Books I recommend – November 2015


Once a month we share what we’ve been reading for What’s on Your Nightstand. Here are the books I recommend from my November reading.


1. Go Set a Watchman
by Harper Lee


I didn’t enjoy this novel as much as To Kill a Mockingbird (I did a quick reread last month). This one starts with Scout at 26 years old returning to Maycomb to visit Atticus. It was too heavy in philosophical and confusing conversations for me, much through the words of Dr. Finch (Uncle Jack), and too light in plot (although it had great potential). Then it was over before it ended.

But still. It’s worth reading.

Uncle Jack: “Remember this also: it’s always easy to look back and see what we were, yesterday, ten years ago. It is hard to see what we are. If you can master that trick, you’ll get along.”

2. True Worshipers
Seeking What Matters to God
by Bob Kauflin


My book review here

A very encouraging book about worshipping God, approached from many different angles. Bob Kauflin writes clearly and passionately with a God-honoring attitude throughout. It’s not all about singing either, although if you’re interested in hearing more about worship and singing, chapter 7 is excellent in answering questions about singing styles and song choices, etc.

3. Accidental Saints
Finding God in All the Wrong People
by Nadia Bolz-Weber


My book review here

This isn’t for everyone. But if you like to think about how God works in unconventional people (and well, isn’t that all of us to some degree?), this book will give you many examples of real-life people who’ve come to know God outside of our traditional venues.

4. Permission Granted
Take the Bible into Your Own Hands
by Jennifer Grace Bird


Another book that isn’t for everyone. But if you find it beneficial to question yourself from time to time about why you interpret scripture a certain way, this book is for you. The author isn’t pushy; she’s not trying to convince you to come to her way of thinking, but she does encourage you to think for yourself and at least hold space open for new thoughts.

5. The Time Paradox
The New Psychology of Time That Will Change Your Life
by Philip G. Zimbardo, John Boyd


Everybody has a personal time zone, an internal time perspective that you live by, usually unconsciously:

  • Past-negative
  • Past-positive
  • Present-fatalistic
  • Present-hedonistic
  • Future
  • Franscendental-future.

Drs. Zimbardo and Boyd share years of research on the optimal blend of time perspective that leads to the most contented lives. I read this book 7 years ago (my original book review here), but reread it for my year of Now, and it’s just as intriguing the second time around. Excellent!

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What are you reading this month? Please share here.


My books on Goodreads
Previous reading lists

14 thoughts on “Books I recommend – November 2015

  1. Barbara H.

    I haven’t decided yet whether to read Go Set a Watchman. I’ve heard such mixed reviews of it – I don’t think I have seen anyone say they loved it. I probably will someday just because of its connection to Mockingbird.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Well, I don’t want to discourage anyone from reading it, but it just wasn’t up to the level (to me) of TKAM. All the hype probably didn’t help, getting our expectations up so high. But it’s still a good book; you would probably enjoy it!

  2. Susan

    Many thoughts went thru my head as I read this — I MUST read “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Yep, I’m one of the half dozen of Americans who hasn’t. Then I can see if I dislike the sequel, as almost everyone seems to! The premise of “Accidental Saint” intrigues me …

  3. Lynn Severance

    I really liked “Go Set a Watchman” and the Scripture quote from which it came.
    There was so much pre-release hoopla about how Atticus turned out to be a racist and “we”, the readers of TKAM ( rather readers also loving Gregory Peck in that role) were supposed to be incensed. To have read TKAM first is key. It is written through the eyes of Scout — a young 10-year-old and she idealizes her father.

    “Go Set a Watchman” has her coming back to this sleepy southern town after time working in corporate NY. I chance “hearing” sets her off focus and she begins to form new feelings about her father based on them ( still wanting to hold onto her 10-year-old self). I thought the outcome fair and resolved. Atticus Finch remained the fair man we loved in TKAM, he and Scout came to an understanding of what had bothered her and the culture of a southern town of that time, embedded in all who grew up so infused with it, made sense to me. I truly loved it. I missed some favored characters, but I think the two books are good companion volumes

    A readers why is it that we can dictate how an author chooses to define her/his characters.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I did appreciate the basis of the book too. I felt Harper Lee did a good job inserting the watchman into it (probably made more of an impression to me than the mockingbird references it the first book). I just found I got lost sometimes in the soliloquies, especially via Uncle Jack. Granted, Scout was confused by them too. 🙂 But I’d like to have been able to follow along a little better. I also expected to hear more about the trial of the black man who accidentally killed the white man, so I was disappointed when so little time was spent on that.

      Nonetheless, it was still a good book. 🙂 And yes, taking into account the age of Scout in both books, a lot of it was appropriate learning. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Lynn! They’re helpful. Have a blessed Thanksgiving!

  4. Jean Wise

    Lisa I just love how you write these book reviews. I get insight into a wide variety of books and know instantly if they might be something I would love to read. My reading has really been slight this past month but I do hope this holiday weekend to dig into some reading. Happy Thanksgiving.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Hope you’ve been able to get into your books this weekend, Jean! Jeff and I took a road trip last week so I was able to read a little more than usual, and loved every second of it. 🙂

  5. Tonia

    Looks like you had a very interesting reading month.

    To Kill a Mockingbird was one of my high school favorites but I haven’t read Go Set a Watchman yet. I did read that it was actually her first draft before To Kill a Mockingbird (not sure how accurate that information is, but I found it interesting!).

    Permission Granted sounds like a good book. Sometimes I’ll read something in my Bible and realize that the interpretation I’ve always held to has more to do with religious tradition than what the Scripture is actually about. Will have to find a copy of that book, I think!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Let me know what you think of Watchman if you do read it. I intentionally didn’t read any reviews before I read the book, so I don’t really know what everyone has been saying about it. ha. And now that I’ve finally read it, it’s old news. 🙂

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Harper Lee’s book had been on my radar for several months too. I didn’t think it’d come available at the library this quickly, but thankful that it did. I have mixed feelings about it now that I’ve read it, but I still recommend it if you liked To Kill a Mockingbird.

  6. Ifeoma Samuel

    Hi Lisa, I have not read any of these books!
    But I am on the new book, “Choose Joy” by Mary Carver and Sara
    “Even If Not” by Kathylin Buchillion and “Hope for the Weary Mom Devotional” by Stacey and Brooke.
    Thanks for your list.
    God Bless

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