Les Livres de 2013, round 2

Love me some library books.
I haven't had the energy to sit down to write something meaningful in a while and we're headed out tomorrow morning to the airport for the Bahamas. But I did want to just check in here before we left to say hi and how's it going and to share that we are doing really well!

I also wanted to share the books that have gotten me through this month... I don't have a ton of time to write as much as normal, but here's what the past few weeks have looked like:

6. A Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling
This was the first NIFW book club selection and I'm so, so glad I read this along with other people. I didn't love this book, but it's worth a read (particularly because I love Rowling's Harry Potter world so much). There weren't many lovable characters, but there were lots of twisty storylines and if you're inclined to look for connections while you're reading, this is a decent book to get ahold of.

7. The Heights by Peter Hedges
ACV was the only book I read in February and I hit the ground running in March to make up for lost time. I'd seen The Heights in the local bookstore for a few years; it's about the neighborhood we live in. This was a fun little book about a marriage - the couple lives in Brooklyn Heights and it was cool to read about the streets and businesses that we know so well. I'd recommend purely for the local connection if you live nearby but I'm not sure anyone else would get much out of it.

8. Operating Instructions by Anne Lamott
Ok. People, I'm about to admit to craziness.

I had seen this book in the parenting section of the bookstore a few times but it wasn't until early March when I decided to buy it. After flipping through the pages I knew that the author's voice was funny and smart, but it was the fact that this book is a journal of her son's first year that really sold me. I have a son! It is our first year together! Boom, connection.

AND THEN I READ IT AND FELL IN TOTAL LOVE WITH ANNE LAMOTT. How funny she is! How wise and yet irreverent! How good-hearted! I loved her voice and I loved reading about her first year with Sam. This is a total must-read for new parents.

9. Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott
So I mention to the Sarahs that I'm loving this book by someone named Anne Lamott and they both look at me, wide-eyed and say "Wait. You have never read Traveling Mercies?!?"

There are not many books that both Sarahs recommend wholeheartedly, so I immediately went on the library's website and reserved, oh, every book by Anne Lamott. Traveling Mercies is a book of essays about Lamott's journey towards (and in and out of) her faith. It was the equivalent of finding Eat, Pray, Love several years ago. It is so, so good. If you're going through a rough time, pick it up.

10. Some Assembly Required by Anne Lamott
I gave myself a short break from the faith essays and breezed through this, the follow-up to Operating Instructions. This is Lamott's memoir of becoming a grandmother, when Sam becomes a dad at the ripe old age of 19. It is HILARIOUS. I would buy it for new parents, old parents, grandparents or people who have no children at all. I'm going to hear Lamott read from this one in a few weeks and I am so excited to meet her in person. (I mean, obviously, since she is basically my new Liz Gilbert).

11. Plan B by Anne Lamott
12. Grace (Eventually) by Anne Lamott
Right. Back to the faith essays. I can't remember specifics about these two books, but they were filled with fantastic perspective on figuring life out. Lamott walks this wonderful line of being a liberal Christian who hates George Bush (and isn't afraid to bash him whenever she has a spare sentence). She is a delight.

13. This is Not the Story You Think It Is... by Laura Munson
And finally, a memoir of a woman whose husband tells her their marriage is over - and what she does to process the news and remain even-keeled through it all. I found the writing style REALLY irritating at times (her sentences are so. choppy. and. they just. could really use. commas. instead of. periods.), but I enjoyed the story. At the end there's a long list of books that she referenced during this difficult time in her life... it seems worth reading if only to get your hands on that awesome list.

And that's where I'm at. Obsessed with Anne Lamott, reading books about people's struggles and how they found faith and how they figure out their next steps. I've got my Kindle loaded up with a few books for next week and I'm really looking forward to a couple of lighter fiction pieces (though I honestly could keep reading Lamott for another month, I have enjoyed her voice so much!).

Feel free to share recommendations in the comments, per usual. And see you all post-Bahamas!


Sarah said...

I am so glad you have discovered Anne Lamott! I read Operating Instructions while pregnant with HP and loved it. Traveling Mercies is a favorite of mine. I haven't read the one about her becoming a grandmother--I'll have to check that one out. Hope you are enjoying the Bahamas!

Anonymous said...

You HAVE to read Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird.

Anne said...

Bird by Bird is my favorite, too. Followed closely by Operating Instructions. Thanks for the list!