10 Books I Recommend—July 2022

“Readers know…in their bones something we forget at our peril: that without books—indeed without literacy—the good society vanishes and barbarism triumphs.”
– Steve Wasserman

Here are 10 books I recommend from what I finished reading in July.

[See previously recommended books here]

Image: 10 Books I Recommend


1. MWF Seeking BFF
My Yearlong Search For A New Best Friend
by Rachel Bertsche

Image: WMF Seeking BFF

This was a fun book recommended to me by my friend Ashley. The author set out to meet 52 new friends in one year in her new city of Chicago. She chronicles the different methods, different personalities, different struggles—and successes!—that she has over the year.

Making new friends as adults might take work, but it’s possible.

2. Reader, Come Home
The Reading Brain in a Digital World
by Maryanne Wolf

Image: Reader, Come Home

While not everyone reads books, they say the average person in the U.S. reads the equivalent of a novel everyday—much of it is just through screens. It’s changing our brains.

Bottom line: don’t do all your reading on screens. Don’t let your children do all their reading on screens.

3. Whole Brain Living
The Anatomy of Choice and the Four Characters That Drive Our Life
by Jill Bolte Taylor

Image: Whole Brain Living

Know your brain. After she recovered from a stroke, Dr. Taylor researched the Four Characters of our brain, including the “justice-demanding judgment of the dominating left brain (Characters 1 and 2) and the merciful characters of our compassionate right brain (Characters 3 and 4).”

This is an interesting book with practical takeaways.

4. Do the Work!
An Antiracist Activity Book
by W. Kamau Bell, Kate Schatz

Image: Do the Work!

This is a very interactive, thought-provoking book designed to get us moving to dismantle white supremacy. 

[Read my full review here, Is This Your Work to Do?]

5. Finding God in the Waves
How I Lost My Faith and Found It Again Through Science
by Mike McHargue

Image: Finding God in the Waves

This is Science Mike’s story from six years ago. He chronicles his journey from Christianity to atheism and back to Christianity through science and an experience with God. He writes very personally (and sometimes very scientifically). I enjoyed it all.

6. Cringeworthy
A Theory of Awkwardness
by Melissa Dahl

Image: Cringeworthy

Do you ever feel awkward? This book is a fascinating look behind the psychology of awkwardness. It’s funny. It’s relatable.

“The best way to be comfortable with that part of yourself again is to share the awkwardness with someone else. It’s the choice between contemptuous cringing and compassionate cringing, but directed toward yourself. You bring back the pushed-away piece of you.”

7. Write for Your Life
by Anna Quindlen

Image: Write for Your Life

You likely already know if you like to write or not. If you do, you’ll enjoy this soothing book about reasons to keep writing. If you don’t like writing, you’d still benefit by Anna Quindlen’s advice on learning more about yourself through your written words. 

“We are all made of nouns, live by verbs, enlarge and entertain ourselves with adjectives and adverbs.”

8. Jesus Unbound
Liberating the Word of God from the Bible

by Keith Giles

Image: Jesus Unbound

I often wonder if some Christians worship the Bible more than they worship Christ. This book addresses that.

“Why does any of this matter? Here’s why: because the apostles wanted us to understand that it was important to have a relationship with a person named Jesus, not with a book that they were still in the process of writing down.
Jesus even warns us not to fall in love with a book, not even with the Scriptures (John 5:39-40).”


9. All That Fills Us
by Autumn Lytle

Image: All That Fills Us

I don’t know much about eating disorders. But I learned a little more by reading this novel.

Written by a recovering anorexic and exercise addict, I heard through the main character Mel Ellis how devastating anorexia can feel, both physically and mentally. The plot is a little thin for me (Mel decides on a whim to hike from Michigan to Mt. Rainier in Washington, all alone with no preparations), but the action moves forward at a rapid enough pace to keep me interested. (I received this book from NetGalley for review.)

10. Run, Rose, Run
by Dolly Parton, James Patterson

Image: Run, Rose, Run

Dolly Parton co-wrote this novel about an aspiring young singer/songwriter in Nashville who is being mentored by a famous older female star (in the audiobook, Dolly reads this part). It was a fun book to read and to listen to. 


