This Unusual Summer: Sheltering In Place TBR Pile
Steph Nickel shares her reading list for this unusual summer. She has already reviewed some of these books, so make sure you click the links.
Books to Complete
Among others, I plan to complete these four books in the next month or so:
Remember Me, a novella by Sharon Garlough Brown, tells the story of two women who have suffered tremendous hurt and loss. I found it difficult to find my bearings in the first chapter or so, but as the story unfolded, I was drawn in. There is a letter at the end of each brief chapter written by the main character that adds a personal, insightful perspective to the story.
As the Light Fades by Catherine West, is a novel about finding one’s way through many of the burdens and joys of life: abuse, dementia, abandonment, betrayal, restoration, discovery, purpose, hope, and many more. I’ve always appreciated the authenticity of the characters in Cathy’s books—and the fact that she doesn’t shy away from the hard issues of life.
The Next Right Thing by Emily P. Freeman, a nonfiction book about trusting God to show us—you guessed it—the next right thing to do. I also listen to the podcast by the same name.
Enneagram Type 2 by Beth McCord (aka Your Enneagram Coach) explores the characteristics of 2s from a Christian perspective. There are a plethora of books, blogs, and online quizzes focused on the nine enneagram types. While I do think many people put too much emphasis on the results of these types of tests, God has been using this brief book to give me a clearer picture of my core motivations and fears. Understanding my number and the number of some of those closest to me helps me relate to them. While I would caution you not to use the results of any test like this to excuse sinful behaviour or to feel prideful about your strengths, the test you can take at www.yourenneagramcoach.com can help you understand why you do what you do and how only God can fulfill your deepest needs. And as you explore your weaknesses, remember that God is at work in each of His children. Just because certain things can pose a stumbling block in our life doesn’t mean we always have to trip over them. God does bring us to increasing maturity as we walk with Him.
I recently signed up for Chirp, an online audiobook subscription service without a monthly fee. I spent quite awhile perusing their sale books but, surprisingly, only downloaded two—for now. After I finished listening to Invisible, I began listening to The Guest Book by Marybeth Whalen. I also purchased The Writer’s Process by Anne Janzer.
I have dozens of books on my physical and electronic bookshelves, but I find it easier to complete audiobooks. For one thing, I can listen even when my eyes are tired and I find it difficult to concentrate. Plus, because I’m an extrovert and need social interaction, hearing another person’s voice—even a narrator or podcast host—serves as companionship.
Several Books to Read
I look around and realize there are several books I want to read in the next little while. Some of them I’ve begun; others I haven’t.
Ready for Anything, is an incredibly timely nonfiction book by Kathi Lipp. (If you pre-order a physical copy or purchase the ebook before mid-May, you will get four incredible bonuses, including curriculum that you can use with your family to teach them how to be ready for any crisis big or small without inducing fear.)
Clutter Free, also by Kathi Lipp, is just one of Kathi’s other nonfiction books on the subject. I began reading it again during Lent but didn’t complete it. Although I know the principles of Clutter Free, it is helpful to review Kathi’s guidelines from time to time. Kathi’s books are so much more than just another system for getting our house in order. There is far more connection between our spiritual health and the condition of our homes than many of us think.
Exhale by Amy Carroll and Cheri Gregory, is a nonfiction book about embracing who God has created us to be and “living our one life well.” This was another book I began to study during Lent—and another book I failed to finish. I have great “starting energy,” but the energy to persevere and then, finish strong, often eludes me. Still, who wants to get through the “Lose Who You’re Not” and “Love Who You Are” portions of the book and stop before reading the “Live Your One Life Well Section”? Not me.
And speaking of finishing strong …
Women Finishing Well by Chris Syme is a nonfiction book for Christian women “of a certain age.” As I mentioned in my review of the book, I discovered Chris Syme “by accident” when I came across the last episode of her previous podcast, The Smarty Pants Book Marketing Podcast. Having listened to several episodes of the Women Finishing Well Podcast, I decided to purchase the book. It seems one of the messages God has been teaching me lately is the importance of making way for younger women by stepping back when appropriate while still pressing forward with what He has called me to do.
Unskippable is a business book by Jim Kukral. While I do want to succeed in my writing and editing business, it was the complete title of the book that first drew me in, Your Journey to Becoming Unskippable (in your business, life & career).
Creating a list like this makes me ask myself, “Why on Earth do you settle in on the couch and fall asleep listening to podcasts?”
What books are on your current To Be Read pile? I’d love to hear about it.
Steph Beth Nickel is eclectically interested and eclectically involved. In all she does, Steph seeks to nurture and inspire. She is currently working on the first book in a nonfiction series. Nurture and Inspire LOVE is a compilation of the first devotionals she wrote for HopeStreamRadio.
Steph is a freelance writer and editor. She is the coauthor of Paralympian Deb Willows’ award-winning memoir, Living Beyond My Circumstances, published by Castle Quay Books. Deb and Steph are working on a follow-up book.
You can visit her website, stephbethnickel.com, to learn more about her.
Visit Steph’s contributor’s page or at Steph Nickel’s Eclectic Interests.