7 Books I Recommend—September 2022

“I find television very educational. Every time someone switches it on, I go into another room and read a good book.”
– Groucho Marx

Well, I don’t do necessarily do that every time (Groucho Marx might not have either), but he does have a point. 

Here are books I recommend from what I finished reading in September.

[See previously recommended books here]



1. Now What?
How to Move Forward When We’re Divided
by Sarah Stewart Holland, Beth Silvers

Now What - How to Move Forward When We're Divided

Have you lost connection with someone you once were close to due to conflict over politics, religion, social issues, etc.? Sarah and Beth from the podcast Pantsuit Politics don’t offer a step-by-step solution in this new book, but they do offer a general path forward to finding peace again in spite of our seeming divisions. Helpful and encouraging. 

“Life is about presence. Connection is not zero-sum. Our presence in one another’s lives has to become more visible than our conflicts.”

“Now what? Keep moving forward. Keep showing up with all of your gifts and your desires and your discernment about how you can contribute more by loving more, even when you disagree with your people about basically everything for always.”

2. Beating Guns
Hope for People Who Are Weary of Violence
by Shane Claiborne, Michael Martin

Beating Guns - Hope for People Who Are Weary of Violence

We’re all disturbed by gun violence. This book shows how gun deaths are both a heart problem and a gun problem. It’s full of statistics that reveal just how extensive our problem has been for many years. But it also points us to a way out, if we’re willing. I highly recommend this book for all of us. You’ll pick up on a Christian perspective in it, but you don’t have to be a Christian to benefit from this book. 

“A gun is much more likely to be used in a suicide, a domestic homicide, or an accidental shooting than it is to be used to ward off a criminal.”

“We have been better at protecting guns than protecting people.”

“Every human is created in the image of God. We have love in our DNA. There is something in almost every person that recognizes that killing is wrong.”

3. Why I Left Church to Find Jesus
A Personal Odyssey
by Julie McVey

Why I Left Church to Find Jesus

The title drew me to this Kindle Unlimited book (my free 3-month Amazon account will expire soon). Julie McVey explains her interesting yet painful journey in and out of organized religion in this short book. Many will relate to her story.

“I’d rather stand before God and Him tell me I loved too much and that my love clouded my judgment than Him tell me I didn’t love enough and that my judgment clouded my love.”

4. Overdue
Reckoning with the Public Library
by Amanda Oliver

Overdue: Reckoning with the Public LIbrary

I frequent my library continually to borrow its many books. Why do you use the library? For many people, it’s more complicated than checking out books. Former librarian Amanda Oliver writes about her years as a librarian in Washington, DC, in a high-poverty neighborhood. She tells an important story about how we should think about modern libraries and how they’re evolving.

5. Get Untamed
The Journal
by Glennon Doyle

Get Untamed - The Journal

This colorful journal is an accompaniment to Glennon Doyle’s bestseller Untamed. But reading the book isn’t a prerequisite. I worked through the journal with a small group of women in a zoom group. The questions provoked lots of thought and conversation among us. Like all journals, you get out of it what you put into it.


6. The Downstairs Neighbor
by Helen 

The Downstairs Neighbor

When a teenage girl disappears in London, the neighbors in the apartment all become suspects through their own circumstances. Intriguing and well-told, this novel kept me wondering what would be uncovered next.

7. The Last House on the Street
by Helen Cooper

The Last House on the Street

Highly recommend. This novel flips back and forth between 1965 and 2010 in a town in North Carolina. The search for justice ties both generations together in a mysterious yet important plot of social justice and family security.


  • Nonviolent Communication
    A Language of Life
    by Marshall B. Rosenberg
  • Share Your Stuff. I’ll Go First.
    10 Questions to Take Your Friendships to the Next Level
    by Laura Tremaine
  • Beyond the Enneagram
    An Invitation to Experience a More Centered Life with God
    by Marilyn Vancil
  • Radical Compassion
    Learning to Love Yourself and Your World with the Practice of RAIN
    by Tara Brach
  • 100% Right 50% of the Time
    How to Prevent Fallacies in Decision Making

    Yassour, Yossi
  • Thing Explainer
    Complicated Stuff in Simple Words
    by Randall Munroe

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

More books I recommend

sharing at these linkups

28 thoughts on “7 Books I Recommend—September 2022

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      It was an interesting journal to do. I didn’t relate to every question, but that’s the way it is with any journal. 🙂 It had been awhile since I’d read Untamed but that didn’t matter. I love her books too (and her podcast).

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I agree that The Last House on the Street was so very sad yet so very good! My husband read it first and recommended it to me. Nearing the end, though, I told him that if [something in particular happened], I was going to be mad at him for recommending the book. lol. That thing did happen, as you know (trying to avoid spoilers), but I didn’t get mad at my husband. Even though it was a novel, I know those things happened and were atrocious!

  1. Anita Ojeda

    The library one looks intriguing! I haven’t set foot in my local library for almost a decade—the hours are too weird and I can never remember to take books back. ?. You always read such a wide variety of books!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Since we’re in the era of ebooks from the library, I don’t use my physical library as much as I once did, but I’m still a very frequent patron. 🙂 Our library recently went to the no-overdue-fine model. But I still don’t ever want to be late; I’ve spent too many years avoiding late fees. lol.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I’m glad, Linda! I started and stopped a few other books this month that just didn’t appeal to me once I started. I’m always proud of myself when I give up on a book. It took me quite a few years to do that on a regular basis. lol

  2. David

    Dear Lisa,

    Great selection as always!

    From childhood I’ve always loved libraries and till recently was a frequent visitor. Over here they are not holding up well in the neoliberal environment, where everything has to be a product or a service for atomised consumers.

    I’m currently reading Brian McLaren’s “Do I stay Christian?” and your review of “Why I left church to find Jesus” reminds me of that. I’m still in the first part of DISC but it feels to me as if he’s not separating the church as institution (human, secular) from the church as the body of Christ.

    My work is changing to indulging more “people-work” (eg managing a team). You often post notices about books on handling disagreement — I’ll have to be more assiduous about chasing them up.

    Me: as well as the above I’m reading The Satanic Verses ?. Started reading it as a political gesture but it is a lot of fun. Also very nostalgic as it was written in the late 80s & is very of its time. Very naughty about lots of things (almost anything to do with India or Britain). Oddly, You-Know-Who is probably the only straightforwardly sympathetic character in the whole novel.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Another enthusiastic library patron! I’m not surprised to hear this. But I am saddened to hear that libraries over there are not holding up so well. The libraries here undergo changes through the years, but so far the ones near me anyway are alive and well.

      My book club is about to start Do I Stay Christian. I read it earlier this year but I look forward to a slower read this time and to engage in conversations about it. I see your point about separating church as institution versus church as body of Christ. I’ll be interested to hear if you think his writing changes on that as the book progresses on. I’ll watch for it in my next reading.

      The latest “people-work” book I’ve been listening to is about nonviolent communication. It’s been very intriguing. I’ll share more in next month’s reviews.

      How interesting to be reading Salmon Rushdie’s book; I understand your motive, particularly living where you do and with all that has happened with him even recently. It is such a long book so I hope you’re enjoying it along the way. 🙂

  3. Andrew Blackman

    I love libraries, so Overdue sounds fascinating. I’ve been living in non-English-speaking countries for years now, and my language skills aren’t great, so my opportunities to visit libraries have been limited. But my local libraries in England fostered my love of reading as a child, and then I discovered the New York Public Library and had my mind blown! I’d be interested in this take on how libraries are evolving and the purposes they serve beyond checking out books.

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