Sunday, April 06, 2014

On My Nightstand/In My Browser

(image via)

In case you hadn't figured out by now, reading is a passion of mine. And I do a lot of it, both online and in book form. Here are a few recent reads that have piqued my curiosity and provided some food for thought and/or entertainment. 

On My Nightstand:
• I'm grateful to have a sister who loves to read as much as I do, because we often swap books (and since she, like me, often reviews books for her blog, we get a lot of free books to share between us). I'm currently working my way through a stack of books that she loaned me a few weeks ago, and have just recently finished One Good Deed (which I loved and wrote about here) and Jesus Feminist (a thought-provoking read that I enjoyed quite a bit). 

• I also recently finished The In-Between, which was one of my Christmas gifts. This book focuses on the often-trying and frustrating business of waiting, and learning to make the most of that waiting time and see it as a gift rather than as torture (which is how I usually view waiting). This was another really good read which challenged me to see waiting in a new light. 

• These days I tend to read more non-fiction than fiction, but I do like having some fiction on hand for "escape" reading. My most recent fiction choice was The Paris Wife, a fictionalized account of Ernest Hemingway's marriage to his first wife. I'd been wanting to read it for quite some time and finally found it for free on (one of my favorite places to get books). I wasn't at all familiar with Hemingway's family life prior to reading this so I don't know exactly how much liberty the author took with her accounting of his first marriage. I did enjoy the book overall, although it ended quite sadly, so I wouldn't necessarily recommend this as a "light" pick-me-up sort of read if that's what you're wanting.

• I'm now reading French Kids Eat Everything (another loaner from sis). It may seem a bit of an odd choice to read considering that I don't even have kids, but (a) I love reading about France and (b) I love food so I figured I'd give this one a go. It's turned out to be a rather fascinating study on the importance that food plays in French culture and how parents teach their children from a very early age to treat food and mealtimes with great respect. While having babies throw food on the floor or play with their food is de rigueur here in America,  in France it would be unthinkable. Some of the principles discussed in the book are applicable to adults as well as children, and it's causing me to want to try to adopt a more respectful approach to eating, as in actually sitting down and enjoying my food rather than wolfing it down on the run (another no-no in France). 

In My Browser:
• One of the {many} blogs I read on a regular basis is Greater Than Rubies. The author, Caitlin, is a Christian who started her blog after being convicted about her love of shopping and wanted to become a better steward of her clothes and finances. Her blog focuses on curating a simple (yet still incredibly stylish) wardrobe, focusing on quality over quantity. 

I particularly liked her recent guest post on creating a simple, hardworking wardrobe, which addresses not only the practical aspects of creating a wardrobe but also the spiritual aspects. In the post, she asks:
“What is your relationship with your closet and how is it affecting your relationship with Him?” 
Is your wardrobe encouraging and life giving? Or does it leave you with frustration that bleeds into the rest of your life?
Honestly, I'd never thought about my wardrobe from that perspective. I've heard plenty of discussions and sermons on dressing modestly, but never any on how our closet can affect us spiritually. One of her suggestions is to view our closets through a lens of thankfulness. So many great points and food for thought in all of her blog posts, so if, like me, you too struggle with having too many clothes and yet not being satisfied with your wardrobe, check Caitlin out. 
• Another recent read that I enjoyed was this one titled "A Handy Guide to Christian Outrage" by Scott Dannemiller at The Accidental Missionary. I agree with much of what he says in it, especially the point about not being more outraged over issues like gay marriage and the "Noah" movie than world hunger and poverty. Plus, he includes this very handy (tongue-in-cheek) flow chart for knowing whether or not to be outraged:

I do indeed love to read, so if you've got any great book or article/blog recommendations, share away!


Carrie from Talking In Space said...

Thanks for sharing Caitlin's post- I'd never read her blog before, but I am just starting to follow some of the clothing guidelines she mentions. Last weekend, I cleared out my closet of everything that I didn't feel comfortable in or were not flattering. I now own only one pair of jeans! Anyway, I've never thought about clothing in a sense of thankfulness before, and it is a very interesting thought. P.S. I have some clothes waiting for you. : )

That Girl said...

34484322 MI may have mentioned that my book club recently finished "Orange is the New Black" and loved it. (Do NOT watch the Netflix version!) :) We are currently reading "The Goldfinch" I thought I would love it because it is extremely long but... I did not love it!

Rachel Nordgren said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed Caitlin's guest post! She's fabulous, isn't she?!

Tara said...

I enjoyed The Paris Wife as well. Not a favorite, but one I'm glad I read. I have French Kids Eat Everything on my list which seems to be growing. The bad part is I never have much time to read anymore. I just finished reading 7 by Jen Hatmaker for our book club and I'm trying to read The Sociopath Next Door and Pope Joan to decide which one to put on my list for book club next year. I may have to check out your other suggestions too. So many books, not enough time!