Once a month we share the books we’ve finished reading and are reading now at 5 Minutes for Books. Here is my list for March.
BOOKS I’M READING NOW
1. Searching for Sunday
Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church
by Rachel Held Evans
If you follow Rachel Held Evan’s blog, you already know she is smart, insightful, and deeply in love with Jesus. She’s also not afraid to say what she thinks. This book is her journey with church, with all its ups and downs. She writes beautifully and stays on target with these seven sacraments of baptism, confession, holy orders, communion, confirmation, anointing the sick, and marriage. I’m reading a review copy; the real thing comes out April 14.
2. Scary Close
Dropping the Act and Finding True Intimacy
by Donald Miller
Donald Miller’s blog, Storyline, is another blog I read faithfully. His writings hooked me with Blue like Jazz and I’ve loved reading his writings ever since. This book is about his journey to let go of performance-based relationships and instead letting himself be known. He’s embarrassingly honest at times, but that makes for good soul-searching within the readers too.
by George Eliot
A British novel about community and relationships and life in the early 1800s. It’s long, detailed, people-oriented, and very good so far.
4. Billy Budd, Sailor
by Herman Melville
Written in the late 1800s by the author of Moby-Dick. He left it unfinished at his death, so his wife figured out enough of his intentions to complete it. It’s one of the classics on my 2015 TBR Pile Challenge.
5. Abandonment to Divine Providence
by Jean-Pierre de Caussade
This is the 3rd of 5 books I’m reading right now that were written in the 1800s or earlier. No wonder I’m not making much progress! I’m having to read this one the slowest of all (maybe because it’s the very oldest and is non-fiction?). I don’t always get it, but the insights come regularly enough to keep me reading.
BOOKS I FINISHED FROM FEBRUARY’S LIST
1. Being Mortal
Medicine and What Matters in the End
by Atul Gawande
Read this one! It’s important. Written by a surgeon (who also wrote The Checklist Manifesto, another great book), this book takes a hard look at how we face aging and death in our times. What we get wrong, and what we get right, and how we can make it better. It’ll be one of my favorite books of 2015, I’m certain. Gawande writes plainly and interestingly, using both data and personal experiences.
2. Pray, Write, Grow
Cultivating Prayer and Writing Together
by Ed Cyzewski
If you write and if you pray, this short book may be just for you. Can you relate to this . . .
“If you want to improve your prayer life, try writing. If you want to improve your writing life, try praying. The two require many of the same practices, disciplines, and virtues.” – Ed Cyzewski
3. A 10-Week Journey to Becoming a Vessel God Can Use
by Donna Partow
I didn’t do this book justice. I read through it quickly when it’s meant to be a slow, daily study book for small groups. But I have passed it along now, so maybe someone else can benefit from it more than I did and can glean from Partow’s Biblical examples and personal examples about how to be more submissive to God’s will in our lives.
4. Fever 1793
by Laurie Halse Anderson
From the young-adult fiction category, this book is about the yellow fever epidemic in Philadelphia in 1793. It was an easy read that makes me appreciate modern medicine even more than I already did. Even though the main characters weren’t real, their situations were, and the author did a good job mixing in factual information with her storyline.
5. Blue Willow
by Doris Gates
I first read this novel in elementary school. I distinctly remember it because I wrote a letter to its author Doris Gates, and she wrote back! I chose it for the Newbery through the Decades Challenge (1940s). It’s a sweet story about a family coming from the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression, and how they finally settle down. Reading this as an adult now, I wonder what I thought when I read this as a child . . .
“So Janey danced once for Bounce, wondering as she did so why people like him had to clutter up an otherwise satisfactory world. Was it because there had to be some bad mixed with the good to keep everything from becoming so sweet you couldn’t stand it? Janey had the feeling, as the dance came to an end, that she would never really know the answer, not even when she finally became a grownup.”
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What are you reading this month? Please share here.
- A year from homeless
- Scary Close – Review of Donald Miller’s latest book