Caravan Sonnet: Monday Inspiration and Encouragement (volume sixteen) - 10 Inspiring Books to Read

4/9/18

Monday Inspiration and Encouragement (volume sixteen) - 10 Inspiring Books to Read

In February 2017 I shared that for a while I had a dream of sharing some Monday inspiration and encouragement on the blog. Life is hard and I know full well that in the difficult times it can be hard to find inspiration, so several months ago I shared my first post (which you can find HERE) and have loved sharing periodically on Mondays ( you can find all of the Monday inspiration posts HERE) different things that I have found to be really inspiring and encouraging from all different genres and hope that it will encourage and inspire you for your week! 

This week I wanted to share a different kind of Monday Inspiration and Encouragement- all the books of the year that I have read so far ... there is a bunch of them that have been so amazingly inspiring... so here we go (in no particular order):
{one} I shared this in my last post, but  this book, Irena's Children (the young readers version) I found in a thrift store at the beginning of January and read through it one weekend. I had read the adult version ( which you can find HERE) a number of years ago, but the young readers version intrigued me. To be honest, I thought the book was still a bit tough to read so I would caution the age range of this book, but it was one of the most inspiring books I have read, so I would definitely recommend it to adults! It is an "easy" read (as far as how it is written of course), but the content is so good. The young readers version goes into more detail about the amazing people that surrounded the underground ring that Irena was a part of and it is truly amazing. I kept talking about it all weekend long and can't recommend it enough. You can find the young readers version HERE
{two} I first read Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge when I was in grad school a number of years ago. At the time it struck me deeply but nearly 12 years later it has spoken to my heart in a deep and profound way that I can't shake.  The simple message of Captivating is that your heart is the most important thing in your life and the desires and dreams that you had as a little girl and have followed you into adulthood are things that God has intrinsically wired for you to live. If you feel like your heart is hurting or longing for more, than I can't recommend Captivating enough. You can find it HERE
{three} I shared about this book, Her Texas Cowboy, with my instagram community on Saturday night.  Here is what I shared: "Those of you who know me know that one of my favorite books is "just show up" by Jill Lynn Buteyn and the late Kara Tippetts . The truth that is on those pages for walking with someone through suffering is gently beautiful. I then discovered that Jill wrote these incredibly tender love stories and have enjoyed each one. When I found out about her newest release I was so excited to read it! I read it last week on my trip to Florida and y'all it is sweetly written, beautifully encouraging, and incredibly delightful. Go pick up a copy y'all!! You will love it! Congratulations friend! You are so talented!! I can't wait to read your next one!!" If you are looking for a sweet love story to read this spring, you will want to check this book out. It is incredibly tender and it is available for pre-order (it releases April 17th) HERE
{four} Another book that I read (okay started- I am halfway through *smiles*) on my trip to Florida was Crime and Punishment. I will be honest... it's rough. It's a bit depressing, a bit dark, and the story makes you really think about a lot of things. At the same time it I feel challenged by it and definitely recommend it. If I am honest I find with classic books that I tend to read and re-read the same books or authors again and again (hello all of my favorite Alexander Dumas books *smiles*). This year I wanted to branch out and try some new ones while continuing to read my favorite classic authors. If you are looking to branch out and read something new in the classic section this one is one to read. You can find it HERE
{five} I have shared here on the blog before that Robin Jones Gunn is one of my favorite authors and this book, Echoes, is definitely one of my all time favorites of hers. I hadn't read this book in years and re-read it a couple of weeks ago. It was tenderly sweet and a beautiful reminder of how God continues to romance our hearts. You can find it HERE
{six} I read Passion and Purity by Elisabeth Elliot years and years and years ago but recently this book has spoken to me in some deep and profound ways. While it speaks of relationships in deep ways, it also speaks to those seasons in life where we are waiting. If you are waiting on something in your life- no matter what it is this book will be a huge encouragement to you. I shared with my instagram community the following quote from the book... 

"Waiting silently is the hardest thing of all... But the things that we feel most deeply we ought to learn to be silent about, at least until we have talked them over thoroughly with God...When our plans are interrupted, his are not. His plans are proceeding exactly as scheduled, moving us always- including those minutes or hours or years which seem most useless or wasted or unendurable." You can find it HERE
{seven} As I mentioned above, this year I wanted to read different classics that I hadn't previously read. This one, Heart of Darkness, was something I read during March. If you are not familiar with it, Heart of Darkness was written in 1899 and was a short novel (originally published in a three-part series in Blackwood's Magazine) that shares the experience of Charles Marlow as an ivory transporter down the Congo River in Central Africa. Before I read the book I researched some about it and read that it was: "a complex exploration of the attitudes people hold on what constitutes a barbarian versus a civilized society and the attitudes on colonialism and racism that were part and parcel of European imperialism." I would definitely agree with that description, but beyond that it really challenged me in deep ways for today. I wish that I had read the book during my time of working with sex-trafficking victims years ago because I felt that I could really relate to Conrad's observations. The book is hard to read in parts and the subject matter is difficult, but it is definitely worth reading and I am so glad that I did. If you are looking for a book to challenge your thoughts and your conceptions on civilized society than you will want to read it. You can find it HERE
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I shared with y'all last week about the story behind my Etsy Shop, December Caravan and how I will be expanding the shop in the upcoming year. I also have another dream that has been growing steadily and I am excited to share that with y'all. In preparation for that I have been reading a couple of different business type books... 
{eight} This first book, Business Boutique, is one that I saw on a friend's instagram feed that I decided to check out. I am honestly still making my way through it because there is a ton of helpful and practical advice. If you are looking at becoming any type of entrepreneur than this book is chocked full of helpful tips and wisdom that you will want to explore. Honestly, this is a book that I will be referring back to often it is really wonderful! You can find it HERE!
{nine} It's no secret that here on the blog I have talked about my love for the TV show, the Amazing Race. Years and years ago (on one of the earliest seasons) Blake Mycoskie (the founder of TOMS) was on the show and competed with his sister. Over the years I have admired the work that TOMS has done and have been inspired by the way that it has given back to so many people in need. When I found out that Blake had written a book a number of years ago, I definitely wanted to read it. I am only half way through it but it is definitely an inspiring book if you are looking to start something and make a difference. You can find it HERE

{ten} One of my favorite magazines to read through is Where Women Create. I love reading the stories of women who have created different artistic entrepreneur ventures and the way that they have come to these places. I always wished that there was a book form of the magazine and so I was delighted to find this book, In the Company of Women. I came across this book in the clearance section of TJ Maxx a while back and started flipping through it and was inspired. There are so many different women doing so many amazing things that it has been inspiring to read through. You can find it on Amazon HERE and if you order today it is FREE on Kindle! 

I hope that you are inspired and encouraged by these ten books this! What about you? What books are you reading recently that are inspiring you? I am looking for suggestions and would love to hear yours!

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