Once a month we share what’s on our nightstand at 5 Minutes for Books.
Here are the books I’m reading now and the ones I finished in June.
BOOKS I’M READING NOW
How Just One Change Can Make All of Life Better
by Brant Hansen
Do you get angry and stay angry too often? Are your feelings easily hurt? Then let this book mess with you. Hansen uses scripture to show us that the goal is to release our anger as quickly as possible while still staying motivated by love to do what needs to be done. I share an excerpt here.
2. Anna Karenina
by Leo Tolstoy
Written in 1875-1877, this is one of Leo Tolstoy’s two greatest novels (the other is War and Peace). You’ll see it here for the next several months because it’s long (almost 1,000 pages, sigh) and I only read a little each day. But so far, so good, because Tolstoy stays on track far more than several other classic writers of his time.
3. To Sell Is Human
The Surprising Truth about Moving Others
by Daniel H. Pink
Surprisingly, Pink says that we’re all in sales. I don’t like to consider myself in that category, but I see what he’s saying. We try to sell education to our kids, better nutrition to our families, good habits to ourselves, etc. Pink writes in such a clear and interesting way that I love reading his books, regardless of what they’re about. Including A Whole New Mind, one of the favorite books I read in 2013.
4. True Community
The Biblical Practice of Koinonia
by Jerry Bridges
How are believers to interact with each other? Bridges walks us through several ways that we are to enrich each other’s lives. Every book I’ve read by Jerry Bridges has been good. No exception here so far.
5. Some of My Best Friends are Black
The Strange Story of Integration in America
by Tanner Colby
Colby, a white man, set out to discover why he didn’t have black friends. He ended up writing a book on integration. The book starts with the history of integration in Birmingham, Alabama. Very interesting; very relevant; very sad in many ways.
6. The Untethered Soul
The Journey Beyond Yourself
by Michael A. Singer
This one is about how to stay present in the moment. It’s turning out to be a great companion book to The Power of Now, and great practice for my One Word 2015: Now.
BOOKS I FINISHED FROM MAY’S LIST
7. The In-Between
Embracing the Tension Between Now and the Next Big Thing: A Spiritual Memoir
by Jeff Goins
An inspiring book by Jeff Goins about how those “in-between” moments are just as valuable as the “big moments.”
by Mary Shelley
Surprisingly, I really enjoyed this classic novel about Frankenstein. (I finally decided on reading the 1818 version instead of the 1831 one.) It was quite different than the stories I’d seen in movies through the years, actually a better one. This was my pick for the “19 Century Classic” category in the Back to the Classics 2015 reading challenge.
9. When Mockingbirds Sing
by Billy Coffey
This is a poignant novel about 9-year-old Leah’s mysterious paintings dictated by the Rainbow Man, and the havoc the paintings cause with the townspeople and the preacher. Enjoyable reading but also enough conflict to keep you going and make you uncomfortable at times.
4. The Marriage You’ve Always Wanted
by Gary Chapman
I didn’t really learn much new, but it was still helpful to remind myself of certain truths for keeping a healthy marriage. I’ve passed the book along to my daughter Morgan to apply in her own marriage.
11. The Westing Game
by Ellen Raskin
A fun mystery novel to figure out a murder, revolving around the reading of the will of the millionaire, Samuel W. Westing. I enjoyed it, but I struggled to keep up with the huge cast of characters. Thankfully I read it on my Kindle and I could do a name search within the book to remind myself of who was who. This is a great summer read for kids (or adults) out of school. I read this for the Newbery through the Decades Challenge, the 1970s.
12. The Catcher in the Rye
by J. D. Salinger
This novel from 1951 felt like I was reading a blog post from today. It was written in a rambling style from the perspective of 16-year-old Holden Caulfield. Honestly, I’m not sure if I liked it or not. It had a lot of bad language; sometimes the ramblings were interesting, sometimes not. I have a feeling maybe it would appeal more to boys than girls?
13. The Creative Habit
Learn It and Use It for Life
by Twyla Tharp
Some interesting guidelines in this book on how to stay creative throughout the years, regardless of what your art of choice is. Tharp gives lots of examples from her life as a ballet dancer and choreographer, but she makes them applicable to practices you can experiment with in your own life.
14. The Art of Stillness
Adventures in Going Nowhere
by Pico Iyer
A sweet little TED book about the unexpected things we can learn about ourselves when we choose a life of intentional stillness. Ironically, the author Iyer is a world-renowned traveler and writer, but it makes his lessons even more poignant. Watch his TED talk about it here.
15. The Invention of Wings
by Sue Monk Kidd
Read this novel! It’s about a slave girl Hetty “Handful” Grimke in Charleston in the 1800s and her master family, the Grimkes, particularly the 11-year-old daughter Sarah. Sue Monk Kidd weaves lots of historical facts into this (you find out which ones at the end of the book), including Denmark Vesey, one of the founders of the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston.
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What are you reading this month? Please share here.
- What if you believed all the good things are true?
- When I am embarrassed to be white