What I’m Reading – Vacation Edition

It’s been hard to keep up with the What I’m Into link-up, but I just have to tell you what I read on vacation last week. So many good books!

What I’m Into – Books

This is a memoir written from the perspective of the secret service agent to Jackie Kennedy. Fascinating peek into the life of a famous first lady, who suffered tremendous tragedy. I learned things I never knew before about the Kennedys and their time in office.

From Amazon: The #1 New York Times bestselling memoir by Clint Hill that Kirkus Reviews called “clear and honest prose free from salaciousness and gossip,” Jackie Kennedy’s personal Secret Service agent details his very close relationship with the First Lady during the four years leading up to and following President John F. Kennedy’s tragic assassination.

From Amazon: When Breath Becomes Air is a powerful look at a stage IV lung cancer diagnosis through the eyes of a neurosurgeon. When Paul Kalanithi is given his diagnosis he is forced to see this disease, and the process of being sick, as a patient rather than a doctor–the result of his experience is not just a look at what living is and how it works from a scientific perspective, but the ins and outs of what makes life matter. This heart-wrenching book will capture you from page one and still have you thinking long after the final sentence. Penny Mann

This story is incredibly unique. There was something profound gained in this physician’s experience with illness — a true compassion you wish every doctor had toward dying and critically ill patients.

In the Name of Jesus by Henri Nouwen

I thought I’d read all of Henri’s books until I found this one. The main portion of the book is a message he delivered on the topic of leadership. When he went to speak he brought along one of the residents from the L’Arche Community where he was living with the mentally handicapped. The resident added far greater value in his presence than Henri expected. It was beautiful because as they kept saying to each other, “we did this together.”

Mindless fiction. I loved it.

From Amazon: Rebecca Winter was once a famous photographer, and, with any luck, she will be again. Having achieved surprising early success with her feminist “Kitchen Counter” collection, Rebecca, now 60, finds herself on fame and fortune’s flip side. With her former torrent of royalties dwindling to a trickle, Rebecca has been forced to give up her perfect Manhattan apartment for a paltry upstate cabin, and with marauding raccoons, stray dogs, and trigger-happy hunters, life in the country is proving to be no walk in Central Park. Luckily, Rebecca still has her camera, and she soon finds inspiration for new work in unexpected places, often in the company of a bird-watching roofer named Jim, whose quiet companionship proves to be just the balm she needs to fully embrace her unfamiliar surroundings. –Carol Haggas

From Amazon: Pecola Breedlove, a young black girl, prays every day for beauty. Mocked by other children for the dark skin, curly hair, and brown eyes that set her apart, she yearns for normalcy, for the blond hair and blue eyes that she believes will allow her to finally fit in.Yet as her dream grows more fervent, her life slowly starts to disintegrate in the face of adversity and strife. A powerful examination of our obsession with beauty and conformity, Toni Morrison’s virtuosic first novel asks powerful questions about race, class, and gender with the subtlety and grace that have always characterized her writing.

This book was hard to read as the story was set in hard circumstances. I suggest reading the forward after reading the book. The forward explains the origins of the story which I think would have made more sense to read afterward.

Here’s some others I’ve been reading over the last couple of months. I recommend them all.

Packing Light by Allison Vesterfelt

The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

The Gift of Failure by Jessica Lahey

The Happiness Project By Gretchen Rubin

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle (This was a re-read with Mac. We’ve also been reading through the Stink series.)

What I’m Into – Movies

My husband brought Raising Arizona on our Mexico trip. It’s his favorite movie and I had never watched it. Oh my goodness we laughed so much at the ridiculousness of it all. Holly Hunter (remember her?) plays the role of the wife and she’s so good. I can’t stop quoting scenes.

My one word for the new year was rest. I need more intentional down-time in my life and the best way for me to slow down is to read. I’m hoping to keep it up this summer.

This post contains affiliate links. 

My book, Beauty in Broken Dreams: A Hopeful Handbook for the Early Years as a Special Needs Parent, is now available on Amazon!

Also be sure to check out my list of Favorite Books on Disability!


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