8 Books I Recommend—October 2022

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“To read a book for the first time is to make an acquaintance with a new friend; to read it for a second time is to meet an old one.”
– Chinese saying

Nonfiction November 2022 is here! Every Monday I’ll be sharing extra book recommendations and reading tips. Week 1 is here:

5 Ways to Get More From Reading Nonfiction Books + My 5 Favorite Books (So Far) of 2022

But first, let’s finish October.

Here are 8 books I recommend from what I finished reading this month.

[See previously recommended books here]


1. Becoming the Answer to Our Prayers
Prayers for Ordinary Radicals
by Shane Claiborne and Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove

Becoming the Answer to Our Prayers

The older I get, the more I understand this truth: my most helpful prayer for others may be asking God to help me help them, in whatever ways I can. God is already on the job doing God’s part. It’s me that needs the push to join in. Shane explains this well through a variety of situations.

“A love for our own relatives or the people of our own country is not a bad thing. But our love does not stop at the border. We now have a family that includes by transcends biology and geography. We have family in Iraq, Peru, Afghanistan and Sudan. We have family members who are starving and homeless, dying of AIDS and living in the midst of war. This is the new family of our Father.”

2. 100% Right 50% of the Time
How to Prevent Fallacies in Decision Making
by Yossi Yassour

100% Right 50% of the Time

Ugh. I once would have disagreed with this statement below. But now? I wonder if Yossi Yassour may be on to something:

“We fool ourselves into thinking that we choose a logical path and examine the pros and cons when in reality, we decide according to emotion and then justify our choices with logical explanations.”

Maybe we really are emotional beings who think, instead of thinking beings who feel? Quite an interesting book with lots of real life examples. 

3. Nonviolent Communication
A Language of Life
by Marshall B. Rosenberg

Nonviolent Communication

This book explains how to talk in clear and simple ways to be better understood and to better understand others (even though it still requires self-discipline and thus is hard; sigh). It’s full of great sample conversations. If we could be this compassionate, direct, and gentle, we’d eliminate so many problems. One of the bottom lines for me: Be more aware of the NEEDS (both my own and others’ needs) underneath our words. 

“When people hear anything that sounds like criticism, they tend to invest their energy in self-defense or counterattack. If we wish for a compassionate response from others, it is self-defeating to express our needs by interpreting or diagnosing their behavior. Instead, the more directly we can connect our feelings to our own needs, the easier it is for others to respond to us compassionately.”

4. Talking to Crazy
How to Deal with the Irrational and Impossible People in Your Life
by Mark Goulston

Talking to Crazy

Some of this is common sense, yet we still may not do it in the heat of a conversation. So we need yet more reminders and coaching. I skimmed some parts of this book. Other parts I took lots of notes. 

The best antidote to woulda, coulda, shoulda but didn’t is ask, listen, and listen some more.”

5. Radical Compassion
Learning to Love Yourself and Your World with the Practice of RAIN
by Tara Brach

Radical Compassion

Sometimes we’re least compassionate to ourselves, when we may need compassion the most. Tara Brach teaches the RAIN practice: Recognize, Allow, Investigate, Nurture. Her words often made me stop and think. 

“The deepest transformations in our lives come down to something very simple: We learn to respond, not react, to what is going on inside us.”

6. The Art of Loving
by Erich Fromm

The Art of Loving

This book was originally published in 1956. I read this book in my twenties. It impacted me greatly then, so I reread it this year. Fromm reminded me once again that love is less about the person we choose to love or who loves us, and more about our choice to be a loving person.

“Most people see the problem of love primarily as that of being loved, rather than that of loving, of one’s capacity to love.”

7. Immortal Diamond
The Search for Our True Self
by Richard Rohr

Immortal Diamond

Do we live more from our ego (the False Self) or from our True Self (our authentic self in God)? In his classic way, Richard Rohr goes deep in explaining how to live a resurrected life with Jesus, finding that immortal diamond in ourselves. I participated in an online course with this book and learned a lot (and learned there is much more to learn). 

“The True Self is not the perfect self. It merely participates in the One who is.”

8. How We Live Is How We Die
by Pema Chödrön

How We Live Is How We Die

I didn’t understand everything in this book from my first reading, but what I did get was powerful. For example, I know impermanence is real, but I still fight against it. With Chödrön’s guidance, I’m at least moving in the right direction to accepting it.

“When we examine our experience closely, we will find that we are always in transition. During every moment of our lives, something is ending and something else is beginning.”

