“I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, then all at once.”


I am not doing a New Year's Resolution post. I have no resolutions. I am perfect.

Okay, but really - I hadn't given it as much thought as I usually do. I will always want to lose weight, and I'll always start out strong in January and then get bored by March. My head is buzzing with goals and thoughts and excitement about the prospect of a new year. In the most basic of terms, I'd like to learn to do and finish things as much as I dream of them. But, I am pretty sure I just summed up the rest of my life. Clearly I am still working through this.

I have been a reading machine as of late and I've been transported to different lives and times and places and I'd love for you to know about them too - this did start out as a travel blog, after all.

A special thanks to Bryan who told me I needed to stop buying the internet on the plane ride up to New York, because I get to read a lot and we save money.

Without further ado:

Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn
This book made me want to bash my head into a wall. Mostly, because when words fail me I have this tendency to rest heavily on macabre physicality in order to convey my overwrought emotions. Suspense isn't usually a genre I am inclined toward, but the cover and description is just enigmatic enough to leave my interest piqued. The fact that I was close 736579 on the waiting list at the library for it only made me more determined to figure out what the fuss was about. I happened to find it at the library as a part of the "quick pick" special, where you can borrow it as long as you read it and return it in a week. BASICALLY, IT IS COMPLETELY JACKED UP AND IT WILL ONLY MAKE YOU CUSS. Never have I been so captivated and enthralled with a story while simultaneously detesting all characters involved. I hated them so much, but I couldn't not know what happened. It's lascivious (you've been warned - I'm not recommending it, content-wise) and the whole time, I wanted to call Gillian Flynn and say, "Girl. How many episodes of SVU and Unsolved Mysteries did you have to watch to come up with this, and did you feel mentally stable when you finished writing it?" 

For fans of: I have no idea.

Favorite Quote(s): “My mother had always told her kids: if you're about to do something, and you want to know if it's a bad idea, imagine seeing it printed in the paper for all the world to see.” 


The Circle Maker, by Mark Batterson
And for the most polar opposite of Gone Girl, I am in the middle of this book right now - and it's shaking me up in such a great way. It's showing me how my prayers have been too vague. It's reminding me that God is in the business of answering enormous prayers that combat all logic and rationality and let us be a part of a magnificent story. It's a game changer for me. I know I won't be the same when I finish. I am excited for Bryan to read it as well because it's one that is great for conversation. It's great for the type of conversation that leaves you ravished and encouraged and excited to pray. I love those kinds of books. 

For fans of: God's Smuggler, by Brother Andrew

Favorite Quote(s): "I don’t want easy answers or quick answers because I have a tendency to mishandle the blessings that come too easily or too quickly. I take the credit or take them for granted. So now I pray that it will take long enough and be hard enough for God to receive all of the glory. Change your prayer approach from as soon as possible to as long as it takes."

The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green
After the last book post, the comments almost seemed unanimous in recommendation of this one. Once again, I was late to the game in hearing of this book and trying to get it from the library right away. Thankfully, one of my friends had a copy and I got to read it immediately. I read it in a few hours. I think it's technically young adult (but so was The Book Thief, so no judgment) and everyone said I would cry. That wasn't surprising to me at all, because Google commercials leave me in puddles of tears and it's just not hard to do. In a moment of naivety and pride, I realized I was almost finished and hadn't shed a tear. I was stoic. Then, I fell apart in the last few pages and I felt like a fool. A FOOL! You will love Augustus Waters. You will love him. You will love him. I just told you nothing about the book...whatever, I am not Goodreads. I really did love this, though.

For fans of: Google commercials, and an ample amount of quotes that you would have put in your AOL Instant Messenger profile if it was still 2001. 

Favorite Quote(s): “Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.” 


All Over But the Shoutin', by Rick Bragg
My friend Hannah and I are both kind of psychotic book enthusiasts, so I really trust her recommendations.  She wrote her own review of it, and I don't know that I could do a better job of describing it like she does. You will want to go find Rick Bragg's mother and embrace her for a long time, and thank her for being an incredible human being.

For fans of: The Glass Castle, by Jeanette Walls (HOW CONVENIENT, IT'S IN THIS POST)

Favorite Quote(s): “Every life deserves a certain amount of dignity, no matter how poor or damaged the shell that carries it.” 


Beautiful Creatures, by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
Okay, FULL DISCLOSURE. I saw the trailer for this movie and was enamored because they used that  insanely bewitching Florence & the Machine song. And, the cast is of high repute! Once I started reading it, I realized that it was written for a thirteen year old girl that is probably sad Twilight was over. I found myself growing indignant at the elementary writing style, and then I remembered -- "OH YEAH, I'M THE 26-YEAR-OLD THAT IS WILLINGLY READING A PARANORMAL TEEN ROMANCE NOVEL." I then came to my senses and promptly returned the book. Did anyone finish this one? Did I jump ship too quickly?


The Glass Castle, Jeanette Walls
I know this one has been around for a while. I've started it several times, but finally jumped in head first and finished it quickly. I expected to finish feeling exhausted and defeated by the hardships of Walls' childhood, but I wasn't. I was shocked and amazed, and sometimes sad or angry- but overall I was in awe of her resilience. I also had so much respect for her as a writer. She held a lot of power in how her audience would perceive her parents. She told her story explicitly, but I felt really proud of her for loving them so well in their weakness and eccentricity. 

Favorite Quote(s): “Sometimes you need a little crisis to get your adrenaline flowing and help you realize your potential.”