One of my New Year's resolutions was to read more books. So far, I’ve held pretty true to my commitment. Thanks to strong recommendations from friends, I have enjoyed my time plowing through some pretty inspirational reads. My job involves a lot of reading and writing, so I will admit that most days when I get home, nothing sounds better than a good workout followed by brainless entertainment.
I also sometimes find myself in a slump thinking about my spouse’s upcoming deployment. It’s tempting after dinner to lounge with him and our newest Netflix favorite. However, I can report that I am so glad to be sticking to my reading goal. Aside from entertaining, these books have been both uplifting and empowering. If you like to read, or would like to read more, I would definitely recommend the following.
5 uplifting books for your military spouse reading list1. All The Pretty Things by Edie Wadsworth I read this book in two days. Yes, it was that good. This author had me rolling in the floor laughing and then boo-hooing into multiple tissues. From the beginning of the book, I was cheering her on and hoping she would find success and happiness. I love Edie’s story and how her writing is both heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time. She overcomes a devastating upbringing to become a wife, mother and medical doctor.
2. The House Girl by Tara Conklin The House Girl tells the story of two strong women: Josephina, a house slave in 1850’s Virginia, and Lina, a modern-day attorney in New York City. Their worlds collide in a way I couldn’t have imagined. The author does an amazing job bringing the scenes to life and writes beautifully. As a military spouse attorney, this writing rekindled my fire for advocating for human rights and justice. I couldn’t put this book down either!
3. Freefall to Fly by Rebekah Lyons I first heard Rebekah Lyons speak at a women’s conference a few years ago. She is extremely passionate about women’s rights and empowerment. In this memoir, she writes openly and candidly about her battles with depression and anxiety, and the strength to overcome them. As a military spouse, I found myself relating to her multiple moves with a young family and to her crippling fear of the unknowns. She speaks to her reader on a personal level, providing encouragement and inspiration when life may be in transition, or you are unsure what the future may hold for you.
4. Wild by Cheryl Strayed Sorry Reese, but the movie did not do this book justice. I closed this book and thought, “I hope to be this strong for myself and my family!” Wild is pretty-well summed up by its tagline, “From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail.” I respect that Cheryl opens up to her readers about grief, lost relationships, divorce and other heaps of problems. Who hasn’t experienced or carried those burdens? While it was sometimes difficult to read about her struggles, the author’s humility encouraged me and stirred something in me to be a better wife, friend and woman living on planet earth.
5. Gray Mountain by John Grisham Lastly, you can never go wrong with a John Grisham novel. I’m used to the heroics of Jake Brigance (from Grisham classics A Time to Kill and Sycamore Row), but I was delightfully surprised that this book features a strong lady lead! Grisham’s writing style is easy to read, flows well and is full of details that make the characters come to life. This is also another book that inspires me to work for my community and for the common good!
What uplifting books would you recommend? Happy reading!