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.

So.

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?