“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 W. Eliot
Here are 8 books I recommend from what I finished reading in May.
How Sorrow and Longing Make Us Whole
by Susan Cain
The beautiful writings of Susan Cain (author of Quiet) remind us that we often feel multiple emotions at the same time. And that it’s normal. For example, we can feel both joy and sorrow when we watch our young children at play because even as we delight in their joy, we also realize this time is fleeting. This book puts these longings into words and makes you feel right at home in emotional pairings.
2. Plays Well with Others
The Surprising Science Behind Why Everything You Know about Relationships Is (Mostly) Wrong
by Eric Barker
This is a fantastic book. If combining scientific data and relationships appeals to you, too, you’ll love this book. Barker writes with wit and clarity as he debunks several false theories we inherently believe about relationships, and confirms several theories we intuitively believe already.
3. Do I Stay Christian?
A Guide for the Doubters, the Disappointed, and the Disillusioned
by Brian D. McLaren
I just spent this past weekend at a spiritual retreat with Brian McLaren, so it makes me love his book even more. Written with great humility, curiosity, and research, McLaren walks us through question after question about why we might not (part 1) or might (part 2) want to remain Christian. His conclusion for himself is to stay Christian, and he offers advice to others (part 3) who also want to remain in this faith to make their journeys more filled with Jesus and with lovingkindness to become better human beings in this world.
4. Creative Renewal
An Invitation to Make Stuff and to Stop Clicking Stuff
by Ed Cyzewski
Ed has a way of making me want to try something new. In this book he walks us through his own journey of finding greater mental, emotional, and spiritual health through creative connections. For Ed, it takes the form of painting and woodworking. I’m still pondering how it might look in my own life as I decide which creative tracks I want to follow. Ed reminds us that creating is something we do for ourselves, but it also is a way to gift the world with more beauty.
5. Fearing Bravely
Risking Love for Our Neighbors, Strangers, and Enemies
by Catherine McNiel
Are Christians more known for their love of others or from their fear of others? Sadly, it’s often the latter. This is a book meant to challenge us to see beyond our own tribes and offer open hands to others who may be very different from us. How are we to love other people if we’re so afraid of and repelled by their presence among us?
6. The Four Winds
by Kristin Hannah
This novel set in Texas during the Dust Bowl/Great Depression era of the 1930s is about a young girl Elsa, then wife and mother, who has to find her way through poverty in a man’s world and through extreme conditions. Her difficult life choices involve staying on the family farm that is being pelted by disastrous storms or move west to California in search of a better life and the American Dream.
7. The Stranger in the Lifeboat
by Mitch Albom
This short novel by the author of Tuesdays with Morrie is about the survivors on a lifeboat after their ship sinks. After being at sea awhile, an unexpected person arrives out of the water. He claims to be “the Lord” that they had been calling for. The story goes back and forth between the people on the lifeboat and the people in an island town a year later where the lifeboat washes ashore with a diary from one of the survivors.
8. The Rosie Project
by Graeme Simsion
This was my whimsy read of the month. The main character in this novel, Don Tillman, reminds me of the character Sheldon on The Big Bang Theory. He’s a quirky genius who finds himself in awkward social situations. The plotline was satisfying enough that I’d like to read more in this series.
Identity, Belonging, and Rediscovering God
by Kaitlin B. Curtice
Capture Your Purpose. Rediscover Your Joy.
by Bob Goff
A Tale for the Time Being
by Ruth Ozeki
You Got Anything Stronger?
by Gabrielle Union
The Happiness Trap
How to Stop Struggling and Start Living: A Guide to ACT
by Russ Harris
It’s OK That You’re Not OK
Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn’t Understand
by Megan Devine
What good book are YOU reading this month? Please share in the comments.
- Share Four Somethings—May 2022
- On the Blog—May 2022