Friends! How these first days of January have flown by! Confession: I have not left the house this week except to go to church and to walk to and from school. And I am still not caught up!
But it’s time to throw off the PJ pants and head out into the world because it is FRIDAY! Yay for the weekend! Double date with friends + Hiking + Life.
Loads to share with you in case you are hiding from the weather on this January weekend!
I have LOVED the return to storytelling in my own writing lately, and it has made me watch more closely for more good stories on the internet. Here are five I’ve loved this week.
A story about being lost at sea. Mind = Blown.
A story about Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan. It was 20 years ago that they battled it out on the ice, and both lost. Super interesting retrospective.
A story about life hacking really just being white privilege. h/t @yesandyes (fair warning: language)
I have not written as much about books this year, partly because I think Goodreads has kind of replaced the need for other book review sites. I finally set up an account (friend me?) and hope to be more active there with what I’m reading in 2014. But here are my five favorite reads of 2013. (I’d love to hear your favorite read of the year in the comments!)
Penguins and Calves by Madeleine L’Engle
I thought I had already read everything Madeleine L’Engle had ever written and then one day I stumbled across this unfamiliar title in a used bookstore. Madeleine takes both the simple and grand events of life and turns them into a meditation that leaves me shaking my head and wondering anew at how much beauty there is in language. And in the world.
A favorite quote: A mortal is a more dangerous idol than a golden calf.
Daring Greatly by Brene Brown
Taido brought Brene Brown into our home this year during a sermon, and I have been so much the richer for the introduction. I have quotes from Daring Greatly all over my journals and nightstand. In my old house, I wrote them on my chalkboard. She inspires me to push forward down the paths that seem the craziest, the wildest and the scariest.
A favorite quote: It is the willingness to be brave while we are afraid that is the essence of our power.
The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson
This brilliant novel inspired me to read everything I could get my hands on about North Korea last year. (I also gave Liberty in North Korea t-shirts for a large number of 2013 birthdays.) I still haven’t recovered. But more importantly, neither has North Korea.
A Thread of Grace by Mary Doria Russell
Easily the best fiction I read this year, I dream of seeing this book as a movie one day, ideally with a screenplay by Tom Stoppard and directed by Joe Wright. I never get tired of WW2 novels and this is one of the finest I’ve encountered, as rich in characters as in history. Tragically beautiful.
Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas
Five New Years Posts
I have enjoyed reading others goals, dreams, plans, resolutions, 2013 wrap ups and 2014 hopes. I admire people who are actually on go for those things by January 1. Maybe one year I will do that. Until then, here are five year end or year beginning posts I’ve enjoyed.
Matt shared his friends’ top picks for places to visit in 2014. #1 on the list? Scotland. Get to packing, friends!
Loads of New Year’s Travel Resolutions from Travel and Leisure.
Alexandra shared her favorite writing + creativity tools from the year.
Chris’ advice on Making 2014 your Year of Writing.
Mike reflected on where he screwed up in 2013. Refreshing. And hilarious.
Five Links By Me (having nothing to do with the New Year)
In 2014, I hope to write more and more for other websites and magazines besides my own. Here are five articles or interviews I’ve done lately!
4 Reasons To Use iPhone Photography On Your Blog for Sarah Von Bargen
7 Free Things To Do in Little Rock for Traveldudes
An American in Aberdeen for Embrace Scotland
Wow, if you made it here, Congratulations for reading the longest ever version of the Chino House Pipeline! Cheers to a lovely weekend and hope to see you back here on Monday for more storytelling love + an announcement!!