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“Read a book without thinking about finishing it. Just read it. Enjoy every word, sentence, and paragraph. Don’t wish for it to end, or for it to never end.
– Matt Haig
Here are the first 7 books I’ve finished in 2023. I recommend these 5 nonfiction books and 2 novels from this month’s reading.
[See previously recommended books here]
1. Learning Humility
A Year of Searching for a Vanishing Virtue
by Richard J. Foster
I’ve been a Richard Foster fan for years. While this book isn’t as impactful on me as Celebration of Discipline, it’s still an important book because it’s about humility. And don’t we all need more humility? Foster unassumingly lives it as he writes about it.
“Humility is so very appealing when we see it in another person. Conversely, when we watch someone consumed with pride it feels unnatural, deformed, twisted.”
[read more from Learning Humility here, “A Journal Page of Pride”]
2. When Life Hits Hard
How to Transcend Grief, Crisis, and Loss with Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
by Russ Harris
I appreciate Russ Harris’s books for their practical tools. In this one, Harris specializes in walking you through grief. He provides step by step guidance not to eliminate your pain (that’s not possible), but to better live with it.
“The aim here is to allow your thoughts and feelings to be as they are in this moment, while simultaneously bringing in kind self-talk. In other words, rather than trying to get rid of unwanted thoughts, you’re acknowledging they are present, allowing them to stay, and adding some new ones to keep them company.”
When Your Faith Takes Turns You Never Saw Coming
by Peter Enns
We all have unexpected curveballs that impact our life. And impact our faith. How do we account for them? How do they affect our view of God? I appreciate how Pete Enns doesn’t back down from asking the hard questions. And allows space for us to provide our own answers.
“I came to understand that my understanding of God was not adequate for handling reality. My crushed dream was an invitation—actually, an offer I couldn’t refuse—to recognize that I had been laboring under a small view of God.”
4. Gaslighted by God
Reconstructing a Disillusioned Faith
by Tiffany Yecke Brooks
This is another book of difficult topics. Brooks discusses all the big questions we have when God doesn’t seem to act like we expect. Like the Pete Enns’ book above, this book doesn’t provide tidy answers either.
“It is only our old image of God that has proven insufficient. God is not letting go of us; we are being encouraged to let go of our old, outdated, or inaccurate ideas of who he is.”
5. 100 Ways to Improve Your Writing
Proven Professional Techniques for Writing With Style and Power
by Gary Provost
Whether you’re writing a book, a blog post, or an email, this book has simple tips to help you communicate more clearly. I may have read this before, but books like these are good to re-read every few years.
6. The It Girl
by Ruth Ware
I’m always excited when Ruth Ware publishes a new novel. This one may be one of her best ones yet. A good mystery book without gore or gratuitous violence. When a college student is found murdered, the list of suspects is very small. Intentionally?
7. Count the Ways
by Joyce Maynard
Eleanor and Cam marry, have three children, and then tragedy strikes their family. Author Joyce Maynard does a fabulous job walking us through the realistic challenges that ripple out from there.
WHAT I’M READING NOW
- The Office BFFs
Tales of The Office from Two Best Friends Who Were There
by Jenna Fischer, Angela Kinsey
- The Lives We Actually Have
100 Blessings for Imperfect Days
by Kate Bowler
- Autobiography of a Yogi
by Paramahansa Yogananda
- Please, Sorry, Thanks
The Three Words That Change Everything
by Mark Batterson
Essential Wisdom for Getting Through the Storm
by Thich Nhat Hanh
- Anxious People: A Novel
by Fredrik Backman
- The Light We Carry
Overcoming in Uncertain Times
by Michelle Obama
What good book do YOU recommend? Please share in the comments.
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