A Lot of Not-So-Blank Pages

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BOOKS! Nicely shaped collections of words that are bound together for our enjoyment. It's your blog chiefs, Ash and Liz, here to talk to you about books because we love them. I don't think it takes a genius to figure out that two girls who both spend their free time writing and who (obviously) write for MC also love to read. We are both so in love with words and are so passionate about the impact that they can have. Books. Words. They're important.

Since we love books and we love you, we're going to share some of our favorites with y'all! Christmas break is coming, which means you have free time, which means you have time to read! We're excited about devouring multiple books between now and January 12th. Last year, Ashton read six of the seven Harry Potter books in the second half of Christmas break. Anything is possible with enough time and a good book.

So, let's get started! We've broken up our favorites into different categories. Categories mean we get to talk about more books. Yay categories! Yay more books!


Ashton- The Divergent Series, Veronica Roth
I read all three books in four days. They will take over your life and won't let you free until you finish. The Divergent Series are unique; they're full of action, romance, and other weird utopian things. If you're looking for an easy, exciting read, check them out!

Elizabeth- The Chronicles of Narnia, C.S. Lewis
Basically, you can't convince me that Narnia is not real. Either I will find it one day and know for sure, or I'll never stumble across a Narnian porthole and live my life in hopeful bliss. But really, I genuinely love how Lewis's portrayal of Aslan reflects the love and sacrifice of Jesus. It's a beautiful read that offers a great perspective on Christianity and creativity. 

Mutual: The Harry Potter books, J.K. Rowling
Cuz duh. We're obsessed. 


Ashton- The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald
My senior year of high school, I wrote a five page research paper on Gatsby and I still don't hate it. It's the only book I've been required to read that I could consider one of my favorites, well that and Pride & Prejudice. Read Gatsby. You won't regret it.

Elizabeth- Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte
I first read this nineteenth century classic when I was a sophomore in high school. Someone recommended it to me, knowing I liked nerdy things, and I immediately fell in love with the storyline, Jane, and Rochester. It's 100% a tragic romance, but ends beautifully. 

Christian / Religious / Jesus Centered

Ashton- Blue Like Jazz, Donald Miller
The sub-title to Blue Like Jazz is, "Non-Religious thoughts on Christianity" and it's not lying. Reading this book opened my eyes to a lot of different aspects to the Christian faith that a lot of Christians are afraid to talk about. Donald Miller is straight forward, truthful, and great. Blue Like Jazz is worth your time, I promise.

Elizabeth- Spiritual Leadership, J. Oswald Sanders 
This book rocked my world, and I found myself re-reading chapters three times in a row. I read it when I was about to enter into a big leadership role, and it gave great insight into spiritual disciplines that a Christian leader should develop: prayer, fasting, reading, worship, rest. Plus, I love reverently reading the words of wise, humble Chrisitan leaders that have gone before me. 

Book so wonderful it changed our lives
(other than that bible)

Ashton- A Praying Life, Paul E. Miller
There are no words for me to describe how much of an impact this book has had on my prayer life. Paul Miller (no relation to Donald) gets it. He gets what role prayer should have in your everyday life and he wrote a book so we could get it to. It's eye opening, heart changing, and life impacting. From cover to cover, the book is full of truth and grace and straight-from-God advice on prayer. So much goodness.

also Kisses from Katie, Katie Davis
As a girl with a heart for missions, Kisses from Katie is where it's at. Just read it, okay?

Elizabeth- A Prayer Journal, Flannery O'Connor
This book is so simple, but it blew my mind. Essentially, it is a book of prayers that Twentieth Century American author, Flannery O'Connor, wrote during one of her years of college. She was in college, getting an education to be a better writer, and filled her journal full of her insecurities, prayers, and wildest desires. She would pour her heart out the Lord, saying, "Please God, make me a better writer," and asking Him to make her His typewriter. Check out this article to experience the magic. 

also Through Painted Deserts, Donald Miller
I love memoirs, and this is Don's first full length memoir. Just reading the prologue, I started freaking out because the writing was so beautiful and real. Get excited about Don's words. 

A Girly Book

Mutual- Redeeming Love, Francine Rivers

Ashton- The Fault in Our Stars, John Green
I know you've heard of it. Just read it already, okay? Okay.

Elizabeth- Love Comes Softly series, Janette Oke
This is your typical, G-rated, precious romance series. It's set during the Westward Expansion/Old West where families traveled in covered wagons and lived on homesteads or in railroad towns. It's the book series where young women were beautiful schoolteachers and the young men were ruggedly handsome cowboys. It's full of sweet, innocent love stories and definitely make for great Hallmark movies! 

Favorite Book-Turned-Movie

Ashton- Pride & Prejudice, Jane Austen
Another classic, another all time favorite, another one you need to read. My favorite movie version is the 2005 Joe Wright directed, Kiera Knightly and Matthew Macfayden staring, perfectly done movie that I've probably watched a hundred times. The novel is beautiful and heart-stirring and in my opinion something every human should read. 

Elizabeth- Because of Winn Dixie, Kate DiCamillo
I picked this book up from the Clinton library last year on a whim and ended up sitting in Cups for 2 hours and finished the whole thing. It's probably on a fourth grade reading level, but such a warm-hearted story. Plus the movie is on point. 

Book of the Bible

Ashton- John or Isaiah
John is near and dear to my heart. I love reading about Jesus' happenings and reading His truth that He said while on the earth. Isaiah, on the other hand, is such a sweet story of God's grace on His people. Both are my "go-to" books and they never fail to show me new things about the Lord.

Elizabeth- 1 Peter
When I was a senior in high school, I was challenged to read the entire book of 1 Peter and underline all the identity statements. Meaning, find each verse that speaks Truth about who I am and what the Lord says over me. 1 Peter helped me realize that it's not what I do that dictates who I am, but who I am that dictates what I do.  

Next Read

Ashton- The Knowledge of the Holy, A.W. Tozer

Elizabeth- All The Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr 

All Around, Non-Categorizable Favorite

Ashton- Love Does, Bob Goff
This book, y'all. Bob Goff gives the perfect picture of what it looks like to live acknowledging that love is a verb. It's challenging, inspiring, and fun. I read it about a year ago and it's already back on my reading list. Add it to yours, too!

Elizabeth- Bread + Wine, Shauna Niequist 
Two things: Shauna is my favorite contemporary author & I want to be her. Also, this book is about cooking, something I never enjoyed until reading her book. 


Hope y'all enjoyed our ramblings and book suggestions. Consider this your Christmas book list. If you ever want to talk books, even if you don't consider yourself an avid reader, come find one of us! We love it. 

Until next time, 
Ash and Liz-- readers, leaders, Chik Fil A eaters. 

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