One of my favorite bloggers, Anne Bogel of Modern Mrs. Darcy, is hosting a link up asking her readers to share on their own blogs what their favorite reads were from 2013. I couldn’t miss out on the chance to share some of my favorites with my readers and hers so without further ado here are my top five favorite reads from 2013 (in no particular order).
1. This I Believe edited by Jay Allison and Dan Gediman: This was one of the books featured at the orientation, transition & retention conference I attended in November. This I Believe is a collection of essays from the NPR radio series with the same name. Each short essay provides the writer’s personal take on the prompt “this I believe”. Some are witty, most are serious and thought provoking. It’s an easy read that makes you reflect on your own deeply rooted beliefs. This is the first book, there is a second volume that I have not yet read but plan to soon.
2. The Distance Between Us by Reyna Grande: This is another of the books featured at the same conference I mentioned above. The Distance Between Us is an excellent and vivid look into the author’s story about her family’s immigration to America from Mexico and the impact that the process had on their lives. This is a hot button debate issue in Washington and one that I think most Americans probably truly know little about (myself included). It was very interesting to read about the promise America has to those living in absolute poverty and how the immigration experience can completely alter a person’s life. I was sad to reach the end of the book and it left me thankful for the privilege that I take for granted that being born in the US allows.
3. Quiet by Susan Cain: I would venture to say that anyone who has read Quiet will have it on his or her favorites list. This New York Times bestseller highlights the importance of introverts in work settings, groups, families and classrooms. It also addresses the “extrovert ideal” that is prevalent in American culture. I love that it portrays Introverts from what I consider to be a well rounded, holistic approach. As an introvert, it seems that whenever I hear people “like me” described it’s as a clinical psychosis. There is a unique giftedness that introversion brings and Cain discusses that clearly and scholarly for everyone to read. Bonus points, Quiet is currently $2.99 on Kindle.
4. A Pearl in the Storm by Tori Murden McClure: I’ve talked about this one before so I won’t be too long winded. A Pearl in the Storm details Tori Murden McClure’s attempt to row across the ocean and the lessons she learned along the way. It’s a captivating book that I had a difficult time putting down.
5. Bittersweet by Shauna Niequist: I have mentioned before how much I love Shauna. Her honest and down to earth approach to writing is captivating and a breath of fresh air. Bittersweet is aptly subtitled: “Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way” and that is the best description of the book. Shauna shares stories from a very bittersweet season in her own life and the lessons gleaned from it. I think anyone would have a hard time not relating to the book and enjoying it.
One of my goals for 2014 is to read more often. I’d love to know what your favorites were in 2013 and why I should add them to my 2014 to read list!
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