7 Books I Recommend – August 2019

“There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them.
– Joseph Brodsky

Every month I share the best of the books I just finished. Here are books I recommend from August’s readings.

7 Books I Recommend_August 2019

Books I Recommend


1. Insight
Reflections on the Gifts of Being an Introvert
by Beth Buelow

Insight-reflections on the gifts of being an introvert

I sometimes struggle being an introvert in an extroverted culture.

But Beth’s book helps uncover the strengths of introversion.

[click here if you can’t see 1-Minute Book Review]

See more from Beth’s book here: 7.5 Reasons to Celebrate Introverts

2. The Moment of Lift
How Empowering Women Changes the World
by Melinda Gates

The Moment of Lift

Melinda Gates (Bill’s wife) has a large platform of wealth and power. How wonderful that she’s using it to strengthen those without wealth and power. Inspiring book and good info about the work going on around the world to empower women.

When women are lifted up to an equal status with men, everyone rises.

I listened to this one on audio, read by Melinda Gates herself (which was surprisingly delightful; I typically don’t prefer the authors for audio).

3. Stop Being Reasonable
How We Really Change Our Minds
by Eleanor Gordon-Smith

Stop Being Reasonable

We each think we are the reasonable ones. It’s other people who don’t think logically. If only they’d listen to us, we could change their minds. But probably not, says Eleanor Gordon-Smith. She doesn’t provide quick solutions in this book, but she does help us see the difficulties in thinking we can reason our way out of disagreements.

“Why can’t they hear what I keep saying? It makes you feel choked and frustrated and like language won’t work, and it’s no wonder that so many people terminate arguments like this by simply storming away: the one communicative gesture that can never be misunderstood.”

My book review here of Stop Being Reasonable

4. What If God Wrote Your Shopping List?
52 Ways to Find Freedom from “Stuff”
by Jay Payleitner

What If God Wrote Your Shopping List

What we buy says a lot about us. Jay Payleitner helps us rethink our purchases (literal ones and figurative ones) in light of spreading God’s love. Quick and easy read.

The list includes things such as comfort foods, items that evoke memories and sharing stories, and even character traits like ambition and frugality.

My book review here of What’s on Your Spiritual Shopping List?

5. The Art of Mindful Reading
Embracing the Wisdom of Words
by Ella Berthoud

The Art of Mindful Reading

Do we miss out on living if we read too much? This book answers no! So naturally I love it. It addresses all things about reading: how to read widely, the advantages to reading, help for auditory and visual readers, reading poetry mindfully, and much more.

“As a bibliotherapist, I believe that every novel you read shapes the person that you are, speaking to you on a deep, unconscious level, and altering your very nature with the ideas that it shows you.”

My book review here of The Art of Mindful Reading

6. While the World Watched
A Birmingham Bombing Survivor Comes of Age During the Civil Rights Movement
by Carolyn Maull McKinstry

While the World Watched

This is a painful story. Carolyn Maull McKinstry was 14-years-old on September 15, 1963, in Birmingham, AL. That morning, the Klan exploded a bomb in her beloved 16th Street Baptist Church, killing four of her friends. Carolyn recalls the events leading up to that day, the day itself, and how it affected who she is now. She tells her story with integrity and grace, yet with conviction. Even though it hurt, I’m glad I read it.


7. Where the Crawdads Sing
by Delia Owens

Where the Crawdads Sing

This novel lives up to its hype. It’s the story of Kya Clark, the “Marsh Girl,” who lives basically alone on the North Carolina coast. When a local boy is found dead in 1969, fingers point to the Marsh Girl. The story unfolds in a beautiful setting despite harsh realities at the time.


  • Range
    Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World
    by David Epstein
  • The Death of Mrs. Westaway
    by Ruth Ware
  • The Complete Enneagram
    27 Paths to Greater Self-Knowledge
    by Beatrice Chestnut
  • Afraid of All the Things
    Tornadoes, Cancer, Adoption, and Other Stuff You Need the Gospel For
    by Scarlet Hiltibidal
  • Garden Spells
    by Sarah Addison Allen
  • The Death of Politics
    How to Heal Our Frayed Republic After Trump
    by Peter Wehner
  • Gospel Allegiance
    What Faith in Jesus Misses for Salvation in Christ
    by Matthew W. Bates
  • Happy Money
    The Science of Smarter Spending
    by Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton

* * *

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

My books on Goodreads
More books I recommend

sharing at Modern Mrs. Darcy

45 thoughts on “7 Books I Recommend – August 2019

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      From one avid reader to another, may you have a wonderful reading month, too, Martha! We are currently on a road trip so I am getting in lots of reading and loving it. 🙂

  1. Maree Dee

    Lisa – I am amazed you read so many books. I am trying hard to increase my reading. I love it but don’t seem to make the time for it. I love your recap on the books. I see some I would like from your list.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      It feels like it takes me a long time to finish any individual book though. ha. I keep several going at one time, so it takes several weeks longer to finish each one. But it keeps me more engaged whenever I want something different to read. 🙂 I think I get through more books that way in the long run.

  2. floyd

    I haven’t read a lot in the last couple of years. I miss it. I’m going to add the last two to my growing list.

    Thanks for the nudge!

    And you’re still my reading hero!

