6 Books I Recommend—March 2022

Remember that the book which bores you when you are twenty or thirty will open doors for you when you are forty or fifty—and vise versa. Don’t read a book out of its right time for you.
– Doris Lessing

Here are 6 books I recommend from what I finished reading in March.

[See previously recommended books here]


1. Permission to Feel
Unlocking the Power of Emotions to Help Our Kids, Ourselves, and Our Society Thrive
by Marc Brackett

Permission to Feel

Do we undervalue and disrespect our emotions? Often, yes. This book teaches us how to better understand our emotions and use them properly. Our emotional intelligence is often woefully lacking and it causes great harm in the world. Excellent book!

“Research showed that emotions give purpose, priority, and focus to our thinking. They tell us what to do with the knowledge that our senses deliver. They motivate us to act.”

2. The Expectation Effect
How Your Mindset Can Change Your World
by David Robson

The Expectation Effect

Another great book. We may intuitively know this, but this book uses science to sort it out: What we think will happen often changes what does happen. Whether regarding medicine, exercise, old age, etc., our expectations can influence outcomes to some degree. Each chapter focuses on a different category and what we can realistically change through adjusting our expectations. 

“What we feel and think will determine what we experience, which will in turn influence what we feel and what we think, in a never-ending cycle.”

[read more from The Expectation Effect]

3. Love Letters to God
Deeper Intimacy through Written Prayer
by Lynn Morrissey

Love Letters to God

Many of you know this author Lynn Morrissey through the beautiful and insightful comments she leaves on our blogs. I was blessed to be gifted a copy of this beautiful book she wrote a few years ago. Her testimony of God’s faithfulness through her practice of prayer-journaling is encouraging me to continue my own “sacred writings” to God. Thank you, Lynn!

“Written prayer is the key to my consistent conversation with the Lover of my soul. It is an intimacy that I can enjoy anytime, anyplace. I simply open my journal, lift my pen, and pour out my heart.”

4. 37 Motivational and Life-Changing Lessons from Thich Nhat Hanh
by Christine Jay

37 Lessons from Thich Nhat Hanh

This very short book (26 pages) contains snippets of peaceful wisdom from the recently-departed global spiritual teacher Thich Nhat Hanh on January 22, 2022.

“I asked myself what is not wrong and I longed to work on the things that are not wrong at that time. Within myself there were precious elements like joy and gratefulness.”


5. The Five Wounds
by Kirstin Valdez Quade

The Five Wounds

This won’t make a top 10 list for me, but it’s an interesting story about a young unwed mother, Angel, in New Mexico and her divorced parents and dying grandmother. I finished it two weeks ago, but the characters and their story still live in my head.

6. The Book of Form and Emptiness
by Ruth Ozeki

The Book of Form and Emptiness

This novel is also a bit quirky, but interesting. After the death of his musician father, teenager Benny Oh begins hearing disturbing voices from inanimate objects around him. It doesn’t help that his mother Annabelle is a hoarder and has lots of things. (You’ll find shadowing in this book of Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.)  

Reading Now

  • The Power of Regret
    How Looking Backward Moves Us Forward
    by Daniel H. Pink
  • Love People Use Things
    Because the Opposite Never Works
    by Joshua Fields Millburn
  • Stupid Things I Won’t Do When I Get Old
    by Steven Petrow
  • Self-Compassion
    The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself
    by Kristin Neff
  • Good Enough
    40ish Devotionals for a Life of Imperfection
    by Kate Bowler
  • Flygirl
    by Sherri L. Smith

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

More books I recommend

26 thoughts on “6 Books I Recommend—March 2022

    1. Lynn D. Morrissey

      Funny, Joanne, I didn’t know about my book either! I began as a vocal major, and hated teaching music after graduation (though I still love singing and perform in a Bach chorus); I landed in nonprofit administration professoinally, and we were too poor to hire writers, so I just started writing their newsletters, press releases, grant proposals, training manuals, etc. I didn’t think about it, because writing came naturally. However, that is a far cry from publishing a book with a mainline Christian publishing house. God took me on a long, circuitous journey, and I have found that as we surrender to Him, we never know where His road will lead, but it’s always eventually homeward bound. Journaling chronicles our inner journeys. If you don’t do it, I hope that you will. One of my mantras, as Lisa, puts it is my own: “A life worth living is worth recording.” Another quote of mine is that “Word shapers are world shapers.” I pray God is shaping your life, pen in hand.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I prefer nonfiction and because of that, I can keep 5 or 6 books going at the same time. But I also like to keep 1 fiction book in the stack too. But only one at a time for those. 🙂

      If I had to pick a favorite format, I’d say print. But I read far more books on my Kindle and would NEVER want to give it up. 🙂 I do listen to audiobooks, too, but it’s my least favorite method because I don’t retain it as well. If my eyes aren’t involved, I have a harder time paying attention.

