I’ve got 20 books here for you – some I’ve read, some I’m reading, some I hope to read, and some I have to read. Let’s get straight to it, shall we?

The books I link to here are affiliate links so if you grab one through my link, I’ll receive a small percentage at no extra cost to you. These are things I have to tell you. Now on to the sad tale of this first book.

We’ll start with the saddest book photo of all: the book that wasn’t meant to be (yet).

I took this photo of The Cruelest Month by Louise Penny in my driveway, right before I drove to the library to return it. I checked it out in April, renewed it in May, and finally returned it in late June.

I never had a chance to read it.

Here’s why.

It’s because I had 10 weeks to read these books for school and that leaves no room for Louise Penny. Seriously, I am thrilled to be learning this stuff but I do miss the extra space I used to have for fiction reading.

But do you see that stack of brilliant books?! Some have asked if I could list the books I’m reading for my Master’s program. This is only the summer stack, but here are the details in case you want to check them out for yourself. So here are the details of the books pictured above.

Books I’m Reading for School

For those interested, these books are for two classes: Intro to Spiritual Direction and History and Traditions of Christian Spiritual Formation.

When the Soul Listens: Finding Rest and Direction in Contemplative Prayer by Jan Johnson

Spiritual Theology: A Systematic Study of the Christian Life by Simon Chan

Streams of Living Water: Celebrating the Great Traditions of Christian Faith by Richard J. Foster

The Enneagram and Spiritual Direction: Nine Paths to Spiritual Guidance by James Empereur

Real Power: Stages of Personal Power in Organizations by Janet O. Hagberg

Surrender to Love: Discovering the Heart of Christian Spirituality by David G. Benner

The Dusty Ones: Why Wandering Deepens Your Faith by A.J. Swoboda

Better Conversations: Coaching Ourselves and Each Other to be More Credible, Caring, and Connected by Jim Knight


Books I Found at the Goodwill

In spite of myself, when visiting the Goodwill, I still manage to wander past the color coded t-shirts and four aisles of colorful, misfit glassware and end up in front of the dusty shelves, searching for a good find, imaging my future self with time to spare and a book in hand.

Here’s what my most recent trip came up with:

A Year by the Sea: Thoughts of an Unfinished Woman by Joan Anderson — I’m obsessed with books about the sea lately.

Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen — Love this author and I thought I had read this one but then when I read the back cover (something I usually try to avoid on fiction books – they give away too much!) I realized maybe I haven’t read it after all.

Black Heels to Tractor Wheels: A Love Story by Ree Drummond — Remember when Ree told this whole story via small installments on her blog?! It was so exciting to see what was coming next. I never read the book that resulted from that blog series. Hence, this purchase.

The Summer Before the War: A Novel by Helen Simonson — A classic case of I think I’ve heard good things about this book. I’ve at least seen the cover everywhere. I think I’ll get it just incase. As it turns out, the place I’ve seen the cover is on my bookshelf. In my house. In the paperback version. Oh well.


Books that Haven’t Come Out Yet

These books aren’t released yet, but you can pre-order all of them now. Of these, I’ve read The Ministry of Ordinary Places  so far and look forward to the other two!

Stretched Too Thin: How Working Moms Can Lose the Guilt, Work Smarter, and Thrive by Jessica Turner — One of the smartest, most efficient women I know in real life. Releases September 18, 2018.

The Ministry of Ordinary Places: Waking up to God’s Goodness Around You by Shannan Martin — You will hear me say more words about this one soon – on how to be a neighbor and love those whom God has brought near to us. Suh. Gud. Releases October 9, 2018.

A Light So Lovely: The Spiritual Legacy of Madeleine L’Engle, Author of A Wrinkle In Time by Sarah Arthur — First, this cover is gorgeous and second, it’s all about Madeleine so naturally I love it already. And we’re hosting the author as a teacher inside hope*writers in late August. I can’t wait! Releases August 7, 2018.


Books I Can’t Wait to Read Once I No Longer Have Assignments

One of my favorite lists to make lately is a list of books I want to read after graduation (May 2019!) Here are four of the books on my ever growing list:

Bel Canto by Ann Patchett — I’ve never read any of Ann Patchett’s fiction. I think I’ll start with this one next summer. Next summer!

I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown – I probably won’t wait until after graduation for this one. I may just read it one of these weekends because I cheated and read the first few pages and had to pry it out of my own hands to put it down.

Holy Hustle: Embracing a Work-Hard, Rest-Well Life by Crystal Stine – This is one of those books I’ve been looking forward to for a while as Crystal is a friend who is passionate about this sacred work of holy hustle, two words that don’t often go together. Can’t wait to see how she unpacks them for us.

Hannah Coulter by Wendell Berry – After I finished Jayber Crow, I’ve wanted to read Hannah Coulter. In fact, many people tole me they started with Hannah first. I found this copy at a church book sale and it made my whole week.

And a bonus book I have to mention because I’m so excited about it is one I’ve already read, lived, and endorsed.

It’s my sister’s newest Cozy Minimalist Home: More Style, Less Stuff.

This book helped me understand not only why certain things in my house didn’t look right but how to fix them, too – all with more style and less stuff.

You can  pre-order it now and it releases October 23, 2018.

If you see this post on Amazon Prime Day (7/16)  you can use the code PRIMEBOOKS18 for $5 off a 20 dollar book order. 

There you have it, the 20 books on my shelf this summer. I mean, I have more than 20 books on my actual shelves, but these are the ones most recently read, found and/or planned for.

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