What I Read in October

October, you're just a wonderful month. I love your weather and your changing colors and your general sense of coziness. I don't love your famous holiday, but that's a story for another time. I read 5 books during your days this year, and they were some pretty different ones than what I read normally. Thanks for mixing things up!

Here's what I read this October:

The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan. // "A wave of intense happiness washed over me, and I told myself to carry this moment as a talisman of a time in my life when I was both truly content and lucky enough to realize it."

This book isn't my normal kind of read, but after seeing it recommended by friends like Bailey, I decided to give it a go. I surprisingly enjoyed this lighthearted, easy read. I especially liked all the London/England references and reminiscing on my own summer spent living there, so that made it even more fun. This definitely isn't a profoundly amazing piece of literature, but it would make for a great Saturday read by a fire or curled up on a cozy couch or on a plane while traveling. If you see it at your library, grab it and enjoy (but probably don't spend money on it because it isn't one you'll re-read)!

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert. // "Bring forth what is within you, then, whether it succeeds or fails. Do it whether the final product (your souvenir) is crap or gold. Do it whether the critics love you or hate you-- or whether the critics have never heard of you and perhaps will never hear of you. Do it whether people get it or don't get it. It doesn't have to be perfect and you don't have to be Plato. It's all just an instinct and an experiment and a mystery, so begin. Begin anywhere. Preferably right now. And if greatness should ever accidentally stumble upon you, let it catch you hard at work."

This book IS PURE GOLD. Let me shout that from the rooftops and get your attention so you'll buy it IMMEDIATELY. It is so good. Her podcast is equally amazing. I shared so many more of my gushing thoughts about this book HERE.

The Secret History by Donna Tartt. // "Beauty is terror. Whatever we call beautiful, we quiver before it."

I read this one for October's #COLLABOREADS -- check out my full review here!

Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell. // "If the gospel isn't good news for everybody, then it isn't good news for anybody."

Okay. So Rob Bell. He's a controversial guy in the Christian world. I know that. I've heard the arguments from both sides (he's gone off the deep end / he's actually right on and everyone's just afraid of him, etc). I've never given him a chance, so I decided it was about time I did. The verdict? I'm not a fan. I liked parts of this book, I'll admit. Some of it was refreshingly real. Most of it was a little wacky to me, and there were some parts that actually made me angry because I disagreed with them so strongly. All in all? I won't read more from him, I feel like I have a clearer picture of who he is and what he stands for, and it just isn't my style or my same belief system. I do strongly believe in reading things you don't agree with though, so I'm glad I put myself up to this challenge. 

When the Heart Waits: Spiritual Direction for Life's Sacred Questions by Sue Monk Kidd. // "Waiting is both passive and passionate. It's a vibrant, contemplative work. It means descending into self, into God, into the deeper labyrinths of prayer. It involves listening to disinherited voices within, facing the wounded holes in the soul, the denied and undiscovered, the places one lives falsely. It means struggling with the vision of who we really are in God and molding the courage to live that vision."

Kidd is the one who wrote bestsellers like The Secret Life of Bees, but this book is something totally different from her. It's deeply personal, journeying through a phase in her life characterized by much waiting and change and evolving and growth. I read this one slowly, picking it up periodically and always finding that what I read resonated with me in that moment. This book is probably more geared toward middle-aged or older women (as that was Kidd's age when writing through it) but I found it to be just as relevant to my life as a younger twenty-something still. The metaphor of a cocoon repeats throughout the book and there are many other images and parallels she describes that have still stuck with me in poignant ways. This one is a really good one if you feel like you're in any in-between, waiting season at all. 

What are you reading lately?!