“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!