Streams in the Desert Devotional by L. B. Cowman and James Reimann
I’ve read Streams in the Desert every year since college. It incorporates Scripture with stories, poetry, and wisdom from gospel-believing heroes. We all travel through the desert and wonder where the streams of God might be. Though the Lord leads us into hard places, he will never abandon us there. This devotional reminds me of God’s faithful love every day.
To Read: The Lake House by Kate Morton
O Pioneers! by Willa Cather
I decided to pick up O Pioneers! because I read My Antonia a few years ago and loved the mutually empowering and empathetic way Cather writes a female lead character. I have also always enjoyed classic American literature and imagining how the way the very land I now call home was back when European settlers first began inhabiting it. O Pioneers! is the story of Alexandra, the only daughter among sons of a Swedish pioneer named John Bergson. When John dies at the start of the novel, he leaves his unruly midwestern land in Alexandra’s capable hands. The story follows her as she seeks to make a life on the prairie, to care for her brothers, and to balance her own dreams and ambitions with the needs of her family. Alexandra is a savvy manager, a compassionate friend, and a protective matron over her household. O Pioneers! was at times heartbreaking, but also hopeful, and beautifully written throughout.
The Elements of Style by by William Strunk Jr. and E. B. White
You might be asking, “Wait, you’re reading a book about grammar and usage for fun?” Yes, yes I am. E.B White breathes wit and wisdom into this short guide book on what is a typically dry topic. William Strunk Jr, a former teacher of White’s, originally wrote this handbook in 1918. White later revisited it and added his own thoughts, comments, and witticisms. If you’re looking to brush up on your writing habits, or just want to read a more accessible intro to some common style questions, this is the perfect book. I was given this book as a gift by a professor I had in college and I re-read it every few years.
Also reading: Truth in Comedy by Charna Halpern, Del Close, and Kim “Howard” Johnson