  3. Beth

    I always enjoy seeing what others are reading. I like to see if I have read any of those books. There were a number of news ones on your lists. I am adding some to my TBR.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Just read your book list, too, Kathy. It’s nice seeing some good novels to read for later! I don’t read as much fiction (as you see) but I do like to keep a novel going most of the time, and appreciate good suggestions.

  4. Lesley

    So many of these sound great! I’ve just finished What Is A Girl Worth? – a memoir by Rachael Denhollander. It is a difficult read because of the subject matter, but such an important story and her courage is inspiring!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      One of Jeff’s co-workers loaned me While the World Watched. She’s discovered that I’m a reader, so she periodically sends a book home with Jeff for me to read. A nice perk! 🙂

  5. nylse

    Hello fellow reader, we are reading Where The Crawdads Sing as our current book club selection. I’m glad it lives up to the hype. This means we’ll have a great discussion!!!

  6. Jean Wise

    I think I have told you before but I really love this post especially the one minute video review. Love hearing your voice and seeing your delightful smile. I see you are reading an enneagram book. We are going to host enneagram workshops at our church this fall using material from Suzanne Stabile. I am really looking forward to learning more about this insight to how God created us.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Aw, thanks, Jean. I’m still forcing myself to do the videos just to step outside my comfort zone. 🙂 How fun that your church is going to host enneagram workshops! I heard someone mention it a year ago at our church, but it didn’t materialize. I would love to see it happen. I saw Suzanne Stabile and Ian Morgan Cron in a workshop a couple years ago when The Road Back to You first came out. They both were very knowledgeable and engaging. I listen to Suzanne’s podcast and always learn new things.

  7. Laurie

    Thank you for the wonderful recommendations, Lisa. As always, I come away from these posts with more books added to my TBR list. I think the Melinda Gates book and “Stop Being Reasonable”. With your good reviews, I will go ahead and get them. We are currently reading “City of Girls” for our book club selection, but I really can’t give it a very enthusiastic recommendation.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Glad to know your thoughts about City of Girls. The theme of that one didn’t appeal to me so I hadn’t added it to my tbr list, and now I won’t. Thanks! I read Crossing to Safety this month as well as Souls at Night, and didn’t put them on my recommended list here. They were okay, but weren’t that great (to me).

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I had to wait a long time for Crawdads to become available. Seems like everyone has it on their hold list. And then when it did become available for my Kindle, the audio version also became available at the same time for my husband. I thought that was totally amazing! 🙂 I read it and he listened to it at the same time. Hope it comes soon for you, Rebecca.

  8. Trudy

    I love when you give tips about introverts, Lisa. You always make me feel less alone. 🙂 That book sounds like something I need to read. My sister-in-law told me about Where the Crawdads Sing, but I decided not to reserve it at the library as there are SO many people waiting. I just looked again, and there are 96 holds on it. Thank you, Lisa, for these book recommendations. Love and blessings to you!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Yes, I know what you mean, Trudy; when I read about other introverts, I feel almost normal. lol. My hold time for Crawdads was over 6 months but eventually it happened and my turn came. 🙂

  9. Karen Friday

    Thank you, Lisa. You are simply the best at bringing books to our attention that may otherwise fall off our radar. Melinda Gates’ book sounds intriguing as well as “What if God Wrote Your Shopping List.” With so many saying over the last few years how believers and the church have become too involved in the consumerism mentality, this looks like a much needed topic.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I agree, Karen: anything that can reduce our thirst for materialism is needed. I’m glad the minimalist trend is still a thing. But I know the root of our problem is our heart’s longing for the wrong things that can never satisfy. The shopping list book was an easy read, but good food for thought nonetheless.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I’ve been on vacation this week with my husband, and I have been enjoying The Death of Mrs. Westaway—I have the kindle version from the library plus the audio version. 🙂 Overkill, I know. ha. The narrator is SO excellent with this one. It’s always fun to have a great read for vacation; hope you find the right book for you, Patsy!

  10. Betsy de Cruz

    Thanks for sharing your reading with us, Lisa! I’m so curious about Where the Crawdads Sing! I picked it up somewhere and started reading. Need to go back and find it again to keep reading!

    One book I just read which I think you might like is Humble Roots: How Humility Grounds and Nourishes Your Soul by Hannah Anderson. It’s such an original message: she says humility is an antidote to stress!

    I see you’re reading All the Things! Can’t wait to hear what you think. It’s one on my list to read.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Yes, I’m sure I would like Humble Roots! I’ll go look that up. Humility is something I always need more of; pride is like kudzu and always needs chopping down.

      Well, I finished Afraid of All the Things last night. And while she did make a few good points, I didn’t get much out of it. 🙁 Maybe I was expecting too much. As one who is afraid of many things, maybe I’m just a hard case. 🙂 But I felt like it was mainly platitudes and that wasn’t helpful to me.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I like the title on this one too. He’s written several books in this genre: What If God Wrote Your To-Do List and What If God Wrote Your Bucket List. I haven’t read those, but I’d guess they are beneficial too.

  11. Elena Wiggins

    I am adding The Art of Mindful Reading to my TBR. I love reading about reading! Have you read Quiet by Susan Cain? I LOVED how she explored introversion. I am curious about Insight and how it compares! I am an introvert and it would be interesting to see if I identify with her writing. I LOVED Where the Crawdads Sing! Such atmospheric writing!!

    My September reads are linked in my name if interested!

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