This year, I rediscovered the library.
I’ve loved to read since I was three. (I know, the nerd in me showed up early & has been going strong ever since.) If I close my eyes, I can still picture the library in my hometown neighborhood, can still smell that well-read paper & feel that calming quiet. Books have always been a haven for me, & the library gave me access to that haven for free. For years, I adored it. Then college happened, and the library came to mean research more than it meant rest. Graduation, relocation, and an insane schedule – before I knew it, it had been years since I’d stepped foot in my favorite place.
I was still reading, of course – but much less, because books either came off friends’ shelves or Barnes & Noble shelves, and ya girl is on a BUDGET. I’m not sure when it hit me – I just remember sitting on my bed during as especially stressful time & thinking, “I wish I could go to the library again.” Right after that, it hit me that I could.
So I’ve been devouring books like a madwoman in 2017. It’s so good for my soul. It’s so good for my writing. There are so many incredible thoughts & authors & essays & stories in the world, and I want to journey through as many of them as I can. So in January, I set a lofty goal, more than I’d read in years and years: 75 books in 2017. We’re a third of the way through this year, and I’m about to start book 25. And I’m having a blast. So, if you’re a fellow bookworm looking for some new recommendations, or if you’d like to read more but just don’t know where to start, here are a few of my January – April favorites. I’ll link to them on Amazon if you’re the book buying type (and I still am), but they’re probably available at your local library, too.
Why Not Me? – Mindy Kaling // Mindy is one of the best TV writers I know. Her characters on The Office and The Mindy Project are perfectly crafted, but I loved reading about the girl behind the characters even more. You’ll probably laugh out loud, and you’ll definitely be ready to kick that #girlboss mode into high gear.
Dad is Fat – Jim Gaffigan // If you know me at all, you know comedy is near & dear to my heart. Jim writes about food & family & New York City in ways funnier than you could imagine. If you need a pick-me-up or a good beach read heading into summer, this is it. Just be ready for the people laying next to you to give you the side-eye when you’re crying tears of laughter.
Chasing Slow – Erin Loechner // Erin has been one of my favorite bloggers for years, & I could not wait to get my hands on her first book. She’s a masterful storyteller & a one-of-a-kind creative voice, and I loved every page of her journey into contentment & intentional living. She also has a great eye for design, & the book itself is beautiful – so even if you’re an e-book person, I’d go for the physical copy on this one. Check out her blog, too.
Out of Sorts – Sarah Bessey // I wanted to kick myself for waiting so long to read this book, but honestly, I picked it up at the perfect time. In a world that feels especially messy these days, Sarah’s words were healing to places in my soul that I didn’t even know were broken. She writes about painful places in life with kindness & hope & redemption. If you’re struggling with church & faith & how that fits in the world you see breaking around you, pick this up TODAY.
Fiction: (I’m into psychological thrillers that are not for the faint of heart. So if you’re the kind who tends to sleep with the lights on and/or question if every single person you know is a psycho after reading scary things, these are probably not your cup of tea.)
The Girl Before – JP Delaney // Told from the perspective of two girls who live in the same strange house at different times. Things get weird horrifyingly fast. I don’t want to give much else away, but just know it’s about to be made into a movie – so it’s a good one.
The Twilight Wife – AJ Banner // A woman wakes up on an island with her loving husband, a charming cottage, and not much else. Her memory is just gone – until one day, it’s not. And what she remembers is terrible. This is a page-turner with so much suspense in the middle and a surprisingly happy ending. So good for the summer.
Happy reading, friends 🙂