1. Writing My Wrongs
Life, Death, and Redemption in an American Prison
by Shaka Senghor
“Each day in the hole was a test of my will to survive, as the insanity continued to unfold around me, but the act of writing about the things I saw helped to take away their power.”
This is an important book. Read it if you can. The author shares lessons he learned while serving a prison sentence for second degree murder, but they are lessons we all need to hear.
See more quotes here on my post, “Stop the Humiliation and Restore the Dignity”
2. The Gift of Fear
by Gavin de Becker
“I explain that if she’s scared to death every night, focused intently on what might happen, then no signal is reserved for when there actually is risk that needs her attention.”
A fascinating book. I don’t anticipate needing many of the danger signals he talks about, but they’re good to know, just in case.
3. The Confessions of St. Augustine
by Augustine of Hippo
“You cannot change, yet You change everything. You are never new, yet never old. You make all things new, yet conquer the proud with old age before they know of its approach.”
A bucket list read. This autobiographical classic of Augustine’s conversion to Christianity is slow, and much of it I wanted to skim, but now and again I’d hit on a gold nugget that made it all worthwhile. I read the Modern English Version, which was helpful (this book was originally written in AD 397).
Being with God in Breath Prayers
by Jean Wise
“Breath prayers are quite simply breathing in God’s love, his presence, and his peace and exhaling your worries, control and problems.”
Our blogging friend and fellow contemplative Jean Wise wrote this small book to explain the practice of breath prayers. She gives us so many wonderful examples of 5-7 word phrases that we can use to quietly repeat and breathe in prayer to God (such as, “Lord Jesus, have mercy on me”). I’ve already used several of them myself.
5. The Contemplative Writer
Loving God through Christian Spirituality, Meditation, Daily Prayer and Writing
by Ed Cyzewski
“If I have made one mistake in prayer, it’s believing that 100% of prayer relies on me: what I say, what I believe, and what I do. What I am learning in small ways each and every day is that prayer primarily relies on God.”
Another blogger and contemplative is Ed Cyzewski, who not only recently published this short ebook, but has also created a new website for contemplatives—The Contemplative Writer—to provide daily prayer practices and soul care for writers. In the book he explains 10 practices for connecting deeper with God, including praying the hours, centering prayer, and imaginative Bible study. Get a free download if you subscribe to Ed’s weekly email list.
by Toni Morrison
“She told them that the only grace they could have was the grace they could imagine. That if they could not see it, they would not have it. ‘Here,’ she said, ‘in this here place, we flesh; flesh that weeps, laughs; flesh that dances on bare feet in grass. Love it. Love it hard.'”
A hard but important story of slavery set in Cincinnati in the 1800s. I wasn’t sure what to expect from this classic; I’m still not sure what I think about it. It’s mysterious. But it still has me thinking about Sethe, Baby Suggs, Denver, and Beloved.
7. The Return of the King
(The Lord of the Rings, #3)
by J.R.R. Tolkien
“‘No, Sam!’ said Frodo. ‘Do not kill him even now. For he has not hurt me. And in any case I do not wish him to be slain in this evil mood. He was great once, of a noble kind that we should not dare to raise our hands against. He is fallen, and his cure is beyond us; but I would still spare him, in the hope that he may find it.’”
Such a delightful surprise to discover I love “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy! I’ve rewatched the movies and now I actually understand them. The books are lengthy, but worth it.
- The Wisdom of the Enneagram
by Don Richard Riso, Russ Hudson
- Interior Castle
by Teresa of Avila
- Beyond Fundamentalism
Confronting Religion Extremism in the Age of Globalization
by Rez Aslan
The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth
by Rez Aslan
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What are you reading this month? Please share here.
sharing at What I’ve Been Reading Lately
- Are you getting better?
- 3 Spiritual Practices for Paying Closer Attention to God