Inbox // Outbox 3/22/17

I was supposed to put this out on Monday, but forgot to polish it up over the weekend.  It’s a big list this time around… Enjoy!  What have you been reading this week?

Inbox:

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

I keep seeing things for this book everywhere!  It hasn’t even been out a month and there is already a movie lined up.  I saw that the audiobook was available through Overdrive at the library and decided to jump on the bandwagon. The book was inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement and tells the story of a teenage girl who was in the car when one of her childhood friends is shot by a white police officer.  So far, although Star’s story is very different than my own, I really appreciate the perspective this book gives.

The Mother of All Questions by Rebecca Solnit

I’m about halfway through Solnit’s book of feminist essays.  This is a book I can only read in short bursts, but it’s good.  I absolutely loved the essay on silence.

Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People by Nadia Bolz-Weber

I was introduced to Nadia Bolz-Weber a few years ago and loved her book, Pastrix.  She, like Anne Lamott, Rachel Held Evans, and Sarah Bessey, offer a broken and beautiful picture of Christianity. Books like these help me sort through the baggage of the fundamentalist evangelical church of my childhood. They help me stay true to my faith and grow in new directions.

salt. by Nayyirah Waheed:

I’ve been reading contemporary poetry lately and love what I’m reading so far.  Waheed’s collection came highly recommended by a friend and I’m glad that I followed through.

Inbox 32017 Continue reading

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Couldn’t Put Down

It’s been a while since I’ve participated in Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  This week’s theme is books that you read in one sitting.  Now that I’m working full time, I’m not able to read for hours on end anymore.

So here is a list of books and series that, if possible, I would have consumed in one sitting.  I couldn’t limit it to just ten.

  1. Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
  2. Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
  3. Song of the Lioness Quartet by Tamora Pierce
  4. Green Rider series by Kristen Britain
  5. The Evermen Saga by James Maxwell
  6. His Fair Assassins series by Robin LaFevers
  7. Mistborn trilogy by Brandon Sanderson
  8. Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
  9. The Selection series by Kierra Cass
  10. Everything Rainbow Rowell has written
  11. Sevenwaters series by Juliet Marillier
  12. Saga comic series by Brian K. Vaughan
  13. Everything Morgan Matson has written
  14. The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
  15. Everything Sarah J. Maas has written

Have you read any of these?  What books have you read that were so addicting you couldn’t put them down?


Like bookish travel?  Read about my Literary Pilgrimages

Check out my biweekly Inbox//Outbox to find out what I’ve been reading

For more of my reading adventures, add me on Goodreads

A Sunday in Photos

I’ve been experiencing writer’s block lately, so I thought I’d tell you about my day through a slightly different medium.  Enjoy!


Sunday Morning:

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The Mother of All Questions by Rebecca Solnit at my local coffee shop.

Sunday Afternoon:

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Salt by Nayyirah Waheed at Interstate State Park

Sunday Night:

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To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han in my bedroom

How was your Sunday?

Inbox // Outbox 3/6/17

Just as I had finally whittled my library pile to near zero, it’s suddenly full again.  Isn’t it funny how life is like that?

Inbox

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle

I had a moment earlier this week when I saw something about this book and thought, “How have I not read this?  How can I be a fantasy book lover and not have read this?”  So I’m going to read it.

The Mother of All Questions by Rebecca Solnit

Last fall, I read Solnit’s Men Explain Things To Me and found it insightful and enjoyable.  I was thrilled to hear she had a follow-up book coming out.  My library was kind enough to purchase this upon request and I look forward to spending time with it.

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

YES, this is the third time this book has appeared in my Inbox//Outbox feature.  I’m actually reading it this time.  I’m taking it slowly and am about 130 pages in.  So far, I am absolutely loving it.   Continue reading

I Was Going to Blog About Something Else, but Then my Day was Beautifully Wrecked by a Book

Don’t you just hate it when your day becomes ruined by a book?

I sure don’t.

You see, when you read as much as I do, stories become familiar.  They fall into patterns.  As you read, you think, “I’ve seen this plot before.  I’ve met these characters.  I know how this is going to end.”  Without realizing it, your standards skyrocket and a couple of things can happen: you become a snob or you lower your standards.  I’ve done both.  There are times when I’ve turned up my nose on stories because their predictability is beneath me.  There are also times when I’ve pushed aside that critical voice and chosen to enjoy things for what they are.

