Favorite Books in 2017
Especially the latter half of this year has been a season of reading and writing for me. I've dove into any book I could get my hands on - recommendations from friends, library finds, and even some old books I uncovered in my parents' attic. When I look back on the year (and on my Instagram feed #cerreads), a few of those books stand out to me as words that impacted my life this year. Here are some of those books (in no particular order):
1. Destination: Simple by Brooke McAlary
As we've been intentional about slowing down our own life, I've been reading other people's stories about their journey of slowness. This small, practical book has been my favorite so far in terms of giving helpful and realistic advice to how to do that. For example, Brooke shares from her own experience how to be deliberate about knowing what you need to accomplish for our morning and evening rhythms, and also knowing that those rhythms may change from day to day. We each read it over a couple days, journals by our sides as we made our own plans to make life a little bit more simple.
2. In the Country by Mia Alvar
A friend told me about this book when I asked for recommendations by Filipino writers. Living in the Philippines, I realized that I could dig even deeper into my understanding of the world around me by reading and this book did exactly that. In this book, Mia shares seven stories of Filipinos living and working abroad. She writes in a raw way, offering insight into their lives and their culture in ways that made me learn and understand the Filipino culture in a new way.
3. Giddy Up, Eunice by Sophie Hudson
Sophie writes in a thick Southern accent. Her humor and love is disarming and she shares no-nonsense truth in this book. She writes about how women, from different generations and life stages, need to support and encourage each other. She unpacks the story of Mary and Elizabeth (Luke 1) in a way that opened my eyes to their beautiful, cross-generational friendship that has been encouraging my heart this Advent season.
4. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
This is a masterpiece. A beautiful narrative about the stories we tell ourselves and the pain we endure. Thirteen year old, Conor, is carrying the weight of his mother's cancer as her health isn't getting better. The yew tree that watches over his home comes to life to teach him lessons about the very life he's fighting to live.
5. Liturgy of the Ordinary by Tish Harrison Warren
With chapters reminding us of the sacred nature of brushing teeth and checking emails, this book has me giving thanks for the significance of simple, mundane acts of daily life. How it’s the everyday things like dishes and laundry that never are finished that have the potential to teach us about the holiness of God.
6. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
A lovely story about a writer who begins to write about the British Island of Guernsey after World War II. This had me falling in love with the characters and fascinated by the impact of the war on this small community. You won't be disappointed by this read. Bonus: There's a movie coming out in mid-2018!
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