9 Books I Recommend – July 2018

Here are 7 non-fiction and 2 fiction books I recommend from what I finished reading in July, including a 1-minute video review of a favorite.

Once a month we share our current reading list at Jennifer’s.


Books I Recommend


1. When
The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing
by Daniel H. Pink

Great book. We often think about what we do or why we do things. But we don’t always give enough attention to when. Like all of his books, Dan Pink delves into research and science to get behind the timing of things we do. Always engaging, always relevant. I highly recommend this one.

[Click here if you can’t see the 1-minute video about When]

2. The Sun Does Shine
How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row
by Anthony Ray Hinton


I wish everyone could read this book. Beautifully written and moving. Anthony Ray Hinton tells his story about being wrongly accused of multiple murders and sitting on death row for almost 30 years in an Alabama prison. He shares of his despairs, his hopes, his friendships. And finally of his release through the help of gifted attorney Bryan Stevenson and the Equal Justice Initiative (also read Stevenson’s Just Mercy—it will change you).

3. The Gift of Years
Growing Older Gracefully
by Joan D. Chittister


Sometimes I don’t want to get any older. I’d rather stay right where I am. But this book helps show the advantages of growing older. Chittister really does make it more palatable—almost inviting—through her emphasis on growing older gracefully. A very encouraging read.

4. Give People Money
How a Universal Basic Income Would End Poverty, Revolutionize Work, and Remake the World
by Annie Lowrey


I’m not sure what to think. That’s why I wanted to read this. I’m still not sure what to think about giving everyone a basic income. But at least I have a framework now. Lowrey does a great job explaining the ins and outs, the good and bad, of a UBI (universal basic income). This is a great primer to start learning about a topic we’re sure to hear about again and again in the upcoming years.

5. Wait
The Art and Science of Delay
by Frank Partnoy


A perfect pairing with When (see #1). This book reminds us that we don’t always need to act immediately. Sometimes we need to hold back and wait. For everyone’s good. It will really make you think twice about why we often rush into things, and other times, not. Very interesting.

6. What Truth Sounds Like
Robert F. Kennedy, James Baldwin, and Our Unfinished Conversation About Race in America
by Michael Eric Dyson


I had to read this one slowly. I’m glad I did. Dyson’s word choices feel very deliberate to ensure you get what he’s saying about relationships between blacks and whites in the past 50 years. This book is painful but advantageous to get a historied view of racism and the way we talk about it.

7. The Most Beautiful Thing I’ve Seen
Opening Your Eyes to Wonder
by Lisa Gungor


Singer and wife to musician Michael Gungor, Lisa Gungor writes about her journey through faith, loss of faith, and renewed faith. When her daughter, Lucie, was born with Down’s Syndrome, everything changed again.


8. Turtles All the Way Down
by John Green


A set of teenage girls stumble onto solving a mystery of a disappeared millionaire. Trigger warning: If you have OCD tendencies, this book might get under your skin. The main character deals with obsessive thoughts about catching a disease from bacteria. Another moving story by John Green, author of The Fault in Our Stars.

9. The President Is Missing
by James Patterson and Bill Clinton


This new novel co-written by Patterson and Clinton is about a modern American President faced with serious cyberterrorism. The scariest thing is realizing that some of these things could actually happen. Well-written and the plot moves along quickly.

Reading Now

  • God of Tomorrow
    How to Overcome the Fears of Today and Renew Your Hope for the Future
    by Caleb W. Kaltenbach
  • Reframing the Soul
    How Words Transform Our Faith
    by Gregory Spencer
  • 21 Lessons for the 21st Century
    by Yuval Noah Harari
  • Inspired
    Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again
    by Rachel Held Evans
  • Prayer
    40 Days of Practice
    by Justin McRoberts

* * *

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


My books on Goodreads
More books I recommend

39 thoughts on “9 Books I Recommend – July 2018

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Some months are extra full of good books. July held a lot of treasures for me.
      I also hesitate to post the videos, but trying to get over myself and just think about spreading the joy of a great book. 🙂

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      The videos are challenging to me as well because I don’t like hearing or seeing myself. 🙂 I’m trying not to overthink or to really plan them; just sit down, hit record, short and simple. We’ll see how long I can take it. ha. Would love to see you do some videos, Michele!

  1. Kathy Martin

    Nice assortment of books! I’ve heard of Daniel Pink but never read his books. I read very little nonfiction. I am eager to read the Patterson/Clinton book. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      When you do pick up a nonfiction book, I’d highly recommend anything from Daniel Pink, if you enjoy sociology/psychology kind of things. He writes very logically and orderly but with lots of stories so I also enjoy his books. The Patterson/Clinton book was a page-turner. I’d like to see a breakdown of who wrote what. 🙂

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Turtles was good, but as mentioned, it’s also a tad troubling if OCD talk gets to you at all. I don’t really consider myself OCD (although I likely have a few tendencies) but I could relate to some of the self-talk the main character would say.

  2. Lesley

    Great recommendations! I like the sound of The Sun Does Shine and I enjoyed Turtles All The Way Down a few months ago. One that I unexpectedly enjoyed lately was A Boy In The Water which is a memoir by Tom Gregory who holds the record for being the world’s youngest cross- Channel swimmer. It is quite different from what I normally read but I really enjoyed it!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I haven’t heard of A Boy in the Water but it sounds like one I would enjoy too, so thanks for mentioning that one, Lesley. The Sun Does Shine reads just like a novel, but knowing it is true makes it all the more sobering. It is SO good!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I hope you enjoy “What Truth Sounds Like” if you get to read it. It is a well-thought and well-written book. I also enjoyed Dyson’s “Tears We Cannot Stop.”

  3. Barbara Harper

    The Gift of Years sounds like one I would like. I think I would be against the idea of a universal basic income, but reading about it would probably be a good way to think through it.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I do love nonfiction the most. 🙂 I enjoy a good novel though, but I can usually only read one of those at a time. The death row book was both disturbing yet also very uplifting, all the more so because it is true.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I think you’d probably like The Sun Does Shine the most, Floyd. It’s a great real-life story, well-written and God-glorifying, all things that you do well, too.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Yes, The Sun Does Shine will stick with me for a long time to come. I’d love to hear the speaker in person. His story is so encouraging in that he was able to forgive and move on with his life, despite the great injustice that was done to him.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      The President Is Missing is an enjoyable read. The hardest part was keeping the characters straight but Patterson was good to remind us in subtle ways who was who. 🙂 I didn’t always follow the cybersecurity details, but good enough. ha.

  4. David

    Nice list! That “growing old gracefully” book is something I should probably study.

    I have just finished reading Resilient, which I liked a lot. Very practical, and bringing together a lot of good ideas.

    I’ve just started Battle Ready, which I am loving – even though it is very girly. Very enthusiastic and easy to read. I’m starting an exciting and difficult new contract, and this book is good for addressing the self-confidence issues that I’ll have to overcome.


    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Thanks for sharing what you’re reading, David. I’ve not read either of those books so let me know what you think when you’re done! Blessings on your new contract. With new challenges comes new growth. 🙂

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Thanks, Animata. I was glad to have such good reading options this past month.

      It’s funny how I don’t hear my own accent but I’m told I have one. 🙂

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