7 Books I Recommend – June 2018

Here are 4 non-fiction and 3 fiction books I recommend from what I finished in June, 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. Everybody Always
Becoming Love in a World Full of Setbacks and Difficult People
by Bob Goff

Everybody Always

This book about Bob Goff’s crazy but true experiences of loving ALL kinds of people is very inspirational. One of my favorites this year! So it is the pick for my 1-minute video book review this month.

[click here if you can’t see the 1-minute video review]

My written review and quotes from Everybody, Always

2. I’m Still Here
Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness
by Austin Channing Brown

I'm Still Here

“I was too white for Black people, and too Black for white people.” Austin shares authentically and sometimes painfully about her experiences as a black woman in modern America. This is an important book for helping us understand racial reconciliation.

My review of I’m Still Here

3. In Search of Wisdom
A Monk, a Philosopher, and a Psychiatrist on What Matters Most
by by Matthieu Ricard, Christophe Andre, Alexandre Jollien

In Search of Wisdom

If three men sat around a table and discussed life, then someone transcribed their conversation, you’d get this book. These three are intelligent, philosophical, and deeply spiritual men. I enjoyed getting to eavesdrop on the conversation, even though it took me several months to finally read it all. It was worth it.

My review on Amazon here

4. Five Stars
The Communication Secrets to Get from Good to Great
by Carmine Gallo

Five Stars

Do you want to communicate better? This book zeroes in on modern-day communication skills and their importance. It’s well-written and well-organized, which is always a pleasure in a non-fiction book (and unfortunately, not a given). Easy to read and enjoyable stories.


5. A Storied Life
by Leigh Kramer


This debut novel by Leigh Kramer is a delightful story about a young art gallery owner, Olivia Frasier, whose grandmother is diagnosed with terminal cancer. The plot progresses with the grandmother’s illness and the arrival of hospice and tense family dynamics. It’s very good!

My review of A Storied Life

6. The Girl You Left Behind
by Jojo Moyes


I like novels that switch timeframes. This one starts in World War 1 in occupied France, then moves to present-day London. The anchor is a painting, “The Girl You Left Behind.” It is a hard story in places, but a satisfying one.

7. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
by Mark Haddon

The Curious Incident of the Dog in Night-Time

After seeing PBS’s list of 100 favorite novels for The Great American Read, I decided to read more of them. This novel was a quirky look at the experience of an autistic teenage boy in England. (It’s also a great play, I hear.) I enjoyed the storyline and it increased my empathy for those struggling with mental disorders.

Reading Now

  • When
    The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing
    by Daniel H. Pink
  • 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
  • Give People Money
    How a Universal Basic Income Would End Poverty, Revolutionize Work, and Remake the World
    by Annie Lowrey
  • The Most Beautiful Thing I’ve Seen
    Opening Your Eyes to Wonder
    by Lisa Gungor
  • The Gift of Years
    Growing Older Gracefully
    by Joan D. Chittister
  • Wait
    The Art and Science of Delay
    by Frank Partnoy
  • What Truth Sounds Like
    Robert F. Kennedy, James Baldwin, and Our Unfinished Conversation About Race in America
    by Michael Eric Dyson

* * *

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


My books on Goodreads
More books I recommend

42 thoughts on “7 Books I Recommend – June 2018

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I don’t know how I missed The Curious Incident all these years. Just looked up copyright: 2003. 15 years of not paying attention. ha. Everybody, Always is SO good! I’ll likely read it again one day.

  1. Barbara Harper

    You always have such eclectic lists. I’m going to go check out Five Stars straight from here – it sounds like something I need on many levels. The Gift of Years sounds like something I need, too.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      The author of Five Stars first wrote “Talk Like TED” which I really liked. Not because I plan on giving a TED talk ever. 🙂 But it had great principles in general, much like Five Stars does. The Gift of Years has been beneficial for me. Maybe I don’t dread old age quite as much now. ha.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I think Bob Goff is someone who would be right up your alley, Linda! I hope you can find him at your library. His book, Love Does, is also a winner. I think it came out in 2012.

  2. Lesley

    I love The Curious Incident and the play is amazing- one of the best I’ve ever seen! The Jojo Moyes one sounds good too. I enjoyed Me Before You and After You but I’ve not read any of her other books.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Maybe someday I’ll get the opportunity to see the play of The Curious Incident. I keep hearing it is good! I enjoyed Me Before You too (for the most part, sigh). I liked The Girl You Left Behind better.

  3. bill (cycleguy)

    Hi Lisa! As you know I read Goff’s book. I think it is a great read in conjunction with Love Does. I sent these two books to a friend in AZ. I’ve read two by Thom Rainer “Becoming a Welcoming church” and “We Want You Here.” I’m reading When Trouble Comes by Ryken and Being There by Furman. Along with everything else that gives me a full plate as I also read for sermon study.

  4. Lois Flowers

    Lisa, I enjoyed your video review of “Everybody, Always.” Bob Goff’s 30-second rule sounds like something I need to try! The one that caught my eye on your current reading list is “The Gift of Years” … I’ll look forward to reading what you have to say about that one!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I need to remember the 30-second rule myself, in all kinds of situations! 🙂 The Gift of Years has been really good so far. I’ve marked so many pages; it’s a library book so I’m having to take notes.

  5. Rebecca Hastings

    Everybody Always is on my TBR list 🙂 And I like JoJo Moyes other books, so I’ll have to check hers out. If you like timeswitch check out Heidi Chiavaroli. I’ve met her and chatted about her books. So interesting!

