to know what happened.

Yoga Girl / I loved this book.  I thought I’d like it just for the photos, recipes, and yoga tips, but I loved the story telling.  Rachel Brathen tells you more than tips…she tells you her very personal story. She tells it like it is and doesn’t try to make it all shiny and perfect.  This is why she is so loved on social media.  I loved learning about her journey.

The Lake House / Kate Morton is my fave fiction author and this is her latest book.  All of her books are about some sort of secret – a mystery- and tend to be in England, about family secrets, and centered around home.  Homes that aren’t just where the characters reside, but almost a character in themselves.  My favorite themes, really.  All of her books are good.

Switch On Your Brain /  This book is really eye opening in breaking down how are brains work and how they affect every other part of our body.

Sage Living / I always have to have a visually stimulating book in the mix.  I couldn’t wait for this one to come out.  Anne started blogging around the same time I did.  I’ve met her on a few occasions and she is a lovely soul.  I love cheering others on and watching them succeed.  Anne has a beautiful aesthetic and great design tips, but she is also a very lovely writer.

Healing for Damaged Emotions / A very dear and special person sent this to me.  I opened the package not knowing what book was inside and was like, “ohhhhh, I don’t need this.”  I started reading because I knew the dear sender would ask me about it and about 2 pages in, I knew this book was very much for me and probably everyone in the whole world.  Our memories affect us way more then we are aware and sometimes in order to go forward we must first go back.

The Body Doesn’t Lie / I got this book, when I was very ill, and trying to figure things out.  While medication was the culprit in getting sick, I came to the conclusion that my body was at a really weak point.  Through this book, a couple listed above, as well as a few others, and by a few other ways, I came to the conclusion that emotional issues will eventually come out physically in our bodies.  While I didn’t or haven’t incorporated Vicky’s entire plan, I’ve gained a lot of insight into how our bodies work, some great stress relieving techniques and practices to incorporate into my life.

What are you reading this days?  Any books you’d recommend?  I’ve been working my way through some heavier books and would love a few more light hearted ones to add into the mix.

Other books I’ve read and recommend here.

 

A few other books I’ve read recently :

 

And, a few on my waiting list:

 

 

By
Trina McNeilly

Trina McNeilly is a writer and founder of La La Lovely, where she has been blogging for nearly a decade. With an eye for beauty, Trina finds inspiration in styled spaces, other times in the broken places and everywhere in between. Through soulful writing in the voice of a trusted friend she shares her finds and all about being found.

My Story

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