A Walk In The Woods by Bill Bryson
I will pretty much read anything this man writes; he is my favorite travel writer. For this book, he attempted to walk the Appalachian Trail, and describes in detail what it was like to plan for it and then actually attempt it. It was unexpectedly hilarious and also extremely informative about trail's history and surrounding ecology.
Radio Player One by Ernest Kline
I heard this book recommended on this podcast (which is so fun to listen to but I have to pace myself because my book list now is already miles long) and had put it on my Overdrive waitlist ages ago, forgot about it and was happily surprised to discover when it did come in a couple of weeks ago. The story takes place in the year 2044 and the story starts when James Halliday, the creator of Oasis - the virtual reality world they inhabit- dies without an heir but with an elaborate challenge of finding an egg. Whoever finds the egg is the winner and the heir of his huge fortune. It is a fun construct and I enjoyed reading it but it reads like a movie which has its obvious perks and failings. It turns out the book is going to be made into a movie (Steven Spielberg is attached) and the author started off as a screenwriter, which is probably why the book felt as it did.
All Things Cease to Appear by Elizabeth Brundage
A friend recommended this one and I'm glad she did, it's an eery mystery about a murder, a marriage, a farm, and two different families. Besides the intrigue of mystery, the book is written well so I'm happily feeling the creeps while I read this one.
Road Back To You by Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile
You guys...Enneagrams, I'm into it. After years of ignoring it, I finally gave in and now I'm in deep. I listened to an episode of the Liturgist Podcast (recommended to me also by Lisa!) with Ian Cron and Suzanne Stabile which does a great job of introducing the concept, the nine different personality types, and explaining the purpose of it. Ian and Suzanne have their own podcast called Road Back to You, and this here is their book with the same name. There are many reasons why the Enneagram (an ancient personality type system) is appealing to me: I like how it acknowledges the fluidity of personality, how it recognizes that personalities can go to a place of stress or strength, and I really like how it focuses on the motivation behind our action. It makes you think about how you are wired and what truly drives you. I've always known certain things about myself, but it was eye-opening to realize that other people in my personality type (a 7) are motivated by similar things. It is also a good tool for relationships because you can learn about what motivates others who are different from you. This book does a great job of further explaining things that were previously sketched out about each personality type, and it is a l fast read.
The book ends with John O'Donohue's Blessing for Solitude, which I'll include below. I dare you to read it imagining that someone is saying this blessing over you (or even say it aloud in front of a mirror!). It is powerful:
"May you recognize in your life the presence, power, and light of your soul.
May you realize that you are never alone, that your soul in its brightness and belonging connects you intimately with the rhythm of the universe.
May you have respect for your individuality and difference.
May you realize that the shape of your soul is unique, that you have a special destiny here, that behind the facade of your life there is something beautiful and eternal happening.
May you learn to see your self with the same delight, pride, and expectation with which God sees you in every moment."