My FFW Inspired Reading List

If you follow me on social media, you may have noticed that I attended the Festival of Faith & Writing last week. It was my first ever writer-y conference, and it was truly a gift.

I met several online friends in person, including Cara, Jody, Heather, Cindy, and more. So wild and wonderful this Internet of ours. And a crazy treat to meet many of these online friends IRL. (I know... that means "in real life." I'm basically a tween.)

While I had a lot of conference takeaways about writing, I also got some fantastic reading inspiration that I wanted to share with you. All the books!

Wanted: A Spiritual Pursuit Through Jail, Among Outlaws, and Across Borders by Chris Hoke 

This book was listed on the pre-festival reading list as author Chris Hoke led several sessions. I recognized his name as a fellow Mission Year alum, and I was very interested in this memoir about his work primarily with Latino gang members in Washington State.

Wanted is thought-provoking and insightful and haunting. Fair warning: it includes language and violence. But it paints a portrait of inmates that is nuanced and complex and a welcome narrative when so many people are reduced to their rap sheet.

Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People by Nadia Bolz-Weber

Nadia Bolz-Weber is funny and honest, two of my favorite characteristics in a writer. (In fact, she used to be a stand-up comedian.) I never read her memoir Pastrix, so this book was my first exposure to her. She was also a speaker at the conference.

I am drawn to stories of everyday encounters with flawed people that point to our God. And I appreciate Nadia's openness about how people in our lives can drive us nuts. Again, I should probably add a disclaimer here as it's got language.

Falling Free: Rescued from the Life I Always Wanted by Shannan Martin

Shannan and I ended up staying in the same house, thanks to our mutual friend Becca. She is a gem. Her book releases this September (you can preorder, which is my plan). I'm excited to read it. Here's what Amazon says:

Falling Free chronicles the Martin family’s pilgrimage from the faulty, me-centric wisdom of this world to the topsy-turvy life of God’s more being found in the less, challenging readers to rethink their own assumptions about faith and the good life. Anyone who yearns for something beyond status quo, middle-class Christianity but hesitates out of insecurity or safety concerns will find encouragement, food for thought, and practical guidance in this sweetly subversive book.

Assimilate or Go Home: Notes from a Failed Missionary on Rediscovering Faith by D.L. Mayfield

Another goodie that's available for preorder is this upcoming book from D.L. Mayfield. I have read her writing on immigrants and living cross-culturally for a while, and I've always appreciated her insight and thoughtfulness. (This piece stuck with me long after I read it.)

In this book, she unpacks the ways she's been impacted living among the poor. She writes, "And the more my world started to expand at the edges of my periphery, the more it became clear that life was more beautiful and more terrible than I had been told."

So these are a couple books I've been reading lately and a couple I'm looking forward to this year. What's on your reading list?

P.S. This post contains Amazon affiliate links. Any books you buy through the links support A Life with Subtitles. Thanks!

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