7 Books I Recommend – May 2016



1. The Boys in the Boat
Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics
by Daniel James Brown


This wonderful book is about the U.S. rowing crew from the University of Washington and their journey entering the 1936 Olympics. It’s beautifully told. I love non-fiction books in novel form.

Excerpt from The Boys in the Boat, “It has to matter to you whether he wins the race, not just whether you do”

2. The Wisdom of the Enneagram
by Don Richard Riso, Russ Hudson


This is a wonderful starter book about the nine personality types of the enneagram. It is very thorough and readable, both in helping  you discover your type (I’m fairly certain I’m a Type 1) as well as giving you insights on how to use this knowledge to identify your specific strengths, weaknesses, fears, desires, etc.

3. The Blessing of Humility
Walk Within Your Calling
by Jerry Bridges


Don’t we love to see humility in a person? But it’s so hard to practice in ourselves. Jerry Bridges uses the Beatitudes to show us patterns of humility we can imitate.

My book review here

4. Life Path
Personal and Spiritual Growth through Journal Writing
by Luci Shaw


If you need motivation to keep a journal, this book will do it for you. Lucy Shaw shares examples from her own journals, gives you reasons to write yourself, and suggests many exercises to try. Life Path was the May selection for the Red Couch Book Club, and an excellent choice it was. Next up: I Am Malala. 

5. Bomb
The Race to Build—and Steal—the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon
by Steve Sheinkin


I chose this because I’m reading Newbery Honor Books this year from the 2010s (this one is a 2013 winner). And what a treasure I uncovered. It’s the history of the race to build the atomic bomb. It includes drama, science, spy tales, photos, and more. (I’m not sure why it’s considered a children’s book though; the material was complicated, albeit explained well.)

6. Understanding Exposure
How to Shoot Great Photographs with a Film or Digital Camera
by Bryan Peterson


In a revised edition of this classic book, Peterson explains how to shoot better pictures by understanding exposure. It contains striking examples and exercises to try yourself. I’ve been a slower learner to understanding how ISO, shutter speed, and aperture work together, but I think I’m finally getting it.

My book review here


7. Persuasion
by Jane Austen


This is a beautiful story, beautifully told by Jane Austen, of 27-yr-old Anne Elliot, her family, and their acquaintances and love lives, in and out of Kellynch Hall. Why did I wait so long to read this novel? I loved it.

Free Kindle version here of Persuasion from Amazon

Currently Reading

  • The Picture of Dorian Gray
    by Oscar Wilde
  • Bossypants
    by Tina Fey
  • The Day the Angels Fell
    by Shawn Smucker
  • The Words of Gandhi
    compiled by Richard Attenborough
  • Entering the Castle
    by Caroline Myss

* * *

What are you reading this month? Please share here.


Month in Review 6

My books on Goodreads
Previous reading lists

29 thoughts on “7 Books I Recommend – May 2016

  1. Bill (cycleguy)

    Let’s see. Almost finished Comeback by Giglio. Read The Trail by Ed Underwood while on vacation. Started Underworld by Justin Wilson (fiction) while on vacation. In the cue I have Putting Your Past in its Place. When Breath Becomes Air. Ditch the Baggage. Do Ask, Do Tell, Let’s Talk. That will keep my busy for awhile.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I’m looking forward to you finishing Giglio so I can hear what you think about it. I might need to add it to my own list! Lots of good titles here, Bill. Thanks for sharing your list!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      The library is one of my favorite places in the world, Linda. 🙂 I couldn’t tell you how many books I’ve borrowed from there through the years!

  2. Kayla Marie

    Hi, Lisa! I always enjoy visiting your lovely blog and can pick out at least a few books that I have read or want to read, or at least recognize. 🙂

    I love Persuasion. Just read it for the second time in April. 🙂

    The Picture of Dorian Gray is on my to-read list and I am really excited about it ever since reading a brief summary that explained the premise!!!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I can see why you’d read Persuasion again. I hope to return to it again in the future too. Such a sweet read! Glad to hear your excitement about Dorian Gray. So far I’m off to a slow start with it so maybe the best is yet to come. 🙂

  3. Betty Draper

    Right now I am reading Levi Lusko, Through the Eyes of a Lion. I will read this one twice or maybe three times to make sure I have gleamed every drop of wisdom from it. Just finished, The Fifth Gospel by Bobby Conway…another second read. In fact I am thinking about re-reading my list from the last year or two for same reason. For fun, going for John Grisham newest. Thanks Lisa for the books to chose from.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I have Through the Eyes of a Lion on my list, Betty. Maybe from one of your previous blog posts? I can’t remember who recommended it but hopefully one day I can get to it. So many good books out there!

