January always puts me in a reading mood. Every January I try to set a reading goal. In years past, I would always try to follow some list of what books to read. But this year, I just want to make my reading choices intentional. I want to read books that are not simply for my enjoyment, but also to uplift and empower. I think a healthy balance is necessary. So, with that being said, here is my very ambitious January reading list 🙂
Spirit Check: Michelle Collins- This is a book my cousin wrote. It’s a book designed to empower and uplift and to help people on their faith journey. I’m already halfway done and am super proud of her! ( I will do a full review on it once I have completed it .)
New People: Danzy Senna
As the twentieth century draws to a close, Maria is at the start of a life she never thought possible. She and Khalil, her college sweetheart, are planning their wedding. They are the perfect couple, “King and Queen of the Racially Nebulous Prom.” Their skin is the same shade of beige. They live together in a black bohemian enclave in Brooklyn, where Khalil is riding the wave of the first dot-com boom and Maria is plugging away at her dissertation, on the Jonestown massacre. They’ve even landed a starring role in a documentary about “new people” like them, who are blurring the old boundaries as a brave new era dawns. Everything Maria knows she should want lies before her–yet she can’t stop daydreaming about another man, a poet she barely knows. As fantasy escalates to fixation, it dredges up secrets from the past and threatens to unravel not only Maria’s perfect new life but her very persona. (Goodreads.com)
This book has been on my read list for a few months. I am determined to finish it this month!!
Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living: Shauna Niequist
Written in Shauna’s warm and vulnerable style, this collection of essays focuses on the most important transformation in her life, and maybe yours too: leaving behind busyness and frantic living and rediscovering the person you were made to be. Present Over Perfect is a hand reaching out, pulling you free from the constant pressure to perform faster, push harder, and produce more, all while maintaining an exhausting image of perfection.
Shauna offers an honest account of what led her to begin this journey, and a compelling vision for an entirely new way to live: soaked in grace, rest, silence, simplicity, prayer, and connection with the people that matter most to us.In these pages, you’ll be invited to consider the landscape of your own life, and what it might look like to leave behind the pressure to be perfect and begin the life-changing practice of simply being present, in the middle of the mess and the ordinariness of life (Goodreads.com)
I have seen this book all over the place in the last few months. I am intrigued and want to see what all the hype is about.
Between The World And Me: Ta-Nehisi Coates
In a series of essays, written as a letter to his son, Coates confronts the notion of race in America and how it has shaped American history, many times at the cost of black bodies and lives. Thoughtfully exploring personal and historical events, from his time at Howard University to the Civil War, the author poignantly asks and attempts to answer difficult questions that plague modern society. In this short memoir, the “Atlantic” writer explains that the tragic examples of Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, and those killed in South Carolina are the results of a systematically constructed and maintained assault to black people–a structure that includes slavery, mass incarceration, and police brutality as part of its foundation. From his passionate and deliberate breakdown of the concept of race itself to the importance of the Black Lives Matter movement, Coates powerfully sums up the terrible history of the subjugation of black people in the United States. A timely work, this title will resonate with all teens–those who have experienced racism as well as those who have followed the recent news coverage on violence against people of color. (Goodreads.com)
I think I’m most excited to read this one. The plight of race in America ( and everywhere really) is something that weighs heavily on my heart.
The Favorite Son: Tiffany L. Warren
Do family, faith–and fame–go together? In this captivating novel from award-winning author Tiffany L. Warren, two brothers reach for the stars, but are they prepared for a fall?. . .
They’re handsome, smart, and musically gifted. Brothers Camden and Blaine Drake have put their talents together and founded a gospel group. The quieter one, Camden is the songwriter, while charismatic Blaine is the performer. At first, their Bishop father is against the idea–until Blaine, his favorite, wows the congregation with his performance at a church revival. Sure enough, once the bishop witnesses their effect on the crowd he wants them there every Sunday. But he may have set the stage for trouble. . .
As the group’s popularity grows, so do the groupies–and promiscuous Blaine is more than happy to share his love. Gigs across the country, meetings with music execs, a chance to sign with a major label, and a sexy new band member bring new connections–and dangerous new temptations. Soon, a slew of rumors and a shocking betrayal threaten to destroy the group–and the brothers’ relationship. But one event is going to rock their world forever. Do they have enough faith, forgiveness, and brotherly love left to find harmony once more?..(Goodreads.com)
Lastly, throughout the month I will be reading/studying a new devotional from the Daily Grace Co. entitled, Hymns: A Study on Classic Hymns. As a worship leader, I am intrigued by the story behind songs. I have heard and sang classic hymns all my life so its nice to have a tool on hand to get an in-depth understanding of them.
What will you be reading this month?