When You Need Some Inspiration for the New Year

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Hello my friends! As one year ends and another year begins, lots of people take time out to reflect and think about what might be coming up next. So I wanted to pass along the details of some things that have inspired me lately, in the hope that there will be something that sparks your interest too!

Books — Non-fiction

  • Whole by Steve Wiens — a gentle, wise guide for restoring what is broken in us. I don’t usually like discussion questions in books, but the ones that ended each chapter were really helpful.
  • Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Pete Scazzero —this was recommended by my church and it’s been a great read for me in a year that I’ve been learning it’s okay not to be okay.
  • Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown — lots of good stuff in here about what it means to be our true selves and to belong. I liked Brown’s previous book, Daring Greatly, better, but this one is still very much worth a read.
  • Liturgy of the Ordinary by Tish Harrison Warren — another church recommend and I loved it. It’s about finding God in your everyday life and you can read my full review here.
  • When the Heart Waits by Sue Monk Kidd — terrible title, but great book, all about the pain and possibility of metamorphosis. If you’re in a season of transition, this is a good companion.

Books — Fiction

  • Home and Lila by Marilynne Robinson — the second and third books in Robinson’s Gilead trilogy — just as captivating and wise as the first.
  • The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd — if you haven’t read this, read it now — a beautiful, heartbreaking story about how a community of strong women. Read it, then watch the movie, which is fab too.
  • The Invisible Library series by Genevieve Cogman — a fun fantasy adventure series about a librarian who must travel to alternative worlds to collect rare books — and face a whole host of enemies along the way! If you need a good bit of escapism, this will do the trick.
  • Precious and Grace by Alexander McCall Smith — this is his seventeenth book in the №1 Ladies Detective Agency Series. These books are always gentle, wise, funny and good for the soul. If you haven’t discovered this series yet, a great treat awaits you! I’m about to spend my Christmas money on book eighteen which came out recently too.

Podcasts

  • Nomad —two British guys who are rethinking their faith and have interviewed some really interesting theologians and thinkers along the way, including people like Rachel Held Evans, Tom Wright and Diana Butler Bass. I particularly enjoyed this episode with Walter Brueggemann talking about Sabbath as resistance.
  • The Robcast— my friend, Lucy, introduced me to Rob Bell’s podcast. I loved the two Christmas themed episodes and I’m looking forward to hearing more of what he has to say in the new year.
  • On Being — Krista Tippett and guests discuss the big questions around what it means to be human and how we want to live — lots of interesting and wise conversations from different perspectives here.
  • Vulnerability as a creative, with Brene Brown — if you’re at all creative (and really, all of us are in some way), or want to understand how to encourage a creative person in your life, this is definitely worth a listen.
  • Desert Island Discs on BBC Radio 4 — an old classic! I love finding out about people’s lives, especially the ones who make a difference but aren’t so well-known, like David Nott.

What about you? What are you enjoying at the moment?

 

Photo by Carlos Domínguez on Unsplash