If I had to describe the types of books I love to read, it would be those that catered to a daydreamer caught in wanderlust, who loves history, architecture with an ancient past, stories of real people, and thought provoking text. It’s no wonder that some evenings are better spent watching episodes on the secrets of some of London’s well known buildings, rather than a rerun of Big Bang Theory.
My fascination with the past is somewhat of an honest and slow reflection on how much changes with the quickness of time. We can see how changes are made as the evolution of thought and learning by awareness takes places. We can also view the exercise of power and the strength found in people when their lifestyle or future is threatened. Decisions both big and small have the power to influence generations. And history has a way of allowing us to observe those changes and reflect on the people we want to become.
I’m not nearly an expert in any particular area of history. I’m just a consumer of books written by authors who have taken the time to unveil stories and information from the past and sometimes the present. Below is my January book list for the reader who is craving a variety of history, spirituality, art, and thought provoking topics. What better way to start the new year than with a variety of inspiration and thought.
1. Marie Antoinette: The Last Queen of France by Evelyne Lever
While kings have always been appointed to rule nations, I have always been curious about learning a little more about the queens of this world and how they chose to live out their role. Marie Antoinette is noted to be the last Queen of France and she seems to have chosen a more frivolous and glamorous seeking life, which unfortunately ended in her fateful beheading.
2. My Freshman Year: What a Professor Learned by Becoming a Student by Rebekah Nathan
“When I was your age…” is the common line we hear when referring to the changes in generations. This book caught my interest as it’s an anthropology professor who poses as a college freshman in order to better understand the current culture of her students.
3. The Poetics of Space by Gaston Bachelard
My sense of interior style was early influenced by the cottage, shabby chic look, but has since evolved. Over the past year, our home has transformed by the new influences of the minimalist Scandinavian neutral base, with touches of rich vintage pieces, and the warmth of farmhouse wood. Not sure those would be the terms an interior designer would use, but it’s how I would describe my space. This book caught my eye as I have been noticing so much of how my space at home influences my creativity, inspiration, motivation, and sometimes cooking.
4. The Four Loves by C.S. Lewis
When I think about which Christian authors have had the most impact on my spiritual walk with the Lord, I would have to include John Piper, Francis Chan, and C.S. Lewis as my top three. C.S. Lewis has been there in the beginning, when as a child, I would check out his Narnia books from the school library. It wasn’t until college when I realized he wrote more than the Chronicles of Narnia. It has been years since I have read this book, so I think it’s time to reread it.