Books I’m reading in August/September

This is my grand reading hurrah for the summer. I made a library raid last week, and they actually had many of the books I wanted. I probably won’t finish them all before they’re due again. See other nightstands at 5 Minutes for Books.


1. The Circle
by Dave Eggers

The-Circle_Dave Eggers

This novel is a little scary in its normalcy about the direction that technology and social media are taking us through the guise of “The Circle,” the world’s most powerful internet company.

2. A New Kind of Christianity
Ten Questions that Are Transforming the Faith
by Brian D. McLaren


Put your thinking cap on for this one because you’ll need it. The ten questions include:

1. What is the overarching story line of the Bible? 3. Is God violent? 6. What do we do about church? 9. How should followers of Jesus relate to people of other religions? 10. How can we translate our quest into action?

3. Overcoming Sin and Temptation
by John Owen


Join in on this one! Tim Challies is heading up a reading group, discussing one chapter each Thursday, beginning September 4. I downloaded a free pdf of the book, then converted and transferred it to my Kindle.

4. Les MisΓ©rables
by Victor Hugo


I’m still plugging along in this one. Why am I surprised that it’s so interesting? Too often I underestimate classics.

5. If Grace Is True
Why God Will Save Every Person
by Philip Gulley and James Mulholland


I don’t believe in universalism, but I’d like to better understand why others do. So while I may not agree with everything these authors may say (which is true for ANY author), I trust I’ll still glean truth from their writings (as I already have).

6. Thinking, Fast and Slow
by Daniel Kahneman

Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

This one is to change the way you think about thinking. I won’t read it word for word (it’s very long), but what I’m skimming is interesting about how our brain works in a fast, intuitive way and then a slower, more deliberate method.


1. The Everything Store
Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon
by Brad Stone


Oh my. This was a most fascinating book about Amazon and its founder Jeff Bezos.

2. Why We Eat Our Own
by Michael Cheshire


Sadly, Christians are often best known for how we judge everybody, even each other. This book challenges our tendency to be cannibalistic with our own.

3. The Presence Process
A Journey into Present Moment Awareness
by Michael L. Brown


Mixed feelings. The title caught my eye as I was browsing library shelves. It had good things in it about living in the now, but also things that didn’t click with me at all. I ended up skimming it after the first half, so I can’t give it a fair review.

4. So Long, Insecurity
You’ve Been a Bad Friend to Us
by Beth Moore


My family girls finished reading this book last week for our summer book club. Perhaps its greatest value to me was revealing more of my insecurities, thus showing me areas I still need to grow in. Bottom line: our security has to rest in Christ alone.

5. A New Earth
Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose
by Eckhart Tolle


I tried reading this 6 years ago and hated it. This year, I loved it. Go figure. Tolle is purposed on being content in the present moment. He’s very spiritual, but not necessarily Christian (nor anti-Christian). I read books like this through my own lens of Christianity, and usually find many principles very compatible with the teachings of Christ.

6. Naked Spirituality
A Life with God in Twelve Simple Words
by Brian D. McLaren


Another McLaren book. Here are the twelve words:

Here. Thanks. O. Sorry. Help. Please. When. No. Why. Behold. Yes. [ . . . ]. (I especially love that last one, an ellipsis! Genius.)

It’s a book of spiritual growth and practices. I went through it too quickly. It’s one of those books that needs more breathing space, so maybe I’ll return to it later.

7. 700 Sundays
by Billy Crystal

700 Sundays by Billy Crystal

A quick memoir of poignant and funny moments by Billy Crystal about his youth. He made me laugh out loud, and inspired me to love him and his close family even more. He turned this into a one-man show on stage in 2004, and HBO aired a viewing of it this spring. I also checked out his latest memoir from the library, Still Foolin’ ‘Em, that I hope to read next.

* * *

What’s a good book you are reading or want to read this month? Please share here.


