“We read to know we are not alone.” — William Nicholson
Looking for a good book to cozy up with? Look no further. I’m so excited about my October library list because I’ve been meaning to read the books on it for a while now. The unexpected theme is “faith-based self-improvement” and truth be told, these are my favorite kind of books because they tend to be eye-opening and transformative. So, let’s dive in.
1: Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst
Though I’ve had my eye on this book for a while, I’m glad I’ve waited to read it until now. The byline of Uninvited says “living loved when you feel less than, left out and lonely,” and honestly, that’s a timely caption for the season I’m wading through.
This year has led to a lot of solo time, and though I’m navigating it by pouring into myself, there are still times when I feel way more alone and maybe forgotten about than I’d like.
Lysa dedicates the book to “anyone who has felt a sting of rejection, grieved the deep loss of a relationship… or questioned whether God has any good plans for you at all.” So, basically all of us. She bravely shares her struggles so that we can navigate ours with strength and truth.
Uninvited shows us how even in the midst of rejection or feelings of unworthiness we can steady our soul on Him and live from a place of confidence, hope, and belonging.
2: Braving the Wilderness by Brené Brown
If you know me, you know I’m a huge Brené Brown fan. In addition to watching her Ted Talks, I’ve read Daring Greatly and Rising Strong. That said, I am so looking forward to reading her latest release, Braving the Wilderness. This book is about the quest for true belonging and the courage to stand alone.
What I love about Brené is that she’s a scientist. She approaches abstract concepts like courage, vulnerability, love, fear, shame, and belonging from a place of solid and quantifiable research. Her findings are not only full of truth but can truly transform the way we see ourselves and others.
This particular book walks us through the wilderness, “an untamed, unpredictable place of solitude and searching”. It happens to be a place of true belonging, “the bravest and most sacred place you will ever stand.”
“True belonging,” Brené writes, “requires us to believe in and belong to ourselves so fully that we can find sacredness both in being a part of something and standing alone when necessary. True belonging is a daily practice that demands integrity and authenticity. It’s a personal commitment we carry in our hearts.”
Braving the Wilderness offers us “the clarity and courage we need to find our way back to ourselves and each other,” and considering the state of the world, I think it’s a book we could all benefit from.
3: Present over Perfect by Shauna Niequist
Finally, the last book on my list is one I’ve heard so much about from so many people. Present Over Perfect is a guide for “leaving behind frantic for a simpler, more soulful way of living” and it very well may be the antidote to busyness. And trust me, we need an antidote.
As an overachiever who has lived in many a city surrounded by other overachievers, I see all too well how we glorify the state of being “busy”. We take back-to-back meetings, constant phone calls, and zero vacations. We give our families and then ourselves whatever is left over at the end of the day. All the while allowing our work to define our worth.
We don’t have to live like that. Present Over Perfect shows us how to live a life of “meaning and connection… marked by grace, love, rest, and play.” Shauna’s stories are what my friend Ashley would call “old-fashioned truth-telling” and they will encourage us to live a life where we show up and be present, instead of trying to be perfect.
What’s on your to-read list this month?
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