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Five books you don’t want to miss

I’m what some people might call a book junkie. I like books. A lot. I read. A lot. I think many people have their “thing.” That thing they’re willing to spend money on (over and over and over). For some people it’s shoes, or hoodies, or kitchen gadgets, or tech-stuff. For me, it’s books. Yes, I know I can get them for “free” at the library (we won’t go into late fees for over-due library books–my library books are never free), but I just like to buy them. Have them for my own.  I have no explanation why but I imagine there are a few of you out there who know exactly what I mean.

I’m not being dramatic when I say reading books changes my life. Words have power. Books have power. And I’m a better person from the books I read.

I used to think I’d never adapt to reading on my phone (or Kindle, or iPad). I like the feel of a book in my hands, the smell of pages from a new book. But truth be told, I’m a HUGE fan of the Kindle app on my phone. And have found myself purchasing books through Amazon delivered straight to my Kindle as my go-to book solution for a few reasons. One, I get the book immediately. Amazon prime is great and all, but it doesn’t beat immediate. Two, the Kindle version of a book is generally a few dollars cheaper (and every now and then you can score great deals and find $1.99 versions of Kindle books). And three, you can highlight in the Kindle app and then go to the amazon website and just pull up the parts of the book you highlighted (probably my favorite reason for going Kindle–I highlight. A lot).

Enough about Kindle. Let’s get on to some books. One of my favorite quotes from Glennon Doyle Melton: “Reading is my inhale. Writing is my exhale.” I couldn’t agree more. And “Reading makes you smarter.” I don’t know who said that, but I know without a doubt it’s true.

And let’s not forget good old Dr. Seuss.


That Dr. Seuss knows his stuff.  And I’m all about going places.  Travel all day every day please.

Today I just wanted to share some of the books I’ve read (and loved) recently and a few quotes I picked out while reading some of them. It’s a random assortment of reading material, but that’s kinda how I roll. Randomly. {You can see my list of 13 books that will inspire better, more meaningful lives HERE.}

1. Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion by Gregory Boyle.

It’s safe to say this is one of my ALL TIME FAVORITE books. It’s one of those “everyone should have to read this” kind of books. Gregory is a man who devotes his time to helping young boys get out of gangs. Incredible story. Incredible compassion. Incredible example. Oh my word I love this book. Definitely one not-to-miss.

“We must “trust in the slow work of God.” Ours is a God who waits. Who are we not to? It takes what it takes for the great turnaround. Wait for it.”

“We have grown accustomed to think that loving as God does is hard. We think it’s about moral strain and obligation. We presume it requires a spiritual muscularity of which we are not capable, a layering of burden on top of sacrifice, with a side order of guilt. (But it was love, after all, that made the cross salvific, not the sheer torture of it.)”

“How do you work with the poor?” She answered, “You don’t. You share your life with the poor.” It’s as basic as crying together. It is about “casting your lot” before it ever becomes about “changing their lot.”

2. Resilience: Hard-Won Wisdom for Living a Better Life by Eric Grietens

I feel like I high-lighted nearly this entire book. A former navy-seal giving his friend (struggling with addiction) advice about life and resilience. This books is full of so much wisdom and straight up good life counsel. So so good.

“Everyone has a place where they encounter fear, where they struggle, suffer, and face hardship. We all have battles to fight. And it’s often in those battles that we are most alive: it’s on the frontlines of our lives that we earn wisdom, create joy, forge friendships, discover happiness, find love, and do purposeful work. If you want to win any meaningful kind of victory, you’ll have to fight for it.”

“We build resilience in our lives, we come to see that pain is not something to be eliminated so that we can have joy, any more than fear is something to be eliminated so that we can have courage. Courage overcomes, but does not replace, fear. Joy overcomes, but does not replace, pain.”

3. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

This is a historical fiction book so I didn’t highlight much, but this book was one of those can’t put it down, stay up WAY too late reading it kind of books. It’s been a long time since I’ve read a book I enjoyed this much. I got really attached to the characters and cried at the end (I never cry in books. Ever). This is my “recommend to everyone” book right now.

4. 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker

If you haven’t read something by Jen Hatmaker, you’re missing out. She’s a brilliant writer, but she’s also hilarious! I’m on a slow-the-heck-down and GET RID of excess kick lately (like, I want to get rid of eeeerything) so I really enjoyed this one. I’m working my way through all of Jen Hatmaker’s books. She’s worth paying attention to.

“It gets fuzzy once you spend time with people below your rung. I started seeing my stuff with fresh eyes, realizing we had everything. I mean everything. We’ve never missed a meal or even skimped on one.
I was so blinded I didn’t even know we were rich.”

“I’m going to bed tonight grateful for warmth, an advantage so expected it barely registers. May my privileges continue to drive me downward to my brothers and sisters without. Greater yet, I’m tired of calling the suffering “brothers and sisters” when I’d never allow my biological siblings to suffer likewise. That’s just hypocrisy veiled in altruism. I won’t defile my blessings by imagining that I deserve them. Until every human receives the dignity I casually enjoy, I pray my heart aches with tension and my belly rumbles for injustice.”

With my love and compassion for the homeless (and less fortunate) these next two are my FAVORITE:

“It’s almost like Jesus meant what He said. When you’re desperate, usually the best news you can receive is food, water, shelter. These provisions communicate God’s presence infinitely more than a tract or Christian performance in the local park. They convey, “God loves you so dearly, He sent people to your rescue.”

“I guess that’s why “love people” is the second command next to “love God.” And since God’s reputation is hopelessly linked to His followers’ behavior, I suspect He wouldn’t be stuck with His current rap if we spent our time loving others and stocking their cabinets.”

5.  Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

Not to be mistaken with that other Gray book, this is another historical fiction novel that I loved.  It’s a story about Lithuanians who were forcibly relocated when Russia took over during WWII.  Again I got really attached to the characters and found it super interesting to learn about a part of history I’d never heard about (and I was a history major in college).


Books. They’ll change your life. I can promise you that! And these are five you definitely don’t want to miss.

Any books you’ve read recently you’d like to share? I’m always looking for good book recommendations!

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  • Lexee

    Holy cow, I loved the nightingale. So good. And I just finished the Liz Murray story. I’m excited to look into these other ones.

    I use the Feedly app to read my blogs but yours won’t come up in the app. Any reason why? Just wondering. Thanks!ReplyCancel

    • ltross17

      Lexee, I have no idea why it won’t appear in Feedly but I’ll definitely look into it.
      And the nightingale. I still think about that book often. Easily one of my favorites.ReplyCancel

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