5 Books I Recommend—August 2020

“The only difference between a nonreader and a reader is that a reader has a plan for future reading and a nonreader does not.” ⁠
— Donalyn Miller

Books Beget Books

How long is your to-read book list?

Mine is a bottomless pit.

I had a goal this year to read through the Kindle samples I’ve had sent to me from Amazon (in addition to reading whole books). But before I get one sample read, I’ve already sent myself two more. Not to mention the actual books themselves. The list will never decrease at this pace.

Books beget books, yes? Books are contagious. Reading one leads to another two or three. The R number is above one. (Did we even know what “R number” meant before the coronavirus?

So we do what we can; we read what we’re able. And if our list outgrows our lifespan, oh, well.

Here are 5 books I recommend from those I finished in August. Maybe you’ll find one to add to your to-read list. My apologies. See all my recommended books here.


1. Be the Bridge 
Pursuing God’s Heart for Racial Reconciliation
by LaTasha Morrison

Be the Bridge

This racial reconciliation book is specifically targeted toward Christian believers. LaTasha Morrison does an excellent job leading us through a step-by-step healing process that, if followed, would result in a transformation in race relations today. Her roadmap taken from scripture principles isn’t a quick and easy one, but it is a critical one. It’s up to us what we do with it.

Be the Bridge is also the name of the nonprofit organization founded by Morrison to equip the church in practical ways. Find it here and its Facebook page here. I would love to find an in-person group to join locally. 

My review here of Be the Bridge

2. A Way with Words
Using Our Online Conversations for Good
by Daniel Darling

Way with Words

If you’re on social media at all, you know we need this conversation. Daniel Darling shows Christians why and how we can redeem our online communication to make it God-honoring instead of harmful to other people. I picked up quite a few take-aways I hope to apply. Full book review coming soon. 

My review here of A Way with Words

3. Holy Troublemakers & Unconventional Saints
by Daneen Akers

Holy Troublemakers

If you want to see an unorthodox list of faith heroes that you might not find grouped elsewhere, you’ll find 50 such people in this book. Some you’ll know from ages gone by; some are current to our times. They come from a range of faith traditions, but each one shines a light in our world in their own unique way. 

My review here of Holy Troublemakers & Unconventional Saints

4. The Four Laws of Love
Guaranteed Success for Every Married Couple
by Jimmy Evans

Four Laws of Love

This uplifting marriage book reminds you to Pursue, Prioritize, Partner, and Purify your relationship with your spouse. Jimmy Evans is a pastor and the founder of Marriage Today. Even though I’ve been married almost 28 years, I like to read a marriage book periodically to stay on top of things. This is a good one.  


5. The Giver of Stars
by Jojo Moyes

Giver of Stars

This novel is set in the a small Kentucky town in the 1940s. The local Bennett Van Cleve brings home a British wife, Alice, who has trouble assimilating to American culture. Until she joins the new traveling library. The plot involves five strong women of the library and an interesting storyline that pulled me in quickly.

Reading Now

  • Stamped from the Beginning
    The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America
    by Ibram X. Kendi
  • The Color of Compromise
    The Truth about the American Church’s Complicity in Racism
    by Jemar Tisby
  • Ask Again, Yes
    by Mary Beth Keane
  • Beyond Your Bubble
    How to Connect Across the Political Divide, Skills and Strategies for Conversations That Work
    by Tania Israel
  • The Enneagram for Spiritual Formation
    How Knowing Ourselves Can Make Us More Like Jesus
    by A J Sherrill
  • Love Matters More
    How Fighting to Be Right Keeps Us from Loving Like Jesus
    by Jared Byas
  • After Evangelicalism
    The Path to a New Christianity
    by David P. Gushee
  • Can’t Even
    How Millennials Became the Burnout Generation
    by Anne Helen Petersen

What good book are YOU reading this month? I love to hear (as if my to-read list isn’t long enough already…). Please share in the comments.

My books on Goodreads
More books I recommend

26 thoughts on “5 Books I Recommend—August 2020

  1. bill (cycleguy)

    Hi Lisa! I’m not reading my normal fare right now. I am in the process of reading “A Life of Alexander Campbell.” It is the story of the “founder” of the Christian Churches/Church of Christ denomination. I’m reading it at home and am coming close to the end. I have about 50 pages left of a 300+ book. I am also reading “Strange Rites,” a book about the Remixed (Nones). It has been a slog but there have been some really good points to learn. I’ve set aside a book called “Unquestioned Answers” by Jeff Myers. It was on the sayings people give without thinking. (“God said it; I believe it; that settles it”; “God is good all the time…all the time God is good”; and others). I’ll go back to it in order to finish it. These are all different than what I normally read so I am looking forward to going back to “normal.” 🙂

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I spent my youth in the Church of Christ denomination so I’ve heard about Alexander Campbell for years, but I’ve never read much about him. So I’ll be interested in hearing what you think of the book, Bill! Very interesting. What prompted you to read it? Strange Rites reminds me somewhat of a book I am reading about millennials called “Can’t Even.” It’s repetitive so far. But there are some good points here and there, but I need more to keep going.

