7 Books I Recommend—June 2020

To read a book and surrender to a story is to keep our very humanity alive.
— Helen Fagin

Here are 7 books I recommend from June. See all my recommended books here.

7 Books I Recommend_June 2020

Nonfiction

1. Don’t Overthink It
Make Easier Decisions, Stop Second-Guessing, and Bring More Joy to Your Life
by Anne Bogel

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I’m an overthinker. And overplanner. While thinking and planning are generally beneficial, you can get too much of a good thing. I appreciate Anne’s practical tips and personal anecdotes of ways to make quicker decisions and move on. I listened to the audiobook (read by her!) but I still want to read the book so I can better apply the content.

2. Because Internet
Understanding the New Rules of Language
by Gretchen McCulloch

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The internet is changing how we talk. It’s not only giving us new words for new technologies but it’s influencing the way we use language in general (for example, we’ve repurposed the exclamation mark as more than a sign of excitement; it also now indicates warmth or sincerity). If you’re at all a word person, you’ll likely enjoy this book as much as I did.

[Side recommendation:
Wordslut: A Feminist Guide to Taking Back the English Language
by Amanda Montell
This is a fascinating (and often witty) book about the history of language regarding women: insults about women, women’s speech patterns, metaphors used about women, etc. As such, it contains a lot of language that might be offensive to some, so I won’t give it a full recommendation for all readers. But taken in context, it’s quite informative. “If you want to insult a woman, call her a prostitute. If you want to insult a man, call him a woman.” Ugh.]

3. You’re a Miracle (and a Pain in the A**)
Understanding the Hidden Forces That Make You You
by Mike McHargue (Science Mike)

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If you listen to “The Liturgist” podcast or “Ask Science Mike” podcast, you already know and love author Mike McHargue. You’ll love him more if you read this book. Mike (quite the intellectual but approachable genius) is open about his struggles with life and his ongoing progress so that we can make progress and be accepting of ourselves in our struggles, too, both in cognitive and emotional ways. “Acceptance beats shame every time. . . . The feeling of sadness doesn’t break me; it teaches me. I’m learning to trust it.”

Read more here

4. I’ve Seen the End of You
A Neurosurgeon’s Look at Faith, Doubt, and the Things We Think We Know
by W. Lee Warren

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Dr. Warren is a brain surgeon who was fighting to keep his faith in God, despite seeing patients die of incurable brain cancer. His memoir is moving and inspiring in its rawness and honesty. Warren doesn’t tell you to lose all your doubts, but rather to use them to draw closer to God. This book is full of stories that will stick with you long after you finish it.

[My review here of I’ve Seen the End of You]

5. Lies We Believe About God
by William Paul Young

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None of can fully know God 100%. He’s too big. But this book helps destroy some of the things we think we know about God that aren’t true about him. Young kept a list of “words you will never hear God say” and turned them into this book, lies such as “I keep a record of wrongs. You are the child I never wanted. You overestimated Jesus.” You don’t have to agree with everything he says to still gain a lot from this book. It was helpful to me.

6. Write Better
A Lifelong Editor on Craft, Art, and Spirituality
by Andrew T. Le Peau

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This is a beautifully-written book to encourage the writer in you. Le Peau approaches writing as a spiritual ministry. Regardless of the type of writing you do, Le Peau is sure to encourage you to do it with more skill, clarity, meaning. He offers both practical advice and spiritual motivation.

“What should I write about? We need to ask ourselves, What do I already know? What have I already done or been involved with? What has God already taught me, or where has he already taken me?”

Fiction

7. In a Dark, Dark Wood
by Ruth Ware

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Continuing my tour of Ruth Ware mystery novels, this one centers around Clare’s hen party…and her engagement to Nora’s ex-boyfriend. I continue to appreciate Ware’s storytelling abilities without resorting to violent gore or obscenities or images that will keep me awake at night. Yet they are still full of suspense.

Reading Now

  • Me and White Supremacy
    Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor
    by Layla F. Saad
  • Be the Bridge 
    Pursuing God’s Heart for Racial Reconciliation
    by LaTasha Morrison
  • Stamped from the Beginning
    The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America
    by Ibram X. Kendi
  • The Color of Compromise
    The Truth about the American Church’s Complicity in Racism
    by Jemar Tisby
  • Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race
    by Reni Eddo-Lodge
  • Holy Envy
    Finding God in the Faith of Others
    by Barbara Brown Taylor
  • All the Missing Girls
    by Megan Miranda

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

For those interested, I posted this last week:

My books on Goodreads
More books I recommend

sharing with Modern Mrs. Darcy

22 thoughts on “7 Books I Recommend—June 2020

  1. blankbill (cycleguy)

    Just ordered and received Dr. Warren’s book. I look forward to reading it. I also just received Dream Big by Bob Goff and Becoming a King by Morgan Snyder. I just finished two books on Gender Ideology by Sharon James and Transgender by Vaughn Roberts (identifies as SSA). I have also finished Sacred Endurance by Trillia Newbell and The Motive by Patrick Lencioni. I’m starting Goff’s book first then hitting Dr. Warren’s.

  2. blankLaurie

    Ummm…I overthink EVERYTHING. I definitely need to read that book.

    I am also reading Stamped From the Beginning. It is a book I will be reading for a long time. My son got it for me for Christmas and I am just getting around to it now. It’s wonderful but I have to read it in small doses.

    As always, thanks for the recommendations.

  3. blankLesley

    As always your recommendations leave me with more books I want to read, and my list is already so long! I am definitely an overthinker so I think I could do with that one. Write Better is the only one of these I have read but I loved it too!

  4. blankBarbara Harper

    I have Anne’s book but haven’t started it yet. I’m definitely an overthinker, too. I’m one chapter into Write Better and looking forward to reading more. Because Internet sounds interesting, but it’s frustrating that language usage changes so fast.

  5. blankElena Wiggins

    Those books all look interesting! I’ve Seen the End of You sounds like When Breath Becomes Like Air, which was hauntingly beautiful. I’ll link my June reads in my name, if interested! Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on your current reads!

  6. blankLinda Stoll

    One down, a whole bunch more to go, Lisa!

    I ate up Anne’s book, one paragraph at a time. I’m guessing she never knew when she was writing how much her words would be needed for such a time as this …

  7. blankJean Wise

    I have ordered I’ve Seen the End of You and should arrive early next week. Can’t wait to read it. Thank you for the suggestion!! love your list.

  8. blankKaren Friday

    Lisa, the first book on the list resonates with me! I’ve always been an over thinker. Because I over think and over analyze things, I’m not always the best test taker or decision maker.

  9. blankDanielle Hammelef

    I was given a copy of Don’t Overthink It for review and enjoyed the conversational tone and personal connections. I also would recommend this book if someone is “treading water” in his/her life because of fear/anxiety over making decisions. The rest of your books read in June also look excellent.

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