Sunday, March 6, 2011

What's on your nightstand?

If you ask my mom, she'll tell you she instilled a love for reading in me when I was very, very young ... and she's right. She did. And I hope that I am instilling that same love for reading in my children.

During daylight hours, there really is no time for reading, what with a full time job, four kids and a full volunteer schedule (and a full heart for 200 kids in Ethiopia!) as well.

But once the kids are in bed, and the lights are turned off, my bedside lamp gets switched on, and I settle into the pillows within a soft circle of light ... and read. Sometimes for 20 mintues ... and sometimes for a few hours.

So here's what's on my nightstand right now ...

I've actually finished all of these books (so I need to replenish the stack!), but if they are especially good, or if they have several profound nuggets of truth or revelation that need further thought or examination, they'll remain on my nightstand until I can circle back again.  I underline as I go, so finding the nuggets again is made easier. 

"One Thousand Gifts" by Ann Voskamp is one that I will be circling back to savor again.  

Gratitude for daily gifts and momentous, life-changing experiences is one thing ... but gratitude in the face of loneliness, despair, boredom, tragedy and poverty???  

It's one thing to read it and get your head around it ... it's another thing to get your heart around it and actually LIVE IT. EVERY. DAY. 

Katie Davis (22 year old mom to 14 orphaned children in Uganda) is striving to wrap her head and heart around this as well and she wrote about it in her Amazima blog on Friday March 4

So, since we're talking books.  I stacked a few of my favorites from this past year in case you are looking for some profound reads to add to your nightstand.

I start to get a bit restless and uneasy when the stack of books on my nightstand starts to dwindle.  It's time to replenish. 

So - what's on your nightstand or on your top 10 "must read" list.  I'd love to know!


Kim said...

THANK YOU SOOOO MUCH for posting this! I just picked up One Thousand Gifts TODAY and can't wait to get started tonight. I just wrote down all of those titles so that I can check them out :O).

E said...

This isn't my top ten list, but one I've recommended to all different types (and received glowing responses after they've read) is 'A Severe Mercy' by Sheldon Vanauken. I often find people haven't heard of it, so it's my "go to" pick for just about anyone - everyone loves it and it's simply an excellent book.


Sarah said...

I have loved reading your blog for the last several months. Many times I've been in tears or my heart has been bursting for joy with the great reports of your trips and news of the kids in Africa.

The stack on my nightstand is really lacking right now, so your suggestions will be so helpful. What books I do have are In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day by Mark Batterson and Jesus Calling by Sarah Young.

I'm excited to get One Thousand Gifts. This book was recently mentioned on another blog I read, The Simple Wife, ( (Great blog too!) Her name is Joanne Heim and she has written a few books herself, so I will be checking those out as well. Just another idea for great reads.

Thank you for sharing!

Karen said...

Oh I LOVE the comments and recommendations so far. Thank you so much! Anyone with a recommendation - I'd LOVE to hear from you!! :) Karen Wistrom

KLT said...


I've been planning a similar post in my head for a while...but it hasn't quite come together yet. So here's my sneak preview of favorite recent reads:

-Half the Sky (you obviously are already familiar with this one!)
-28 Stories of AIDS in Stephanie Nolan (couldn't put this down)
-Your God is Too Mark Buchanan (a of my ALL-TIME favorites)
-Shame Marilyn Hontz (also love her book "Listening for God" which I read a few years ago)
-Intimate Miller and Perlman (a sociology textbook for my Marriage and Family Human Services coursework, but full of fascinating information on how our relationships work)
-Deadly Jean Kilbourne (a look at the impact of advertising, especially on women and girls) Patricia McCormick (a young adult novel that skillfully presents the horrible problem of human trafficking in a readable/informative/hopeful way)
-To Walk and Not Faint:A Month of Meditations on Isaiah Marva J. Dawn (a verse-by-verse devotional by a wonderful thinker)

That's only eight...but I'm still reading...

Thanks for your terrific suggestions!

Missy @ It's Almost Naptime said...

Okay, so, out of your 17 books, 10 are on my nightstand or bookshelf. :)

I have an African Reading List on my amazon store on my blog.

My fave so far: Say You're One of Them. Painful, so painful.

Sweetness in the Belly is another book about Ethiopia that was beautifully written. I also just finished Infidel - more about Somalia but absolutely fascinating.

Apryl said...

Great post--I'm always looking for new books...just finished Radical and reading through Hope Lives a second time, totally needed something else to work through. Thanks!!

Michelle said...

I've got Radical and Crazy Love but havent read them yet. And I loved Interrupted. Got to do an interview with Jen Hatmaker and she is just fabulous. In fact, they are in Ethiopia right now adopting two children.

Team Dragovich said...

Oooh... all sound wonderful-- all the comments, too! My stacks are so varied, right now... stacks of writing books, stacks of classics, stacks of children's reads, stacks of memoirs & biographies. Not sure what that says about my state of mind at present!

Great post, Karen!