This summer, due to mental and emotional weariness, I didn’t read my normal volume of books. But among the ones I read were some excellent books that I would like to recommend to you.
The first two on my list were part of my current journey of trying to understand racial issues better, trying to break out of my sheltered, white-American ignorance.
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi is a raw, gripping book about human trafficking among the Africans. Sometimes while reading this book, I was nearly overcome with sadness and had to put the book down for a minute. Due to sexual content, I do not recommend this book for young readers.
Same Kind of Different as Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore is a touching story of a rich, privileged white art dealer, a gutsy woman, and a dignified but homeless black man, and the unusual friendship they forged. An excellent, engaging read.
In Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman, Britt-Marie, an elderly woman who feels like she lost herself, arms herself with baking soda and finds new purpose in a dumpy little town. She unwillingly coaches soccer for a rag-tag team while trying to process what went wrong with her marriage. The book ends with a surprising and refreshing twist.
I cried through The Hawk and the Dove Trilogy by Penelope Wilcock, and I don’t know how much of it was my emotional weariness and how much was the story, but probably some of both. This is the tale of a young girl who asks her mother questions, and in reply, her mother tells her daughter stories of a group of monks searching for meaning, and how they struggled to grow spiritually.
A deeply touching and tender book, When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi is a neurosurgeon’s story of his own journey with cancer and mortality. This book is unusually well-written–it is intelligent and pensive, with a poetic cadence that makes it a delight to read.
A sweet friend gave me Falling Free by Shannan Martin, and the first pages surprised me at the resemblance to my own story! The book talks about giving up a sweet country home to move into town, welcoming a raggedy and wonderful assortment of kids around the kitchen table, and discarding the American dream to fall free with Jesus. Falling Free is an easy-to-read but challenging and nourishing book.
I just got King Jesus Claims His Church by Finny Kuruvilla in the mail so I haven’t read all of it yet, but I’m impressed with what I have read. It presents a bold and apostolic vision for the church. I can tell already that I will refer to the book from time to time, and even though I haven’t reached all the same conclusions as Kuruvilla, I appreciate his thoughtful, reasoned tone. His beliefs are based on a careful study of both Scripture and early Church history. King Jesus Claims His Church is a book worth adding to your library.
Since this is my second blog birthday, and I typically do a giveaway to celebrate, I am going to give away a book of your choice! Well, almost. The winner will get to select a book from this list or from one of the other book review lists I have written.
I’m also giving away two $5 Amazon gift cards, so that I can spread the joy around a little farther! If you win one of these, you can buy your own book using a gift card to reduce the price!
Two years of writing, and I’m not so unselfish that I wouldn’t secretly like to hear from you if this blog has been any good to you. But I write for Jesus, and I want this blog to honor Him. So, to enter the giveaway, you need to answer at least one of these questions:
- How has God has met a need for you recently?
- If Jesus came to your house in person today, what would you like to ask him?
- When do you find it easiest and/or hardest to listen to the Holy Spirit?
Giveaway will close on Saturday, September 23 at 11:59 pm.
If you are interested in starting your own blog, it’s not hard to do. Writing takes a lot of time, but I enjoy writing out things that I’ve kept inside my heart and mind for so long. Want to begin? You can do so here. Please feel free to ask me questions if you need some help along the way.
*This post contains affiliate links. If you click on one of these links and order a book from Amazon, I will earn a few pennies from your purchase.