Spring is always a different kind of reading season for me. Normally my reading slows as I spend my time in the yard cleaning, cutting and mulching so that I can enjoy reading and relaxing in that space all summer and fall. This spring I have been head down on three distinct projects: finishing well with a consulting client, starting a new manuscript and working my way through #the100dayproject.
Given all these joyous and time absorbing projects I decided to do a spring reading recap instead of monthly recaps, so that the very best of what I was reading could be highlighted.
The Dublin Murder Squad Series by Tana French
This month I decided that I would start at the beginning of Tana French’s Dublin Murder Squad series, having read and enjoyed The Trespassers last year and The Witch Elm having caught my eye this year. Let’s just say I am in deep! I cannot get enough of the Murder Squad team with all it’s quirks and intricacies. French knows how to build a world and I love how she writes strong, thoughtful female protagonists. I also love how she shifts which characters are the focus of each book so that you don’t HAVE to read them all or in order. So far The Likeness has been my favorite in this series.
Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
I loved The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo when I read it in 2017 and have been anticipating Taylor Jenkins Reid’s newest book Daisy Jones and the Six since I learned of it’s upcoming release. It had the same salaciousness of Eveyln Hugo as well as the characters who’s motives were complex, relatable and tricky. It’s really hard to talk about this book without comparing it to Evelyn Hugo (in my mind) but it was witty, face paced and enjoyable, although did not have a surprising depth that I enjoy from Evelyn Hugo.
Dare to Lead by Brene Brown
I listened to this on audiobook driving to and from one of my consulting clients in Dallas and found it very helpful and informative. The Gifts of Imperfection and Daring Greatly are the two Brene Brown books that have created the most impact on my own life and ministry. Dare to Lead pulls together so many of the helpful threads of previous books and applies them directly to how we lead the groups, relationships and organizations we engage with with intension and integrity. There are specific and tactical take aways as well as broader conceptual ideas about how to lead.
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
Any book that sits on the NYTimes bestseller list for this long catches my attention. But what motivated me to move Where the Crawdads Sing up my TBR list was an interview with Delia Owens where she talked about how she could write so fluently about loneliness because she had know loneliness intimately. Where the Crawdads Sing was a story that captured me in ways that books rarely do. Kya’s life on the edge of civilization, left to find her way was tragic but captivating in her resilience. Owens also has a profound sense of place in this book–I have never been to the areas of the south she sets the book in but I felt completely connected to the place where Kya’s story was set. I found this book completely worthy of all the praise.
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
Everyone has recommend Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, but I was resistant. Often books on creativity either lack substance and could have been better published as a pamphlet or power point presentation or are so specific to the writer and their craft that its hard to really make a connection to the advice. However, my friend and painter Andrea recommended this book so persistently to me that I finally checked it out from the library as an audiobook. It was the perfect thing to listen to as I painted and wrote this month–it was like Elizabeth Gilbert was giving me my own pep-talk on creativity. I will also add that there are about 10 different sermons in this book about creativity, creation and the work of the Spirit, for those of you who are minister-y types.
The Death of Mrs Westaway by Ruth Ware
Several of the moms at my daughter’s dance studio are also voracious readers. Which is awesome because sometimes we swap books or make recommendations. The Death of Mrs Westaway wasn’t even on my radar until one of the dance moms recommended it to me! This was another book that I read via audiobook and thoroughly enjoyed listening to while working on my #the100dayproject in the evenings and on my commute. I found Hal’s dilemma both relatable and perplexing and the Westaways a fascinating family to step into the midst of as a reader.
When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
I am working on a new manuscript (hello honeymoon phase where everything is fun and exciting and yet to become a slog you never want to look at again) and picked this up to read for that project. While small, it was thoughtful and impactful reflection on death and dying. At the release of When Breath Becomes Air it was met much acclaim, I grabbed a copy to read as a church pastor but didn’t get around to reading it until this project.
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