5 Books I Recommend—April 2021

Reading a book is among the most high-leverage activities on earth. For an investment more or less equivalent to the length of a single workday (and a few dollars), you can gain access to what the smartest people have already figured out.”
– Greg McKeown

Below are 5 books I recommend from those I finished reading in April plus my 1-minute video review. 

[See previously recommended books here]



1. Time Management Ninja
21 Rules for More Time and Less Stress in Your Life
by Craig Jarrow


These 21 easy tips will nudge you in the right direction for better managing your time. 

Here’s my 1-minute video review of Time Management Ninja.

[click here if you can’t see the video]

2. Effortless
Make It Easy to Get the Right Things Done
by Greg McKeown


In the same genre as Time Management Ninja, this book Effortless also lays out easy ways to accomplish the things you want to get done in a day. One of my favorite chapters is Chapter 6, What “Done” Looks Like.

3. The Sum of Us
What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together
by Heather McGhee


Racism is expensive. And it’s not a zero-sum game. Everybody pays the price. Heather McGhee spells it out in dollars and cents. 

4. Freeing Jesus
Rediscovering Jesus as Friend, Teacher, Savior, Lord, Way, and Presence
by Diana Butler Bass


We have many ways we see Jesus. Diana Butler Bass shares 6 ways most of us have seen Jesus and prompts us to keep looking even closer. 


5. Salt to the Sea
by Rita Sepetys


I didn’t know about the MV Wilhelm Gustloff, a German cruise ship used as an armed transport ship during World War 2. This novel is a riveting account of four refugees who come together on board. Highly recommend as a story but also for its historical value.

Reading Now

  • The Great Sex Rescue
    The Lies You’ve Been Taught and How to Recover What God Intended
    by Sheila Wray Gregoire
  • Storyworthy
    Engage, Teach, Persuade, and Change Your Life through the Power of Storytelling
    by Matthew Dicks
  • The Making of Biblical Womanhood
    How the Subjugation of Women Became Gospel Truth
    by Beth Allison Barr
  • Dwell on These Things
    A Thirty-One-Day Challenge to Talk to Yourself Like God Talks to You
    by John Stange
  • Get Out of Your Head
    Stopping the Spiral of Toxic Thoughts
    by Jennie Allen
  • Home Fire
    by Kamila Shamsie

What good book are YOU reading this month? Please share in the comments.

My books on Goodreads
More books I recommend

27 thoughts on “5 Books I Recommend—April 2021

  1. Martha J Orlando

    Thanks, as always, Lisa, for the great recommendations here! A book I read recently, and highly recommend is The Women of the Bible Speak by Shannon Bream. It is truly and inspiring and eye-opening read.

  2. Barb Hegreberg

    Our reading lists are starting to sync up.

    My current reads are:

    Idol Lies by Dee Brestin
    The Joy of Being Mom by Judy Brisket
    Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus by Ann Spangler & Lois Tverberg
    When We Were Worthy by Marybeth Mayhew Whalen
    Vision by Ann Aschauer

  3. Lynn

    I can always use more help in time management! I fall into having too many projects at once! I’m working through Crystal Stine’s ‘Holy Hustle’ book currently.

  4. Trudy

    Thank you, Lisa. Your voice is so soothing. 🙂 I loved your four somethings, too. I sometimes watch your 1-second videos 2 or more times, and I like to pause at times to view a pic longer. 🙂 I hope all goes well for your little grandson and his mommy. You must be so excited to cuddle him in your arms and to see your granddaughters’ expressions. Love and blessings to you!

  5. Grace Bower

    Have you read any of RACHEL MACY STAFFORD? Her latest came out a year ago LIVE LIFE NOW.
    Highly recommend all but this is a gift. Her SoulShift online courses are being redone for a wider audience. Check her out on Handsfree Mama and her latest blog about Walking differently in the world.

  6. Joanne

    I LOVED Salt to the Sea and was struck anew by how much I still didn’t know about WWII. I love all of Ruta’s books. Between Shades of Gray taught me so much about the Russian/Siberian work camps that we don’t normally hear much about.

  7. Nancy Ruegg

    Getting ready to start Ellen Vaughn’s book, Becoming Elisabeth Elliot; just finishing a secular mystery novel by Jacqueline Winspear, In This Grave Hour. Set in 1939 London, the characters are not only solving a murder but dealing with the specter of another war with Germany. This is one of Winspear’s Maisie Dobbs series.

  8. Jean Wise

    I didn’t know Greg McKeown had a new book. Just ordered it from the library. Thanks so much for always bringing such good books to our attention.

  9. Gretchen

    I love that quote by Greg McKeown!

    I read his book Essential several years ago. Glad to see he has a new book out. I can always use some time management help.

    Salt to the Sea sounds wonderful. I love how much I learn from reading good fiction.

    I am currently reading Father Elijah by Michael D. O’Brien. Fascinating read that I am learning a lot from.

  10. David

    Too many good books! I guess those first two I could skim on a kindle? (loved the video review, and I agree — these are just the kinds of tips to pick up and try out). I am struggling to finish a novel I’ve been reading on and off since last year — “Gravity’s Rainbow” by Thomas Pynchon. I loved it the first time I read it (lo-ong ago) but it’s a bit dark for me nowadays (his “Mason & Dixon” is wonderful and I’d recommend it to anybody). I’m excited about a couple of books I’ve ordered for next month: “Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Christian Humanism” and an edition of Bach’s “Inventions and Sinfonias”.

  11. Donna B Reidland

    Thanks for the suggestions. I can always use time management books. I’ve been reading a couple of older books that I never got to for one reason or another. I just finished Respectable Sins and am currently reading Trusting God, both by Jerry Bridges. Bridges is one of the most insightful teachers when it come to applying the Bible to our daily lives. Thanks for your recommendations, Lisa. Blessings!

  12. John Smith

    I think I’d be most likely to read the historical novel “Salt To the Sea.” It’s a story from World War II that I’d never heard of before!

  13. Danielle Hammelef

    I’m loving historical novels lately and now really want to read Salt to the Sea. Pre-pandemic I actually met this author at Barnes & Noble during an author talk/signing. It turns out she is from my home state. Thank you for the recommendation!

  14. Debbie

    I was just listening to a podcast where Greg McKeown was talking about his new book. Essentialism has stuck with me for a long time and I’m looking forward to reading Effortless. I hope you enjoy Home Fire. I really liked that book.

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