What I’ve Read Lately

Lately is a broad term here, dear readers, as I haven’t been faithful to update this little corner of the internet as much as I’d like. But as I wrote in my last post on bookstores, I have found a lot of peace in transition through books and reading.

As life has slowed and settled into a rhythm here in North Carolina I’ve found yet again that books have a grounding and staying power that is very important to me. I thought I’d share a few reads from the last few months that I’ve enjoyed, and in turn I simply ask that you share with me! The only thing I love more than giving book recommendations is receiving them.


  1. The Library Book by Susan Orlean. My aunt gave me this book for my birthday, and I absolutely loved it. I love the library in the same way my dog loves peanut butter, although with less salivating. I feel joy even looking at its presence. Being there makes me feel peace. This book was about the Los Angeles library specifically, and also recounted an arson fire there that took place in 1986 and one of the major suspects. It taught me so much about what libraries offer to communities. One of the biggest takeaways was this: the library is the only place that you can go and nothing is expected of you. You don’t have to ascribe to a certain belief system, belong to a club, turn in homework, or buy something. You can just be there. I love that.
  2. If You Lived Here, I’d Know Your Name by Heather Lende. I picked up this book at the wonderful little indie bookstore in Haines, Alaska, hours before we boarded a ferry and left the state. I read this book on the ferry and I loved it very much. I don’t know if my love of it was clouded by instant nostalgia for this place we called home for so long, but if you are curious about what life in Alaska is really like, this is a great start.
  3. Take Good Care of the Garden and the Dogs, also by Heather Lende. This book is a continuation of If You Lived Here, I’d Know Your Name. I love Lende’s writing style, and she was a columnist at the Anchorage Daily News and also on NPR. She’s clever and thoughtful. I loved both her books.
  4. North by Scott Jurek. In the running community Scott Jurek is a familiar name as he is a famous ultramarathoner. A colleague in Alaska gave me this book in our secret Santa gift exchange, and it was really fascinating. He recounts his story of trying to break the fastest known time for completing the Appalachian Trail and how his wife Jenny crewed for him. It was really well-written and enjoyable.
  5. Aimless Love by Billy Collins. One of my intentions for 2019 is to read more poetry. Billy Collins is one of my favorites. He was the poet laureate of the U.S. a few years ago, and his poetry is a gift. This book is delightful.
  6. The Life of the Beloved by Henri Nouwen. Henri Nouwen was a Catholic priest who lived and ministered to adults with developmental disabilities, and this book chronicles his musings on the spiritual life of those beloved by God. It was a beautiful book about God’s unfailing love and I really enjoyed it.

So as spring slowly unfurls, wherever you are, pick up that book you’ve been thinking of reading. I promise you won’t regret it. Read on, dear ones.

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