My reading list for June ’14

I’m concentrating this year on knocking a few books off my to-read list (with exceptions now and again). So it’s been a great season of getting to some books I’ve really wanted to read.

Here’s what I’ll be reading in June, and summaries from three great books I finished in May. Check out more reading lists every 4th Tuesday at 5 Minutes for Books.


Everything Belongs
The Gift of Contemplative Prayer
by Richard Rohr


“Spirituality is about seeing. It’s not about earning or achieving. It’s about relationship rather than results or requirements. Once you see, the rest follows. You don’t need to push the river, because you are in it.” – Richard Rohr

Richard Rohr is a Franciscan priest who writes of living actively from the center of a contemplative life. You wouldn’t believe how many pages I’ve already marked, and I’m only halfway in.

How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work
by Chip Heath and Dan Heath


First, five stars for coolest bookcover ever. It’s a holographic image of a magic 8 ball (one of my bff’s had one in the 70s that we may or may not have used to decide on boyfriends); it even changes answers from different angles.

Secondly, regardless of the topic, I want to read what Chip and Dan Heath write because I love how easy, informative, and interesting their previous books have been (the principles in Made to Stick continue to influence my writing; Switch was also awesome).

Thirdly, and probably most relevant, I do like the topic of this newest book about making decisions. I’m already implementing some of the principles.

Finding Spiritual Whitespace
Awakening Your Soul to Rest
by Bonnie Gray


My review here

Like many of you, I’d been reading Bonnie Gray’s blog—Faith Barista—for awhile when it suddenly grew quiet. When able, Bonnie explained to us that in the midst of writing her book, PTSD was triggered from some painful memories.

She’s had a rough go, but has been learning how to rest and heal. She’s now completed her book, and I’m learning much from it about our need for rest and spiritual whitespace.

Apprenticeship with Jesus
Learning to Live like the Master
by Gary W. Moon

apprenticeship with Jesus_Gary-Moon

My friend Kay and I heard Gary Moon speak a year ago (?) at a spiritual retreat and were very impressed with his message centering around Jesus and discipleship. This book is a 30-day guide of apprenticing with Jesus. I’m on Day 11, each day ending with a practical application.


The Brothers Karamazov
by Fyodor Dostoyevsky


My goal is to finish by August (is that troubling?). It is a very long novel, but still. I’m enjoying this Russian classic so far. I’ve heard great things about it for years; this is finally my year to see if they’re true.

The Four Agreements
A Toltec Wisdom Book
by Miguel Ruiz


I’m intentionally going slowly through these four agreements so I can practice them one at a time: (1) Be impeccable with your word, (2) Don’t take anything personally, (3) Don’t make assumptions, and (4) Always do your best. My sister Sandy and niece Danielle set up our own Facebook group where we discuss each chapter and how we’re applying it in our lives.


Letters by a Modern Mystic
by Frank C. Laubach


My review here

“But this year I have started out trying to live all my waking moments in conscious listening to the inner voice, asking without ceasing, ‘What, Father, do you desire said? What, Father, do you desire done this minute?’ It is clear that this is exactly what Jesus was doing all day every day.” – Frank Laubach

And so Frank Laubach began his experiment to submit his will to God’s will in the fullest way yet. You might think this would prove discouraging because who can consciously think of God all the time? But his results and conclusions are actually very encouraging.

Reimagining Church
Pursuing the Dream of Organic Christianity
by Frank Viola


My review here

Frank Viola isn’t afraid to question church tradition. This book challenges the way we think about leadership, authority & submission, denominations, the Lord’s Supper, church unity, and more. Viola draws on scripture, church history, and his own experience to make a case for a new option of how we “do church.”

The Virtue of Forgetting in the Digital Age
by Viktor Mayer-Schonberger


My review here

This book has so many implications, even though it’s written primarily about digital memory. Is it advantageous to remember everything or are there things that are better to forget? And just because we can create easier access to remembering more, should we?

* * *

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


My books on Goodreads
Previous reading lists

25 thoughts on “My reading list for June ’14

  1. Linda@Creekside

    Good Morning, Friend! Seeing the word JUNE in your title kind of floored me. I can’t believe that’s where we are already. But I love that it’s peaking right around the corner …

    White space and broad margins have been intriguing me, beckoning for awhile. In my home, online, on my calendar. I look forward to your review of FINDING SPIRITUAL WHITESPACE.

    Enjoy your day, Lisa!


    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I can barely believe it’s almost June either. But it’s definitely hot enough to be summer around here, so that makes it easier to buy into. 🙂

      White space has appealed to me more and more through the years too. I used to not understand the need for it, but now I know I breathe much deeper with more margin around me. Have a great day yourself, Linda!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Well, I hate to tell you this, but among people who REALLY read a lot, I’m probably a slacker. 😉 So let’s none of us compare ourselves to anybody else. ha.

