6 Books I Recommend—April 2022

Books can be dangerous. The best ones should be labeled: “This could change your life.”
– Helen Exley

Here are 6 books I recommend from what I finished reading in April.

[See previously recommended books here]

Nonfiction

1. The Power of Regret
How Looking Backward Moves Us Forward
by Daniel H. Pink

The Power of Regret

Everyone has regrets (even though not everyone realizes it). Our first thought is: regrets are horrible. But in Daniel Pink’s excellent new book, he shows us that regret can be used to our advantage, if we’re willing to put in the work. As with Pink’s other bestsellers, this one is full of interesting stories and an easy-to-follow structure.

2. Self-Compassion
The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself
by Kristin Neff

Self-Compassion

I don’t know where to begin with how good this book is! This one will make my top 10 list of books I read in 2022. Bottom line: we’ve overestimated our pursuit of self-esteem the past few decades and grossly underestimated the value of self-compassion. If we want to make the world a better place, self-compassion is a necessary starting point.

3. Stupid Things I Won’t Do When I Get Old
by Steven Petrow

Stupid Things I Won't Do When I Get Old

I got this book for the funny things. And it did make me laugh. But it also had poignant chapters about things not do to when you get old.

Here are some chapters:

  • I won’t lie about my age
  • I won’t become a cranky curmudgeon
  • I won’t refuse to change my ways
  • I won’t wait until I’m deaf to get a hearing aid
  • I won’t whine about how much things cost
  • I won’t postpone for tomorrow what matters to me today

4. Shaking the Gates of Hell
A Search for Family and Truth in the Wake of the Civil Rights Revolution
by John Archibald

Shaking the Gates of Hell

Content of a book may be king, but beautiful writing is a close second for me. This book offers both. This is an honest (and often painful) telling of a life in Alabama in the 1960s by John Archibald, who is the son of a Methodist preacher AND a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and columnist that I’ve read for years. He pulls no punches, but he does it with such style. I didn’t want it to end.

5. Good Enough
40ish Devotionals for a Life of Imperfection
by Kate Bowler

Good Enough by Kate Bowler

I read this book during Lent. It was a beautiful reminder that God is with us and for us in ALL parts of our lives, not just the sunny, happy parts. Perfection not required. The structure was a beautiful blend of stories, blessings, and to-do’s (Good Enough Steps).

Fiction

6. Flygirl
by Sherri L. Smith

Flygirl

This young-adult novel is about Ida Mae Jones’ dream of becoming a pilot during World War 2. But her obstacles are: she’s a female and she’s black. This is a gentle chronicle of the burdens of her journey. Through the story you get a true-life education about the WASP, the Women Airforce Service Pilots.

Reading Now

  • The Four Winds
    by Kristin Hannah
  • Bittersweet
    How Sorrow and Longing Make Us Whole
    by Susan Cain
  • Whole Brain Living
    The Anatomy of Choice and the Four Characters That Drive Our Life
    by Jill Bolte Taylor
  • Fearing Bravely
    Risking Love for Our Neighbors, Strangers, and Enemies
    by Catherine McNiel
  • Do I Stay Christian?
    A Guide for the Doubters, the Disappointed, and the Disillusioned
    by Brian D. McLaren
  • Plays Well with Others
    The Surprising Science Behind Why Everything You Know about Relationships Is (Mostly) Wrong
    by Eric Barker
  • Undistracted
    Capture Your Purpose. Rediscover Your Joy.
    by Bob Goff

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

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37 thoughts on “6 Books I Recommend—April 2022

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      Bob Goff always surprises me too. His vast experiences give his books such depth. Plus, he’s such an Enneagram 7 with boundless energy. 🙂 We saw him speak a few years back and he was just as lively as I expected.

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      It was a fun book to read, but also sobering. I just visited with my elderly uncle today and it reminded me again how we never know how much time we have left so we need to make the most of it.

  1. blankLynn D. Morrissey

    I always appreciate your recommendations and reviews, Lisa. Thank you for all that work in relaying your impressions to us, though I know you obviously love to read–so *that* is pleasurable for you! Re: the McLaren book, I’m thinking, once a Christian always a Christian (the perseverance of the saints), so I will be interested to read your review. I believe people who abandon their faith were never true believers. I do understand at this time in our country the disillusionment of both believers and unbelievers over some of the wretched behavior of some professing to know Christ. Also, I’m really interested in your take on Undistracted. I bought a boatload of books lately, so I forewent that purchase, but I’d love to know your thoughts on it. I get distracted out the wazoo! And if you can define a wazoo, I’d love to know its meaning…. at least, I think I would. Maybe I should leave well enough alone! 🙂
    Love you, Miss Lisa!
    Lynn

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      Yes, it’s easy to share books since I love to read so much. I’m 2/3 into Brian McLaren’s book and have found it fascinating so far. The first third lists reasons not to remain a Christian; the second third lists reasons to remain a Christian; the last section tells how to remain a Christian. His conclusion for himself is to stay a Christian so you would appreciate that, Lynn. 🙂

      I’ve barely scratched the surface with Undistracted, but it feels very classic Bob Goff so far. He’s so widespread in his experiences that he tells such good stories. But I’ll keep you posted on if he stays on track with the title of the book. 🙂 Love you too!

