Winter Break Reading List

I’m officially home as of last night, so holiday break mode is in full force (aka sleeping, eating, playing with baby nephew, and trying to refuse a slight sickness I feel creeping up on me…).  One of the things I look forward to most when I’m not in classes and have actual free time is reading for FUN. I know, it’s a crazy thought right? Not reading textbooks or theological books (which I don’t mind actually) because it’s my assignment for class the next day, but reading things just because I find them interesting, enjoyable, or thought-provoking.  Even though I’ve only got a short 3 weeks, I’m being pretty ambitious with my winter break book list.

1. Cooked by Michael Pollan

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I actually started this one over summer before I realized I was not going to have time for anything outside of summer classes and studying for the DAT every day.  Michael is one of my favorite food writers and some of my favorite quotes from his books are on my blog here. This one is about his own personal journey learning how to cook and he organizes it by the four elements of basic cooking: fire, water, air, earth in the form of BBQ, braising, bread baking, and fermenting (including brewing and cheese-making). He basically is showing how fundamental cooking is to humanity and the dangers of what can happen if we keep veering away from this ancient art towards the convenience and low-quality of today’s food.

He discovers that the cook occupies a special place in the world, standing squarely between nature and culture. Both realms are transformed by cooking, and so, in the process, is the cook.” 

“Cooking, above all, connects us. The effects of not cooking are similarly far reaching.”

“In fact, Cooked argues, taking back control of cooking may be the single most important step anyone can take to help make the American food system healthier and more sustainable. Reclaiming cooking as an act of enjoyment and self-reliance, learning to perform the magic of these everyday transformations, opens the door to a more nourishing life.” 

2. Love Does by Bob Goff

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This book was recommended by several of my friends, and I look forward to finishing it (again, I started it very briefly this summer).  The subtitle is “Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World.”

“As a college student he spent 16 days in the Pacific Ocean with five guys and a crate of canned meat. As a father he took his kids on a world tour to eat ice cream with heads of state. He made friends in Uganda, and they liked him so much he became the Ugandan consul. He pursued his wife for three years before she agreed to date him. His grades weren’t good enough to get into law school, so he sat on a bench outside the Dean’s office for seven days until they finally let him enroll. 

Bob Goff has become something of a legend, and his friends consider him the world’s best-kept secret. Those same friends have long insisted he write a book. What follows are paradigm shifts, musings, and stories from one of the world’s most delightfully engaging and winsome people. What fuels his impact? Love. But it’s not the kind of love that stops at thoughts and feelings. Bob’s love takes action. Bob believes Love Does.

When Love Does, life gets interesting. Each day turns into a hilarious, whimsical, meaningful chance that makes faith simple and real. Each chapter is a story that forms a book, a life. And this is one life you don’t want to miss.”

3. Bread and Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table with Recipes by Shauna Niequist

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This one I heard about from my roommate who shares these two loves of mine of all things bread and wine (in fact, I did a creative project about bread for my biblical class here), and I’m hoping it might be under the tree for me on Christmas morning. Shauna is a blogger and so far what I’ve seen and read from her is always right up my alley of food, friends and family, and faith.

“As a follow up to her two bestselling books, Bittersweet and Cold Tangerines, author and blogger Shauna Niequist returns with the perfect read for those who love food and value the community and connection of family and friends around the table. Bread and Wine is a collection of essays about family relationships, friendships, and the meals that bring us together. This mix of Anne Lamott and Barefoot Contessa is a funny, honest, and vulnerable spiritual memoir. Bread and Wine is a celebration of food shared, reminding readers of the joy found in a life around the table. It’s about the ways God teaches and nourishes people as they nourish the people around them. It’s about hunger, both physical and otherwise, and the connections between the two.” 

What’s on your winter book list?

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