This year I have a goal of reading 35 books. I will keep a running list of the books I read with a short review.
- The Road Back to You by Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile – For my first of 2019 I finished this wonderful introduction to the Enneagram. It is filled with practical lists, anecdotes and steps for transformation.
The true purpose of the Enneagram is to reveal to you your shadow side and offer spiritual counsel on how to open it to the transformative light of grace.
Information is not transformation.
Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy — the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.
We most delight and reflect the glory of God when we discover and reclaim our God-given identity, with which we lost connection shortly after our arrival in this fallen world.
2. Still Life by Louise Penny – After hearing so many raving reviews about this series I decided to give it a chance even though I rarely read mysteries. It did not disappoint! The characters were rich, the descriptions of food were marvelous and I was surprised at who did it in the end! I’m looking forward to reading the rest of this series.
We choose our thoughts. We choose our perceptions. We choose our attitudes. We may not think so. We may not believe it, but we do. I absolutely know we do. I’ve seen enough evidence, time after time, tragedy after tragedy. Triumph after triumph. It’s about choice….Life is choice. All day, everyday. Who we talk to, where we sit, what we say, how we say it. And our lives become defined by our choices. It’s as simple and as complex as that. And as powerful. So when I’m observing, that’s what I’m watching for. The choices people make.
3. The Home Place by Carrie Le Seur – I picked this up at our local bookstore. It was fun to read a book that takes place where I grew up. I was surprised by the ending. It reminded me of a Hallmark movie but with a very dark twist of the depravity of a broken family.
There’s a pain in her stomach that hasn’t gone away for days. Montana has drawn her close to whisper in her ear that evil exists, even in places of great beauty. Even in the people you love. But evil is not the end of the story. Her arm is tight around her big brother and the land rolls out beneath them. The home place rises solid beside them…
4. A Fatal Grace by Louise Penny – Book #2 I am really enjoying this series and love that not only is there a story line that is complete in the one book, there is also an overarching story that continues across books in the series.
Clara saw good. Which was itself pretty scary. So much more comforting to see bad in others; gives us all sorts of excuses for our own bad behavior. But good? No, only really remarkable people see the good in others.
5. The Cruelest Month by Louise Penny – Book #3
He had a lot to ponder and he knew that everything is solved by walking.
6. Placemaker: Cultivating Places of Comfort, Beauty and Peace by Christie Purifoy – This is a lovely book telling the story of the places Christie has lived with connections to the trees that were in those places. She is an amazing story teller weaving together her appreciation of the natural world, stories from the Bible and her own personal story. It is such an encouragement and an education all rolled up into a beautiful book.
Sometimes, placemakers make new. Build fresh. Start from scratch. But most of the time, they repair. They restore. They protect. Sometimes, placemaking is nothing more than the refusal to unmake.
7. A Rule Against Murder by Louise Penny – Book #4
To live in chaos was to live in a prison. Order freed the mind for other things.
8. The Brutal Telling by Louise Penny – Book #5 This series keeps getting better and better. This is the best story yet.
Which was why, Gamache knew, it was vital to be aware of actions in the present. Because the present became the past, and the past grew. And got up, and followed you. And found you.
9. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman — I read this in one day (while I was sick). I loved how it explored the idea of how important positive human interaction is in our lives. Yes we can live and survive on our own but we don’t really come to life without community of some sort and we can get to some pretty dark places when left on our own.
If someone asks you how you are, you are meant to say FINE. You are not meant to say that you cried yourself to sleep last night because you hadn’t spoken to another person for two consecutive days. FINE is what you say.
10. The Next Right Thing by Emily P. Freeman – I absolutely loved this collection of essays, prayers and practices to help you discern your next right thing. It is so practical and filled with grace and love. I highly recommend it!
This is a mini version of our decision-making practice: create space, name the unnamed things, and do the next right thing.