Friday, August 13, 2010


Besides quilting and running, reading has also helped with the grief. A book can offer an escape to an alternative reality or in some cases something that's completely unrealistic, or a book can offer suggestions which I can choose to agree with or completely ignore and not have to explain why like I would in conversation, or a book tells a story that I relate too and provides words to the deep hurt I feel but find hard to articulate. So I offer-up my reading list for the past few months and a few brief comments on each book and welcome any suggestions on books you've read and really enjoyed. 

Here if You Need Me by Kate Braestrup
 -Her humor and grief made this one of my favorites

Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
- unique plot and contains a lot about opera and love

The Reader by Schlink
- Can the worst crimes ever be forgiven or forgotten?

The Gospel According to Job by Mike Mason
- most helpful thing was the intro which said if you're grieving you should only read the parts of the book that speak to you and skim over the rest

When I don't Desire God by John Piper
- His book Desiring God was much better and the grand conclusion was to help others as a way to overcome the self-centeredness of grief

The Alchemist and The Zahir by Paulo Coelho
- his style of writing is like nothing else I've read and really detailed

Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali
-since 25 percent of my patients are Somalian I found her story very interesting

Praying our Goodbyes by Joyce Rupp
- I'd just skip most of the book and go to the prayer section in the back

Just Do Something by Kevin DeYoung
- quick read, but probably better for someone less driven

Handle with Care and House Rules by Jodi Piccoult
- I loved her opening paragraph to Handle with Care about all that can break in life. House Rules was too predictable.

Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth
- This is probably one of the few historical accounts I enjoyed reading.

The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande
- We actually have his checklist at Kijabe, but it's only on the wall and not in use--that would probably make him crazy to hear.

When Helping Hurts by Corbett
-This book applies most to vacationaries (mission trips with vacation packages combined)

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell 
-most people with "gifts" have actually worked 10,000 hours to be elite... loved all the statistics

When Crocodile Eats the Sun by Peter Godwin
- Beautiful Memoir set in Africa

Blood Sisters and To my daughter in France by Barbara Keating
-Loved these stories and their settings

Secret Daughter by Somaya
- Starts with the tragedy of pregnancy loss in a female doctor and I almost couldn't read it, but identified with how the character's view of medicine and hospitals changed being a patient.

Evolving in Monkey Town by Rachel Evans
-Her writing is like talking to a friend about her faith and also pretty funny.

All the books of Marian Keyes, Sophia Kinsella, Janet Evanovich and Jennifer Worth. Really all I can say about these authors is that they are entertaining, but I hide their books on my shelves behind the ones with more literary value or return them to the shelf of my dear friend Jacqui (who has helped me explore British literature).

P.S. There are a few books I'll never admit to reading. 


stephanie garcia said...

I followed a link to one of your posts today and have enjoyed reading about your family and ministry. We are missionaries to Chile so it is always a blessing to hear the stories of others! However, I was most touched by your story of loss as we have also experienced infertility and miscarriage (though God has blessed us with precious children through the miracle of adoption.)

I am far from an expert on grief but one book personally spoke to my heart and I don't think it is very well known. It is called "A Grace Disguised" by Gerald Sittser. I hope you won't mind my sharing it with you.

May God bless you and hold you close during this time of sorrow.

Jennifer said...

I think you might appreciate Kitchen Table Wisdom: Stories that Heal by Rachel Naomi Remen. She is an MD that now counsels cancer survivors. The book is a series of short vignettes or stories. I think it could be very interesting for an MD and a person processing grief.

The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa was a short, beautiful novel. I also liked Olive Kitteride by Elizabeth Strout.

I hope everyone has books they won't admit to reading. :)