7 Books I Recommend—December 2020

Many people, myself among them, feel better at the mere sight of a book.
—Jane Smiley

Sorry for two book posts in one week (my favorite 10 books of 2020 is here). But I didn’t want to miss giving you my December book recommendations. 

Below are 7 books I recommend from those I finished reading in December. See all my recommended books here.


1. Always a Guest
Speaking of Faith Far from Home
by Barbara Brown Taylor

Barbara Taylor Brown gets to me. She puts things in ways that I didn’t think about, but immediately recognize. This book is a thoughtful compilation of some of her sermons.

[My book review here of Always a Guest]

2. Uncomfortable Conversations With a Black Man
by Emmanuel Acho

Have you seen his videos with the same name? Look on YouTube and watch one or two. They are excellent. So is this book.

3. Searching for Certainty
Finding God in the Disruptions of Life
by Shelly Miller

“In fear, we can miss the obvious—that your uncertainty is God’s opportunity to reveal his great love for you.” Unfortunately, Shelly died this fall in the prime of her life to a quick illness. I only knew Shelly through her blog through the years, but to those who knew her in person, her loss is especially heavy, and her words even more important. I’ll read this book again as part of my One Word 2021, Uncertainty.

4. How to Fight Racism
Courageous Christianity and the Journey Toward Racial Justice
by Jemar Tisby

Having just finished Jemar’s The Color of Compromise, I had to read his followup book for his practical suggestions on how to move towards racial equity. He writes from a Christian perspective (but you don’t have to be a believer to benefit from the book). It’s a helpful one.

5. The Worry Cure
Seven Steps to Stop Worry from Stopping You
by Robert L. Leahy

This book contains a lot of CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) steps to apply to many different types of worries. It’s one of the more helpful books I’ve read about worrying.

6. A Promised Land
by Barack Obama

This book is long, and it only covers President Obama’s first four years in office, but it’s so well-written and the stories are so engaging that it’s worth the length. I didn’t always get the nitty-gritty policy stuff, but I loved the stories about his family life and the behind-the-scenes White House stuff. 

7. Why Don’t They Get It?
Overcoming Bias In Others
by Brian D. McLaren

This short e-book is dense with information on multiples types of biases that we all fall prey to. I’m going to work back through it in 2021 to see which ones trip me up. Brian gives lots of examples from Jesus’s teachings to back up his material. The accompanying podcast series, Learning How to See, is also helpful. 

Reading Now

  • Total Meditation
    Practices in Living the Awakened Life
    by Deepak Chopra
  • Attention!
    The Power of Simple Decisions in a Distracted World
    by Rob Hatch
  • The Lazy Genius Way
    Embrace What Matters, Ditch What Doesn’t, and Get Stuff Done
    by Kendra Adachi
  • Charitable Writing
    Cultivating Virtue Through Our Words
    by Richard Hughes Gibson
  • 40 Days of Grace
    by Paul David Tripp
  • Such a Fun Age
    by Kiley Reid

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

My books on Goodreads
More books I recommend

7 thoughts on “7 Books I Recommend—December 2020

  1. Lynn D. Morrissey

    Lisa, I think I may have said to you how providential it was that you felt His Spirit lead you to the word uncertainty for your 2021 guide, and that you had already bought Shelly Miller’s book, Searching for Certainty. I loved Shelly, and we were personal friends. She’d framed that book in a different way, initially, and despite her publishing record, no house would pick it up. But God knew that this was not HIS timing or title. He published it for such uncertain times as this, when people would most need to read it. I know her writing will bless you, as it has so many. Let me say from a personal perspective: Shelly was the real deal. She wrote authentically about her real relationship with Christ, whom she put first in her life. I believe God will teach you through the words He gave to her. I miss her terribly, but I know she is with the Shepherd she loved so much, and I am grateful to God and her for the rich legacy of words and photos she leaves behind.

  2. Laurie

    I definitely need to read Barbara Brown Taylor. My birthday is in January. Putting her book on my list right now. I got the Obama book for my daughter-in-law for Christmas. She is reading it right now and enjoying it a lot. Happy New Year, friend! Blessings to you in 2021.

  3. Rebecca Hastings

    I’m always amazed at your reading lists! I’ve heard of many of these, but only read one that you’re currently reading (The Lazy Genius Way — LOVED IT!)
    I am reading Barefoot by Sharon Garlough Brown (3rd book in the Sensible Shoes series which is great!)
    Also, focusing on prayer this year so I’m reading Soul Strong by Lucinda Seacrest McDowell and The Power of a Praying Woman by Stormie Omartin.

  4. Jeanne Takenaka

    Lisa, you are a deep reader. These book selections are thought-provoking. I appreciate you sharing them. I was reading about The Lazy Genius recently. It’s on my list of books to read this year.

    I just finished reading Uninvited, by Lysa TerKeurst. As someone who’s struggled with rejection, I love the way she helps her readers reframe it in their lives and hearts.

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