Reading is as important as ever these days. Both for information. And for escape. I’ve done a little of both this month, although neither as much as usual.
For a moment in time we leave ourselves; and when we return, sometimes expanded and strengthened, we are changed both intellectually and emotionally.
– Maryanne Wolf
Here are books I recommend from April. See all my recommended books here.
1. The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry
How to Stay Emotionally Healthy and Spiritually Alive in the Chaos of the Modern World
by John Mark Comer
This is another book that was written before its time, and is especially pertinent now (also see Do Nothing by Celeste Headlee). John Mark Comer, a Christian pastor, writes about how he learned to slow down and eliminate hurry from his own life. He offers us ways to do it as well. But it’s not a how-to book.
“The problem isn’t when you have a lot to do; it’s when you have too much to do and the only way to keep the quota up is to hurry. That kind of busy is what has us all reeling.”
2. The Art of Living
Peace and Freedom in the Here and Now
by Thích Nhất Hạnh
My book club recently finished this one (we’ve now started Brene Brown’s Braving the Wilderness). Thích Nhất Hạnh is a gentle Vietnamese spiritual leader who reminds us to live consciously. He works through seven practices in this book to help us do that. I didn’t agree with everything, but with plenty to make this book a wonderful read.
“Freedom is a practice and a habit. We have to train ourselves to walk as a free person, sit as a free person, and eat as a free person. We need to train ourselves how to live.”
How Reclaiming Human worth and Embracing Radical Kindness Will Bring Us Back Together
by Ashlee Eiland
This is a beautiful collection of essays by a beautiful black woman who grew up in majority-white spaces. She shares stories that both remind us that racism still exists, yet give us hope for future transformation.
“But maybe it’s worth showing up anyway. Maybe we still show up just to prove that kindness and proximity aren’t always about our comfort. We keep showing up to remind ourselves that dignity and hope weigh more than humiliation’s sting.”
4. A Spark of Light
by Jodi Picoult
The Picoult novels I’ve read aren’t emotionally easy books. This one is no exception. It’s about a gunman taking over a women’s reproductive clinic in Mississippi. One of the hostages, Wren, is caught up in the gunfire as her dad, the police hostage negotiator, works outside. This novel forces you to look at emotions from all angles, not necessarily to change your stand, but to help you be more understanding.
“This is what it means to be human. We are all just canvases for our scars.”
- Write Better
A Lifelong Editor on Craft, Art, and Spirituality
by Andrew T. Le Peau
The Quest to Solve Problems Before They Happen
by Dan Heath
- I’ve Seen the End of You
A Neurosurgeon’s Look at Faith, Doubt, and the Things We Think We Know
by W. Lee Warren
- You’re a Miracle (and a Pain in the A**)
Understanding the Hidden Forces That Make You You
by Mike McHargue (Science Mike)
- The Truth about Us
The Very Good News about How Very Bad We Are
by Brant Hansen
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What good book are YOU reading this month? Please share in the comments.
- Will Life Go Back to Normal?—Grace & Truth Link-Up
- When You Need to Stay Where You Resist Being