In case you missed it, here’s Disney Cruise Recap I – What I Did and Disney Cruise Recap II – What I Ate.
Graduate school made me forget a little bit how much I love to read. Since I graduated one month and 9 days ago I have read 8 1/2 books. It’s been lovely. One thing I’ve never done but would love to start, is book reviews. I won’t review ALL 8 1/2 books right now. Y’all would probably get terribly bored. So I’ll start with the books I read while on the Disney Cruise. We had a lot of cool weather during our days at sea, but Lynnae and I were happy to curl up with a good book in the coffee shop overlooking the water and read the afternoon away.
I splurged with the whipped cream on my Iced Americano…it was vacation after all! That was one of our favorite little spots. Okay, to the book reviews!
Whistling in the Dark by Lesley Kagen was one that Jenna at Eat, Live, Run had reviewed. I was at the library a few days before the cruise wanting to add some fiction to my book list. Everything that my friends had recommended was not on the shelves, of course. So I quickly went through some of Jenna’s book reviews and this one caught my eye. It’s told from the perspective of a child, which I always love. And it’s set in the 50’s, I love that too. It’s a dark story with light themes and beautifully told. It’s a pretty quick read and great for beach or pool days.
Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist – Oh this book. I’m just not sure I can put it into words. It had me laughing, and crying, and considering what life is right here and right now. And what kind of wife I want to be. And friend I want to be. It was the perfect combination of faith and food. If you read one book this summer, read this one. Shauna (I’ll pretend we are on a first name basis) talks about the life and beauty that happens around the table, especially in the midst of tragedy. The best part? I got to experience that. While Lynnae and I were in Seattle, I had the opportunity to make dinner for a dear friend in her home. We lingered over dinner for a few hours. Laughing and crying. Remembering her dad who passed away in February, and stating the facts about what it’s like to be single in your late 20’s and early 30’s (they aren’t all bad but they aren’t all good). Simple pesto chicken with a side dish of every-veggie-in-the-fridge-roasted with balsamic and honey led to a beautiful, honest conversation. One that I’ll cherish for a long time. As I lay in bed that night I thought ‘that’s exactly what Shauna was talking about. I need more nights like these.’
The Walk (series) by Richard Paul Evans – To be honest, I’m not usually a fan of Christian fiction. It’s often on the cheesy side for me. I know that Christmas Shoes by Evans (and all the other Christmas things) are beloved stories, but I just can’t do them. The friend that recommended this series to me has her Masters degree in English and so I figured they must be well written. They are so well written that they read like a true story. Alan walks across the United States after losing everything in his life. So often I was convinced that these people and these towns were real (well the towns are actual places and the characters were inspired by people that Evans met on a trip he took across country to write the books). I was so captivated, after starting the book on the last day of our trip, I had finished the first book and had read the next 3 books of the series within a week. I finished the 5th and final book on my the flight to Kaua’i and was a blubbering mess in the middle of the airplane. Each book is a quick read. Definitely a great series for anyone with a permanent case of wanderlust.