Book Club Reading Ideas

Books & Friends

* * *

Books & Friends: somehow, they just go together perfectly. Ever since I was a little girl, books have played an important role in my life. And as an adult, I’ve found so much camaraderie with friends through a mutual love of books.

Growing up, I lived in the country just outside of Boise, Idaho. We lived at the end of a long dirt road, in a farm-style house. My neighbors had a small field in front of their house where they raised horses. And the people across the street had goats, horses, and a small operating farm. We raised chickens. My mother’s garden was an amazing feat of determination and hard work.

At ten years old, this was torture. Although we only lived a 15-minute drive away from all of my best friends, my ten-year-old self imagined a hot, miserable, desolate desert stretched out between my house and theirs. Everyone felt so far away. I think it’s why I was that kid who couldn’t wait for school to start in the fall. I looked forward to it for weeks and couldn’t sleep the night before the first day – I was always so excited to go back.

In those grade school days, I always wanted to live in subdivisions like my friends did. They all lived close together, and during the summer months, they rode their bikes and hung out all the time. At nine and ten years old, the idea of living in a place where I could ride my bike to my friends’ houses felt like an unattainable dream.

Reading a book

Back in those days, the summer months were long and lonely. The sound of crop dusters flying overhead would wake me up at 6:00 am. And my brother would keep me up late at night, playing outside — usually he and his friends would make me be the catcher while they played baseball (or force me to play GI Joe out on the porch). The days just seemed to stretch out forever.

Our yellow farm-style home was sandwiched on all sides by fields: corn fields one year; sugar beets another year; and once, acres and acres of mint (that was a fun year). We used to run outside to watch the crop-dusters spray pesticide on the fields in the mornings. How on God’s green earth my mother thought this was reasonable entertainment is beyond me. Whenever I wasn’t pulling weeds in the garden, or playing GI Joe with my brother, I did the most reasonable thing a girl in the country could do: I devoured books all summer long.

The summer after third grade, my whole life changed. My mother took me to the Meridian Public Library and got me a library card. I started checking out all the books I could at once. The limit was twelve. And I’d read them all in two weeks. I spent hours upon hours reading. Under the tree; on the porch; late at night in my room. I loved it. And ever since, I’ve been in love with books. All kinds of books: literature, philosophy, history – and my favorite: presidential biographies.

Books and Tea

* * *

Now, I live in a city packed to its edges with cars, traffic at all times of the day, and noise. I wish I could have a garden. Even a goat would be sort of cool to have. Don’t get me wrong, Austin is a great city – it’s loads of fun. But let’s face it: with 150 people moving here every day, sometimes you just want to go somewhere quiet and read books. It’s sort of like realizing that my 10-year-old self sort of had the most awesome life ever.

Which leads me to this summer: I’m taking six weeks out of our busy Austin lives to continue working on my MA in English & American Literature. And I’ll be hanging out at the top of mountain in a small town that only has one main road running down the center. (I think it’s only one mile long). I’m ditching the city life for a few weeks to get back into a small country town and read books: Homer, Milton, Faulkner, James . . . I’m beyond excited. I’ve already begun prepping and reading. May is going to be a two-book-a-week kind of month for me.

So I hope you continue to follow this little blog (send me an email & subscribe to this little blog: HERE), or connect with me on Instagram (@millascrossing). I’m still shooting weddings and families, so there will be a mixture of photography, and books, and small-town life featured here.

I hope you’re looking forward to a lovely summer, as well. What do you have planned? (Psst: I have a really good book list below! My top favorite books from the past two months . . . )

All the Light We Cannot See


* * *

Want to see a list of books I’ve been reading? I have several to recommend:

Novels (Great For Book Club Meetings!):

All The Light We Cannot See

Station Eleven

Self-Improvement / Business:


The Compound Effect


Aristotle And The Philosophy Of Friendship

*  * *

Want to see more of our photography & daily inspiration? Let’s connect: