1. Scary Close by Donald Miller I'm such a Donald Miller fan. So much so, that I find myself giving away my copies of his books to friends frequently. I've reordered Scary Close twice, thanks to this tendency and wouldn't be surprised if I had to order it again. It's a book about relationships, simply. I think I stand with the vast majority when I confess this is a topic of interest. Like every classic Miller book, it's perfect parts story and truth. Reading this book feels like a conversation-a really good conversation.
2. Bright Dead Things: Poems by Ada Limón The concept of allowing a place to become our identity is a concept I've been thinking about a lot this year. Ada Limón, in her genius, speaks directly to this in her National Book Award nominated collection. Moving from New York to rural Kentucky, losing a parent, and aging are three of the pillars of the collection. The poems were presented in a certain, lived through air. Limón is quickly moving up my list of favorite female poets. I'm excited to get my hands on more of her work.
3. Seven Brief Lessons on Physics by Carlo Rovelli Sometimes in reading, I can easily slip into a comfort zone. I have to be intentional about picking up books that will push outside of female written, French, food memoir and every Annie DIllard book ever written. Reading this book wasn't easy, or really enjoyable at every point, but it was fascinating and thought provoking. For someone who hardly passed chemistry, that's saying a lot It left me in awe, lingering in my memory for weeks after I finished it.
4. Hallelujah Anyway: Rediscovering Mercy by Anne Lamott Yes, I pre-ordered this book. Yes, I blocked off the entire afternoon it came out to devour it. Yes, I adore Anne Lamott that much. The timing of the book, in the face of current events, is part of its magic. Of course, the subject matter is perennial, but it speaks really poignantly right now. This is another book that feels like a conversation-one with that aunt you adore, sitting on the porch with iced tea, asking questions and maybe not even arriving at answers but that feeling of understanding and grace.
5. A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway Ruby had advised me to hold off on reading this book until I was in Paris, but I couldn't wait any longer. I read The Garden of Eden around this time last year; something about Hemingway helps me to transition from winter to spring. The readability of this book shocked me. I found myself lost in the characters and plot and dreaded reaching the last chapter. If you're intimidated by Hemingway, which I know I was post high school The Old Man and The Sea, this is a great place to start. Bonus points for watching Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris after you finish.