  • Apples Never Fall
    by Liane Moriarty
  • Necessary Losses
    The Loves Illusions Dependencies and Impossible Expectations That All of Us Have
    by Judith Viorst
  • I Guess I Haven’t Learned That Yet
    Discovering New Ways of Living When the Old Ways Stop Working
    by Shauna Niequist
  • Sins of the Tribe
    by Mark. A. Salter
  • WayMaker
    Finding the Way to the Life You’ve Always Dreamed Of
    by Ann Voskamp

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

More books I recommend

26 thoughts on “10 Books I Recommend—July 2022

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I enjoy Liane Moriarty’s books too. My husband actually read this one first, and then he recommended it to me. He’s relatively new to being a book reader. I’ve loved it! 🙂

  1. Lynn Severance

    I loved Ann Voskamp’s new book, “Waymaker’ and read it along with listening to her read it on Audible. And then FaithGateway did an online bible study – more a book study with Biblical principals from her S.A.C.R.D. focus of the book – free and via FB with 8 thousand women participating! There is a study guide that goes with it and it truly gives the opportunity to go deep with what she has shared – deep within our own lives.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      It’s thanks to you, Lynn, that I picked up Waymaker! And I’ve so enjoyed it. I also subscribed to all the online things. I haven’t caught up in reading all the emails and watching the videos, but I’ll slowly work my way through them.

      1. Lynn Severance

        Lisa, I am still slowly working my way through them. If you order the ‘study guide’ there is a code inside the front cover that takes you to the FaithGateway site where all the videos will be kept ‘forever’. They will be taken off the FB page (although they are working on leaving the links to them). But assurance with the Study Guide Book ….plus space to write down personal notes is a good way to go, I think. I know it has been for me. Many in the online group are also struggling to keep up because there is so much to ponder!

        1. LisaNotes Post author

          That’s good information to know, Lynn. So I don’t need to dilly-dally in viewing the videos if I want to see them free before they disappear. It is a great amount of information they’re giving away free in all the guides!

          1. Lynn Severance

            It has been a very generous time with all the resources. Getting the study guide and code inside is the key. They have made the same ‘guide pages’ available for download and printing – perhaps for those not able to get the study guide book – but that will be a key for you. Plus most videos are worthy of more than one look and listen!

  2. Lynn

    I’m curious of what you will think of Shauna Niequist new book. I keep having to return my books to the library unread due lack of reading time this summer, and I think Apples Never Fall was one of them. But I do plan to read it, for sure. The Waymaker is taking me weeks to read as it is a prose style I read slowly. I have all of Ann’s books on my shelf for that reason! A three week library lone is not enough time to read her books, I find. 🙂 Happy rest of the summer reading!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I’m nearing the end of Shauna Niequist’s new book and I’ve really loved it, probably more so the second half than the first half. Some of the chapters haven’t felt too relevant to me, but then other chapters are exactly what I’ve needed to hear.

      Yes, I have to read all of Ann’s books very slowly too. 🙂 Her style of writing doesn’t lend itself to skimming or quick reading. I have to go slow to pick up all the clever word nuancing that she does. It’s beautiful.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I know; trying to meet 52 new people in a year would be way too much work for me! 🙂 I assume she knew she would write a book about it in the end, so that was likely extra incentive for her. lol.

  3. Joanne

    I enjoyed Run Rose Run but didn’t think about listening to it; that would have been fun to hear Dolly’s voice (though it is one I pictured with that character anyway). I can’t imagine reading all of my books off a screen. I love the feel of a physical book waay to much but will use my Kindle in a pinch (usually for vacations so I can take lots of books without taking up too much room). MWF seeking BFF sounds so neat!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Exactly–I started reading Run Rose Run before the audiobook became available, so I wasn’t surprised at all when I realized it was Dolly’s voice for that character. 🙂

      I do love a physical book too. It’s probably still my favorite way to read if I’m just sitting around and reading at home. I do love my Kindle for vacations too but also for reading in bed because of its light. And for the sheer quantity of books it allows me to read at one time without carrying around a whole stack of books. lol.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      The BFF story was so much work for the author. lol. I hope she’s doing well with the book, not to mention maintaining some of the new friends she made. She really put herself out there.

  4. Nancy Ruegg

    I always appreciate book recommendations! #1 is based on such an interesting premise. And what a challenging goal the author set for herself! #2 caught my attention because, before I retired in 2011, the school where I taught was getting ready to make textbooks available online. Then students wouldn’t have to carry heavy books back and forth between home and school. Looks like that may not have been such a good idea after all. #3 sounds like a valuable read for us writers, perhaps adding stronger purpose to our words. Thank you, Lisa!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Textbooks online would be such a laborious way to have to learn material for students. 🙁 I know it’s convenient, but whew. For that kind of learning, I still prefer a real book. There’s something helpful about seeing the text in a specific page and location in a book.

  5. Jean Wise

    ahh a new list to order from the library. I am currently reading Write for your life and am especially interested in the yearlong search for a new best friend. Love your list and reading interests

  6. Gretchen

    Your beginning quote by Steve Wasserman is quite powerful! Reader Come Home sounds interesting. I am sometime shocked at the amount of time I spend in front of a screen and lament the lost time that could have been spent reading. Enjoy your August!

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