It dawned on me yesterday that I never wrote a Stack post for summer! This is partially because I was writing Don’t Stop & Paddle Hard, and frankly, once that process started, I didn’t read much of anything. However! The three I squeezed in were gems, and I figured I might as well go ahead and share my thoughts on them.
The Line Becomes a River, Francisco Cantú. This book is heavy, but beautiful and important. The personal narratives of a former border patrol agent, the book explores border culture and policy from an extremely human-centric perspective. The cadence of the writing is gorgeous (though if you aren’t familiar with Spanish, my guess is that it could be a little confusing at points), and honestly, I appreciated that Cantú offered no solutions to the issues presented — basically because there aren’t any good or clear-cut ones. People on both sides of the border obviously deserve to be safe, but under the given circumstances, protecting one almost inherently risks the other. The book mourns the entire situation; and personally, I think there’s something kind of sacred to that. Some may argue (and have argued) that it’s not a “productive” response to the border, but I think sometimes in our guns-a-blazing efforts to problem-solve — especially with potentially unsolvable problems — we forget to treat the people involved as people. The Line Becomes a River responds with grief, and frankly, I think that’s a perfectly appropriate response and one we should make more space for. Tough read, but definitely recommend!
Come Matter Here, Hannah Brencher. A dear friend lent me this book and I crushed it in two plane rides. A quick read, but packs a punch — I kept writing down quotes from it to remind myself of later! It’s the kind of book that I bet would hit me in a completely different way a few months down the road, too — reads like it was written by a cool older sister who loves Jesus a lot. Pages are full of wisdom and sweet truth and good challenges — if you liked Wild and Free by Jess Connolly and Hayley Morgan, you’ll like this one!
Us Against You, Fredrik Backman. I put this on Instagram at one point while reading but it’s worth repeating: I don’t even have words for how good Fredrik Backman is at words. Us Against You is the sequel to Beartown, and I don’t think I’ve cried — happy or sad — so much while reading a book since high school. The characters are so dimensional they feel truly real, to a degree I can’t even believe. Like The Line Becomes a River, this one deals with some heavy topics (and spares no corresponding language, heads-up), but man, it is an incredible book. I love it so much.
That’s it for my summer reading! Now that I’m catching up, what books did you enjoy? I’ll add them to the list!