Friday, September 6, 2013

Summer Reading

To me, one of the hallmarks of summer is spending time reading great novels {especially if you can do it with your feet sinking into the sand at the beach}. While a lot of my reading has been completed on the sofa this summer, I have enjoyed quite a selection of fiction and non-fiction books. Here are my favorites so far:

Same Kind of Different as Me: A Modern-Day Slave, an International Art Dealer, and the Unlikely Woman Who Bound Them Together 
by Ron Hall, Denver Moore, and Lynn Vincent
My brother's girlfriend gave me this book for Christmas with simple instructions - just read it. This novel has been described as "so incredible a story that no one could dream it". Ironically, until the VERY end, I missed that this was actually a TRUE story. Wow. The story of 2 unlikely friends and what it looks like to really get involved in your community. I seriously thought I was reading fiction, but the fact that it is a true story makes it even more powerful.

War Brides
by Helen Bryan
This one is fiction, but I really enjoyed the story. It follows 4 women in Crowmarsh Parish in England during WWII. Part romance, part spy novel, part revenge, I love historical fiction and these characters enticed me for a week.

Kisses from Katie: A Story of Relentless Love and Redemption
by Katie David
Ok we're back to TRUE story. This novel originally started as a blog {see here}. One short mission trip to Uganda turns into a lifelong desire to move to Uganda, skip college, start a non-profit to aid in the education of young children, and adopt 14 little girls. This novel is a great reminder of what we can accomplish when we are open to God's call on our lives. {While I won't be up and moving to Africa, this reminded me and encouraged me in my call right where I am.}

Brain on Fire
by Susannah Cahlalan
This is another non-fiction {mostly} work that I HAD to read. Let me explain. This memoir is the account of Susannah Cahalan {a 24 year old New York Post writer} and her journey through having Anti-NMDA Antibody Receptor Encephalitis. While that description alone may not intrigue most people, I was shocked to hear someone had written a novel on their experience with this extremely rare neurological disorder. When I was a student PT one of my most challenging acute care patients was a young boy with this exact diagnosis. The disease has only been a formal diagnosis since 2007. I had to read this novel because I was itching for more information. Her story is remarkable, as is the neurological disorder's disease process. It's hard to imagine what it would be like to be this mentally and physical incapacitated for months.

All You Could Ask For 
by Mike Greenberg
First off, the author, Mike Greenberg, is "Greeny" from Mike & Mike in the Morning on ESPN. Secondly, this is a women's novel. And somehow a guy from ESPN writes an incredibly amazing women's novel {he did admit to having some help from his wife}. This fictional story follows 3 women  who ultimately discover they all have breast cancer. The character development and stories are fascinating, as is the way each woman deals with this news and diagnosis. I highly recommend this book as well!

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