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What I’m reading

I <3 this photo of the person walking through the rows of books in the library. I can almost smell the books!

Some of these I recently finished and some are still in progress. I did my best to avoid spoilers. 😉

All The Light We Cannot See

by Anthony Doerr
How I’m reading: Audio book

It feels like I’ve read so many stories set in Europe during WWII lately. I almost didn’t give this one a chance because I was burnt out on the setting, but I’m so glad I did!

This book follows two young people as they come of age during WWII — Werner, a German orphan turned soldier, and Marie-Laure, a blind and inquisitive French girl. In so many ways they led similar lives as children, wholly dependent on others until they were forced to forge their own paths.

This book was both heartbreaking and beautiful. It’s so easy to paint people as purely good or purely evil looking back on a war. Doerr shows us the gray areas, people who were put in difficult circumstances and made choices that didn’t feel like real choices. Choices to kill or be killed, to hide or to fight.

Highly recommend.

Never Split The Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It

by Chris Voss with Tahl Raz
How I’m reading: Kindle on the iPad

A coworker recommended this book. The combination of practical tips for negotiating and suspenseful hostage negotiation stories has made this a quick and interesting read so far. I’m not quite done with it, but have enjoyed it immensely.

A big selling point for me is that you don’t have to be an aggressive Alpha to successfully negotiate using these techniques. The techniques draw on empathy and asking smart questions to name just a couple. As a result, the person you’re negotiating with leaves the discussion feeling heard and understood rather than tricked and ripped off.

A family member is going to be buying a new car soon and I can’t wait to test some of the techniques!

Did You Ever Have A Family

by Bill Clegg
How I’m reading: Audio book

The climax of this book, a tragic event, happened before the book starts. The story follows all the people touched by this event and we slowly learn how everyone is connected.

The title is a question one of the characters posed to another, and I thought it was the most profound part of the story.

One character asks another, “Did you ever have a family?”

The question elicits divergent responses depending on the experiences of the listener. For some, it makes them grateful. For others, it’s an acknowledgement of the pain that loving imperfect people can cause.

I could take or leave this book overall, but that question was powerful and nuanced in the context of the story and apart from it. If you have a family, it means something to you.

Labor of The Heart: A Parent’s Guide to the Decisions and Emotions in Adoption

by Kathleen Whitten
How I’m reading: Old-fashioned (and my favorite option) paperback

Making the decision about whether or not to adopt in the midst of infertility is tough. You’re dealing with a lot of grief and emotions are running high, all while staring at a weighty, life-changing decision. One that impacts your family and another family in a very profound way.

Once you decide adoption is the path you’re being called to, there are 9,000 other little decisions that must be made as part of the process. So far, this book has been very educational in outlining all the details. At the end of each chapter there are exercises to help process where you are emotionally and think through the practical choices that need to be made if you proceed with adopting. We’re still discerning, and this book has been useful in that process.

What are you reading? Any recommendations for what I should queue up next?

2 Comments

  1. I read all the light we cannot see a few months ago and loved it. I’m going to come back to this post for ideas. Just started choosing joy this week. 🙂

    • You’ll have to let me know how you like Choosing Joy!

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