Thanks for the freedom to start off my back-to-blogging resolution with an easy-peasy, low-vulnerability post like this one. And thanks for heaping on the encouragement yesterday. Y’all are champs.
I purposely didn’t take a single book to Cambodia (besides my Bible), because I know myself and my tendency to lose my head in books and wanted to be fully present while we were there. It was a good thing.
And then we came back. And it was (is) a hard transition. And I’ve been reading a lot. A LOT. In no particular order…
Loved this memoir. Nine-year-old Alice and her school librarian father (a single dad) make a pact to read out loud together for 100 consecutive nights. They end up continuing their streak for eight whole years. It wasn’t all giraffes and daffodils, but their reading promise made for some pretty special bonding moments. I couldn’t help but think of my own nine-year-old. We’ve read soooo many books together this school year (our one shining moment of homeschooling), and it’s been so good for our relationship. She’s even going to start a blog soon where she shares about the books she’s read. Gabe always teases me that I’ll only watch a movie if it’s about books (somewhat true), and a book about books is even better.
7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess (Jen Hatmaker)
Best book in the universe. Needs its own post. Sorry.
My friend Becki told me about this book while we were in Cambodia (funny–anytime we visited a Westerner’s home, I ran straight to their bookshelves and touched all the books). It talks about missions in the past and missions in the future. The author compares and contrasts the two by using the terms “Mission Marm” and “Apple Guy.” My great-aunt Leona, a single missionary to Ethiopia over 50 years totally fits the Mission Marm caricature, and I know all kinds of “Apple Guys.” Some parts of the book didn’t interest me, but other parts I devoured. And since I accidentally bought it on my Kindle (darn touch pad on Gabe’s Mac Book Air), I’m glad it’s one I’ll be able to reference again.
Girl in Translation (Jean Kwok)
A novel based loosely on the author’s own immigrant experience, this book will break your heart. Human trafficking, fight for survival, poverty, racism, hope. So many emotions and told so powerfully by Ms. Kwok. I fell in love with the main character. I don’t read a lot of fiction, partly because I’m afraid I won’t like it enough, and I will have wasted my time. At least with non-fiction, I figure I learned something. But this book is gooooood.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (Annie Barrows & Mary Ann Shaffer)
This is my 3rd time reading Guernsey. See, I told you I’m afraid to read fiction in case I don’t like it. I’d rather stick with what I know is good. Yes, this is another book about books. So sue me. And then read the book if you haven’t. Love it.
I flew through the first two chapters of the book because they were written in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, Cambodia. It was craziness to be able to totally and completely picture almost every single thing the author was describing. I admire Cohen for wanting to free slaves around the globe, but so much of the book just rang empty for me. So much horror and despair and so little hope–because without Christ, there is no true hope for slaves even after they’re freed.
The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
I’ve been meaning to read this one for 10 years, and somehow, it never happened. And I’m only 124 pages in (out of 543), but I love it so far. It doesn’t hurt that it takes place in Africa, but it makes me sad that the missionary father is so culturally-insensitive and spiritually abusive. The story is so intriguing though, and I love reading from all the different characters’ perspectives. If you’ve already read it, please don’t ruin it for me.
That’s not an exhaustive post-Cambodia reading list, but I think it’s good for now.
Any suggestions to add to my pile?