Beach Reads

on May 3, 2013 in I heart books. with 11 comments by

le beach

(Stole this pic from my friend Nichole…. thanks, Nic!) 

I’ve spent the week recovering from the beach, returning to real life of writing and emailing, crying in my cereal, and spending money at Home Depot. The guest room in our place needed a face lift and since I’m on a book deadline, obviously home improvement projects need to be high on the to-do list.

Yeah right.

While at the beach, I blitzed through a couple of books. You see, I love laying in the shade and reading for hours. And hours. In the shade. Because sister over here is as pale as one can imagine and no matter what I do, I am either red or white. Never brown. Red or white. White to red and back to white, never passing by tan.


The shade at the beach it shall be. And then I read.

And I know I talk about books a lot but that really and truly is because I love them so much. It’s one of the things I talk about in real life as much as I talk about online. In fact, I just hung up from an hour long hilarious and moving and wonderful catch-up chat with Logan and we talked at length about books. Because, well, we love them.

So here’s what I read last weekend at the beach:

Bread & Wine by Shauna Niequist

So Shauna Niequist and I share an editor at Zondervan and a few weeks ago, that amazing editor said, “Annie. Do not write the book for me until you read Shauna’s new book.” Well, lucky for her I’m too scared to write it anyways, so it gave me a little time to finish Bread & Wine. I read it more slowly than I planned because I wanted to enjoy the read and learn from Shauna as an author at the same time. She writes short yet moving essays and then offers recipes and it is just a great great book. And the recipes? Awesome.

Moral Revolution by Kris Vallotton

Being in college ministry in 2013 allows for a lot of conversations about a lot of topics. Ahem. So. I needed a resource to share with students in the area of sexual purity. A friend of mine that is in full time college ministry that I HIGHLY respect recommended this one, so I grabbed a copy for me to read first before sending it along to college students. Honestly, I think the really moving and inspirational parts are in the first third of the book, but it is a good read and the best resource I’ve seen lately for this topic.

And oh this topic and college students. Insert deep sigh and “help us Lord” and headshake. Bless them and protect them, Jesus. Someday when I’m in the mood to PREACH on the blog I will PREACH about how Satan is targeting young adults, particularly in the area of sexual purity, in ways that are unprecedented. It is sickening and awful and yet reminds me that HE IS SO SCARED OF THE NEXT GENERATION AND WHAT THEY COULD DO FOR JESUS THAT HE WANTS TO DESTROY THEM ALL. BUT HE WILL NOT WIN.

Okay, I preached a bit. Sorry.

Freefall to Fly by Rebekah Lyons

So I didn’t know Rebekah Lyons before this book but now I refuse to not know her for the rest of our days. Maybe it’s because she moved from Atlanta and so did I. Maybe it’s because she lives in New York City and there is a part of my heart that has always wanted to have an address there. Maybe it is just because of the beautiful font on the cover and throughout the book that makes it a piece of art. But I’m guessing I love this book most of all for the story and the writing. It is moving and brought tears to my eyes but all the while it also is written with such a blanket of peace that you are calm when the story isn’t. Incredible. Buy it.

So I read books. And hung out with my girlfriends. And dug my feet into sand. And drank fruity drinks while telling myself they were healthy because it is fruit. And I did not get one square inch of sunburn thank you very much.

So what have you been reading lately?


  1. Hillary
    posted on May 03, 2013 at 12:13 PM  |  reply

    I’m waiting for a book called “Get Lost: Your Guide to Finding True Love”. I’m not very keen on the title, but whatevs. I was listening to Focus on the Family the other day and the author was on talking our age group of single-ness and how you should be preparing yourself for your future spouse. The things they were talking about were really fantastic, so I ordered the book promptly. Should be getting it in the mail today 🙂

    • posted on May 03, 2013 at 12:52 PM  |  reply

      It’s great! I actually endorsed it! The author sent it to me and I really liked it. Can’t wait to hear your thoughts.

  2. KA
    posted on May 03, 2013 at 12:42 PM  |  reply

    Um, please preach it, Annie. Because the sexual purity issue isn’t something just college students struggle with, but those of us outside of college as well. I’m 27, my roommate is 28, and as I’m engaged and she’s in a serious relationship (and both of us are Christians committed to sexual purity in our relationships), we have had many a conversation about how we were SO unprepared for how much of a struggle this is, even if your partner is just as committed to it as you are.

    It seems like our generation is caught in this area where all anyone ever said to us was “wait” and we said “ok, we will” and then realize “DANG I wish I had been told how difficult this would be!” So we shrug and give in, or stumble slightly, or white-knuckle our way through while pretending it’s not hard, because clearly something is wrong that it’s this hard, because no one ever mentioned that. There has got to be a way for this to be addressed in a way that’s not going to heap judgment on those who’ve made mistakes, and that’s going to be useful to those trying not to make mistakes. I agree with you that this is a serious issue, and it needs attention. It needs for people to agree that sexual purity is still valuable, but that your value isn’t wrapped up in it.

    Sorry to rant. Clearly this is something weighing heavily on the mind, and honestly I feel a sense of desperation about it.

    • posted on May 03, 2013 at 12:52 PM  |  reply

      Yes and amen. To all of it.

  3. Mariah
    posted on May 03, 2013 at 2:37 PM  |  reply

    I love Kris Vallotton so much! Actually anyone from Bethel is pretty amazing. We got the Moral Revolution cd series for our youth group and it was incredible! It was a Moral Revolution conference and let me tell you Kris is so stinking funny to listen to! You would love it! You can also go and check the podcasts and he’s on there sometimes. He is one of my favorite preachers to listen to because he is so funny but at the same time so full of truth and boldness. It’s refreshing.

  4. Bailey Cate
    posted on May 03, 2013 at 2:42 PM  |  reply

    I’m reading Twelve Clean Pages by Nika Maples. She came and spoke in chapel at my school one day and her book is unbelievable! Highly recommended.

  5. Catherine
    posted on May 03, 2013 at 4:46 PM  |  reply

    I’m currently in the middle of three great books. (a little ambitious to take on three at once, but sometimes it happens!) I’m reading You’re Already Amazing by Holley Gerth as part of a book club of sorts with some ladies from church, and I’m also reading on my own A Year of Biblical Womanhood by Rachel Held Evans, and A Circle of Quiet by Madeleine L’Engle. All very different, but very good!

  6. posted on May 04, 2013 at 2:17 AM  |  reply

    From one pale girl to another thank you for the post! I just posted my summer reading list of fun books today. Now I have a few to add to my meaningful reading list. What are you writing? Amy

  7. posted on May 04, 2013 at 6:30 PM  |  reply

    I also love to read in the shade, because I am sooo white. I’m reading a book for fun called The Secret Language of Bees by Laurie King. It is a fun mystery. Not too much serious right now as I am getting ready to head back to Kenya from my furlough. So, busy packing, sorting and trying to organize things to leave here – but I need a little down time to read because I love it so much!

  8. posted on May 05, 2013 at 8:54 AM  |  reply

    I LOVE this post. I also love your words about ‘Freefall to Fly’, I read it this month. This sentence – ‘it also is written with such a blanket of peace that you are calm when the story isn’t’ is the PERFECT descriptor of this book for me – thank you! 🙂

  9. posted on May 05, 2013 at 2:17 PM  |  reply

    I love what you said about satan being afraid of the next generation. So true. I’m proud of you for all the work you do to support and love on your girls.

    I loved “Start With Why” – a must read! Also, really enjoyed Becca Stevens’ book “Snake Oil” and then also “Torn” by Justin Lee. It’s been a season of great books!

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