RECOMMENDATIONS

BOOKS

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We heard Jonathan Martin preach this past Sunday, and up until that point, I wasn’t quite sure why our pastor was so excited. Okay, great, a guest preacher. But then, as I settled in to a new voice and new perspective from the pulpit, and after I started crying without being able to stop, I realized why he couldn’t wait for us to hear Jonathan Martin. I loved what he had to say about the Parable of the Lost Son (or two lost sons), and I’m psyched to start reading his book. (Pastor Chris ran up to his office after the service just to get me his copy to take home.)

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If you’ve listened to Dr. Peterson’s lectures on YouTube, there’s more where those came from in this collection of essays. What I find most fascinating about him is his ability to revel in the complexity of the Bible even though he is not a Christian. He brings his psychology background to the biblical stories, and in some ways, I feel like I’m seeing them with fresh eyes. I am a firm believer in all truth is God’s truth, and Dr. Peterson is changing lives. Also, his research on lobsters is fascinating.

FILM

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I so rarely get to go to the movies. This past weekend, Gabe and I saw “The Greatest Showman” in reclining seats with a cherry Fanta icee and popcorn. For those reasons alone, I’d recommend the movie. However, the music and dancing and showmanship were so entertaining and worth going for. A fairly typical Hollywood plot, but sometimes you like to know the arch of a film so you can just sit back and enjoy the ride. (Zendaya is simply stunning.)

MUSIC

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Gabe and I saw this funny and heart-felt duo in a small, black performance space. Our elbows kept touching, I couldn’t cross my legs, but none of that mattered when the music filled the room. They peppered their performance with stories, and afterward, we stood in line to buy their latest record and have them sign it. I love their folky-country vibe.

 

READ IN 2018

Miller’s Valley — Anna Quindlen

Enon — Paul Harding

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking — Susan Cain

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine — Gail Honeyman

When Breath Becomes Air — Paul Kalanithi

12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos —  Jordan B. Peterson

READ IN 2017

[this is my most embarrassing year of reading since the age of 5 — I blame falling in love and getting married, but I’m still not so sure that’s a good enough excuse]

America’s Women — Gail Collins

My Name is Lucy Barton — Elizabeth Strout

Commonwealth — Ann Patchett

The Bean Treas — Barabara Kingsolver

Road to Little Dribbling — Bill Bryson

Upstream — Mary Oliver

 

READ IN 2016

Searching for Sunday — Rachel Held Evans

Captivating [sometimes I read for research…]

Yes Please — Amy Poehler

What Do Women Want? [again, research]

A Field Guide to Getting Lost — Rebecca Solnit

He — Robert A. Johnson

The Enlarged Heart — Cynthia Zarin

The Road to Character — David Brooks

Tips from the Top — Kreigh Knerr

The Giver — Lois Lowry

Pastrix — Nadia Bolz-Weber

Wise Blood — Flannery O’Connor

Ariel — Sylvia Plath

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn — Betty Smith

Far From the Madding Crowd — Thomas Hardy

The Colossus — Sylvia Plath

Gut Feelings — Gerd Gigerenzer