May is here! And with its arrival, I know the school year is almost over. The next few weeks are filled with “lasts”—the last class, the last assembly, the last dorm event. It’s a bittersweet time of year.
Since my last post, winter’s dormancy has fled. Looking out my living room window, I see an explosion of green. The Maple trees have leafed out, my tulips have bloomed, the azaleas are almost ready to pop, and my Lily-of-the-Valley will release their fragrant scent in the next week or so. It’s a lovely, hopeful time of year.
Even though it’s a busy season, I’ve read some wonderful books since my February post. Somewhat surprising to me is how many of them have been on audio. I’ve really grown to love this format. Something I’ve discovered about listening to a book rather than holding a physical copy in my hand is that I need to do something while listening—take a walk, complete household chores, or run errands. If I just listen to an audiobook, my mind wanders—odd since I sit still to read a print book. Perhaps you can relate.
What I’ve Been Reading Lately
Here are a few of my favorite reads.
Topping the list is Peace Like a River by Leif Enger. This was a book club selection and a book that had sat on my shelf for years. Many of my reader friends recommended it, but I never seemed compelled to pick it up. I’m so glad I did. Beautiful writing, well-developed characters, and a plot line that drew me in and carried me until the end. Read this book!
The Winter Soldier by Daniel Mason. I listened to this on audio and that made all the difference. Given the Polish and Hungarian names, it helped to hear them pronounced correctly. Kudos to Brad for recommending I read this. He read it first and knew I would like it. The novel is set during WWI and follows a young medical student, Lucius, as he is sent to work at an military hospital near the front lines. He meets Sister Margarete, a no-nonsense nun, and from there the story takes off.
Last week I finished Becoming by Michelle Obama. Listen to the audio version because Michelle narrates the book. I found her story fascinating. From her upbringing on the south side of Chicago, to her early days of being an attorney and meeting Barack, to her time in the White House, readers will appreciate her intellect, her candor, and her vivacious personality. I loved the behind-the-scenes glimpses she shares about life in the White House. As I listened to her story, I felt like her humanity came through. I know I can sometimes forget that celebrities are real people too with their own struggles and challenges. I’m glad I read her story.
Everywhere God Update
If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you know that Everywhere God is now available as an electronic book on Amazon. Yay! Once school winds down, I’ll be selling it in a couple of other places so stay tuned. One way not to miss any book-related announcements or posts to this space is to sign up for my monthly email. Just fill out the pop-up box and you’re all set!
As a “thank you” for signing up, I will send you my chapter “Encountering God in Literature” from Everywhere God. As you head into the summer months and begin to plan what books you want you to read, I think you will find this chapter a helpful companion to your reading life. By the way, if you’re looking for a good summer reading list, you’ll want to check out the summer reading guide at Modern Mrs. Darcy. It releases soon.
On Having a College Graduate
I can hardly believe that my oldest will graduate from college next week. It feels like only yesterday that I wrote a piece about dropping him off at college! As we enter this graduation season, I found Emily P Freeman’s podcast episode Listen to This Before Graduation refreshing and encouraging. I’m sure we all know someone who is graduating or in transition. Allow Emily’s wisdom to guide you in your conversations with these individuals, especially the graduates who may not have any idea what is next.
Thanks for reading, friends. Blessings on your coming week.