All the while, though, I have this tug in the back of my mind–this nagging desire to read that one story that is going to sweep me away and leave me breathless.  My subconscious knows what kind of story it longs to get lost in… I just need to go out and find it.  This longing propels me forward, keeps me reading.  Despite genuinely enjoying almost everything I choose to read, there’s always the hope that the next book will be it. Continue reading

Inbox // Outbox 2/20/17

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A Dance With Dragons by George R.R. Martin

Finally, I’m on the last of the currently published A Song of Ice and Fire books.  I’m always daunted by the size of these books, so I’m listening to the audiobook on the way to work.  Aside from his inability to do female voices, the reader is fantastic.  It’s really easy to get wrapped up in the story.

Of Other Worlds: Essays and Stories by C.S. Lewis

This is my current post-breakfast-curl-up-in-a-chair-drinking-tea read.  It’s a collection of short essays by Lewis on one of my favorite topics–the concept of story, particularily fairy stories.  I really enjoy Lewis’s fiction and his Christian nonfiction works, but in this one, his expertise as an academic shines through and it’s wonderful.

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

This is the second in a series–see my thoughts on the first book in the Outbox section for more.  I’m reading it very, very slowly and savoring every word. Continue reading

Weekend Coffee Share 2/18/17

If we were having coffee, we’d be lounging in the sunshine with our drinks of choice.  I’d be in a light flannel and we’d be watching the crusty piles of snow turn slowly to puddles.  We’re in a remarkably warm stretch of weather–unusual for Minnesota this time of year.

Good weather like this reminds me of a scene in the film Lars and the Real Girl.  After going bowling, Lars and Margo linger outside chatting about the weather like good Midwesterners.  Lars comments that it’s been warm lately and spring is on the way.  Margo replies, “It’s just a thaw.  Spring doesn’t come until Easter.”

So, while the sunshine and warmth is amazing, I’m not getting my hopes up.  It’s just a thaw.  We’ll probably have a new foot of snow by next week. Continue reading

Everyday Resistance: Saying NO in the Little Ways

The past few weeks have been hard to bear.  With each each move the new presidential administration makes, my heart sinks deeper.  I long to join the resistance, to blazingly declare NO, to do more than wring my hands and scroll through social media feeds.

 

At times like these, I am confronted with my own smallness.  I am just one person with just one voice.  I live far enough from the cities to make attending protests logistically challenging.  My workplace is an hour from where I live, so it’s hard to get involved with local resistance efforts because I’m always in the car.

Where does that leave me?  What can I possibly do to make a difference?  Who am I to even complain?  I live a life of incredible privilege.  I’m not going to be deported or separated from my family.  I’m not going to face discrimination for my skin color, sexuality, or religion.  Yet, even though I will likely get through the next four years unscathed, my heart hurts for those who won’t.  This spurs my longing to resist.

I’ve been thinking about these things a great deal over the past weeks and have come to the conclusion that, while I may not to make grand efforts, there are many small ways in which I can take a stand.   Continue reading

Literary Pilgrimage: Outlander & the Highlands of Scotland

My mom and I have been watching the second season of Outlander lately and Scotland has been on my mind.  I am fortunate enough to have ventured to this beautiful country twice and fell more in love with every visit.

My first visit to Scotland was in November, 2013.  I spent a long weekend with my study abroad group in Edinburgh and we did a day trip to the Highlands.  My second visit was in April 2016.  This time, I was alone.  I did a three-day bus tour of the Highlands and Isle of Skye, followed by a few days revisiting Edinburgh.

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The Quiraing on the Isle of Skye.  It was a clear day, so you can see the mountains of mainland Scotland in the distance.

Now… Outlander.  Diana Gabaldon’s books aren’t exactly high-brow literature, but that doesn’t mean they’re not good.  I came to the series a few years ago–about a year after my first visit to Scotland.  The television show was just about to premiere and an extended relative recommended the books to my mom, who then passed the word to me.  Intrigued by the premise–a World War II combat nurse goes back in time 200 years–I ordered secondhand copies of the entire series from Amazon. Continue reading