7 Books of Hope I Recommend – February 2019

Here are 6 non-fiction books and 1 novel I recommend from what I finished reading this month.

Each book contributes a measure of hope to our world in its own way.

7 Books of Hope

Books I Recommend


1. Becoming
by Michelle Obama


What an inspiring story! Michelle Obama is a genuine patriot who put aside her own disdain for politics to encourage her husband and lift up our country. She gets really honest in this book, both in her years before Barack and her years in the White House. She gives me hope on so many levels. This book is very well-written and a delight to read.

“And here is what I have to say, finally: Let’s invite one another in. Maybe then we can begin to fear less, to make fewer wrong assumptions, to let go of the biases and stereotypes that unnecessarily divide us.”

2. I Think You’re Wrong (But I’m Listening)
A Guide to Grace-Filled Political Conversations
by Sarah Stewart Holland, Beth Silvers

I Think You're Wrong

This important book gives us hope as we have political conversations with each other. Sarah and Beth (of Pantsuit Politics Podcast) lay out a path for bridging gaps when we differ in opinions (and not just in politics).

[My book review of I Think You’re Wrong (But I’m Listening)]

3. The Coddling of the American Mind
How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure
by Greg Lukianoff, Jonathan Haidt

Coddling of American Mind

This is a powerful book. It disputes three Great Untruths that are being fed to the next generation:

  • The Untruth of Fragility: What doesn’t kill you makes you weaker.
  • The Untruth of Emotional Reasoning: Always trust your feelings.
  • The Untruth of Us Versus Them: Life is a battle between good people and evil people.

Lukianoff and Haidt provide lots of research and reason to hope as we refute these three lies in ourselves and in others.

4. How the Bible Actually Works
In Which I Explain How an Ancient, Ambiguous, and Diverse Book Leads Us to Wisdom Rather Than Answers—and Why That’s Good News
by Peter Enns

How the Bible Actually Works

Sometimes the Bible gets a bad reputation simply because we expect things from it that God might not have intended it to deliver. Pete Enns gives us a different perspective of how to read our Bibles so that we can recover our hope in how we find God and wisdom in it.

[My book review of How the Bible Actually Works]

5. Mere Hope
Life in an Age of Cynicism
by Jason G. Duesing

Mere Hope

This won’t make my top 10 list, but it’s a decent read about ways to live with more hope in Christ when we’re tempted to become discouraged or become cynical.

“For every act of terror in the world today, there are a thousand acts of sacrificial service and gospel proclamation.”

[My book review of Mere Hope]

6. Eternity is Now in Session
A Radical Rediscovery of What Jesus Really Taught about Salvation, Eternity and Getting to the Good Place
by John Ortberg

Eternity Is Now in Session

This won’t be one of my favorites of the year either, but it provided enough solid truths for me to recommend it.

“Our greatest freedom is the freedom to direct what we think of. To be constantly mindful of God is salvation from worry, fear, and regret.”

[My book review of Eternity Is Now In Session]

7. Attachments
by Rainbow Rowell


This was a fun novel set in 1999. Lincoln, a young IT guy, is tasked with reading company emails to check for misbehaviors. As he reads daily email conversations between two young female employees, Beth and Jennifer, he begins caring for these strangers that he’s never met. It then presents a moral dilemma for him.

“So, what if, instead of thinking about solving your whole life, you just think about adding additional good things. One at a time. Just let your pile of good things grow.”


  • Tell Me More
    Stories about the 12 Hardest Things I’m Learning to Say
    by Kelly Corrigan
  • Blindspot
    Hidden Biases of Good People
    by Mahzarin R. Banaji
  • The Universal Christ
    How a Forgotten Reality can Change Everything We See, Hope for, and Believe
    by Richard Rohr
  • The Time Is Now
    A Call to Uncommon Courage
    by Joan D. Chittister
  • Shameless
    A Sexual Reformation
    by Nadia Bolz-Weber
  • Spiritual Rhythms for the Enneagram
    A Handbook for Harmony and Transformation
    by Adele and Doug Calhoun, Clare and Scott Loughrige

* * *

What good book have you read this month? Please share in the comments.

My books on Goodreads
More books I recommend

This is day 27 of Practicing Hope for #Write28Days (1 more day – I may make it!).

11 thoughts on “7 Books of Hope I Recommend – February 2019

  1. Laurie

    Lisa, I am always impressed at the breadth and depth of your reading! The novel didn’t sound like something I would read until I read the quote. I loved that! The Peter Enns book sounds good too, as well as the book on political discussions. I need to read that one before 2020! 🙂

    Right now, I am trying my best to read “The Understory” for my book club, which meets on Sunday. It is well written, but still not one of my favorite books. Too depressing and sad. I like uplifting and positive.

  2. bill (cycleguy)

    I can see how you were able to write all those posts on hope this month. 🙂 I’ve just finished 3 I chose to read out of the office: Capital Gaines, The Magnolia Story, and Handcrafted. All dealt with Chip & JoAnna Gaines and Clint Harp. Thoroughly enjoyed the Gaines’ books. Was not so impressed by Harp’s. At the office I am reading From Weakness to Strength by Scott Sauls (a book on Leadership). In my cue are Irresistible Faith by Sauls, The Marriage Knot by Zappia, and The 10 Commandments by DeYoung.

  3. Bev @ Walking Well With God

    I always appreciate your “picks” and your “pans”….I’ve read several books you’ve recommended and have been in sync with you. You’ve saved me time getting part way into a book and saying “Nah…not going to finish this one.” LOL. I applaud you for seeing books through to the end. If I get a fourth of the way in and I’m not drawn in….out it goes. I have so little time to read, I’ve gotten really picky. Thanks for screening my reads 🙂
    Bev xx

  4. Karen Friday

    Since I write about hope often and my blog theme is “Hope is Among Us,” I love books that offer real and authentic hope. Because many false options are out there. Thanks for the suggestions, Lisa.

  5. Hulda

    Wow, you read all that and wrote 28 posts? I’m impressed. How did you do it? The one book I read (audio) while driving and doing this and that was Stephen Covey’s famous 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. I loved all the wealth of insight he has on parenting and marriage in that book. Had I known, I’d have picked it up much, much sooner.

  6. Crystal Twaddell

    Lisa, I’m intrigued by The Coddling of the American Mind. Emotions lead actions in astoundingly negative ways in our society, particularly anger, and I am often concerned over the ease at which one life is disrespected and devalued due to another’s heightened emotions. There was a time when we exercised the logic of propriety. That combined with the battle between good people and bad people has created such an impasse when it comes to simple dialogue. Gone are the days of sparring and challenging one another’s thinking.

    Thanks for adding to my reading list once again!

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