  1. JeanWise

    as always love your list. I have been thinking lately how expectations both work and hinder my emotions so that book intrigues me. Ordered it from my library, Thanks for bringing it to my attention!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Glad your library will get the Expectations book for you, Jean! I really enjoyed it. It’s fascinating material. I’m sharing more about it tomorrow on my blog.

  2. Lynn D. Morrissey

    Lisa, what a surprise to see my book cover and read your impressions of Love Letters to God–what I call my signature book, because unlike my other books, this expresses my life’s passion. Thank you so much, and for your kind words. When I sent that to you, I had no notion of any mention whatever. I just meant it as a gift from an across-the-cyber-miles friend and admirer of your blog. When I pitched the book idea to Multnomah, I had in mind a more instructional book, along with my personal essays. But editor Lisa Stilwell, head of their gift division, cast a vision I’d not imagined. I write in a number of genres, but this book is primarily written lyrically, and she thought to pair the text with gifted watercolorist Katia Andreeva’s ethereal paintings. Frankly, though that was amazing to me, I hesitated, because I didn’t want to write a fluffy gift book. So, the deal was that I couldn’t include any instruction whatever, and they would allow me to bare my soul substantively. The premise became to write about real-life instances where God dramatically transformed me through His gift of prayer-journaling. What I couldn’t seem to say aloud in oral prayer, I suddenly could write. Journaling absolutely freed me. God has used this form of written prayer as a ready means of communicating with the Lord, as He’s healed me from depression, alcoholism, and the guilt and shame of an abortion (to name some). You have read about those now. How I pray that you, too, will pick up your pen and write your own “love letters to God”–not saccharine expressions of love, but the range of your real experiences and emotions. Real love is saying it all to a loving Father who love and accepts you no matter what! Thank you again for the honor today of being included in a place I’ve come to love!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I couldn’t not share your lovely book, Lynn. I will treasure having it on my shelf and especially with your beautiful penship in the front too. It’s a very meaningful gift to me. I’m glad that your editor had a vision for what the book could be and that you agreed. The illustrations truly are breathtaking too. It was put together so well. I definitely feel the Lord’s breath through it from beginning to end!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I saw Ruth Ozeki’s novel recommended on someone else’s blog last month so I looked it up at my library. Thankfully they had a copy. It was a fun (yet serious) book.

  3. Lauren Sparks

    I always enjoy seeing your recommendations but because I read so much slower than you, I don’t get around to many. Maybe some day when I’m not working, writing and mothering at home!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Yes, your priorities are in the right place in your season of life, Lauren. Yet it is amazing to me how much I can finish in just little snatches of time throughout the day. It adds up! You’ll have more time later. 🙂

  4. Joanne

    Oh I talk to my family about the Expectation Effect often; in psychology we call it a self-fulfilling prophecy and it’s amazing how much our minds and thoughts control our outcomes. I’m definitely going to have to read that one! These all sound like great books.

  5. David

    I can imagine Lynn’s book would be a very nice read – her writing really sparkles in the FB group. Love letter to God is a charming and inspiring way to think of written prayer.

    The expectations book looks right up my street so I will go directly to your review!

    Me: camping with a stack of Woosters – perfect comfort reading for me, and a history of Jazz for when laughing out loud is not appropriate.

  6. Nancy Ruegg

    Had to smile when I read that we can better deal with pain if we tell ourselves “the sensations are real, but temporary.” Reminded me of childbirth and the LaMaze techniques that were so popular decades ago. That quote is exactly what I told myself during contractions! To this day I believe that attitude helps. And for any painful procedures, I still pull out the LaMaze breathing techniques from my memory bank!

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