4 Books I Recommend – June 2017

4 Books I Recommend June 2017_LisaNotes

Here are four books I recommend from what I read in June. Once a month we gatherΒ at Jennifer’sΒ to share what we’ve been reading.

Books I Recommend

1.Β Small Great Things
by Jodi Picoult


What a compelling and relevant novel! I hope this book is widely read. It begins with an African-American nurse prohibited to tend to a white supremacists’ baby (at the parents’ request). Both the plot and emotions run high from there forward. The author Jodi Picoult is an experienced novelist and it shows.

2. 12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You
by Tony Reinke


We don’t just use our phones; our phones use us. We’d be wise to pay attention to how that works and what kind of changes are happening to us because of our phones. This is a balanced book; Reinke doesn’t recommend throwing away our phones, but he does encourage us to set up reasonable boundaries.

My book review of 12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You

3. The Nightingale
by Kristin Hannah


This beautiful novel is set mainly in France in World War 2 (although it dips occasionally into America in our times) and chronicles how the war affects two sisters and their country. It moved me to tears several times. The author does a wonderful job drawing you into the individual stories as she weaves them together back and forth.

4. Flee, Be Silent, Pray
An Anxious Evangelical Finds Peace with God through Contemplative Prayer
by Ed Cyzewski


If you ever feel guilty or anxious that your prayer life is beyond saving, Ed Cyzewski gives you hope in this book that there is another way to pray. He provides a great overview of contemplative prayer practices, without the guilt or anxiety. I love all Ed’s books, including this one.

My book review of Flee, Be Silent, Pray

Reading Now

  • The Better Angels of Our Nature
    Why Violence Has Declined
    by Steven Pinker
  • This Fight Is Our Fight
    The Battle to Save America’s Middle Class
    by Elizabeth Warren
  • Born to Run
    A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen
    by Christopher McDougall
  • The Goldfinch
    by Donna Tartt

* * *

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


My books on Goodreads
Previous reading lists


26 thoughts on “4 Books I Recommend – June 2017

  1. Linda Stoll

    Good morning, Lisa!

    Do you believe I don’t have one single book checked out of the library right now? Unheard of!

    Just finished John Grisham’s new novel. It’ll be of special interest to all those hope-to-be authors out there …

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Not having a library book? Yes, that is crazy, Linda; I totally agree. πŸ™‚ On those few days each year when I don’t have anything checked out, my world feels askew. ha. My husband reads John Grisham so I’ll have to watch for that newest novel. Thanks for the heads-up.

  2. Pam

    Always love your suggestions, Lisa. I am currently reading Learning to Know by Esther Meek and Every Job A Parable by John Van Sloten. Both provoke thought and I love that, but I also like to have a great novel going as well when I want to read and just let the author take me on the adventure they have planned for me. Your list gives me a couple of great options to consider. The Nightingale reminds me a bit of Catching the Wind by Melanie Dobson that I read recently.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Both those books sound very interesting to me, too, Pam! Thanks for sharing what you’re reading. I like to have a good novel going too but I don’t right now. So I went to my online public library and checked out The Goldfinch. It’s quite long so we’ll see how that goes. πŸ™‚ My husband is listening to the audiobook so maybe that will prompt me to get into it quicker.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Picoult really did an excellent job with Small Great Things. I love giving new authors a fair shot (and sometimes first novels are fantastic!), but there is something comforting reading a book by someone who has had lots of experience under her belt. I felt like I was in good hands with Picoult. πŸ˜‰ I would like to read some of her older books now.

  3. Susan

    I’ve enjoyed Picoult books in the past — almost forgot about her; this one sounds good as well! The Nightingale just didn’t do it for me, but I know I’m in the minority there. The book about how our phones are changing us sounds fascinating. Almost every time I’m out in public and observe just how attached most people are to theirs, I think about that very topic. Will be fascinating to see how this next generation fares, with the constant phones and technology …

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I heard someone else say The Nightgale didn’t do it for them either. Maybe I read it at just the right time for me. πŸ™‚ Yes, I wonder too about the next generation and their phones. πŸ™ We’re at least old enough to realize the pros and cons; I’m not so sure that kids have grown into that discernment, yet their phones are constantly with them. Lord, give us all wisdom.

