Winter Reads

I’ve just gotten through a few great books. They were deeper reads, so as winter moves in, I decided I wanted a much lighter book next. I just picked up Tina Fey’s Bossy Pants. After reading the first chapter I am convinced it’ll be just what I need. Below are the books I think are worth digging into this winter.

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Homegoing by Yaa Gyaasi was brilliant. This historical fiction is about two half sisters who never meet, and are born into different tribes in Africa, just as the slave trade is becoming a major part of the countries landscape. The story is about love, luck, culture and belonging. Gyasi highlights a theme I’ve read about time and again – the idea that every small decision we make impacts the long term trajectory of our life and where we end up. This short book made me think twice about the very really struggle so many “African Americans” feel concerning their identity. Many years after slavery had been abolished, the descendants of the original characters in the book find homes in America, but still somehow all feel displaced and disconnected. It was astonishingly sad, but a really important read.

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Never Unfriended, by Lisa-Jo Baker, is another book I have thought about often since reading it. Baker is brutally honest about what it takes to be in honest and real female friendship. She doesn’t shy away from tackling tough topics. I felt a knot in my heart reading as I realized how often I have acted out of fear, insecurity, and jealousy when it comes to female friendship. This book is a call to arms – encouraging us all to live authentically – knowing that real friends worth keeping will know us fully and love us despite our flaws and fears. It’s also a great reminder that we never truly know what another person is living through, and because of that we have to have soft hearts and forgiveness at our core. We need to offer those things and we need to accept them from others too. Baker is a Christian author, so the key message is that if we approach friendship the way Jesus would, it creates a lot more space for joy, grace, and longevity in our relationships.

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Along The Infinite Sea, by Beatriz Williams, came out a few years back, and it had been on my “book list” that I keep in my phone since then. I have read a lot of other books Williams wrote, but this one was my favorite. While fiction, her books are packed with accurate historical references and details. In this World War II drama there is love, deceit, death, and redemption. It was a total page-turner that I read quickly in two drives back and forth to Vermont. It would be a great one for the winter break!

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