Alright, Part 2 of my book list. I am going to work on non-fiction next, because it will be a little easier. I don't read a ton of non-fiction. I actually struggle to get through non-fiction books (whereas I can tear through some fiction). So here we go:
Bread and Wine
I had this book sitting on my kindle for months and decided not to read it. I knew that I would want to hold this book in my hands, and I was right. I loved it. I would describe this as a book of snippets about faith, family, community, and food. And interspersed throughout the book are recipes. Can it get better?
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle
This is one of the only non fiction books that I have read a second time. When we moved to Malawi in 2008, Bech had just read this book and Alice Water's The Art of Simple Food. He started getting really into local, organic food and also into cooking. When we moved back to the States, all I wanted to do was buy food at Kroger. We actually had separate food budgets because he wanted to shop at the local coop.
Somehow I picked up his copy of this book and read it. And, whoa, it changed a lot of my views. Even if you aren't necessarily looking to change how you source or cook your food, I will still suggest it. Barbara Kingsolver, her husband, and her two daughters move to West Virginia and commit to spend a year eating only local and in season food. Each chapter is divided up by the month. It doesn't feel super preachy; it reads much more like a story. But you still end up learning a lot (and wanting to cook lots of new food!). Plus, there's a little Vermont shout out in it!
Any surprise here? If you know me at all (or have read my blog at all), you know that I love me some C. S. Lewis. So I could just put any and all Lewis. But I'm going to give you my two favorites.
Mere Christianity is an apologetic, or a defense of the faith. What makes it stand out is two things. First, Lewis became a Christian later in life. He has such an interesting perspective on faith. Second, Lewis is so clever! This book is where he introduced his liar, lunatic, Lord argument, which is one of my favorites.
The Four Loves
Bech and I actually led a study on this book while in college. I haven't read it in it's entirety in a couple of years and really need to. It goes through the four types of love, and I think it's really an insightful look into love and human behaviour. Bech and I still reference points from this book often.
Again, you will not be disappointed in any Lewis books!
G. K. Chesterton is yet another of my favorites, and this book may be my absolute favorite non-fiction book. Chesterton is brilliant and absolutely hilarious. I fell in love with this book in college and still re read it often (I am currently doing so on my kindle--free book for the win!).
Orthodoxy is another book of Christian apologetics but with a slightly different bent than Lewis' Mere Christianity. Lewis is fairly rational in his arguments. Chesterton appeals to the faerie world a lot. I know that sounds like a strange description, so you'll just have to read it to know what I mean.
My favorite quote from the book:
“Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, "Do it again"; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, "Do it again" to the sun; and every evening, "Do it again" to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.”
A Severe Mercy
This is a fun book to have on the list, because, although it is a non fiction, true story, it reads like fiction. A Severe Mercy is the love story of Sheldon and Davy. Sheldon writes the story after Davy has died (he says that on the first page--I didn't ruin it for you!). Warning, you will sob, like shoulders shaking, tears streaming down your face sobbing. But, it will be worth it.
Alright, there's my list for non-fiction. You'll probably laugh at the difference in length between this and my final (fiction) list. I just am not a huge non-fiction fan!