Book #8 of the year was a recommendation I received in a blog comment. I had explained that my OLW for this year is LOVED, and a reader mentioned Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World, by Henri Nouwen. This is one of those books that is going to be important to me. I read it quickly but I keep going back to it. "How different," Nouwen writes, "would our life be were we truly able to trust that it multiplied in being given away! How different would our life be if we could but believe that every little act of faithfulness, every gesture of love, every word of forgiveness, every little bit of joy and peace will multiply and multiply as long as there are people to receive it...and that - even then - there will be leftovers! . . . You and I would dance for joy were we to know truly that we, little people, are chosen, blessed, and broken to become the bread that will multiply itself in the giving." What a beautiful book. I will reread it many times, I am sure.
Book #9 was The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean my Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun, by Gretchen Rubin. I've been reading Rubin's blog and listening to her podcast for a little while, so I decided it was time to read her book. I enjoyed it very much. It's quirky, sensible, and full of little ideas that are easy to implement for a happier life.
Book #10 was Jilting the Duke, written by a friend from graduate school under the pseudonym Rachael Miles. Look at this fun article about how she decided what words she could use in this historical romance. I enjoyed the book, and have pre-ordered the next one, coming out in May.
Book #11 was Tropical Secrets: Holocaust Refugees in Cuba, a verse novel by Margarita Engle. Many of my students are enjoying reading verse novels - there are so many coming out these days! This one is about our part of the world, and I think they'll be interested to learn about the journeys of refugees fleeing the Holocaust. Haiti took in refugees, too, by the way.
Book #12 was For the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards, by Jen Hatmaker. I'm discussing it with a group of friends. Parts of it were a little lite, but it was a quick, entertaining read, and I'm sure the discussion will be fun.
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