  2. Barbara H.

    I’m several chapters into The Brothers Karamazov now, and I’m still not quite sure where it is going, but I’ve heard so many good things about it, I am trusting I’ll start enjoying it more as I get further in.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I finally made it to the halfway point of The Brothers K, but I admit it travels slowly. Older novels in general seem that way to me, so I should expect it. I’m enjoying it, but I could probably have edited out a lot of extraneous material (with no insult intended to Dostoyevsky). 🙂

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Isn’t Bonnie’s book good? When I finish one chapter, I feel compelled to immediately go to the next, which is what she’s been saying NOT to do. ha. Thanks for sharing about The Cure. I hadn’t heard about it; it looks very interesting. I love hearing what other people are reading.

  3. Beverley

    You always read good books Lisa, but i had to check my calender then and make sure it wasn’t June already :). My reading lists morphs month by month but i have decided that any i do not get too that have been on the shelves for a while, i will let go at the end of the year if i have not got to them by then, in the hope that someone else will find some joy or some thing in them instead.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Well, I’ve always been torn about which month to use in the title. ha. By the 4th Tuesday, it’s almost the new month, so the past couple I’ve been shifting ahead to the new instead of sticking with the current month. 🙂 It may be causing more confusion.

      I love your attitude about releasing books you’re not reading. I need to do that with LOTS of things, including books and clothes. If I’m not actively using them and can’t realistically see a time when I will, I need to pass them along to somebody else.

  4. Joyful Reader

    I have read Viola before and really liked his work. Might have to try another! I have added Decisive to my list via goodreads and now need to go add Apprenticeship with Jesus! Thanks for sharing these great titles! Always a gold mine!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      One of my favorite Viola books is “Jesus: A Theography.” But all his writings make me think, which is one reason I enjoy him so much.

      I am loving both Decisive and Apprenticeship with Jesus! They’re very different, of course, but both are interesting and well-written and have great content.

  5. Darlene @ Lost in Literature108

    Hi Lisa!!
    I’m finishing up Ulysses…(blech), I’m only reading it for a challenge, and I am also reading Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens. I’m really enjoying that one.
    Don’t give up on Brothers K. I read it over a period of 11 months, while reading other things as well. I really liked it. It didn’t end the way I thought it would though.
    It’s one of those books that I wish I was reading along with a class, and some brilliant teacher was helping us dig out all the goodies.:)

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Thanks for the encouragement about Brothers K. And for telling me you read it over 11 months. That makes me feel much better. I’ve been reading it for a couple months already, and I’m only halfway finished. I am reading other things along the way (it’s what keeps me going, ha). I’m enjoying it now that I’m deep enough into it to care about what will happen next.

      My husband laughs at my diligence, but after I read a section, I go back to Spark Notes online and read the summaries. 🙂 I felt like I would miss too much otherwise. I haven’t read much analysis though (just summaries) because they tend to have too many spoilers, unfortunately. I learned that lesson the hard way with The Scarlet Pimpernel.

      1. Darlene @ Lostinliterature108

        I did the same for the first little while, or whenever I was confused.
        It was tricky in the beginning because you don’t just have to learn their names, you have to learn their nicknames too.
        And I remember being confused about something with an amount of money between one brother, a woman and the father. But it got sorted out for me.
        Overall, I liked it.:)

  6. Jennifer Dougan

    Hi Lisa,

    Thanks for the book reviews here, and the update on FaithBarista’s site. I have just heard her name here and there, but will have to check her site out. Heath brothers’ book “Made to Stick” is one I pick up from time to time. I’m currently reading James Frey’s “A Million Little Pieces” and just finished Mary Karr’s “Lit,” –what a pleasant hopeful surprise climax in her life so far and from her other books. And some others I’m partly through too. 🙂

    Jennifer Dougan

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I’m glad to find someone else who has read “Made to Stick.” It’s really one of my favorites! I’ve heard about both A Million Little Pieces and Lit but haven’t read either. I love to hear what my friends are reading too.

  7. Dolly@Soulstops

    What a great list…I am impressed at how many books you are reading…I recognize names of books I want to read…I’m reading The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to our Brains by Nicholas Carr…..and listening on CD, Malcolm Gladwell’s David and Goliath.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I read The Shallows awhile back–really makes you think about how the internet may be rewiring the way we think. I do think it’s contributed to me having a shorter attention span (at least online! ha). I want to read Gladwell’s David and Goliath soon myself. Let me know what you think about it. I’ve heard good things.

  8. Jean Wise

    I just love your list as we both like so many of the same books. I love Everything Belongs. I think I have the whole book underlined! And I haven’t open Frank Laubach for awhile. May get that out for the summer. Just got Whilespace so will be reading that soon. Great list as usual, Lisa.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Oh, I’m so glad to hear you say that about “Everything Belongs”—I’ve marked SO many pages already. My sister was flipping through it last Saturday and decided she needed to get it too. So insightful.

  9. bekahcubed

    Your taste in secular nonfiction and mine so often coincide – I added Delete to my TBR list based on your preview last month (and your review a few days ago, I think it was, confirmed that I want to read it), and now I’m adding Decisive as well. (Maybe I’m really just into one-word titles, though?)

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I agree – we do often have the same taste in nonfiction. 🙂 I like when that happens. Of course I can’t understand why anybody wouldn’t be interested in these kinds of books? ha.
      Both Delete and Decisive are very intriguing books to me, ones that make me think about far more than what the books are originally about. Those are the best kind of books.

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