  2. blankJean Wise

    I enjoyed the Power of Regret too. And that Steven Petrol book looks fun too. I have been thinking lately about self-compassion and just wrote a blog post for next week on this Interesting then to find a book here by t hat title. Will check it out too, Thanks Lisa!!

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      Ooh, I’ll look forward to your post on self-compassion, Jean. Kristin Neff (the author of the book) appears to be quite an expert on it. I see her quoted in other books as well. She has a website with resources on the topic but I haven’t delved too deep into it.

  3. blankDavid

    Re “Self-Compassion”: I know it’s harder for me to be kind to myself than to anyone else. I’ve always thought “self-esteem” an ersatz concept, but self-love very important — “love thy neighbour *as thyself*”. I saw on Amazon this book has a testimonial from Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (I can’t pronounce it either) of Flow and Positive Psychology, so — v intriguing!

    Re getting old: well I’ve had a few old people in the back of the cab, … one in particular I admired right to the end never decided that, “I don’t understand the modern world”, like many people seem to at some point. She was gregarious and loved people, and I think that humanism (& I don’t mean “secular humanism”) benefited her mental, emotional and even physical health right to the end.

    My reading: guilty secret — I have just this evening started “The Cuckoo’s Calling” by Robert Galbraith (aka JK Rowling) and I am loving it. A real well-crafted page-turner; would definitely recommend; very British though. I do’t really like detectives — even in novels, I just want everyone to have a fairly nice time — but when I looked in this in the shop I saw the epigraph was Christina Rossetti’s Dirge, and that was like an omen.

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      And yet the more compassionate we are to ourselves, the more compassionate we can be to others…or so they say. I hope to find out if it’s true. 🙂 As I increase compassion for myself, I’d love to extend more compassion to others as well.

      I’m not really a detective novel person either, but sometimes they are intriguing! Glad you’re enjoying The Cuckoo’s Calling. It’s funny how sometimes the little things pull us in the strongest (like the Dirge by Christina Rossetti).

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      “Do I Stay Christian?” isn’t really a sequel to “Faith After Doubt” but it definitely follows on its heels. He mentions that book often in this new one but the new one branches out into a broader territory. It’s very good and thought-provoking as well.

  4. blankAndrew Blackman

    Interesting set of recommendations, Lisa! I particularly like the sound of that book about regrets. I’d be interested to read about the positive impact of something we tend to think of as negative.

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      Yes, The Power of Regret was very intriguing in seeing the research of how people handle regrets (some poorly, some wisely). The book leaned toward helping us find the positive impacts, of course, but also pointed out the other side as well.

  5. blankMark

    Based on how my evening went, I think it’s too late for me. I’m already a cranky curmudgeon. (But if other people weren’t so inconsiderate…..)

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      You made me laugh, Mark, because it might be too late for me, too. 🙂 And also too late on some of the other things (such as, “I won’t be ordering the early bird special” – I’d eat early every day if I could, lol).

  6. blankKathryn Trask

    Okay, I better get back to listening to Self Compassion and I love the look of the one about what I won’t do when I am old. Daniel Pink’s book looks good too, need to check what’s in the local library.

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      I always check my library first too! I borrowed Self-Compassion from Hoopla, the old age book from Kindle Unlimited, and Daniel Pink’s book I got free for review. Free for the win. 🙂

  7. blankMary K

    I read several books at once as well, I like to keep my mind active. One I just finished and enjoyed is “I Guess I Haven’t Learned That Yet” by Shauna Niequist, and at the moment I am plugging my way through “Waymaker” by Ann Voskamp, as always good, but deep. Also Renewed by Lucille Zimmerman. All of these are rather heavy, so I need to start something lighter as in fiction.

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      Reading several books at once is my favorite way to read too, Mary. But yes, like you, I can get into too many heavy books at one time, too. I have to intentionally add in a lighter one to balance things out. That light novel for me right now is “The Rosie Project.” It reminds me of an Australian Sheldon Cooper (if you’re familiar with The Big Bang Theory). 🙂

      I have “I Guess I Haven’t Learned That Yet” on hold at my library and am so excited to read it! It came highly recommended to me. Your other books sound very interesting to me as well.

  8. blankCindy Davis

    Stupid Things I Won’t Do when I get Older made me laugh! I’m like, “what if I am already doing them” lol. Nice selection of books, I want to read Undistracted as well. Someone was going to send it to me but I haven’t received it yet. Regardless, I look forward to reading it someday!

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      Yes, I’m already doing several of those “older” things now, too. Maybe if the shoe fits, I should just claim it? lol. Undistracted is good so far, but I’m not very deep into it yet. Bob Goff has a way of reeling me in with a cute story, and then wham! hitting me over the head with a deep insight. Hope you get your copy soon.

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      I really did enjoy all 6 of these books so I’m glad they appeal to you as well, April! There’s just never enough time to read all the ones I want to read though.

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      The great thing about Daniel Pink’s books (including The Power of Regret) is that he tells so many stories. It’s still not quite as entertaining as a novel though. 🙂

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