36 books finished in 2017: Daring Greatly

36 books finished in 2017

This is embarrassing.

I enrolled in an online course with Brene Brown in January 2016. It was a semester-long endeavor that included reading this book and her next one, Rising Strong.

It’s been a while, but I think the main reason I fizzled out in the course was that I wasn’t able to connect with the stories in the discussion section. I realized that…everyone else there was probably my mother’s age or older. And then, maybe I started to wonder if it was incredibly uncool? Either way, I stopped keeping up with the online course (though the content is still available to me, and I will probably take advantage of the videos and application tools at some point). Maybe it was guilt over underachieving as a student that kept me from picking up the book again, but it had been sitting next to my nightstand for MORE THAN A YEAR, even after a move, with only a quarter of the book left to read.

So I brought it on vacation, and ended up finishing the book in the airport on the way to Florida.

My inability to read this book quickly is in no way related to how awesome the book’s insights happen to be. I’m still a superhuge Brene Brown fangirl, and still harbor a dream of following her career path (the research part, not the speaker/author part), but I am so glad to finally finish this book.

ON TO THE NEXT ONE. Maybe I’ll be able to finish it in less than a year?

35 books finished in 2017: Loving the Stranger

35 books finished in 2017

We have a fledgling refugee ministry at our church – we’ve mostly been doing a lot of learning and listening, discovering what resources already exist in our community (SO MANY) and also trying to learn what it might look like for us to support/enhance some of this work. But also, we’re having a lot of conversations about, you know, spending actual time with refugees. (Which can sometimes be the crucial piece that is often left out of the brainstorming and structure-building, etc.)

The staff member in charge of this group brought a pile of books that had been recommended to him, and asked people to read and report back. I’ve already finished one, and this is the second I picked up.

This is the ideal book for any Christian who’s interested in caring for refugees but feeling really intimidated. It’s super-practical (“Here are suggested topics of conversation for getting to know someone from another culture.”) and very warm and encouraging – and she starts the book with “This is what the Bible says about caring for strangers, and here are some verses explaining God’s heart for them.”

Since it’s such an easy read and so practical, I strongly recommend it to anyone who cares about this topic.