Reading has always been one of my favorite pastimes. It seems like I’ve always got a few books going at once, varied in genre, always inspiring. Sometimes I’ll take the hour before the kids get up to thumb through a few pages, highlighting quotes and starring paragraphs as the kettle starts to boil. Other times I’ll go a week just reading a tiny bits here and there, nothing more than a chapter under my belt. And on other occasions, because of slow afternoons or early bed times or just plain ol’ quiet gaps within the string of our day, I’ll have the grand opportunity to curl up and really sink into a book. Times that I get to do this are gold, and with three little ones, quite rare. So I have been pretty deliberate with my time throughout the past month or so, making sure I get a chance to do what I love, and that is read. Throughout the course of my literary adventures, I’m going to share with you what we’re reading. Now I say “we’re” but really it’s just me. Andrew just happens to be reading about beer making, his current hobby, so I threw that pronoun in there for good measure. But if he happens to be in the middle of good book, I’ll gladly share it, too!
- The Way of the Happy Woman by Sarah Avant Stover // A delightful book for woman about how to live the best year of their lives by living intentionally and with gentle curiosity. Throughout the course of the past year, I have had friends and acquaintances recommend this read to me, and it has quickly become one of the most interesting and best books I’ve picked up in a long time. It is organized seasonally, thus fitting in well with our midwestern weather patterns, which I quite like. Chalk full of ideas and inspiration, this book is one that I’ll have near me for many months to come. I have just finished the section of autumn, and am doing my best to apply ideas from this book to parts of my life I feel need a good polishing.
- Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal // I literally cracked this one open for the first time last night after pulling our fluffy duvet up and sinking into bed around nine. Bedtime before ten is a dream, no? I have been reading so much nonfiction these days, my thirst for a delicious novel had been needing a good quench. This one is about food, a vibrant theme coursing through many of the books on our shelfs. I have so many beautiful food memories from time spent growing up in the midwest, meatloaf suppers and apple pie desserts made by my grandma Mary Jeanne. My hope is that this charming book will take me back to those special places in my memories, and further my knowledge of midwestern culture through stories about what happens in the kitchen.
- Rising Strong by Brene Brown // So I underlined the whole book. Really, I did. I cannot recommend this one enough, for it has given me so many tools as a wife, mother, friend and daughter, to be my best self and a better communicator. It is about the getting up after a hard fall, and then some. You owe it to yourself to read this one, and believe me, you’ll fly through it and come out with a big smile as if Brene has given you a hug herself. Brown 2016?
- Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert // So apparently Liz and Brene are besties? Instagram has taught me this. Liz’s book is about creating beyond fear and bringing forth the treasures that live inside us. It’s written in a conversational tone, which I wholeheartedly love and really appreciate. It has been a pleasant read from the start. I am still in the middle of this one, and per usual, my ink pen has been scribbling away in the margins, starring and circling and arrowing like a fiend.
- The Complete Joy of Home Brewing Fourth ed. by Charlie Papazian // Andrew is on a homebrew kick and is learning the art of making his own beer, which currently, lives in two big glass kegs in our basement. He is teaching himself and learning as he goes, with hopes to have some yummy ale for us to drink on Thanksgiving. Most nights before bed he’ll read over a few pages, and so far, he has told me that this book has done a great job covering the basics and then some. I am excited because I do love a good pale ale, especially during football season.