7 Books I Recommend—August 2021

“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.”
– Charles W. Eliot

Below are books I recommend from what I finished reading in August. 

[See previously recommended books here]

7 Books I Recommend--August 2021


1. The Comfort Book
by Matt Haig


This is a small book, but it is very packed with nuggets of wisdom. Matt Haig shares his little notes and stories that remind him of light in the world and of reasons to hold on. I highly recommend.

2. A More Christlike Word
Reading Scripture the Emmaus Way
by Bradley Jersak


Jersak aims to reconcile the “wrathful” God of the Old Testament with the loving perception of him in the Christian faith. He does this by pointing to Jesus, the living Word himself. I highly recommend this book if you want to understand more about the central tenet of Christianity: Jesus.

My review here of A More Christlike Word – “Is the Word of God a What or a Who?”

3. Dusk, Night, Dawn
On Revival and Courage
by Anne Lamott


I love Anne Lamott’s writings, and this book is no exception. Her storytelling skills bring me into the moment with her humility, her insights, her humor. She doesn’t avoid the hard questions in life, but she also doesn’t provide quick, pat answers to solve them. She lets us stumble alongside her in all our humanity and our imperfect faith. 

4. Murder Your Darlings
And Other Gentle Writing Advice from Aristotle to Zinsser
by Roy Peter Clark


If you like reading books about writing, this is the book for you. Clark not only writes about writing, but in each chapter he shares about another great book about writing. I loved reading about his favorite writing books and also getting life lessons along the way. (He also added quite a few titles to my to-read list.)

5. Scarcity
Why Having Too Little Means So Much
by Sendhil Mullainathan


When someone doesn’t have enough (or even just perceives that they don’t have enough) of whatever (time, money, food, etc.), it changes their life in more ways than they realize. This book is a fascinating look at the psychology of how we respond when we think we don’t have enough.

6. Zero Fail
The Rise and Fall of the Secret Service
by Carol Leonnig


I love a good behind-the-scenes book about the inner workings of a major business or government entity. This book is an amazing look at behind-the-scenes of the Secret Service since its inception. The stories told are riveting about the JFK assassination, the attempt on President Reagan’s life, the break-ins at the White House, etc., all from the perspective of the Secret Service. I hated for this book to end.

7. Four Thousand Weeks
Time Management for Mortals
by Oliver Burkeman


If you live to be 80, how many weeks do you have? Just over 4,000 weeks. How are you spending yours? What I love about this book is it didn’t make me feel the need to be super efficient with my remaining weeks. Almost the contrary. It’s shifting me into realization AND acceptance that I’ll never get everything done. And that it’s okay.

My review here of Four Thousand Weeks – “How to Win Your Fight with Time”

Reading Now

  • American Dirt
    by Jeanine Cummins
  • How God Works
    The Science Behind the Benefits of Religion
    by David DeSteno
  • If God Is Love, Don’t Be a Jerk
    Finding a Faith That Makes Us Better Humans
    by John Pavlovitz
  • The Doubters’ Club
    Good-Faith Conversations with Skeptics, Atheists, and the Spiritually Wounded
    by Preston Ulmer
  • No Cure for Being Human
    And Other Truths I Need to Hear
    by Kate Bowler

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

My books on Goodreads
More books I recommend

32 thoughts on “7 Books I Recommend—August 2021

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      If you like Anne’s books already, you’ll like this one too, Michele. She never disappoints.

      The secret service book is also an audiobook so I hope to get Jeff to read/listen to it as well. It’s so interesting!

  1. Barbara Harper

    I’ve heard the phrase “Murder your darlings,” but I’ve forgotten the source. That sounds like a good writing book. The Secret Service one sounds fascinating. The time management book sounds vert helpful.

    I listed the books I’ve finished this month on my end-of-month post today. I finished a biography of Anne Morrow Lindbergh that was actually a little depressing. Call of a Coward: The God of Moses and the Middle-Class Housewife by Marcia Moston and The Good Portion: Scripture: The Doctrine of Scripture for Every Woman by Keri Folmar were both excellent. So was Unconditional by Eva Marie Everson, a novel based on a true story.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Clark explains in “Murder Your Darlings” who originated the saying, but I don’t remember. He mentioned several writing books that I already loved and several more than I now want to read. You’re probably familiar with several of them too.

      Thanks for sharing about your books here too. I always enjoy hearing what you’re reading and which books you think are good.

  2. Jeanne Takenaka

    Lisa, each of these books sounds interesting! I have only just begun reading Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird (though it’s sat on my shelf for years), and I’m loving it. Her book sounds interesting. And time management? Yes please. 🙂 That book also sounds like one I need to add to my TBR list. You always have such an array of titles. Thanks for sharing them!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      It’s been a few years since I first read Bird by Bird. I should go back and re-read it sometimes. I remember it being good. It’s one of those books that you continue to hear about again and again because of its important message to bite off a little at a time. The advice holds up across lots of applications!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Yes, both Scarcity and Zero Fail were such interesting books. I got both of them from my library. My husband has now added Zero Fail to his audiobook hold list. I think he’d really enjoy it too since it’s so full of interesting stories and not just facts and figures. 🙂

  3. Lois Flowers

    I was just thinking I need to read another writing book, Lisa, so thanks for that recommendation. I didn’t know Anne Lamont had a new book, and the Secret Service book sounds like it’s just up Randy’s alley. I’m going to the library website straight away to place some holds. 🙂

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Yes, I think Zero Fail about the Secret Service will appeal to both men and women alike. Jeff has it on his list now. The only problem is I kept reading the most interesting passages to him as I was reading it, so I may have ruined some of the book for him. 🙂

      If you want another writing book, you’ll love Murder Your Darlings not only for his advice but also for the way he gleans the best tips from so many other writing books. So good!

  4. Robyn Jones

    These all sound so interesting! Reading used to be my favorite thing to do, but I shifted to preferring activities that were more active. Lately I have gotten back into reading more (currently the Left Behind series), so I would like to add some of these titles. The one about the Secret Service sounds amazing!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      One of the beautiful things about books is that they will wait for us. When we have seasons that we need to lay them aside, they’re patient and don’t complain about our lag time. 🙂 Thanks for sharing here, Robyn.

  5. JeanWise

    what a great list and sounds much more interesting than the few boring and not so good ones I read this past month. I really hit a few disappointing ones and am ready for some good one. Will check these out. Thanks Lisa!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I did finish a couple books that I didn’t share that would fit nicely into your “boring and not so good” list, Jean. 🙂 When they’re nonfiction, I can usually skim them and figure it out fairly quickly and stop reading altogether. But the novels take a little longer for me to discern, and by the time I decide they’re not that great, I hate not to finish them to see how they end. Not a good strategy on my part. ha.

  6. Caroline Starr Rose

    Just put Four Thousand Weeks on my Goodreads list (as a holding place for later). I’ve decided for the rest of the year I won’t be checking out any library books. I’ve got too many other book commitments I need to get to first. What a luxury to have so many books to read!

  7. Danielle Hammelef

    Thank you for all the excellent recommendations! Four Thousand Weeks sounds like a book I need right now. I also read a preview of Matt Haig’s book and hope to read the entire book–my library hopefully has it.

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