  4. bekahcubed

    My book club ladies rave about The Nightingale. I’ve got it on my TBR list; but, well, you know how that goes πŸ™‚ I’ve only read one Jodi Picoult book (My Sister’s Keeper), but she sure knows how to amp up the emotion. The premise of Small Great Things sounds good. On a tangential note, as we prepare for another baby’s arrival, hoping for a healthy term baby but knowing our history of having to deliver preterm, I’ve been thinking a bit about an article I read sometime in the past year about how few health care workers actually choose to get a flu shot – and whether/how hospitalized patients can avoid contact with unvaccinated caregivers while still getting the care they need. Like I said, tangential – but your brief summary made me think of it again.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I’ve never read any other Picoult books but I hope to add her to my list now. I really liked how she dealt with the topic in such a relevant way. I see your point about the unvaccinated caregivers; that’s an interesting finding that few health care workers get the flu shot. My sister is about to be a grandmother for the first time and her daughter is insisting that she get updated on all her shots since she will be keeping the baby. There often are things we do to protect others even when we don’t see the need for it ourselves. Praying that third time will be the charm for a normal term pregnancy!

  5. Linda

    I have read, and would recommend The Nightingale. I have just finished For Such a Time” by Kate Breslin. Set in WW2, I found it hard to put down. I’ve just ordered hr newest book – to add to my 10 or so books I have out from the library awaiting my attention! I love novels, but do intersperse with nonfiction, usually to do with Christian living. Thanks for your lists, Lisa – always good to have recommendations.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Thanks for that recommendation, Linda! I just added it to my Kindle samples. Reading the brief excerpt, it reminds me of similar themes from The Nightingale so I’m sure it will be interesting.

  6. Michele Morin

    OK, Lisa, it’s time to put a Trigger Alert notice on all your book listing posts.
    I love your wide and diverse reading — and have subscribed to Ed C.’s blog because of your thoughts on his books.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      ha. One book begets another, right? I’m sure you do like I do, Michele: as you’re reading a book, they refer you to another book that you then want to read, on and on. We’ll never finish our reading lists before we die; I’m accepting it more and more. πŸ™‚

  7. Sarah Geringer

    Hi Lisa. The Nightingale looks good to me, when I finally get a chance to read fiction. (It overtakes me and I can’t put it down–so it will have to wait until I finish my July projects.) A book I just reviewed on my blog this week is Real Artists Don’t Starve, and I’m loving it! Since you’re a creative person, you may love it too.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I do want to read that book, Sarah! By Jeff Goins, right? I used to read his blog regularly and have read one or two of his other books. He is such a down-to-earth author. Thanks for sharing the recommendation!

  8. Angela

    I think you’re about the fourth blog that has recommended the book Small Great Things. It sounds like a really interesting book.

    I haven’t had a chance to read any of the books on your list yet. I checked out way too many books that last time I went to the library and now I’m desperately trying to catch up on all those books before I go on vacation. But I’ll have to add a few of these books to my list for when I get back from vacation!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Haha. That’s exactly what I did the last time I went to the library, Angela! I checked out WAY too many books (and big ones at that), that it was really impossible to read them all. I even knew it as I was doing it, but did it anyway. At least it’s free. πŸ™‚ You never know when one of the books won’t be good and you’ll drop it and need to pick up another one. I’m going back to the library today but have told myself only to get 2 books since I already have 2 other library books I need to finish first. Hope you find time to read, read, read! Enjoy your vacation!

  9. floyd

    (Gulp) I’m beginning to dread this oft asked question… Feels like the universe is conspiring against me to keep me from reading!

    Those sound great, Lisa. I’ll try to get to a couple of these one of these days.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      No pressure, Floyd. You keep doing what you’re doing. πŸ™‚ The books will always be there waiting for you when you have time for them. Thankfully they tend not to go anywhere.

  10. June

    These look like great reads, as always, Lisa! I’ve been on a Dee Hendersen binge lately. Re-reading favs from the past and checking the library for what she’s been up to in the last 5-6 years. Was happy to see she has some new books out. Nothing frilly with Dee, just a solid (fictional) read.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Isn’t it wonderful to have an author that you can return to again and again with enthusiasm? I don’t know if I’ve ever read a Dee Henderson book or not, but I have heard good things about them. Glad you found someone you enjoy, June.

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