Good morning! I am excited to introduce to you to my friend Emily, today! Emily and I talk regularly about books and I always love her wonderful insight. She should have a book blog because her reviews are always super in depth and she always is able to look at things from different perspectives. She is truly one of the most empathetic and understanding people I know which makes so much sense when you learn about the work she does. I hope you enjoy hearing what is on her nightstand, today.
The Nightstand Series Intro:
Hi, I’m Emily! I moved from Vermont to San Diego about seven months ago to join my husband who is stationed at Miramar…and, to be honest, I really haven’t missed the snow all that much (yet)! This past May I graduated with a Master’s in School Counseling and due to the move I haven’t had the opportunity to land a dreamy job (another yet!); but oh how I miss the deep conversations and connections that were fostered throughout my Master’s program. This is where reading comes in! Over the past year, I have completely indulged in reading and expanding my reading interests. It really has been delightful and I value the thought expansions, conversations, and challenges (or simply entertainment) that are gifted with each read. Much thanks to you, Gen! You have greatly impacted my reading journey!
What’s on my nightstand for books:
I am currently reading this book (I am about three-quarters of the way in) and I must admit that it is falling short for me thus far. I find the setup of the story to be confusing and challenging to keep up; it is set up as if I sneakily peeked at the end of the book and then began to read backward. The first chapter is being told at the current time of 5:00pm, the second goes back to 4:00pm, then 3:00pm, and so on. However, I am holding out hope that the story will wrap itself up in the end and that I will find appreciation within its pages. Here is what I can appreciate so far: 1) The topic of abortion is prominent to our culture, 2) The idea that although individuals (or groups) may have two completely opposing views, there are ways to find commonality and kindness. Sometimes I think in the middle of all arguments there exists a common goal with different perspectives that hinder our ability to see the picture as a whole. 3) Respect for this author. Picoult constantly dives into work where difficult topics are dissected and somehow she challenges my brain to find compassion in areas in which I never thought possible.
Okay, here’s where I need to take a detour. I’m a avid book gifter / lender / leave-a-book-with-a-friend-in-hopes-they-read-it-and gain-from-it-kind of person. So, I have a lot of favorite books that are seemingly “missing” from my nightstand that I would love to share with you!
This is a book that belongs on everyone’s shelf! The depth of vulnerability, acceptance, courage, and forgiveness (both of self and of others) was humbling. Doyle does not “preach” about how life “should” be lived or what the meaning is behind everything, rather she offers empathy for the struggles in which we all face in this world. She does not “push” religion onto you, rather offers insight on how she has invited religion into her own experiences throughout her life. She does not try to explain away the “whys” of her behaviors, rather she opens up to share honesty, vulnerability, and space for others to relate without judgment. This is a fluid, beautiful, raw, and original book that all souls can relate to. I adore this book so much that I can’t even remember who has my copy right now and have bought many copies to gift to loved ones!
This novel sent vulnerable shivers through my spine, tears to my eyes, warmth to my heart, and completely blew my mind. We so often hear the world’s events through the perspective of adults and this refreshing perspective on trauma through a young child’s existence was powerful. Navin aided in my understanding (or growth of understanding) of how young minds view and adapt the world and the experiences in which they endure. I admire the youth, their minds, imagination, and resiliency. This novel beautifully illustrates them all.
A perspective-changing, must-read while we are in this time of our lives where the topic/issues of race, minority status, privileged status, equality, etc. are so very prominent. As a whole, we need to be better at “leaning into” areas of discomfort and seeking out understanding of others. It is not about who is right or wrong; it is about really listening, practicing empathy, and shredding the layers of defensiveness that we may carry with us on our journey of interactions with others and view of life. Dare to not just step outside of your comfort zone, but to expand its boundaries.
This was a recommendation from Gen! My heart has never been so moved by a book! I was thrown back into what the beginning of finding your true love/person/ whole being felt like. Those teenage years where everything romantic is so new, fresh, exciting, scary, and tingly; what it is like to reconnect with your person after missing them for so long.
Lauren captured what true love can look like, through the good and the not-so-good. Forgiveness, growth, time and vulnerability are such prominent aspects of living. She perfectly illustrates that life and love are all about taking chances and trusting yourself; that true happiness and fulfillment doesn’t exist by settling. I am in love with this book and for all the emotional waves that came with it.
In addition to these, I am a mystery/thriller junkie and absolutely love anything by Harlen Coben, The Lies We Told by Camilla Way, An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks, and the Amos Decker series by David Baldacci… just to name a few 🙂
What else is on my nightstand:
Pictures of loved ones and happy moments; I absolutely love going to bed looking at the smiling faces, happy memories, and just feeling close to my people…especially after moving across the country!
BODY BUTTER! I cannot and will not go to sleep without massaging this body butter into the heels of my feet and into my hands. “Ugh” to dry skin problems.
I also am always drinking water and am absolutely a sucker for corny/funny coasters. We must find ways to relieve ourselves from all the “seriousness” of life! (I also have an unhealthy collection of coffee mugs like this which drives my husband bonkers)!
Thank you SO much for sharing, Emily! I hope this gives you all some great reading inspiration, I know it did for me. <3