8 Books I Recommend—March 2023
—Grace & Truth Linkup

“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.”
– Charles Elliot

Here are 7 nonfiction books and 1 novel I recommend from what I read in March.

[See previously recommended books here]


1. Dopamine Nation
Finding Balance in the Age of Indulgence
by Anna Lembke

Dopamine Nation

Where’s our balance between pleasure and pain? Have we all become addicted to dopamine hits in one way or another? This is a fascinating look at the various ways and dangers of how we pursue pleasure.

“There is a cost to medicating away every type of human suffering, and there is an alternative path that might work better: embracing pain.”

2. Humankind
A Hopeful History
by Rutger Bregman

Humankind: A Hopeful History

Are humans basically selfish? Looking back through our history as a species, Bregman writes that humans have proven we’re wired more for cooperation than conflict. Among other evidence, he sheds new light on some popular studies from years past to prove his point. This book leaves you feeling better about your fellow humans.

“When in doubt, assume the best. If your faith in someone is misplaced, the truth will surface sooner or later. . . . But if you decide not to trust someone, you’ll never know if you’re right.” 

3. Barkley
A Biography
by Timothy Bella


As an Auburn University fan, I enjoyed reading the biography of our basketball great Charles Barkley from Leeds, Alabama. From his early childhood to his NBA days to his current career as a broadcaster, Barkley has never failed to speak his mind and to continue evolving as a person. 

“Charles hoped to build ten to twenty affordable homes in their place. He would pay for it all himself, in part by auctioning off some of his basketball heirlooms: an American flag signed by the original Dream Team. The 1993 MVP trophy. His gold medal from the ’96 Olympics.”

4. jaded
a poetic reckoning with white evangelical christian indoctrination
by Marla Taviano

jaded: a poetic reckoning

Marla Taviano writes short, thoughtful poetry that cuts through the platitudes and problems currently facing evangelical Christianity. If you aren’t comfortable with an honest outpouring of grief and anger at the modern church, don’t read this book.

“poetry means letting go
of the compulsion to
cover every base
cover my a**
and just let what
I wrote be enough”

5. Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road?
Christian Identity in a Multi-Faith World
by Brian D. McLaren

Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha

I missed reading this book when it was originally published in 2012. But 11 years later, it’s not too late; its message is still critically important. Brian McLaren writes with humility about how to be a loving Christian (and human being) to people of all religions, not just your own, to truly reflect Jesus.

“Christian mission begins with friendship—not utilitarian friendship, the religious version of network marketing—but genuine friendship, friendship that translates love for neighbors in general into knowing, appreciating, liking, and enjoying this or that neighbor in particular.”

6. The Dance of the Dissident Daughter
by Sue Monk Kidd

The Dance of the Dissident Daughter

I also missed this Sue Monk Kidd memoir when it first was released in the 90s. But it’s just as relevant today too. She chronicles the deepening of her Christian journey as she embraces all the aspects of what it means to be a woman of faith. This is my March choice for Lory’s Spiritual Memoir Challenge.  For April I’ll be reading My Jewish Year.

“Ultimately our experience needs to become a force for compassion and justice in the world. We must bear witness to what we have experienced.”

7. Fear
Essential Wisdom for Getting Through the Storm
by Thich Nhat Hanh


Thich Nhat Hanh wrote words through such a kind voice. This book calmed my heart as I read his wisdom on negotiating our lives of ups and downs.

“The intention of deep listening and loving speech is to restore communication, because once communication is restored, everything is possible, including peace and reconciliation.”


8. Home Again
by Kristin Hannah

Home Again

This novel centers around a Hollywood bad boy who needs a heart transplant and a world-famous heart surgeon struggling with her 16-year-old daughter. Several plot twists caught me off guard, and kept me wanting to read more. Kristin Hannah is one of my favorite fiction writers.

“Uncle Francis used to say, ‘Love hurts, Angelina-ballerina, but it also heals.’”


  • The Violence Inside Us
    A Brief History of an Ongoing American Tragedy
    by Chris Murphy
  • Life in Five Senses
    How Exploring the Senses Got Me Out of My Head and Into the World
    by Gretchen Rubin
  • Soulbroken
    A Guidebook for Your Journey Through Ambiguous Grief
    by Stephanie Sarazin
  • A Hole in the World
    Finding Hope in Rituals of Grief and Healing
    Amanda Held Opelt
  • How the Word Is Passed
    A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America
    by Clint Smith
  • The Sentences That Create Us
    Crafting A Writer’s Life in Prison
    PEN America
  • The Gospel of Wellness
    Gyms, Gurus, Goop, and the False Promise of Self-Care
    by Rina Raphael
  • My Jewish Year
    18 Holidays, One Wondering Jew
    by Abigail Pogrebin
  • The Husband’s Secret
    by Liane Moriarty

What good book do YOU recommend? Please share in the comments.


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13 thoughts on “8 Books I Recommend—March 2023
—Grace & Truth Linkup

  1. Lory @ Entering the Enchanted Castle

    These all sound so good! I am suspecting that dopamine deprivation has a role in my headaches, so I’m very interested to learn more about that. The Dance of the Dissident Daughter has to come in somwhere during my Spiritual Memoir challenge year. And I love Brian McLaren and Thich Nhat Hanh, though I haven’t read those titles. Right now I am reading a book by a Muslim woman doctor in Saudi Arabia, In the Land of Invisible Woman — fascinating and disturbing.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I’d been eyeing the dopamine book for a few months, thinking it wouldn’t really apply to me, but oh, it did. I think you’d find it interesting too! I haven’t decided on a book yet for my Muslim month…I may copy you on that book if I can find an available copy.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I’m glad to hear you think so about these two books! I’ve started them both and find them very interesting, in very different ways, of course. How the Word Is Passed is one of those hard to read but important to read books. And The Husband’s Secret is a book I can read when I’m trying to avoid thinking about deep things. 🙂

  2. Kathryn Trask

    You have me wanting to read Home Again by KH, I like her earlier books, not so much her most recent. The Thich Nhat Hanh sounds like really worth reading so making a note. I really enjoyed The Husband’s Secret via audiobook.

  3. Joanne

    Kristin Hannah is one of my favorite authors too. Humankind (and a few others) sounds really good too…. I bet I could use that as a psychology study for my son’s high school curriculum.

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