5 Books I Recommend – September 2019

“Think before you speak. Read before you think.”
– Fran Lebowitz

Every month I share the best of the books I just finished. Here are books I recommend from September’s readings.

5 Books I Recommend

Books I Recommend

1. The Nickel Boys
by Colson Whitehead

The Nickel Boys

“Most of those who know the story of the rings in the trees are dead by now. The iron is still there. Rusty. Deep in the heartwood. Testifying to anyone who cares to listen.”

We do care to listen. Colson Whitehead tells a riveting story about a young African-American man who gets sent to a reform school in Florida. The saddest part is that it’s based on a real school. Excellent novel.

[click here if you can’t see 1-Minute Book Review]

2. Range
Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World
by David Epstein


Such an interesting book! The paths we think lead to success aren’t always successful. For example, Epstein says,

  • Rarely does a “head start” end successfully, if narrowly focused.
  • It’s better to diversify than be too narrowly specialized.
  • Slow and hard learning may last longer than quick, guided learning.
  • Know when to give up; don’t have too much grit.

This book kept my attention from beginning to end.

3. The Death of Politics
How to Heal Our Frayed Republic After Trump
by Peter Wehner

Death of Politics

This is a book to make you think. You may or may not agree with all of it, but you won’t come away unconvicted. It steps on my toes in places, and encourages me in other places to love more deeply instead of giving up in resignation.

“Our politics is deeply divided because we the people are deeply divided.

“White evangelicals got a seat at the table of power, something that in his life Jesus never did. But this ascent to power has come at a devastating cost to evangelicalism’s moral integrity and credibility, damage that might take generations to heal, if it ever does. To put the case bluntly, evangelicals and others were correct to say that religion should inform politics—but they let down their guard against politics corrupting religion.”

4. Happy Money
The Science of Smarter Spending
by Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton

Happy Money

Another fascinating book. Would you rather buy a material possession or an experience? Depending on the situation, the authors in this book suggest you’d be happier in the long run if you invest in the experience. Here are five ways to spend your money that their studies show might make you happier.

  1. Buy experiences.
  2. Make it a treat.
  3. Buy time.
  4. Pay now, consume later.
  5. Invest in others.

5. The Death of Mrs. Westaway
by Ruth Ware

Death of Mrs Westaway

This mystery novel by Ruth Ware is about Hal, a poor woman in England, who receives a mysterious letter saying she’d inherited money from her recently-deceased grandmother. But Hal knows she’s the wrong recipient. The plot moves quickly as Hal meets the family anyway and uncovers secrets that had been hidden for years.



  • Gospel Allegiance
    What Faith in Jesus Misses for Salvation in Christ
    by Matthew W. Bates
  • Something Needs to Change
    A Call to Make Your Life Count in a World of Urgent Need
    by David Platt
  • Indistractable
    How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life
    by Nir Eyal
  • Reborn Again
    Crucifying Christendom & Resurrecting a Radical
    by Christopher Vanhall
  • The Lying Game
    by Ruth Ware
  • A Thousand Lives
    The Untold Story of Hope, Deception, and Survival at Jonestown
    by Julia Scheeres

* * *

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

My books on Goodreads
More books I recommend

sharing with Modern Mrs Darcy

21 thoughts on “5 Books I Recommend – September 2019

  1. Lynn D. Morrissey

    I’m so glad you read The Death of Politics. It’s excellently, thoughtfully written by a devoted Evangelical, and moreover, rings true to a great degree. I also just finished The Immoral Majority. I don’t like it as well, but he, too, makes some credible and important points. I heard a popular Christian talk radio host, in her usual snarky tone, dismiss the latter out of hand in a very ugly way, without addressing his well-taken points. The difficulty is when Christians in their undying support of a party and candidate, etc., refuse to admit to what contradicts Jesus and the Bible in terms of behavior, but won’t then question why they do not call this out (when they absolutely would for another party and candidate, and have done)! That’s called hypocrisy. We have to take the blind-devotion blinders off, and be fair and principled, applying biblical truths to anyone or any philosophy we support. We have to take a hard look at ourselves as well. Anyway, I’m rambling here (sleepy, & it’s hard to type–due to neck/shoulder pain). But just so glad you read and recommended Wehner’s book.

  2. bill (cycleguy)

    I’m back Lisa! Did you miss me? 🙂 After the cruise I was playing catch up so didn’t comment on lots of blogs. Just read them. I just finished a real good series by Jonathan Dunsky called the Adam Lapid Mysteries. Good stories with twists in each one. Glynn recommended them. I also recommend Above All by J.D. Greear. Another one I think everyone should read in Beckett Cook’s book “A Change of Affection.” I am reading some in prep for a future sermon series but it is more for study than reading.

  3. Martha J Orlando

    Interesting recommendations as always, Lisa!
    I just finished A Better Man by Louise Penny. Have you ever read any of her mystery novels? The first one in a long series is Still Life, and I recommend starting with that to see if you like her style and characters.
    Blessings, and happy reading!

  4. Lesley

    I always enjoy your recommendations! I shared a book post today with three books I’ve finished recently, but I’d especially recommend Nice by Sharon Hodde Miller. Too often people equate being a Christian with being a nice person and she explores how niceness can actually become an idol. It’s a challenging book but very worthwhile!

  5. Kathy Martin

    Interesting assortment of books. I read fiction almost exclusively but it is nice to get some nonfiction recommendations too. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

  6. Mother of 3

    Those do all sound quite interesting! A few years ago we started focusing more on using our money for experiences rather than things… it has made for a richer feeling life that’s for sure.

  7. Trudy

    I’m always intrigued by the variety of books you read, Lisa. The Nickel Boys really draws me in, especially after listening to the excerpt you read. Thank you for all your recommendations. Love and blessings to you!

  8. floyd

    I’ve come to count on being able to count on you to be my reading hero!!!

    They sound good, especially Range. “Don’t have too much grit”. That alone piques my interest. Balance isn’t my specialty!

  9. David

    I will look out for Range! It me. Everyone wants (or wants to be) a laser – or thinks they do.

    Looks like you like Ruth Ware …?

    I’m reading a lot of technical stuff for work, but I recently read The Weight of Ink by Rachel Kadish, which I thought was really fantastic for lots of reasons. Highly recommend!

  10. Jean Wise

    Fascinating list, as usual. I just requested RAnge from my library. Held an interesting conversation a number of years ago with a good fellow nurse. She specialist while I stayed a generalist. We both lamented that decision and envied the others seeing what we missed. thought of that immediately when I read your review and think this will be a good read for me. Thanks for always discovering such good books!

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