  4. Deanna

    The Blessing of Humility and Life Path both sound like books that would suit my reading tastes. I am putting them on my tbr, but wow, if only I had more time to read. That list keeps growing. lol.

    Persuasion — I looove that book and I don’t love everything written by Austen. It’s a book that I could reread.

    Picture of Dorian Gray is sitting on a shelf in my oldest daughter’s room. It’s one I would like to read someday. In interested to what you’ll think about it once you’re done.

    Happy Reading, Lisa! I pray you have a beautiful month of June.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      My reading list has grown SO out of control. Years ago, actually. ha. But it doesn’t stop me from adding books to it anyway. ha. That’s just what we do, right? 🙂 I’ll let you know what I think of Dorian Gray when I’m done!

  5. Pam

    Okay, Lisa, you keep nudging me to add to the stack of books I want to read, but today I actually went to Amazon to get the photography book, Exposure. I am (as you know) a photo enthusiast with a reasonably good eye that relies primarily on the automatic settings and don’t get in the weeds on the manual setting. Your recommendation and an upcoming fall vacation in VT pushed me over the edge. I have several photography books that may cover this topic, but I am going to try this one anyway.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I’m excited for you to launch out into those weeds of manual settings, Pam. My daughter who is a professional photographer has practically forbidden me to use automatic anymore. ha. So I struggle along in manual. It is a lot more challenging for me. You’ll get lots of good practice on that VT vacation!

  6. Susan

    Almost everything on your list sounds good to me — wait, don’t I say that most months? Because it’s true 🙂 I read DGray in the past year or so; really enjoyed it. I *think* I’ve read Persuasion, but a lot of Austen tends to blur for me. Boys in the Boat sounds great — I’m with you on loving non-fiction in fiction form. Pretty sure I’d be fascinated with the bomb book as Los Alamos, Oak Ridge TN, etc. books are so interesting to me. I could go on …

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I say that too, Susan, when I read your list. ha. So glad to hear you enjoyed DGray! I’m not sure what to think about it yet so I can remain hopeful.

  7. Barrie

    What an interesting list! I love your pics of non fiction and also what you are reading for fiction sounds great! Love Tina Fey to lighten it all up!

  8. Beverley

    I really good list of books, again, Lisa. I am not sure i will ever understand how cameras work and may end up taking all my photos on the point and shoot setting instead.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I’m with you, Beverley. I have a *little* bit better grasp about how the camera stuff works now than I used to, but I’m still a novice. Even the point and shoots take such good photos anyway so we’re probably all gonna be just fine whatever we do. 🙂

  9. Barbara H.

    For some reason I couldn’t get into your blog yesterday – kept getting an error message. Glad I ca now!

    I keep hearing good things about The Boys in the Boat. Persuasion is my favorite Austen novel. I’m looking forward to comparing notes about Dorian Gray.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      My crazy blog. 🙁 I’ve had lots of trouble with it the past few days (and off and on, the past 2 years). I’ve thought about switching from BlueHost to another host but haven’t made the jump yet. *Maybe* this time they’ve actually fixed the problem? It’s never anything I can manipulate from my end, so I just have to sit and hope for the best with their techs (and we can barely communicate with each other). ha.

      I’d been hearing about The Boys in the Boat for awhile too and it suddenly came up as available on my library’s Kindle list so I grabbed it. Well worth the read. I think you’d enjoy it too.

  10. floyd

    I always cross my fingers in hopes of you posting one I’ve already read. Yeah, my fingers are sore.

    I want to check out that first one especially.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Ha. You make me smile, Floyd. Yes, I think The Boys in the Boat would be a book you’d enjoy. I didn’t always understand the boat talk—you would get all that, I’m sure—but I loved the camaraderie and the true story line.

  11. David

    I love Austen. Definitely the best English novelist (in my humble opinion).

    Here: I chickened out of the minor prophets and I’m rereading the Gospels. Read Mark while waiting for a train (I have a little pocket NT). They are such simple stories, very easy to read. Might start rereading them every year.


    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Being an Englishman, you’re more qualified to choose a best English novelist. 🙂 Austen is a treat to read. I really enjoyed Persuasion.

      The minor prophets are daunting, but I feel certain you will dive into them at some point. But we can’t go wrong reading and re-reading the Gospels. I need to be reminded often of the compassion of Jesus and I find that in the Gospels.

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