5 Books I Recommend—September 2021

“Here’s to books, the cheapest vacation you can buy.”
– Charlaine Harris

Below are 5 books I recommend from what I finished reading in September. 

[See previously recommended books here]


1. American Dirt
by Jeanine Cummins

American Dirt

This is a very moving story of a young Mexican mother and her 8-year-old son. Their family falls victim to horrific gang violence, leaving only the two of them to survive. They need to escape immediately from Mexico to the United States. I alternated listening to the audiobook and reading the hardback book (thank you, library) and highly recommend both.

Personally, I’ve had friends who’ve undergone a similar journey to the United States, so this book was harrowing to read in light of that. But it is powerful and written well.


2. How God Works
The Science Behind the Benefits of Religion
by David DeSteno

How God Works

From a scientific and sociological perspective, how do religious rituals “work”? This research is fascinating to read. Regardless of your faith beliefs, this book is respectfully written from a scientific viewpoint. 

[more thoughts here on How God Works]

3. If God Is Love, Don’t Be a Jerk
Finding a Faith That Makes Us Better Humans
by John Pavlovitz

If God Is Love Don't Be a Jerk

Somehow we keep moving the the bar lower and lower. Can we Christians at least stop being such jerks? Pavlovitz is brutally honest in how Christians come across to others in the world. Jesus said our one job is to love. Are we blowing even that?

[my book review here of If God Is Love, Don’t Be a Jerk]

4. The Doubters’ Club
Good-Faith Conversations with Skeptics, Atheists, and the Spiritually Wounded
by Preston Ulmer

The Doubters Club

I want a Doubters’ Club in my city. Preston Ulmer explains in this book how he sets up non-confrontational gatherings between atheists, believers, doubters, etc., for friendly conversations. No one is trying to convert another; they’re just engaging each other in friendship and understanding. Ulmer writes from a Christian perspective but he does so in a non-judgmental way toward those who don’t believe the same. 

[More here from The Doubters’ Club]

5. No Cure for Being Human
And Other Truths I Need to Hear
by Kate Bowler

No Cure for Being Human

Kate Bowler is diagnosed with cancer at age 35. She shares her journey with us through her cancer treatment while still living life as a wife, a mother, a daughter, an employee, etc. Expect lots of profound statements from her here. It’s an excellent book. 

[my book review here of No Cure for Being Human]

Reading Now

  • Preventable
    The Inside Story of How Leadership Failures, Politics, and Selfishness Doomed the U.S. Coronavirus Response
    by Andy Slavitt
  • Where the Light Fell
    A Memoir
    by Philip Yancey
  • Soundtracks
    The Surprising Solution to Overthinking
    by Jon Acuff
  • Leaving the Witness
    Exiting a Religion and Finding a Life
    by Amber Scorah
  • One True Loves
    by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  • Shoutin’ in the Fire
    An American Epistle
    by Danté Stewart

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

My books on Goodreads
More books I recommend

17 thoughts on “5 Books I Recommend—September 2021

  1. BettieG

    Thanks for giving us a wide range of books, Lisa! I will always remember my workplace in downtown Minneapolis in the late 70s. I think God planted me there in our own “Doubter’s Club.” Those friendships and conversations shaped me for the rest of my life, and began the process of shaking up my “religious” mindset. I pray you have a beautiful October!

  2. Lea @ Lea's Menagerie

    No Cure for Bing Human sounds like something I should read. Thanks for the suggestion!
    My number one book I recommend to friends is At Home in Mitford by Jan Karon. It is the first of a series, and I hope those who read it will read all the others too!
    Have a blessed day!

  3. Kym

    All sound very interesting, though not what I could likely handle reading right now. I think we all need to be part of a Doubter’s Club – unofficially, at least!

  4. JeanWise

    I have Kate Bowlers book on order through the library. Listened to her on Emily Freeman’s podcast – such wisdom. The Doubters Club sounds intriguing.

  5. Karen Friday

    Lisa, thanks for sharing, all of these sound intriguing. What particularly jumped out at me is this, “Somehow we keep moving the the bar lower and lower. Can we Christians at least stop being such jerks? “

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