  2. Beth

    These all look really good, Lisa! I’m so grateful for the reading and recommending you do! It’s a true gift to us. And I’m going to check out that The Four Laws of Love. I’m always up for a good marriage book! Hugs to you, my friend!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I didn’t agree with everything in The Four Laws of Love, but I did with most of it. I would highly recommend it! My daughter read it first, which always makes me happy when my daughters read these kind of books. 🙂

  3. Patti Gardner

    “The Giver of the Stars” has been on my to-read list for awhile now. My daughter recommended it. She drives the bookmobile for our local library, so as a traveling librarian, she is crazy about that book. I see you have an enneagram book on your list. I just finished up one of those. I am a 9. What are you?

    I also just finished up “A Mother’s Reckoning.” It’s a memoir, written by the mother of one of the Columbine shooters. Such a heartbreaking read! While she doesn’t make excuses for what her son did, she maintains that, even as an involved parent, she never saw the depression—which drove his actions—lurking behind the facade he presented. A great reminder that but for the grace of God, her son could be anyone’s son.

    My current non-fiction read is “The Turquoise Table.” It’s a book about hospitality, which is one of my passions.

    Speaking of hospitality, you have shown hospitality to me. Thank you so much for the invitation to link at Grace & Truth and for wanting to feature my article. Your kindness is a blessing to me!


    1. LisaNotes Post author

      How interesting that your daughter drives a bookmobile! That’s how I read all my Nancy Drew books as a girl. Our bookmobile would come to the local IGA grocery store parking lot every few weeks. 🙂 The Columbine book does sound like a heartbreaker but also one that we’d probably all be wise to empathize with. Yes, but for the grace of God go I….

      I am an Enneagram 5, although I don’t relate to everything about the 5s. But more than any other number. My youngest daughter is a 9 so I am very fond of the peacemaking nature of 9s. 🙂

      I read The Turquoise Table and was encouraged by it too. From reading your blog I can see that you definitely have a gift for hospitality!

  4. Lynn D. Morrissey

    I always love your book posts, Lisa, and your excellent recommendations. No, I don’t take all suggestions, b/c books do indeed beget books! (Love your essay title, btw, and it has a biblical ring, like all those “begets” in the Bible!! 🙂 ) Will ck out Daniel Darling. We were both on Dr. Charles Stanley’s writing team for a while for his In Touch Magazine, and i liked his work.

    Enjoy your reading, which has no doubt increased during Corona Time!

  5. Anita Ojeda

    You always have such cool books on your lists! Be the Bridge sounds wonderful, and so does the marriage book. I just finished Dream Big and Holley Gerth’s book on introverts. Both excellent reads.

  6. Barbara Harper

    I’ve made peace with my ever-growing TBR list by concluding that it will always give me something to look forward to. 🙂 Many of these sound very good. I’ve been posting the books I’ve read each month in with my end-of-month posts.

  7. Joanne

    Yes! My book list is never ending and I am so bad at getting to any of the ones on my Kindle. I’m trying to make myself read two kindle books a month until I get “caught up” but then the ones from the library are due and I focus on those… it’s a good problem to have but sometimes it stresses me out.

  8. Donna

    I’ve been trying to read down my backlog of review copies the last couple of years. It’s going slowly as my favorite authors keep coming out with new books. lol.

  9. Maryleigh

    I just finished Elizabeth Gouge’s The Scent of Water – I’d never heard of her before and I am so glad to have found such an author to read on a day that needs reading. I’m getting ready to start Gleanings of Grace by Thea Coker – she spoke at a woman’s retreat this weekend and did a reading from her book – the storyteller who weaves is one of my favorite genres – and I just fell in love with how she told her story.

  10. Laurie

    I always love your posts about books, Lisa. You have given so many good suggestions that I have thoroughly enjoyed! I think I should read Be the Bridge. I do belong to their FB group and I would love to find a local group close to me too. Maybe you and I should start local groups ourselves!

  11. Lesley

    My book R number is definitely way above 1! And even though I have so many books to read I still always love discovering more. I really enjoyed The Giver Of The Stars too. One that I’m enjoying at the moment is The Powerful Purpose Of Introverts by Holley Gerth. I’ll be sharing about it on my blog in a couple of weeks.

  12. Jean Wise

    yes books beget books and so does your list. I just ordered the Enneagram and spiritual formation so will be fun to compare notes. Heard much about Be the Bridge but haven’t read it yet. glad to read your review.

  13. David

    Dear Lisa, this and your “Five things I love” posts are always such treats, real rays of sunshine. I have a bunch of books on the go but feel like I’m not reading anything — perhaps none of them are really grabbing me. The Four Laws of Love looks intriguing and might challenge me in a good way. I’ll check out a sample (now have a Kindle on my iPad).

  14. Danielle Hammelef

    The Giver of Stars sounds really good to me. I’ve never read this author’s books before, but have seen them around many blogs. I like to add variety to my reading, so I mix up genres each time. I’ve all but stopped reading nonfiction on heavier subjects as I get too much of that already in real life. August’s favorite books for me were Rebel Spy and Today Tonight Tomorrow. I recently finished How It All Blew Up and Watch Over Me, both enjoyable.

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