What books I recommend—and don’t—from my nightstand this month.
Duh. Of course I love this book! My blogging and now IRL friend Lori gave it to me when we met in person last month (as soon as I can put it into words, I’ll write a blog post about it. It’s a God story.) I loved One Thousand Gifts, so I’m slowing way down to reflect on the selections here from the original.
The Gospel of Yes
by Mike Glenn
I’m liking this one, too. What we believe about God affects what we believe about everything else. If we properly discern 2 Corinthians 1:20—“For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory”, we can more fully open our hearts to trusting God and his promises.
This book outlines the seven life principles John Wooden’s father, Joshua Wooden, gave John to live by. Coach Wooden, in turn, passed them along to his basketball players, friends, and family throughout his life. The author shares anecdotes from a variety of people who knew Coach.
Can you guess which ten people made the list? I’ll give you the first five: Matthew Henry (1662-1712), Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758), John Henry Newman (1801-1890), J. B. Lightfoot (1828-1889), and J. Hudson Taylor (1832-1905). It’s a relatively short e-book (the full book is 50 People Every Christian Should Know), so there’s not much in-depth material on each person, but it’s enough to give a glimpse how these lives influenced so many.
Because these brothers wrote one of my all-time favorite books (Made to Stick—and Switch is excellent too), I’m reading this freebie e-book. It’s a collection of 16 previously published articles about the contemporary business world. Interesting little insights in each section.
Not only can I not get enough gospel and grace, I can’t get enough Jerry Bridges either; they’re intricately linked. So far this book is excellent about what grace is, how Jesus set it into motion, and how it applies to the believer’s life in a way that transforms us. I’m taking this one slowly.
It’s a daily devotional, five days a week and one on the weekend. It’s so good and so grace-saturated. Read it as your time allows. You won’t regret it.
I read this with the Gospel Coalition’s “Commending the Classics” series, but I didn’t like it. I’m sure it has great literary value, but the main character just seemed weird and shallow to me so I never could get into it. Fortunately it wasn’t very long. Definitely won’t be a re-read for me.
Quit Going to Church
by Bob Hostetler
I recommend this one. It makes you rethink why you’re doing many of the spiritual practices you may have been doing your entire life. I like to think about these things anyway, so not everything caught me off-guard, but I still appreciated Hostetler’s slant.
I’m glad it was free. It had some good tips, but it won’t change your life. A collection of articles from a variety of authors on a variety of topics, so you’re bound to get some that hit home, but many that do not.
What’s Next?: Navigating transitions to make the rest of your life count
by H. Norman Wright
Because I’m not sure, I wanted to read What’s Next? It’s oriented more toward those in my stage of life (second half, not first), so I could appreciate most of Wright’s examples, although I’m not ready for all of them yet. It’s a worthy read.
Spirit Rising: Tapping into the power of the Holy Spirit
by Jim Cymbala
I’ve been reading and listening more lately about the Holy Spirit, so this was timely. Cymbala writes using clear stories and with such joy that his books are a pleasure to read. And because he’s such a firm believer in the power of prayer, you get a great dose of prayer encouragement regardless of what the book’s focus is.
I read it with the Reading Classics Together at Challies so I made it through (otherwise I might not have). I read it in an old English version, which added an interesting literary challenge as well. I don’t always agree with Bunyan’s allegories, but overall they are inspiring ones. This book is a classic for a reason.
Challies next reading group starts May 31 – The Hidden Life of Prayer by David MacIntyre (1913). I’ve got a copy on my Kindle ready to go.
Searching for God Knows What
by Donald Miller
This is so good. A little off the beaten path, but that’s Donald Miller. Funny, insightful, and relational. I have a review here.
I love listening to her in person, but in writing? Not so much. Her stories are funny but a little long for my taste, with too many irrelevant details (I like authors that cut to the chase). However, her message is good, about finding grace in different areas of her life in relation to stories about Jesus, so if you’re a more patient reader than I am, you might enjoy it.
Book 2 of The Hunger Games. I waited for weeks for a free loaner from my public library. It was worth the wait. However, as soon as I finished it, I couldn’t wait another few weeks for the next book because this one doesn’t really end—it just pushes you forward into Book 3.
So I bought Book 3 of The Hunger Games on my Kindle within 24 hours of finishing Catching Fire. I couldn’t help myself. I read it slower, though, because I didn’t want it to end. (Who can explain the psyche of a book reader?) The whole series was so much fun to read. I even look forward to more movies.
How to Sleep like a Baby, A Meditation on Psalm 3
by Bob Saffrin. Free e-book
Sunday night when I couldn’t sleep, I opened up this e-book and read it from beginning to end (it’s only 15 pages). Here’s the premise: 1. Meditate on verses about who God is. 2. Meditate on verses of what God does. 3. Meditate on verses on how God is there for us. It’s beneficial. Although I still didn’t go to sleep right away, at least I had peaceful thoughts in my head.
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What books are you reading this month?
We’re sharing reading lists here.