Walking with God through Pain and Suffering by Timothy Keller
This was an amazing read. I have been thinking a lot about suffering recently in regards to suffering in the world, suffering amongst our friends and family, and the suffering of self that is part of living in this world. We live in a society that tells us we need to alleviate and avoid suffering at all costs, without giving us tools to deal with inevitable suffering and without valuing the way suffering is one of the pivotal things to help us grow and mature. This book addresses some of the misconceptions and dives deep into what it means to suffer, how God regards and deals with suffering, and what it means to walk with others in suffering.
The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro
Reading this book was akin to being in a trance. I was drawn in by the setting and writing, but felt wary of the implications of an allegory. I had a co-worker who read this and ended up hating it but I thought of it more like a dream sequence, a watercolor painting, that you just need to embrace and go with. In that way it was enjoyable but there was some confusion about the way the figurative journey of the couple seemed to be abruptly cut short at the end that didn't make sense to me. Read it if you are remotely interested in the premise, it was a widely beloved book of 2016.
Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf
Two elderly people - Addie and Louis - who live in a small town and have both lost their spouses decide on an arrangement to sleep together, not a sexual arrangement, to stave off loneliness. The book is about their nights talking and getting to know each other. It is a short book and moves quickly- a lovely, simple and vivid picture of a small town and initiate look into these people's relationships.
Van Gogh: The Life by Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith
This is a 900-paged tome of a book about the life and work of their painter, Van Gogh. I love a well-written biography and this is that - it is compelling for its writing and it's portrayal of this time period as well as his life. My progress through this one is slow but I am really enjoying it.