We usually associate most comfortably with people who are similar to us.
Even if we want to meet people outside of our culture, it’s not always easy to do if they’re just not here and not available where we are.
Except. . .
Books! They can bring us together in unexpected ways.
Books introduce us to people we wouldn’t know otherwise. And places. And circumstances.
And who knows? We might later use our new knowledge even among the people we already do know.
The four books I finished this month brought me together with other cultures that I don’t live in and brought me closer to God.
Here are the 2 novels and 2 non-fiction books I recommend from what I finished reading in October. Once a month we share our current reading list at Jennifer’s.
Books I Recommend
by Hillary Jordan
It’s 1940s in the Mississippi Delta. White city-girl Laura McAllan has had to move to farming country to live her husband’s dream. She befriends a family of black sharecroppers on their land. Each character in this novel has a unique struggle as they are forced to make a life together.
2. Stay with Me
by Ayobami Adebayo
Set in Nigeria, this book travels back and forth in time to tell the polygamous love story of Yejide and Akin. It’s painful at times as Yejide struggles with infertility, and as she learns her husband has taken a second wife.
3. How Not to Get Shot
And Other Advice From White People
by D. L. Hughley
This book is by a black comedian and satirist D. L. Hugley. He writes suggestions for how black people can avoid getting shot in encounters with police and white people. It has some rough language at times, and it is quite funny in places, but the message of danger and injustice is a serious one and it comes through loud and clear in between the laughs.
4. God of Tomorrow
How to Overcome the Fears of Today and Renew Your Hope for the Future
by Caleb W. Kaltenbach
Pastor Kaltenbach writes on a huge range of cultural issues. I don’t agree with all of his biblical interpretations, but I do agree with his tone of love and trust and hope. He invites us to respond to each other with more grace than we have been. He successfully repeats the truth again and again that relying on the God of tomorrow helps us live better today.
- A Prayer for Owen Meany
by John Irving
- The Last Ballad
by Cash Wiley
- Raise Your Voice
Why We Stay Silent and How to Speak Up
by Kathy Khang
- 21 Lessons for the 21st Century
by Yuval Noah Harari
- Resist and Persist
Faith and the Fight for Equality
by Erin Wathen
- Remember Death
The Surprising Path to Living Hope
by Matthew McCullough
Here are our three questions of the day:
(1) Have you traveled outside your home country?
(2) Do you have friends who are very different than you in some way?
(3) Has God ever used a book to change the way you view something or someone?
* * *
What are your answers? Please share in the comments.
(1) El Salvador and Guatemala
(2) Yes, especially in the last 5 years. It’s been eye-opening and soul-growing.
(3) God uses books all the time to teach me new things and change my mind about old things.
- Begin with Worship – Day 28 of Handmade
- Hear A Different Voice – Day 30 of Handmade