I read the last chapter of 2 Samuel on Easter morning. The prayers and the friendships in this book are real. Refreshing. I took away courage, a challenge in my honesty in prayer, and a thankfulness for the humanness that God uses for His purposes.
11. The Count Of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas.
This big ol’ book was my last Literature book of the year in school. I yawned through most of it, to be honest, because none of it interested me. However, the last few chapters sparked my interest – I’m not sure if that’s because I knew it was almost over, or because the story was all tying together for me at the last minute. Overall, it is summed up in these honorable words that tie binds throughout the book and close it perfectly – wait and hope.
12. Seven Men by Eric Metaxas.
Eric Metaxas is a favorite writer of mine – strictly because he introduced Bonhoeffer to me so poetically. However, this book further branched my knowledge of his writing. It is the story of these seven men – George Washington, William Wilberforce, Eric Liddell, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Jackie Robinson, John Paul II, and Charles Colson – I knew only a few of those well. It was a good refresher for the ones I did know and a great foundation for those I knew nothing about. As I read through the mini biographies I was encouraged from these men’s faith and how designated and different they all were from one another. One played baseball, one led the Catholic Church, one ran in the Olympics but never on Sunday, and one was the first president of our country – but they were all equally used of God. This coincides with my encouragement in 2 Samuel. God uses faulty humans. In weakness comes power. (Also, Seven Men was a speedy read. Powerful, but not overhwelmingly heavy.)
13. Summer At Tiffany by Marjorie Hart.
This light-hearted memoir is about a twenty-something girl and her best friend moving to New York City. For me, that story will not (or has not thus far) become old. What makes Marjorie’s different from the others is she wrote it decades after her experience in 1945 when she and her best friend Marty were the first women to work on the sales floor at Tiffany. Along with her personal account of boyfriends and work troubles, she included world history from that summer that kept the story engaging. (Side note: Because of this book, I named my FIRST car – that has been considered mine as of this month – Marjorie. 🙂 )
1 Kings touches on many bases. The most convicting verse for me was from chapter 18 and it said, “How long will you go limping between two different opinions?” How long until you commit your ways to Mine and throw your worthless gods in the garbage in exchange for a new one?
What also stuck out to me were the messages to wholly love God, to strengthen ourselves, and be loyal even when we’re weary.
14. The Year Of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion.
I can now see why this book is so well praised, but I wouldn’t recommend it. I would label it as a book of processing grief and I found many relatable assets, but Didion was grieving without any hope. That’s why, to me, it was a sober book, with no joy. I was challenged as a writer, but not as a person – other than the fact that it reminds you life is short. (Great writing, just not my favorite content.)
15. Bless This Mess & Other Prayers by Jo Carr and Imogene Sorley.
I found this gem at The Dusty Bookshelf. It was written by two housewives in 1966. It’s a book of prayer, in the format of poetry that made it equally easy to read and convicting. Carr and Sorley touch on finding purpose in small things that lead to big legacies, comfort zones, and straight-Up adoration. I was challenged, not only by their messages, but to write letters to God to help my focus when my mind is wandering.
To put in a nutshell what I learned as I closed these books: much-needed honesty in prayer, individual purpose, and integrity of heart.