Tag Archives: the gifts of imperfection

Top 12 Book Club Reads

I started a book club in 2013 and invited several bibliophiles to join me so that I would read at least 1 book per month for pleasure.

Having spent the previous couple decades teaching English, I was an avid reader, but I found that most of my reading time was spent on A) reading student essays (no comment) and B) re-reading the same books again and again because I was teaching them and had forgotten the little details of plot. Trust me, no matter how good something is, after about 5 readings of The Odyssey, Animal Farm, Mythology, etc., you’d like to move on to something else. Especially something you’re not making study guide or test questions for. (Yes, I know I just ended a sentence with a preposition. I’m blowing away the confines of grammar today.)

I won’t tire you with our whole book list (you can go to my Pinterest to see the recommended reads)–I thought I’d give you a short list of my favorites so far, in case you’re compiling your own book club list for this year. These are all discussable, and many have book club questions/prompts in the back or online. I’m giving you 12–one book per month of great fiction and non-fiction (we generally don’t read Christian living titles for book club because we all do that on our own). You will laugh, cry, and think about them for days. You will grow.

(Just what a good book should compel you do.)

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Daring Greatly

Okay, I’ve been reading about vulnerability.

I had intended to read the book Daring Greatly several times this year, but coincidentally, I picked it up last week, during one of the most vulnerable periods of my life–the week after my mother died. If you believe in Fate or in God, the coincidence makes complete sense. Vulnerability scares me, and I’m willing to admit it. It scares you, too. It’s why we lives such busy lives–why we’d rather text than call and why we’d rather email than speak face to face. We’re that scared.

Vulnerability feels like out-of-control, exposed weakness–like you’re on a runaway train, careening toward a cliff, bound hand and foot, and gagged. Oh, yeah, and you’re naked and out-of-shape. And there’s no John Wayne/Harrison Ford/Tom Cruise character to rescue you from certain death at the last second. (Which is actually somewhat of a relief, since you are naked.)51CnRqFnS5L._AC_US160_

I am reading Daring Greatly by Brené Brown, the great shame researcher that you read because everyone recommends her and you don’t think you have shame issues. Then she pounds your head into the pavement until you get her point, and remarkably, you don’t have a headache afterwards. She’s that crazy good.

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