Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened by Allie Brosh (3.5 stars)
A graphic memoir mostly taken from Brosh's Hyperbole and Half blog, including hilarious classics like "Dogs Don't Understand Basic Concepts Like Moving" and her very honest two-part post about depression. (My personal favorite, "Sneaky Hate Spiral," didn't make it into the book.)
Someday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham (4 stars)
Franny is a struggling young actress in NYC in the 1990s. With only six months left until her self-imposed deadline to make it big, she's under a lot of pressure, but all her hopeful career turns are dead ends. Among her assets: a rogue sense of humor, a dayplanner given to her by her loving dad, and two roommates, best friend Jane and sci-fi writer Dan. I really enjoyed this - and love that Franny has curly hair. Styling this mess in the 90s was NOT EASY.
The Land Between: Finding God in Difficult Transitions by Jeff Manion (4.5 stars)
Jeff Manion is a pastor who's been through a lot in both his career and his personal life. Using the Israelites' wandering in the desert as a framework, he writes frankly and encouragingly about long desert periods in our lives, and the difference between "grumbling" against God and honestly bringing our grief and frustration to Him, while maintaining that he hasn't mastered any of this himself. I didn't expect to get so much out of this book, but it helped me tremendously. Highly recommended for anyone losing hope or feeling overwhelmed.
Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson (4.5 stars)
For several years, quiet Emily has been happy to cruise in the shadow of her free-spirited best friend, Sloane. Then Sloane suddenly disappears, leaving her with nothing but a list of daring tasks to complete over the summer. As Emily works her way down the list, a fun new life starts to unfold... but where did her best friend go?
All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven (4.5 stars)
I reviewed this here.
Thrashing About with God: Finding Faith on the Other Side of Everything by Mandy Steward (5 stars)
This book has been sitting in the to-read pile next to my bed for at least a year, and I'm glad, because it was meant for me right now. In these reflective essays (many taken from her blog, which I haven't yet read), Mandy discusses her faith burnout after a lifetime in the Church. In a sense, she tore down the scaffolding of her relationship with God and started over from scratch - terrified, but trusting that God's love was big enough to hold her as she found a new way. While I'm not in exactly the same place she was, we're on the same page about a lot of things (especially the grace to "let" everyone have a different path), and her words validated things I've learned. I seriously stopped highlighting in the third chapter because I was highlighting everything. If you have a "Wholehearted library" of sorts like I do, this is a worthy addition.
Books for December: 6
2014 FINAL TOTAL: 75!!! I didn't really set a goal, but 75 is a respectable number. Yay!