A Time To Read

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven, says Solomon in Ecclesiastes 3:1. I take that to mean that somewhere in there is a time to read!

I honestly don’t understand when people say that they enjoy reading, but don’t read because they don’t have time. For me, it’s like saying I never eat anything because I don’t have time. But that’s ok, I don’t have to understand everything about everyone else. Reading isn’t a test of godliness, you know. But I do like to read!

Here are some of the books I’ve read in the last few months.

I know I’ve talked about these two before, but I will give them another bump because they are so, so good. Very deep and inspiring, but highly readable. Your Christianity will be challenged and changed! The Insanity of God and The Insanity of Obedience by Nik Ripken.

I read Go Set a Watchman right over the time that Harper Lee died. Go Set a Watchman is not as good as To Kill a Mockingbird, in my opinion. I was disappointed in Atticus, but fascinated by Jean Louise’s struggle to find her own person, her own beliefs, instead of merely mimicking her father.

The Double Bind by Chris Bohjalian gives a striking picture of both mental illness and homelessness–subjects many of us need greater understanding in. The ending is shocking! I would definitely not recommend this book for young readers. This one was required reading for our book club, which I missed because of being out of town right after the largest wildfire in Kansas history surrounded our town!

Penny Wise is a small book on tips for frugal living from the Keepers at Home publishers. My mom gave me this book for my birthday. I’m not sure if I learned anything new, but I still enjoyed reading it.

Center Church by Timothy Keller–I’ve just dipped into this book a few times. But I’ve read enough of it to know that I’m going to go back for a meal! I was intrigued by Keller’s description of four models of the church’s response to culture: transformationist, relevance, counterculturalist, and two Kingdoms, and the pros and cons of each model. It’s a big book, so likely I won’t read it all at once.

When I was sick, I read The Great Christmas Kidnapping Caper by Jean Van Leeuwen just for fun. It’s a lighthearted book kids love, and it has no nasty adult themes like too many kids’ books do these days. A couple of mice figure out how to rescue a nice man who was kidnapped.

Another children’s book to love: The Contests at Cowlick. My kids think this book is wildly funny. A clever little boy outwits a dangerous rascal and his gang–and makes them look utterly foolish in the process.

I read a novel about a boy with Aspergers, but I cannot remember the title! I am getting old, I guess. The book was heart-wrenching, but had a good ending. It reminded me of the fragility of children, especially those with mental or emotional problems. Well, what’s the use of talking about the book if I can’t give you the title?! Maybe I’ll remember later.

Two years ago I read Hearing God, and recently I got it out to read again. I’ve been reading snatches here and there, and every time I am amazed at the depth and quality of the book. If you’re interested in learning about hearing God’s voice, read Hearing God by Dallas Willard.

Ok, I am going to add one more book that I actually haven’t read through for a couple of years. But I’m including it because I often think about it, still. Thin Places describes postures for practicing missional community. The ideas in the book have been very shaping for how I’ve lived my life the last year.

That’s some of what’s been on my book-pile! What about you? I’d love to hear your suggestions! Because there’s a time for everything–including reading.



Have you read any of these books? If so, what did you think? What good books have you read lately? 

15 thoughts on “A Time To Read

    1. 🙂

      I have When Breath Becomes Air on hold at our local library, thanks to your review! I was disappointed that they didn’t have The Soloist. Guess I’ll have to buy it or get an interlibrary loan. Thanks for the book suggestions!


      1. Doris

        I’m currently reading The Soloist, thanks to Anita Yoder’s blog comments. I’ll get it back to the Hutch library so you can do interlibrary loan. 🙂 Checked out Go Set a Watchman at the same time but haven’t read it yet…


  1. Melanie King

    I love to read! Thanks for the book suggestions – I’m writing some of them down. My fave book (of the 7 I read so far) this year has been “I Dared to Call Him Father” – the incredible story of a Muslim woman pursued by her Heavenly Father. I had listed all the other books I read on an earlier comment that I think I deleted accidentally before it posted – and now I’m too tired to say it all again.


  2. Out of Sorts by Sarah Bessey, Storm by Jim Cymbala, and I’m reading Every Bitter Thing is Sweet by Sara Hagerty right now. I’ll be checking out the books you recommended. Love, love stimulating books.


  3. E

    I’ve just gone and bought that Thin Places on kindle! 🙂 Love to hear your recommendations. One of the books I’m reading snatches in right now is “It’s OK NOT to Share…and Other Renegade Rules for Raising Competent and Compassionate Kids”. 🙂


  4. Victoria

    Found in Him. Every time. I will shamelessly promote this book. It has made a huge impact on me. Man I love to read too but it honestly does seem like my life is so uncontrollably hectic that by the time I get home I just crash into bed. My brain is starving though and I’d love to dig in again. Another good book is Conversational Evangelism. Pastor Phil gave it to me and so far I really like it.


  5. A few great reads, reaching over a number of years:
    * Anthropological Reflections on Missiological Issues, a collection of articles by Paul Hiebert. Absolutely brilliant in helping to understand some of the worldview conflicts within the Menno world, in framing a conception of “church”, in thinking about the spiritual/physical world, and many others. One of many articles touching on this is here–fairly consistent w/ Keller’s “Centrality of the Gospel” sermon here. Written for an academic world, a minimally cohesive set of articles…but pure gold, and absolutely worth intensive reading.
    * Knocking on Heaven’s Door: A New Testament Theology of Petitionary Prayer, by David Crump. I realized a while ago that I was having a really hard time defining *why* a Christian “should” pray, and what to expect from prayer. Crump asks similar questions, and does an exhaustive look through the New Testament in search of answers.
    * Out of the Saltshaker and Into the World by Rebecca Manley Pippert. Most books on evangelism embarrass me with their arrogance, make me feel slimy with “ends-justify-the-means” manipulation (of readers, and of others), or both. Pippert’s book, though, is filled with life–wholesome, joyful, overflowing life!
    * The King Jesus Gospel by Scot McKnight. Reading this, like reading Knocking on Heaven’s Door, came from a realization that “the Gospel” is easy to talk about–but if I pinned myself down, I’d have a very hard time defining “the Gospel” in a relevant, Biblically defensible way. In other words, I didn’t know what I was talking about, even to myself. McKnight’s book goes a long way in correcting this deficiency.
    * Poor Charlie’s Almanack, edited by Peter D. Kaufman. Definitely not a “Christian” book, but Charlie Munger is one of the clearest thinkers and proponents of “worldly wisdom” that I know.
    * A grueling read, dark and sometimes sordid themes and deeply broken people, written by a master of the writer’s craft: Sophie’s Choice, by William Styron. Just to be very clear: masterfully written, will stick in your mind for a long time, brilliant examination of evil in the world…and very much an “R-rated” book. Be warned. 🙂


  6. Thanks for the recommendations! Just placed an Amazon order. I’m totally on your page when it comes to ALWAYS having time to read! Have you read Rosaria Butterfield’s The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert? One of my favorites…


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