And so 2017 was yet another “not much reading” year for me. But there were some good reads in there — a few highlights:
Picture books! I started my job as a library shelver in July and for a couple months I brought home a different picture book to read each day. But that could be a whole post of its own so I’ll just say here that I’m so grateful that routine introduced me to Grumpy Goat by Brett Helquist. It is now one of my favorite picture books.
I’ve never read Elizabeth Strout before and liked the two I read this year. I started Olive Kitteridge too, but my life has been stressful and distracting this year. I didn’t get the book finished before it had to be returned to the library this summer and by that time I had already watched the corresponding HBO miniseries so I haven’t had much incentive to return to the book and find out how it ends.
I read Columbine by Dave Cullen and then A Mother’s Reckoning by Sue Klebold, the mother of one of the Columbine shooters. It was a book pairing I highly recommend. Klebold’s story rooted deep in my mother-heart and I’ve circled back to her words a number of times since I read them last spring.
Two YA books I’m glad I read and do recommend – The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas and Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman. Race and mental health, respectively. Now that I think about it, I listened to both of these books and both were good audible picks.
I picked up a kindle copy of How to Survive A Shipwreck by Jonathan Martin early in the year, and am so glad I did. I was not familiar with Martin before reading this book, but found his presentation of faith exactly what I needed to help me grab hold and find language for my own faith again. I was glad to read Rob Bell’s latest book, What is the Bible, to further fuel this work.
I reread Barbara Brown Taylor Learning To Walk In The Dark in the fall because, well…..dark. And Dani Shapiro’s book Hourglass. Oh, my goodness. I love Shapiro’s writing. always. So thoughtful and beautiful.
And then Frederick Buechner released two new books toward the end of the year – The Remarkable Ordinary: How to Stop, Look, and Listen to Life and A Crazy, Holy Grace: The Healing Power of Pain and Memory. BAM. Buechner. I will always be grateful for his voice and his exploration of this idea that “If God speaks anywhere, it is into our personal lives that he speaks.”
Finally, I ended the year with Heating & Cooling : 52 Micro-Memoirs by Beth Ann Fennelly. This really was the first time I’ve paid attention to the concept of micro-memoir and while I may not be a huge fan of this book for the content particularly, I loved the presentation and really enjoyed reading it.
Now, just midway through January 2018 I’ve already read four books. Granted two of them are chapter books and a third is middle grade, but still!! In spite of the notable start, I really don’t have any expectations for this reading year, except that I will get to the end and have read some good stuff.