Sunday Night Book Reviews

The upside to a week of sick days is you can get a lot of reading done. My TBR pile did not disappoint. Three recommendations for you as we head into the new week:

UnknownStitches by Anne Lamott

I finished this ten minutes ago. I think it’s her best work, or at least my favorite of all the great pages she’s written (Traveling Mercies is one of my all-time favorites).  The writing in Stitches is deep and thoughtful and funny, and there’s a quotable moment approximately every fourth line. This might be the best meditation I’ve read on handling the awful reality that comprises so much of life. Inspiring and hopeful, and yet very, very real. I’m grateful for Lamott’s generosity as she shares what she’s learned about living in this tension. I’m ordering my own copy (the first was from the library) so I can cover it with notes & highlighter. Highly, highly recommend.

Unknown-1The Whole Golden World by Kristina Riggle

This novel is about the aftermath of an affair between a high school teacher and student. It’s a page turner! I stayed up late to finish it because I NEEDED TO KNOW what happened. Told in alternating voices between the teenage girl, her mother, and the high school teacher’s wife, this story vividly illustrates how a few seemingly small choices can cause endless ripples of chaos. This is not a happy story, and halfway through I was wondering, How on earth is the author going to land this? I couldn’t imagine any sort of resolution that would feel satisfying. But Riggle comes through, and wraps things up in a way that left me so glad I’d read this book thru to the last page.

Unknown-2Pastrix by Nadia Botz-Weber

The time has come for me to stop complaining  about the lack of quality in Christian memoir writing. Dang, this woman can write.  I picked this up because a friend recommended it, but I’ll confess, my expectations were low. I’m not all that progressive, and suspected this was just the flavor of the month of Christian culture’s attempts to be hip and relevant. Wow, was I wrong. This book is incredible: a powerful story of how this woman is working to love people in a community she feels called to as she follows after God. I especially appreciated how she didn’t just share the great parts of her work, but also took readers into a few of the attempts that didn’t work out so well. I don’t agree with every part of Boltz-Weber’s theology, but I don’t think I agree with every part of many people’s theology, so really? No big deal. I’m so  glad I read this, and look forward to reading what she writes next.