Girl of Cardigan

I don’t know if you’ve heard, but fall is my favorite season.

It is worth noting that I am also a very easily entertained giganto cheeseball.  Hand me a pumpkin spiced beverage and dangle a few leaves in front of me with the promise of Christmas songs in the very near future and I am good to go.  Even at the height of my cheesy cheesy fervor, I am aware that this season isn’t always easy.  It’s busy, and darkening, and sun cravers and family missers and so many others can get bogged down by a nasty melancholy and a whole lot of cynical itchiness.  Which isn’t even as fun as it sounds.

My offering to you, fall lovers and dreaders, as you navigate this tricky season is a very short reading list.   These three books hold within them a little bit of magic that, for me at least, flipped on a light switch somewhere, brightened something, changed something deep and made it sing a little.  There’s some good love here.  Cozy up with these, make yourself something delicious to sip, and see the world a little bit differently.

Three Books for a New Perspective - Girl of Cardigan

Listen, there is nothing deeply profound about this book.  Bob Goff is not the most incredible writer, nor does he offer any deep theological wonders in these pages.  But what he is, dear Bob, is pretty beautiful.  Bob is a guy who just does things, who seems to be missing that hesitant piece of iffy that resides in normal humans.  This belief, coupled with a wild and crazy love, opens all kinds of seemingly locked doors to him, and it’s fun to hear his stories.  This book might not change your life, but it will leave you feeling like that impossible thing is just a little more possible, and get you brainstorming wacky, creative ways to love the folks in your circle.  And that, my friend, is a beautiful thing.

Three Books for a New Perspective - Girl of Cardigan

My friend Tony has a gift for seeing the God-thing in people – he narrows out the gift, the magic bit, the Holy Spirit residing, and in his completely inspired book, he loans you those magic God-goggles.  I love this book because it came from my friend, but I love it more because it changed the way I look.  It changed the way I see.  If you are longing to see little bits of heaven in unlikely places, to tune in to the greater story of God’s work in this dark and unholy place, this book will encourage you on your way.  Tony rips wide and gorgeous holes in the fences we build around God and robs you of the limits you’ve set for the creator, allowing you to meet him in the most unexpected ways.  Dooooooooooooo it.   So much this book.

Three Books for a New Perspective - Girl of Cardigan

Ann bends words around in ways I didn’t know they could bend, and it’s beautiful, so there’s that.  But beyond it’s loveliness, this is a book about practicing gratitude.  Not “feeling grateful” – stubbornly, fiercely, mightily, prayerfully persuing gratitude, grasping a clutching it, meditating on it, walking in it, becoming it.  Nothing in my life has been more transformative than embracing gratitude as a discipline, and I love the artful way this book weaves the reader through the ups and downs and glories and muck of the process.  And it’s really so, so pretty.  If you are feeling cynical about this season in particular, this is your book.

Have you read these books?  What did you think?  Tell me tell me do!!

Girl of Cardigan

  • Nina October 29, 2013 at 6:38 pm


    Your book list and words about actively practicing gratitude have inspired me. I too feel the most joyful moments in my life when I get in the habit of recognizing the little things and expressing (silent) gratitude for them. What a great lesson to share with others! And, it just so happens that as a teacher I get to share great lessons with 34 others every day. For the month of November, and longer if it goes well, I’ve decided to include gratitude as: a word of the day; have a gratitude list in the room kids can add to when the mood strikes them; and share our statements about gratitude during our daily community circle. Not only will this be beneficial to me and my daily mindset, but perhaps it will inspire a life-long healthy practice in one or more of my kids.

    Thanks for the idea!
    Love you!

    • karyn October 30, 2013 at 2:34 pm

      Aw, I love this, and you! I’m actually doing an almost identical project at Imago called “Month of a Thousand Thanks” – we’re collecting thank yous from folks all month long and sharing them all over our various social media space. The best part is getting to be the one doing the collecting. 🙂 I hope you are super blessed by all the kids’ gratitude celebrations as you read and share them. <3

  • Cori @ Let's Eat Grandpa November 6, 2013 at 7:50 pm

    Karyn, you’ve named two of my favorite, most inspiring books of all time! Which means that I need to put Neighbors and Wise Men on my list — because if it’s anywhere close to as good as the other two, it has to be amazing!

    • karyn November 6, 2013 at 8:49 pm

      You will love it. It’s my favorite of the three. 🙂

  • Bethany Scofield November 11, 2013 at 9:05 pm

    I love One Thousand Gifts and will check out the other two. I love finding a book lover to point me toward a good one! Thanks!

    • karyn November 12, 2013 at 7:31 am

      I hope you love them! Please come tell me what you think – I’d love to pass your thoughts along. 🙂