“I have a theory that selflessness and bravery aren't all that different.”


I feel like these unofficially became my summer reading list, even though it's not summer yet and I read them when winter was dragging us all through the mud. Whatever.

As evidenced by this SLIGHTLY varied selection of books I've read recently, it's clear that I am nothing if not eclectic in taste. 

I am a night owl, and Bryan is fortunate enough to be one of those people that falls asleep as soon as his head hits the pillow. I feel that if I must toss and turn, I'd rather be reading a book to wind down because it seems productive.

Where'd You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple
I think the first time I'd heard about it was on Annie's blog, so I finally got it from the library. I nominate this as a summer beach read. It's really well-written, lighthearted, and amusing. It's comprised of letters, emails, and memos among the characters and I found it interesting how she made it all work so well. The characters were endearing in their idiosyncrasies, but mostly funny.

For fans of: Arrested Development (the author was a writer for the show!)

Favorite Quote: Bernadette pulled the car over, took off her seat belt, and turned around. "That's right," she told the girls. "You're bored. And I'm going to let you in on a little secret about life. You think it's boring now? Well, it only gets more boring. The sooner you learn it's on you to make life interesting, the better off you'll be.” 


Intimate Issues, by Linda Dillow & Lorraine Pintus
When I was in the "what is this all about phase" of christianity, I borrowed a book from a friend that was about Jesus being the lover of your soul (which is true). But without having a history of even understanding what that really meant, I walked away from it thinking, "Um, Jesus is not my boyfriend."  Which, to this day -- I tend to shy away from women's books like that. I just get a little barfy when every women's ministry book has flowers, cursive, butterflies, and coffee mugs. Like, why can't I just read a book with a sandwich on the cover? I'm a woman and I love Jesus. And I love sandwiches. I would just like christian publishing to surprise all of us with their choice of cover graphics. ALL OF THAT TO SAY, my friend recommended this book to me before we got married. I didn't get around to reading it before then, but once I did get to, I really enjoyed it. I'd recommend it to single, engaged, or married women. I think there's useful information in there for everyone. Media has plenty to say about sex all the time, so it was a nice respite to learn about it in the way God intended. It is cheesy in some parts (WARNING) but it was a really beautiful and helpful perspective on intimacy. Also, It's broken into three parts: Simmering Questions, Smoldering, and Sizzling. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

For fans of: Sex?


This Is Where I Leave You,  by Jonathan Tropper
Sometimes I think I exist solely in the right side of my brain. I'm a little too scattered and have a lot of brain donor moments, but I have weird things I am very particular about. If a pen is supposed to have a cap and it is missing, I will not use that pen. It's a weird balance thing. Also, if I know the book is being made into a movie, I will make sure I read the book first. Part of me thinks that the fact that it was chosen to be adapted to film means it was great literature, but the Twlight franchise clearly negates that theory. Basically, I just want to be able to know which was better. I also love knowing the cast as it is announced. In this particular case, I didn't know much about the book before hearing about the film adaptation in the works. The cast is AMAZING. It was a quick read, and although it was well-written, I can only handle so many dysfunctional family stories. This one had lots of language, lots of content I'd have been fine without, and sometimes the dark humor was dark long enough that I felt sadder than entertained. I still have high hopes for the movie. I'd enjoy it for the cast alone, but I'd love for it to be lighter fare. Just my preference.

For Fans of: Running with Scissors, by Augusten Burroughs

Favorite Quote: “It would be a terrible mistake to go through life thinking that people are the sum total of what you see.” 


Divergent & Insurgent, by Veronica Roth
My sister Camille spoke emphatically about how great these books were, but I was an immediate skeptic. She read them not too long after we consumed The Hunger Games trilogy, and my initial instinct is to scoff at YA fiction because I feel it is my duty as a no-longer-YA. I think after reading The Hunger Games and The Fault in Our Stars, I know it to be true of myself that I don't dislike all of it and some of it deserves a chance. I'm just never going to be onboard with Teen Paranormal Romance. NO. At a first glance, there are a lot of similarities to The Hunger Games trilogy. There's no way around the comparison. I will be bold in saying that I might have even liked these better than The Hunger Games. I don't know if I really did or if it was because it had been so long since I'd read them and I missed reading about dystopian societies. I read them in like two days and now I have to wait for the third to come out. WHICH, BY THE WAY -- they are already filming the first movie. The cast, once again -- is awesome. Hopefully we are all Shailene Woodley fans, because she is playing the lead in Divergent as well as Hazel in The Fault In Our Stars

For fans of : The Hunger Games trilogy, and the end of the world.

