January 2, 2014

Our Favorite Reads from 2013

We are both avid readers and always enjoy passing time on our hammock, flipping through a good read.  And when it isn’t a good read, Kevin decides that it isn’t worth finishing while Cassie pushes through to the end even if it is painful and not worth her time.  She is working on this, it is okay to quit a book.  Right? 
We thought we would share with you our favorite reads from last year.  Just a note, these books were not necessarily released last year, we just read them in 2013.  We hope that you enjoy our list and we would love to hear what you have been reading, and hopefully enjoying!

  • Little Bee by Chris Cleave - The lives of a British woman and a Nigerian girl collide in this novel of lost innocence and survival.
  • What We Talk About When We Talk About God by Rob Bell – Said to be “a super soulful book” by Oprah Winfrey.  Bell reveals how we got stuck and how we can reconnect with the God who is with us, for us, and ahead of us, pulling us forward into a better future.
  • The Ordinary Seaman by Franscisco Goldman – The story of Esteban, a nineteen year-old Nicaraguan and his luckless friends, brought north as a ship's crew, stuck on a modern ship of the damned, moored in an abandoned Brooklyn dockyard.
  • Instant Mom by Nia Vardalos - "Some families are created in different ways but are still, in every way, a family,” this is Vardalos’ story of her family.
  • Mennonite in a Little Black Dress by Rhoda Janzen - A wonderfully intelligent and frank memoir about her Mennonite upbringing and her story of returning home after a crisis.
  • Pastrix by Nadia Bolz-Weber - Foul-mouthed and heavily tattooed, former standup comic-turned-Lutheran pastor weaves hilarious rants and stunning theological insight into her personal narrative of a flawed, beautiful, and unlikely life of faith.
  • The Child Catchers by Kathryn Joyce – A difficult, but helpful, at times frightening and somewhat biased book, Joyce explores the outsized influence of evangelical Christian groups on the overseas adoption industry.
  • Homies and Hermanos: Gods and Gangs in Central America by Robert Brenneman - Why would a gun-wielding, tattoo-bearing "homie" trade in la vida loca for a Bible and the buttoned-down lifestyle of an evangelical hermano?  Brenneman answers this question through interviews with former gang members.
  • I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai - When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out.  Malala refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education.
  • Stitches by Anne Lamott – Over the years writer Anne Lamott has encouraged us through the ups and downs.  When life falls apart, Lamott suggests sewing the pieces together again - one stitch at a time.
  • Carry On Warrior by Glennon Doyle-Melton - An inspirational, side-splittingly funny exploration of the power of living with love, forgiveness, and honesty.

  • Chop Suey by Andrew Coe - If you salivate just thinking about Chinese food and are curious about how it became a cultural phenomenon in the U.S you should pick up this informative and interesting book.
  • The World is Flat by Thomas L. Friedman - A historical read with a twist.  It explains what we have been up to during the 21st century with a possibility of what some of our choices as a human race could lead to.
  • Change the World Without Taking Power by John Holloway - So you want a revolution baby?  Holloway looks at the ways in which revolutions begin and the ways in which it is possible in todays world.
  • The Song of the Bird by Anthony De Mello – De Mello offers up 124 short stories or parables if you will, in order to get you thinking about your life and its direction.
  • Self Therapy by Jay Earley - A look into the ways of Internal Family Systems and how we can use our own psyche to achieve greater wholeness within ourselves and within the ways we are able to relate with others.

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