Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Must-Reads

So if you know anything about me, I read a lot. It is one of my favorite things to do. I will admit too, they are mostly non-academic fiction books that are entertaining. Not that I am opposed to intellectual books, but come on. If I am going to read for fun I want it to be.... fun. Another thing I should admit. I am not a big fan of Christian literature. I do not know if it is because I grew up in a Christian home, went to Bible college and just felt like it was a "need-to" thing. I have come to realize in the past years my relationship with God is about the relationship between me and Him. And not my family's, school's, or church's view on it. So I have been a bit leery of preachy books. Probably not fair of me, but there you are. Anyway, onto eating humble pie...
So, as just stated I am not big on reading "Christian" books. Either out of stubbornness or feeling like some portray the "holier than thou" idea. Not a fan of that. I have been burned to many times by people like that. But right before I left for England my grandmother gave me a book, saying she had gotten it because we are somehow related to the author and she thinks I could enjoy it.... Ooookay.
I brought it with me. And as you know if you read my blog regularly, I have had quite a bumpy ride spiritually while here. And some days, I just needed some kind words from a fellow Christian that could relate in some way to what I was going through. I saw the book and it is described as stories in everyday life and seeing God in them. I thought I would make my way to Starbucks and give it a shot. Well, I was delightfully surprised. It was not one of those "holier than thou" preachy books at all! It is full of stories from the author's life that describes her struggles, triumphs, and everyday life. And she writes in a way that I felt like we could be friends. So real about life which is something I truly appreciate. I have never ever laughed or cried so much while reading a book. I have never felt like I related so much to a person I had never met before. Never had a book or author touched me this way. Every week I would head to Starbucks to read a little more. Every time, bawling in Starbucks because I felt convicted or comforted or whatever from this book. Never thought that would happen in a million years. Then I finished... tragedy. But I found the author's website and actually wrote her an email, which is something I never do. I told her what a comfort her book was and thanked her. And... she wrote back! I also found out she had recently published another book about "change, grace, and learning the hard way". Well if that did not sound like something I needed to read I do not know what does. So my Grandmother so sweetly sent it to me and I just finished it. Even better than the first book, if that is possible. So all that too say, you NEED to read these books. They are funny, touching, and most importantly REAL.
The author is Shauna Niequist. Her first book is called Cold Tangerines. The second is Bittersweet. You will not regret it and they are easy reads, difficult to put down. I would post pictures of the books.... if I knew how. Happy reading!