Here are 7 books I recommend from what I finished reading in May, including a 1-minute video review. I also include 3 Honorable Mentions this month. Once a month we share our current reading list at Jennifer’s.
Books I Recommend
1. Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics
A 10% Happier How-To Book
by Dan Harris
I’m experimenting this month with a quick 1-minute video review of one of the books here. (It’s also an exercise in humility for me. This video was no makeup, no prep, no edits.)
And here’s more encouragement from Dan Harris about meditating:
“Meditation is unlike anything else you do in life, in that here, “failing”—that is, noticing you’ve gotten distracted and starting again—is succeeding. When you wake up from distraction, that is the magic moment, the victory. And it is a victory of real consequence.”
2. The Sin of Certainty
Why God Desires Our Trust More Than Our “Correct” Beliefs
by Peter Enns
Everything we believe about God isn’t accurate. Can we admit that? We’re human. Or do we put more faith in being right than we put in God himself? This was a great book for my One Word this year: Mystery.
“The problem is trusting our beliefs rather than trusting God.”
“We have misunderstood faith as a ‘what’ word rather than a ‘who’ word—as primarily beliefs ‘about’ rather than primarily as trust ‘in.'”
3. The Way of Abundance
A 60-Day Journey into a Deeply Meaningful Life
by Ann Voskamp
What do we do with our brokenness? Ann Voskamp has the best little stories with deep insights. This powerful devotional is taken from her online essays and from her book, The Broken Way.
“Nothing is more necessary than finding God and falling in love and deeper into Him. . . . What you are in love with decides what you live for. What you are in love with decides what you get out of bed for.”
4. 42 Seconds
The Jesus Model for Everyday Interactions
by Carl Medearis
I love how Medearis gently shows us we can do more to connect with people. It doesn’t have to be complex. In small everyday interactions, we can show Jesus to others. A wonderful book.
“Being kind like Jesus means caring enough to learn why a given question matters to an individual. Which usually means asking another question, and another, and another, and listening.”
5. A Wrinkle in Time
by Madeleine L’Engle
I’ve read this beloved classic novel several times already, but I re-read it again in preparation for seeing the movie. (Have you seen it yet?) I don’t always like the fantasy genre, but Madeleine L’Engle makes it more than just that.
“Don’t be afraid to be afraid. We will try to have courage for you. That is all we can do.”
More on that here, “Don’t Be Afraid to Be Afraid.”
6. Girl, Wash Your Face
Stop Believing the Lies about Who You Are So You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be
by Rachel Hollis
Not necessarily new material here, but Rachel Hollis is blunt about reminding us what NOT to believe about ourselves. When we believe lies instead of God’s truths about us, everyone suffers. She encourages us to become more aware of those lies and let them die.
“Have you ever believed that you aren’t good enough? That you’re not thin enough? That you’re a bad mom? That you’ll never amount to anything? All lies.”
7. When Crickets Cry
by Charles Martin
This novel is a sweet story about a broken-hearted heart surgeon who has given up his practice, and his encounters with a little girl who needs a heart transplant. Written from a Christian perspective, it is inspirational without being preachy.
“She opened heavy eyes, tilted her head, and said, ‘Reese, hope lives here, and death can’t kill it.'”
by Jodi Picoult
You’ll learn a lot about elephants in this novel. This book has an interesting storyline about a family who cares for displaced elephants, but it’s about a lot of other things too, some of which I found interesting, and some of which made me uncomfortable. I liked it, but didn’t love it.
“Lately, she had been afraid to fall asleep. Instead of a nap, Jenna called it the Leaving Time. She was certain that if she closed her eyes, I would not be here again when she opened them.”
An Epidemic of Wellness, the Certainty of Dying, and Killing Ourselves to Live Longer
by Barbara Ehrenreich
I love the premise of this book: we obsess too much about keeping our bodies alive, or as the subtitle suggests, “Killing ourselves to live longer.” Many chapters were on target and interesting. But other chapters really got bogged down in minutiae. So I can’t give it my full recommendation.
“Still, we persist in subjecting anyone who dies at a seemingly untimely age to a kind of bio-moral autopsy: Did she smoke? Drink excessively? Eat too much fat and not enough fiber? Can she, in other words, be blamed for her own death?”
The Excellence Dividend
Meeting the Tech Tide with Work that Wows and Jobs that Last
by Tom Peters
This is a business book with a great message: put people first, whatever business you are in. Treat your employees right and they’ll treat your customers right. Do everything with excellence. However, the formatting of the book drove me crazy so I only give it a partial recommendation. The font size changed often; there were lots of all caps; much of the book was still in outline form. This distracted me immensely from absorbing the content.
“EXCELLENCE is not a long-term aspiration. EXCELLENCE is the ultimate short-term strategy. EXCELLENCE IS THE NEXT FIVE MINUTES.”
- A Storied Life
by Leigh Kramer
- Everybody Always
Becoming Love in a World Full of Setbacks and Difficult People
by Bob Goff
- I’m Still Here
Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness
by Austin Channing Brown
- Five Stars
The Communication Secrets to Get from Good to Great
by Carmine Gallo
- What Truth Sounds Like
Robert F. Kennedy, James Baldwin, and Our Unfinished Conversation About Race in America
by Michael Eric Dyson
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What good book have you read this month? Please share in the comments.
- Just 42 Seconds – Short Conversations Matter
- Aging Isn’t the Enemy…Or the Goal