What’s on your nightstand? Feb ‘13

Every 4th Tuesday, we evaluate what books we’re reading. Here’s my list.

Just started

draw-the-circle-mark-battersonDraw the Circle
The 40 Day Prayer Challenge

by Mark Batterson

Based on his book The Circle Maker, this devotional leads you to pray diligently for 40 days. I’m using it to pray over an issue during Lent. (FYI, contrary to some of the reviews I read, it has nothing to do with mysticism at all. It’s simply a book on prayer.)

walking-in-the-dust-of-rabbi-jesusWalking in the Dust of Rabbi Jesus
How the Jewish Words of Jesus Can Change Your Life

by Lois Tverberg

Author Tverberg helps you see the words of Jesus more clearly by explaining the vocabulary and idioms used during the time Jesus lived. She did much research into the context of the New Testament stories and it shows. I’m loving it and learning from it so far.

Wrecked-Jeff-GoinsWrecked
When a Broken World Slams into Your Comfortable Life
by Jeff Goins

Oh my. This book is hitting home. I’ve had it on my Kindle for awhile, but I shouldn’t have waited so long to read it. Jeff explains how an encounter with a homeless man in Nashville “wrecked” him and changed the course of his life.

the-merchants-daughter-melanie-dickersonThe Merchant’s Daughter
by Melanie Dickerson

This is my friend Melanie’s second novel (the first was The Healer’s Apprentice). She’s winning all kinds of awards for her work, and rightly so. This book is loosely based on Beauty and the Beast. I got it for my daughter, but you know how that goes (I’m reading it for myself). Melanie’s third novel is now available as well, The Fairest Beauty. Read more about Melanie and her books here.

the-survivors-clubThe Survivor’s Club
The Secrets and Science that Could Save Your Life

by Ben Sherwood

My sister Sandy loaned me this one. I had no idea what it was about, but it’s most interesting! Sherwood did extensive research with those who have survived a crisis (and on those who did not), to figure out what makes the difference. Why do some people make it and others don’t? Why do some bounce back and some don’t?

Finished from January’s nightstand

Torn-by-Justin-LeeTorn
Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays-vs.-Christians Debate
by Justin Lee

Oh, that everyone would read this book. Justin Lee writes as a young Christian man who was horrified when he realized he was gay, and even more so when he couldn’t figure out how to change it. This book not only chronicles his personal journey, but it informs and sheds light on the larger battle currently raging in America. Regardless of your stand on gay issues, this book can help you see what’s helpful and what’s harmful as we all relate to each other.

Hotel on the corner of bitter and sweetHotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
by Jamie Ford

Aptly named because this novel is very bittersweet. It’s written between dual time periods—1942 era and late 1980’s, from the perspective of a Chinese-American citizen living in Washington state during the time of Japanese internments. It doesn’t preach, but it can make you angry at how horribly we can treat each other during times of fear. Read it.

speaking-of-jesusSpeaking of Jesus
The Art of Not-Evangelism

by Carl Medearis

I read this book and the following as part of my One Word 2013: Jesus. Between the two, I preferred this one. Medearis goes into depth on how we can speak about Jesus to a world that has been turned off of Christianity.

simply-jesusSimply Jesus
by Joseph M. Stowell

A short book, this one skims the surface (but skims it well) of who Jesus is and what that can mean to us. I don’t regret reading it (it’s always good to read about Jesus, right?), but I didn’t necessarily gain much from it. It would be better suited to someone new in the faith and wanting to learn more about Jesus.

Dreams-in-the-Medina-by-Kati-WoronkaDreams in the Medina
by Kati Woronka

This is the book that tipped me over the edge into actually caring about what’s going on in Syria right now. (Well, not that I didn’t care before, but it was so abstract to me.) Kati wrote this novel partly for that very reason—to awaken us to what’s currently happening in our world, in a place that is dear to her own heart, and to real people in real time. Check out Kati’s blog to stay informed on how to pray for those living and dying in this horrible crisis.

love_does_bob_goffLove Does
Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World

by Bob Goff

Excellent real-life stories of love in action. I don’t know if I should feel encouraged by Bob’s awesome initiative to love others in real ways, or discouraged by my own lack of it in comparison. Either way, his stories make you think about how you might could live differently and more lovingly if you’d just try.

Jesus-a-TheographyJesus
A Theography

by Leonard Sweet, Frank Viola

I really liked this collection of Bible stories from the Old and New Testament and how they relate to each other. It highlights the common theme of Jesus in the stories in ways you may or may not have considered before.

a-year-of-biblical-womanhood

A Year of Biblical Womanhood
How a Liberated Woman Found Herself Sitting on Her Roof, Covering Her Head, and Calling Her Husband Master
by Rachel Held Evans

I enjoyed reading Rachel’s year-long journey through studying women in the Bible and which ways we can or can’t mimic their lives in our own. Some of her experiments were crazier than others—she kept a good sense of humor—but her sincerity and love for the Lord shines through in what she’s doing. She did quite a bit of research both for the biblical texts as well as among women in our own culture. 

wild-mind-natalie-goldbergWild Mind
Living the Writer’s Life

by Natalie Goldberg

This is my second Goldberg book of late (but the book isn’t new). Like Writing Down the Bones, this one is an eclectic mix of how she writes, why she writes, what she writes. But in this book, she includes several suggestions at the end of each chapter for writing practice. Some would probably be helpful to me (if I’d actually do them!); others seem kind of crazy. But, thus the title—Wild Mind.

Insurgent-veronica-rathInsurgent (Divergent series, # 2)
by Veronica Roth

This was a novel strictly for fun. And it was. Even though it was long, I zipped right through it because it kept my attention so strongly. If you like adolescent dystopian novels, you should like this series. I just hope the world never degrades to the level that these books depict.

* * *

What book are you reading this month?

What's on Your Nightstand at _5 minutes for Books_

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