I read 4-8 books a month on average, the first four in preparing to interview my radio guests on ATS LIVE. The second four come from the ever growing toobie mountain I’m voluntarily erecting. (I don’t know if Lisa Wingate coined the word toobie as in “to be read” list or not, but I love it and I’m officially adopting it.) Without further ado, here’s my reading rundown.
Fiction: It’s going to sound patronizing, but it’s the truth. My great fiction reads for the past year have to include Dandelion Summer by Lisa Wingate, Sunrise on the Battery by Beth Webb Hart, Into the Free by Julie Cantrell and The Wedding Dress by Rachel Hauck. I would put these stories alongside any fiction out there. The same can be said for The Guest Book by Marybeth Whalen (who is so missed around here, yes?) and Beyond Molasses Creek by the great storyteller, Nicole Seitz.
Another novel to leave a lasting impression on this belle was Soul’s Gate by James L. Rubart. It’s a mind-stretching look into the supernatural. Rubart’s characters became flesh and blood people who have set up permanent residence in my memory bank. Don’t start reading it unless you can finish it in one sitting, or two. It’s that kind of book.
Nonfiction: Mercy. Here’s a category that may be even harder for me to condense. I read an awful lot of Nonfiction. I’ll list a few winners and elaborate on one in particular. I loved Praying for Strangers by River Jordan, How to Kill Eleven Million People by Andy Andrews, Making Sense When Life Doesn’t by Cecil Murphy, and A Silence of Mockingbirds by Karen Zacharias.
This brings me to Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankel, noted Austrian author, neurologist, psychiatrist, and survivor of the brutal concentration camps of the Holocaust. If I could make the rules, everyone would have to read at last one book on the Holocaust each year. I began underlining thoughts and lessons I wanted to remember and ended up coloring the majority of the book. This, however, may have been my favorite takeaway. Dr. Frankel wrote, “Every thing can be taken from a man or a woman but the freedom to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances.” Well said, Dr. Frankel. I personally believe this choice to be the great gift of God. Let’s choose well.
Shellie Rushing Tomlinson consumes words upon words from her home on the banks of Lake Providence, LA and shares the charm, heritage and wackiness of the south on her website, radio show, and in her own books.