Reading: Holidays 2021

Sorry to post so late, but you understand, life got busy and the living of life felt more important than posting about the reading of books. But here I am with a quick reading update, and you can expect another reading post in just a few weeks.

Book titles link to Amazon for more info + easy purchasing. Please note: As an Amazon Associate, I may earn from qualifying purchases.

Bewilderment by Richard Powers
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

From astrobiology to wildlife biology to the inner workings of the human psyche, this slow and gentle story of a father and son doing their best in a messy-complicated world is beautifully written and well worth your time.

“They share a lot, astronomy and childhood. Both are voyages across huge distances. Both search for facts beyond their grasp. Both theorize wildly and let possibilities multiply without limits. Both are humbled every few weeks. Both operate out of ignorance. Both are mystified by time. Both are forever starting out.” (64)

No Cure for Being Human: And Other Truths I Need to Hear by Kate Bowler
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Kate is a wonderful storyteller. She’s so relatable you want her to be your new best friend and so smart you want to learn from her (good thing, since she’s a professor at Duke Divinity School). Her story is simultaneously particular and taps into universal themes. I felt like I could read it again immediately.

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“Our family histories are simply stories. They are myths we create about the people who came before us, in order to make sense of ourselves” (p31).

This entertaining multi-generational family story explores how we become ourselves, through what we inherit genetically & materially, through nature & nurture or the lack of nurture, through habit & choice. It left me pondering who I have become in relation to my own parents. And I enjoyed it more than Daisy Jones & The Six, which was fun but didn’t linger in my thoughts.

Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I loved The Last Thing He Told Me. Eight Hundred Grapes didn’t hold up in comparison.

I live not far from Sonoma, and it was fun to read a book about one family’s experience of its growth as a wine-growing region. The book’s overarching philosophical theme was “synchronization,” though, and Dave was less successful at hooking the reader as to what she meant and why it mattered. Also, some of the minor characters popped in and out and I’d have to remind myself who they were each time – an indication that each one needed more details to flesh them out.

Wholehearted Faith by Rachel Held Evans
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I finished reading the last page, closed the book, & shed a tear that the world will not have any new words to read from RHE. What an brilliant, faith-full, wholehearted woman! Thanks to Jeff Chu for finishing the manuscript & allowing us to read this last book.

We Are the Ashes, We Are the Fire by Joy McCullough
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“…a story about sisters. And violence. And being a girl in the world” (348) – the author sums it up for us nicely. But this book isn’t nice – it burns a hot, refining fire! She drops in facts – like the word origin for “family” is “servant” and “feast” comes from “joy” – and she eloquently expresses the experience of being a girl in the world that every woman can relate to & every man ought to consider.

Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

One of the most practical & helpful books I’ve read in a long time. It’s helping me lean in to keep my habits interesting & motivating for a new year.

View all my reviews

Cover image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Leave a Reply