what I read this summer

dedicated to abigail xx

usually I eat books for snack but this summer I had sleep for snack instead. so. I only read three books. oops.

In the spring I had the privilege of getting personal book recommendations from Jason Leonard. He bought me four books.

these are three of those four.

Thank you, Jason.



I would tag this as the most masterful story I’ve ever read; every shard of scenery and line of characterization is useful towards motivating the story and knitting together themes, but the beautiful part about the whole thing is that it all feels. I’m prone to skipping over parts I don’t care about, but this entire book captured and kept my attention. Not that I need to convince you that Steinbeck is a good writer but whatever anyway–

East of Eden (I’m stealing this word off the back of the book) is a “fantasia” of the Cain and Abel story, threaded through three generations in California extrapolating the exile of eden and what it means for people to be good and evil in a pageant of characters so alive its unreal. I’m really glad there’s a film version- (with James Dean!) I’ll be tracking that down soon.


I’m really getting into Science Fiction lately… This  novel is a phenomenal thematic blend of religion and science, painted well enough that my 20 year old relatively well read and maybe judgmental mind was fascinated into belief of immersion into this improbable and tragic story.

The Sparrow crushed me for a day or two, for sure. I read it at the beach earlier in June and spiraled into some dangerously broody introspection after the last page. The themes are heavy and thought provoking- Is God really good? Is God really good IF X, Y, Z? Does God desert us? What would it take to kill what lives of my faith– (surely less than this?) However; Russell is massively hilarious– I laughed out loud often– and her characters are alive and maybe the most interesting and rich I’ve ever gotten to know in a book.

this is a really good article about it I read when I finished it that describes it pretty well. It might be a tv show? cool?


okay so I really really hated Redeeming Love and was apprehensive about slogging through some more christian fiction (sorry) but this was one of those books that I read for escapism and ended up painting for me a really beautiful picture of the early church and what it looks like to step very, very closely with God.

Set in Rome no less than a few hundred years after the death of Jesus, A Voice in the Wind follows the story of a Jewish slave during the unconscionable reign of Rome. It made me really want to watch Gladiator. I read it in Utah during a week of scarce internet, and it built me a portal of sorts to a place a long time ago in a galaxy far far away.



recommended: what I read this semester , what I read


3 thoughts on “what I read this summer

  1. Not only are your pictures BOMB, the way you write about each book is so beautiful!! Like wow. I want to read all of them. (lets go to mckays very very soon)

    p.s. im very honored for the dedication 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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