  6. Dolly Lee


    You have the sweetest accent; I listened to your video. And I always appreciate your lists and I am always impressed with how much you read. I recently finished Anatomy of a Soul by Dr. Curt Thompson. Excellent non-fiction read. I was listening on Audible and had to rewind to relisten and process what he said although I was familiar with the concept of “implicit memories” via Dr. Daniel Siegel’s work.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I’m not familiar with implicit memories either so that sounds like a book I could learn a lot from. Thanks for your encouragement here; I really feel humbled every time I do a video. lol. So glad to see you, friend.

  7. Jean Wise

    Love the video and you always share a new find for me. I think I need to read that Wisdom book. Can’t wait to hear about the new books too. Have a wonderful weekend.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I think you in particular would love the Wisdom book, Jean. It really touches a lot on contemplative practices. I often felt like I was sitting on the couch with them as they conversed back and forth.

  8. Sharon

    Great selection this month. What a great vlog for Everybody Always…it’s not a Book that’s caught my eye before but after hearing your piece I’m definitely going to have a look now.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I’m glad that the vlog encouraged you to look more into Everybody Always, Sharon. It is such a good book! There’s so many things I could have shared from it.

  9. Lynn D. Morrissey

    I saw the Goff book in a bookstore yesterday–on sale, no less–and gave it a pass. I may have to add that one. I always appreciate your recommendations. I’d still love to see a blogpost on your reading habits. As our dear Floyd points out, you have great reading prowess. I always marvel at all you read, from a wide variety of authors and viewpoints. I’d love to know things like: How do you select a book? How do you find them in the first place? Do you dip into books simultaneously (which you appear to do), and why? Is that because you lose focus or get bored, or because you just can’t stop yourself from being interested in many subjects? Maybe I’m wrong on that, so if not, do you read one book at a time, and straight through? How do you decide when to buy a book or go to the library? How big is your personal library (how many books do you own)? Do you mark up your books through side comments and yellow highlights? Will you pass these on to your children, or do you give gifts w/ your own markings to friends? Do you mark up a pretty gift book or your Bible? When do you read: Morning, noon, night? Do you take books with you and read in spare moments, like at stoplights (Yikes! I’ve don’t that), in doctor waiting rooms? in the john? At the hair salon, whatever? How long do you read daily? Have you ever fasted from reading altogether, and if so, how long? What were the results? How do you make notes from books? How do you incorporate practically into your life what you have learned from your books? I’m sure you could think of other things for a wonderful, interesting, and helpful post. Just sayin’ …. (as the kids say)! 🙂 Oh, and the million-dollar question: Have you ever thrown a book out (as in the trash), rather than pass it on, and if so, why?

    Read on!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      You have the best questions, Lynn. So I decided to copy these and seriously consider writing a series to answer them. It’s exciting to think about how fun it would be to address each one. For now, I’ll tell you that I do LOVE to read several books at once because it keeps them all fresh. And also because I don’t have enough self-control to only read one book at a time. 🙂 I just can’t get to them all quick enough. I do read anywhere and everywhere. And yes, I actually have thrown a book literally in the trash, but only one that I can think of. ha. I felt its message didn’t need to be spread into the world. It was years ago, and I almost felt sacrilegious doing it. But I knew I’d feel worse if I passed it on into someone else’s hands and mind. Thanks for your interest, Lynn. I’ll return to this!

    2. Lynn D. Morrissey

      Aha, Lisa! Gotcha! I have asked before, but perhaps not so temptingly invitingly, huh? I think these are great questions (ahem, if I might say so) for all readers/authors. I will look forward to what you come up with! I may noodle around w/ these myself. And boy do I get that sacrilege concept. I have tossed only two books, I think–one for a similar reason to you, and one b/c I had interacted so much w/ it and it was soooo personal, I didn’t want anyone else to read it… oh, and I happened to think, one that just wasn’t all that great in the final analysis (nothing wrong w/ it), but I had written all over it so no one could have read it anyway. You might add to this post books that tell you how to be a good reader (like Mortimer Adler’s book) or how to develop a personal library. Haven’t read this blogpost, but I like Challies and just happened to find it when I was trying to locate another author for you: https://www.challies.com/articles/how-to-organize-a-personal-library/ There is a wonderful little book on creating a personal library. Wish I could think of the title. Thanks for appeasing me, dear Lisa. I would bug you to death otherwise, huh?! 🙂

      1. LisaNotes Post author

        Oh, yes, too personal: that is another great reason to toss a book. I once loaned a book to a friend that I had written personal notes in, just hoping she wouldn’t read those. Um, naive. ha. I never got the book back.
        Thanks for sharing Challie’s link and Steve Levenger’s book. I’ll go read both, of course. 🙂

  10. Lynn D. Morrissey

    Yay, I found it, Lisa. It’s called The Little Guide to Your Well Read Life by Steve Levenger (of the stationary/pen company). Not sure why the hardbound is listing as so costly. He gave me permission to stop reading books, even long-recommended classics, that were not resonating. I took him up on it, b/c life is short!

      1. Lynn D. Morrissey

        I hope you like it. It’s small but a handy guide. Just read Challies, but i’ts more technical and how to set up a type of catalogue, but may be useful to some.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I have read it, but it’s been YEARS ago so I don’t remember much about it. Except that I liked it. ha. Hopefully I still have retained some unconscious info from it. 🙂

  11. Lynn D. Morrissey

    These are great too for reading suggestions:

    Honey for a Woman’s Heart

    Honey for a Child’s Heart

    And just noticed now there is one for a teen’s heart… same author.


    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I have Honey for a Child’s Heart (used it when I was homeschooling), but I didn’t know there was Honey for a Woman’s Heart! Exciting to see. Thanks, Lynn. I appreciate you.

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