Reshaping It All, by Candace Cameron Bure
Am I ashamed to admit that I checked it out from the library? A little bit, but not enough to not say that I READ THE WHOLE THING. The former member of the Tanner family in me just can't resist DJ "CHUBBY CHEEKS" TANNER. I was actually closer in age to Stephanie Tanner, but I'd have not protested to having DJ as my older sister. ANYWAY. I've had a post drafted for a long time about my struggle with my weight, and I plan to share it at another time. But for now, I will say that with as much fluff as it has, I was surprised by the book. She's very grounded and candid about her struggle with eating, and while I don't know everyone would be able to relate, I definitely did. I've read a lot of books about being healthy without being obsessive and how that relates to faith, but I liked that this one was just a quick read that encouraged healthy weight loss while also emphasizing how much your heart has to do with it. Toward the end I was like, "Okay please stop I just want to stop reading this." But overall, I'd say the first 75% was okay. 99.9% of it was cheesy, but I think we all just assumed that. 

For fans of: FULL HOUSE, and sandwiches

Favorite Quote: No.

Tell me what you've been reading! Especially anything fit for summer. Annnnnd GO!


  1. LOL FRAN. For fans of: Sex?

    And also: For fans of: FULL HOUSE, and sandwiches

    I too struggle with weight, body image, endless battles of MORE ICE CREAM PLEASE followed by OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE FOUR MILE RUN. So there's that.


  2. As always with your book posts, THANK YOU.

    I also read "Where'd You Go Bernadette?" recently and whole heartedly enjoyed it. I wasn't sure that I would, or even how I felt about it at first, but after a six hour plane ride back from Denver {where I'd planned to read a little, nap, listen to music, and nap some more} I'd finished the book in it's entirety because I simply COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN.

    I will have to add the Divergent series to my list. and also maybe This Is Where I Leave You, because I did very much enjoy Running With Scissors.

    {Also, DID NOT KNOW that DJ Tanner wrote a book. Whoaeee!}


  3. I devoured all of Where'd You Go Bernadette in one day. So good! I'd recommend it to everyone. I especially enjoyed it since I've lived in Seattle my whole life. The author has a good read on Seattle that's for sure.

  4. I really enjoyed Divergent and Insurgent. I'm into dystopian fiction, so I fully expected to love it. With it being YA, it's definitely going to be different and (maybe) less thought-provoking than novels like Fahrenheit 451 and 1984, but sometimes that's all you need!

  5. This was perfect timing because as of this week I am on SUMMER BREAK and I am throwing depressing French lit aside and grabbing my stack of summer reading. My fam is doing a two day road trip and then 10 days in a cabin starting Sunday and here are the books that are coming with me (pause to admit that it almost, ALMOST, makes me want a kindle because they are so heavy):
    The Things the Carried, The Night Circus, The Casual Vacancy (I know everyone said it was awful, but I am loyal to JK), The Omnivore's Dilemma, The Brothers Karamozov, Paris to the Moon, and The Meaning of Marriage.
    I probably won't get through all of them in the next two weeks... but I will try!!!

    Also, I see NO SHAME in indulging in (non-paranormal romance centered) YA fiction. Why we are one it, you HAVE to read I Capture the Castle, by Dodie Smith. Sometimes it is put with YA fiction, sometimes adult, which is perfect since it is the best coming of age book ever. And the movie came out year sago with a perfect cast, so let that encourage you.

  6. Lost it over your description of Christian books for women. You are spot on. I remember reading a book in college and the author wrote about "dating" Jesus and she would have these nights alone and light candles and cook a romantic dinner and pretend Jesus was sitting across from her. HORRIFYING. It's totally creepy.

    Ok so I've secretly been curious about DJ Tanner's book (it's all I will ever call her!). I've had a weight struggle the last 4 or so years, so I've been curious to read it. Now I think I will. Thank you for answering the questions I was too embarrassed to ask.

    I've been reading books lately (mainly Christian based) about the Holocaust because I'm obsessed and weird and maybe a little morbid.

  7. I've been engrossed in No Ordinary Time about Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt during WWII. It's not an easy read, since it's a lot of information, but I have an even deeper respect and love for Eleanor and Franklin after reading, and America for that matter. And I am not a fan of biographies, or autobiographies, but this one, I love.

    Thanks for the recommendation of Where'd You Go Bernadette, I think I'll need something much lighter for the next book selection ;)

  8. I want to read Where'd You Go, Bernadette! Currently reading All You Could Ask For by Mike Greenberg. It's really good!

  9. Hi Fran! I'm new to the blog, but I love it! I just got done with archives; yep, that's how I do things with blogs I find that I really like. I love the books recommendation posts so much. I have Where'd You Go, Bernadette on hold at the library as soon as someone finishes it along with my hold on Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald. I've been on hold for that one for over a month, but I'm now second on the list so about another month and I'll be good to go.

    I can't wait to read Insurgent and Divergent. My younger sister recommended them to me too, and I always obey her recommendations because she has never let me down. However, I'm waiting until closer to October when the next one comes out because this girl has zero patience with waiting on book series. Then again the morning the 7th Harry Potter book arrived at my doorstep was the closest to the Christmas morning anticipation I've felt as an adult so I guess there is something to waiting. Okay, longest comment ever. Sorry!

  10. i read this is where i leave you - forgot all about that book - psyched they're making a movie with my girl crush connie britton.