I’m an emphatic reader. There’s nothing that I love more than curling up with a good book and getting lost in the story. I’m ravenous when it comes to books, anything and everything that I can get my hands on. I love that every book, whether it’s trying to or not, has a meaning tucked in each of it’s pages. I love that at the conclusion of every story I feel a sense of betrayal moving onto the next book and leaving the wisdom and guidance of the last behind. I love that for each book there’s a piece that gets imprinted on my heart and changes my thought process forever. So here, dear reader, is where I have compiled a list of some of my favorites, so that you, too, can get lost in the fold of the pages and leave a little piece of yourself in the binding of each book.
I’ll be updating this list regularly 🙂
This book was a refreshingly random find at a little used bookstore in downtown Pullman, I spent at least half an hour giggling between the stacks of books as I read selected bits aloud to my friend. I have a sneaking suspicion that if I were to write a book this is the voice that it would have – Shukert is unfalteringly and emphatically honest as she recounts her messy stay in Europe. As an NYU theater graduate and subsequent adventure chaser, she finds herself first in Vienna and then in Amsterdam, both times a penniless actress, desperate to find herself. The thing that I loved most about this book was her honesty, never once did she seem to withhold the gritty details of some of her more messy encounters. It is a hilariously and refreshingly real depiction of her adventure. It’s got an R-rated nature about it, so if you’re squeamish refrain, but in so many ways, the no-holds-bars attitude she takes toward her subject is what made the book so fantastic, in my opinion.
Fallen: Out of the Sex Industry and Into the Arms of the Savior by Annie Lobert
I’ve admired Annie Lobert for a while now, originally for her testimony which she shared on I Am Second and then for her ministry on the Las Vegas Strip, which I was inclined to learn more about after seeing her in the I Am Second video. When I heard that she would be releasing her very own book I was thrilled and jumped online to pre-order it. Unfortunately, with all of the business of college it sat on my shelf for a few months before I actually found the time to sit down and read it – but once I did I finished the whole thing in a matter of hours. It is a heartbreaking tale about the American sex industry, and as I am passionate about helping the women and children who are locked away in such atrocities, I found that this book offered insight into what the world of sex trafficking is like in a less foreign atmosphere. Not to mention that this story details Annie’s journey to the Lord, and what it looked like to fall in love with him all over again. Regardless of if you know and love the Lord or not, this is a must read as it gives perspective to the issues that we face every day.
Juliet by Anne Fortier
I discovered this precious piece of literature tucked behind hundreds of dogeared books at a massive book sale hosted by the humane society as a fundraiser. I spent no more than 25 cents on it, and it is the best quarter that I have ever spent on any book. Initially I was wary of the novel, Fortier is a relatively new author who I had never heard of before, I was surprised to fall in love with it. I couldn’t put it down. The story follows the adventure of Julie Jacobs, a young woman who following the death of her great aunt travels to Siena, Italy where she’s inherited a safety deposit box which, she is told, will lead her to a long-held family treasure. Little does she realize that her traveling to Siena unearths the truth of a medieval romance between her ancestor, Giulietta, and her controversial love for a boy named Romeo. It’s a mystery through and through, and never ceases to keep you flipping the pages for more as Julie discovers the mystery of the curse which was put on her family many centuries ago. As the plot thickens, the only cure for the curse is for her to find her Romeo – but where is he?
I love the books that make me think, and I’m happy to share this gem with you. I found it before my mother went in for surgery, and it was my constant companion during our stay in the hospital. I don’t think I’ve ever highlighted and marked any book as much as I did this one. Bethke was first on my radar with his spoken word videos on youtube, he is responsible for one of my favorites, “Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus.” I didn’t even know that this book existed, but I was overjoyed to find it. It challenged contemporary ideas, practices, and thoughts, and all-in-all it was blessing for me to read when I did – It gave me a sense of direction, even in the smallest sense. I love how biblically based it is, and how each of Bethke’s ideas is original and intelligently plotted. I was challenged in my relationship with the Lord in some of the best ways because of the challenges that Bethke presented, and I would encourage you to allow yourself to be blessed by this book too.
Being a collegiate woman, singleness is something that I’ve come to think about with increasing constancy. It’s no secret that a multitude of my compatriots share the same thought. That being said, this is a fantastic book to invest your time into. It’s perfect for married people, dating people, and single people. Much like Bethke’s novel, I found this book biblically sound and intellectually planned, and I was challenged with every page that I read. It presents fresh ideas on relationships between genders, whether they are romantic or not, and as such, it is an invaluable resource in beginning to understand the importance of the relationship that God has designed for men and women. This book is a must read. And Comer is from the Pacific Northwest too, so we’ve got some in common already 😉