[See my review here of How We Live Is How We Die]


  • The Body Keeps the Score
    Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma
    by Bessel van der Kolk
  • Do I Make Myself Clear?
    Why Writing Well Matters
    by Harold Evans
  • Words That Work
    It’s Not What You Say, It’s What People Hear
    by Frank Luntz
  • Necessary Lies
    by Diane Chamberlain
  • Sing You Home
    by Jodi Picoult

What good book are YOU reading this month? Please share in the comments.

More books I recommend

sharing at these linkups

22 thoughts on “8 Books I Recommend—October 2022

  1. Martha J Orlando

    I’m currently reading Last Bus to Wisdom by Ivan Doig. It is fiction, so it might not appeal to you, Lisa, and that’s okay. I’m finding it to be a very satisfying read.
    Blessings, and thanks for all your recommendations!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I do love a good fiction recommendation, too, Martha, so thanks for sharing about yours. I’m almost finished reading the novel I borrowed from my sister, so I’ll be looking for another one soon.

  2. Linda Stoll

    Wow, here you go again, giving us a whole stack of must-reads! I love trading titles with you. I just finished Waymaker and am reading Kendra Adachi’s two Lazy Genius books back to back.

    I haven’t read as many books this year as other years. Not sure why? More Sudoku maybe?

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Oh, Sudoku…that and jigsaw puzzles are tradeoffs with my reading time. 🙂 All three activities are so enjoyable to me and thus good for my soul. I have to balance them out so I get good time with each one.

  3. Jeanne Takenaka

    Ahhh, Lisa, you always have such interesting books on your list. 😉 I could probably benefit from reading each of these. Righ this minute, I am reading Atomic Habits, by James Clear, and, at my son’s recommendation: The Brothers Karamozov. I never read it in high school. It’s definitely a fascinating story!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Good choices, Jeanne! I read Atomic Habits a few years back, but could use a reread since there were SO many good things in it. My daughter requested it for Christmas a year ago so I could borrow her copy. I was an adult too before I finally read The Brothers Karamazov. I’m not sure I would have understood back in my teen years even if I had read it then. lol. I had to read the Cliffs Notes alongside it even as an adult. All those Russians names were so confusing. But yes, it is a fascinating story and I’m so glad I finally got to it. Happy reading!

  4. Joanne Viola

    I always find your reading lists interesting. I decided this year to only read books currently on my shelves. So that means, I am re-reading this year. Currently I am re-reading “The Practice of the Presence of God” by Brother Lawrence.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      That’s a fabulous (and courageous) plan to read books on your shelves. I do that every so often to clear off my unread books. It’s amazing how they can accumulate, especially those books we buy ourselves because we want to read them, yet somehow we don’t. 🙂 I try to re-read Brother Lawrence’s book every few years myself. It’s such a faithful reminder to stay in the moment where God lives.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I hope you get some good insights from The Art of Loving. I bought the book years ago, but I’ve lost track of where it is on my shelves. I borrowed the copy I recently read free from Kindle Unlimited.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      It is a catchy title. 🙂 The author did qualify his use of “crazy” in the book itself since he is a psychiatrist and “crazy” is not a word he uses with people.

  5. Jean Wise

    wow this is a challenging list. Your brain must be tired. Ha! 100% Right 50% of the Time got my interest and that quote stopped my reading and paused to reread it. provoking for sure!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      My brain does get tired, but it needs the stimulation. lol. I just happened to run across the “100% Right” book when I was looking for Kindle Unlimited books. It was surprisingly good.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Oh, I love the title of that book, Lesley. Trying to keep control definitely does come with a price! Too often we brush that aside that cost to our own detriment (and by “we” I mean “I”). 🙂

  6. Kris

    I’m slowly reading “Surrender to Love” by David Benner, which was sent to me by a friend I haven’t seen in some time but is one of the most spiritually gifted person i know.
    I want to sharre my experience with The Body Keeps the Score, which I stopped reading after the first section– because it broke me into bits and pieces. Im one of 5 siblings, now ages 72-76, who grew up with a closet alcoholic, womanizing father. The youngest and I share a long experience of depression and anxiety. My older sister read the book and it didn’t resonate at all with her. The youngest had as meaningful an impact as I did.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Thanks for sharing about Surrender to Love. I just got the Kindle sample.
      I’m so sorry about your experiences with a troubled father. 🙁 The Body Keeps the Score does seem to make an impression like yours on so many people. It’s reaching a lot of people hopefully with a message that there is hope. Anxiety and depression run deep in my family too. I was wondering if I’d find clues about why as I read the book.

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