My books on Goodreads
Previous reading lists

20 thoughts on “Books I’m reading in August/September

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      That’s where the library comes in handy. πŸ™‚ I can try a variety of books in different genres with nothing to lose except a little time if they don’t work out.

  1. Barbara H.

    Quite a long list, especially with books like Les Mis on it! Glad you’re enjoying that – looking forward to hearing your thoughts on it.

    Hadn’t heard of The Everything Store – sounds good, as does Billy Crystal’s books. I hardly ever read humorous books, though I love to laugh – I need to incluce more in my reading.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I don’t remember to read humorous books very often either, but when I do, I’m usually glad. The Billy Crystal book I read wasn’t even the one I went to the library to get though. ha. But it was side by side the other one, so I thought why not? ha. He’s a fairly clean comedian to read too.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Glad to hear you enjoyed The Circle! I’m halfway through now, and getting to the point that I don’t want to put it down.

      Les Mis has been surprisingly good, with the exception of several chapters thrown in that are nothing but history about Napoleon, et al. I scan those and just keep going. πŸ™‚

  2. Linda@Creekside

    Right now I’m on summer’s read #11, Brene Brown’s DARING GREATLY. She writes about vulnerability, in the best sense of the word. Pretty interesting read … especially in light of how we navigate all things social media.

    Enjoy these last days of summer, dear Lisa. Where did it go?


    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Yay! I have Daring Greatly sitting in front of me right now! I need to finish up something old before I start it, but it’s next. I can’t wait. I love Brene Brown. And I don’t know where summer went. Sad to see it leave…but fall will be good too. Thanks for stopping by, Linda.

  3. Carrie, Reading to Know

    I love that you are still plugging away at Les Mis. I DO think we – as a modern society – tend to underestimate the classics a great deal more frequently than we ought to.

    A sort of aside, it is always with some amount of dread that I open your Nightstand posts because I know that they are going to be FULL of books of interest to me. πŸ˜€

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      The thing about classics to me now is that they read so much slower. But, it’s usually worth slowing down for. And sometimes they meander, which I don’t find worth slowing down for. ha. I’ve had to scan a little in Les Mis because of the historical details but you might enjoy those since you’re more of a history buff. πŸ™‚

  4. Sharon

    I actually just posted on Monday about the best book that I’ve read in a long time – “Shattered Dreams” by Larry Crabb. The book really spoke to me, and made me ponder some deep thoughts about my faith journey. I’d highly recommend it!

    Love your lists – always looking for something else to read!


    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Just left a comment at your blog about Shattered Dreams. I so agree with you that it’s a wonderful book. I read it a few years after a major loss, and wished I’d had it during that time itself. Nonetheless, it was still a healing balm to my soul even later. Thanks for sharing it here too, Sharon!

  5. Joyufl

    you always amaze me with the number of books you read along with their content and size! I am reading Prayer by Philip Yancy right now and I don’t think it is one I will be blowing through very quickly! πŸ™‚ Lots of deep and honest thoughts on prayer.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      There’s a lot to be said for reading slowly and thoughtfully. I like when a book makes me slow down like that. Good for you in going through Yancy that way! He deserves a meaningful read.

  6. Jean Wise

    You know Lisa, I love your book lists. I haven’t read the one about Amazon and think I will try to borrow that from the library. sounds interesting. Also the Brian McLaren one.
    I just got Michelle DeRusha one about 50 great Christian Women and can’t wait to dig into that this weekend.

    have a wonderful weekend, Lisa!

  7. David

    I got a fright in a second-hand bookshop recently when God found me an edited selection of Bonhoeffer’s letters and papers from prison. I haven’t started reading it properly yet. Dipping into it I found this:

    The essence of chastity is not the suppression of lust, but the total orientation of one’s life towards a goal. Without such a goal, chastity is bound to become ridiculous. Chastity is the presupposition for clear and considered thinking.

    It was like when you accidentally put your hand in a fire. Only just starting to calm down now.


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