My reading list for May ’14

Even though I’ve spent many hours in a waiting room lately for my f-i-l, I haven’t been reading much there. Nonetheless, here are the books I’ll keep carrying around as well as brief reviews of the books I finished in April. Every 4th Tuesday we share our reading lists at 5 Minutes for Books.


The Brothers Karamazov
by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

I’ve been scared of this classic for nothing! It’s long but that’s okay. (I’m thinking of it like watching a season-long TV series.) The plot is an interesting one about three Russian brothers and their father. I’m only 21% in so I can’t tell you much more yet.

Reimagining Church
Pursuing the Dream of Organic Christianity
by Frank Viola

My review here

This one is about the church as an organism instead of an organization. There’s much I agree with; some I don’t. But either way, it’s been interesting material to consider and compare to scriptures. I’ve read other works by Frank Viola and I tend to agree with his way of thinking.

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

My review here

Back in the day, forgetting was the norm and remembering was the exception. But with today’s accessibility to cheap and accessible digital storage, more and more of our lives are being documented and retained. Is this necessarily a good thing though? The author hasn’t drawn hard conclusions yet but is showing how there are pros and cons on both sides.

The Four Agreements
A Toltec Wisdom Book
by Miguel Ruiz

Author Ruiz presents four agreements that he suggests are life-altering if we truly acknowledge them: (1) Be impeccable with your word, (2) Don’t take anything personally, (3) Don’t make assumptions, and (4) Always do your best. I’m reading this along with one of my sisters and a niece and we’re discussing it as we go.


Spiritual Misfit
A Memoir of Uneasy Faith
by Michelle DeRusha


My review here

Michelle makes me laugh and makes me cry in her spiritual memoir. She’s incredibly honest about the doubts she’s had about whether or not there is even a God. She takes you along on her journey to faith in such a way that you enjoy the ride. If you read her blog, you know what I mean.

Unlikely Lessons on Faith from Those who Doubted Jesus
by Ed Cyzewski and Derek Cooper


My review here

Not only can we learn about faith from those who have it, we can also learn about it from those who don’t have it (or who struggle with it). Ed and Derek have done a great job presenting different people in the New Testament who doubted Jesus.

The Shack Revisited
There Is More Going on Here than You Ever Dared to Dream
by C. Baxter Kruger


I didn’t agree with everything, but I loved this non-fiction follow-up to William P. Young’s fiction book, The Shack. Kruger expands on more theological issues related to the trinity and our relationship with Father, Son, and Spirit. If you liked The Shack (or even if you didn’t), you might be interested in this one just to make you think more relationally about it all.

The War of Art
Break through the Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles
by Steven Pressfield


My review here

Well, this was good, but I’d probably heard too much about how great it was to be impressed. It’s a motivational look at how to push back against the forces trying to prevent you from creating or producing or whatever endeavor you’re reaching for. It’s short and easy to read, and I will still recommend it, but maybe not as the best book I’ve ever read.

My Man Jeeves
by P. G. Wodehouse


My review here

This collection of short stories by British author P. G. Wodehouse was a light and entertaining book compared to the other British author I read this month (see below).

by G. K. Chesterton


My review here

I’m glad I read it, but I’m sure I didn’t read it well. Some sections were very insightful and easy to follow; other parts seemed to ramble a bit. I’ll try Chesterton again, but probably not this year.

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


My books on Goodreads
Previous reading lists

23 thoughts on “My reading list for May ’14

  1. Linda@Creekside

    Good morning, Lisa … I’m praying right now for you and your family as you sit and wait and wonder. I recall far too many of these experiences, and I know how long, exhausting, and wrenching they can be.
    And there’s no focus for reading … or much else. That seems to be when passages of Scriptures come in their beauty, or old hymns get recalled, verse after verse, these sweet gifts playing through our exhausted minds and hearts.

    May God’s presence, coming in what ways He chooses to send Himself, give your family great comfort. Count on my prayer support, too, ok?

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I so appreciate your prayers, Linda. My f-i-l finally had his heart surgery yesterday so at least we’re now on this side of the waiting. I was silly to think I’d be able to read during this time. ha. But maybe now that we know he’s recovering, it’ll come easier. Still several days left ahead of sitting around. I’ll be watching for what you said: God’s presence showing up in whatever ways He wants to send Himself.

  2. PL

    I would *love* to hear what you make of Karamaziv! Esp. the treatment of the brothers Ivan and Alexei.

    Praying for other people still seems strange to me, and praying for people I hardly know feels like an intrusion. Otherwise I’d like to offer something prayer-like.

    ps I’m closing down PL (apart from on flickr) as soon as I can get to a computer (currently in the wilds of West Dorset). Now operating (so far just on twitter) as @unnameab73 (no imagination). I’ll use the name David for appropriate contexts.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I always appreciate your honesty. I’m sure you’re not alone in your hesitancy to pray for others but if you want to experiment, feel free to. πŸ™‚ Keep me posted when you’re back online.

  3. floyd

    I always appreciate how you can be so kind, even when you don’t agree with somethings. That’s a mark of maturity. I’ve been working on a new manuscript and haven’t had time for much. On of these days though…

  4. Sheila at Longings end

    Thanks for your insights, Lisa, on all these books. I have read Ruiz and there was good take away from that book. My husband keeps encouraging me to read The Shack since the reason I didn’t when it came out was because of following the herd who exclaimed against it. But now I am a little more fully evolved and thinking for myself so I may give it a try. Blessings…

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I understand, Sheila–there have been books I avoided in the past because of the hype, but now I’m less likely to do so for that reason alone. There’s usually something I can learn, and there were definitely things I learned in The Shack. If you decide to read it, let me know what you think.

  5. Barbara H.

    I had totally forgotten about Nightstand until I saw your post – thanks for the reminder! πŸ™‚
    Thanks, too, for the reassurance about Dostoyevsky. I’m going to start him earlier than the assigned month, too, to give myself plenty of time to get through.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      That’s exactly why I started Dostoyevsky when I did–I knew I was going to need extra time. Maybe I’ll be finished by August. πŸ™‚ I probably should start Les Mis now too but I can’t read two heavy books like that at the same time so it will have to wait.

  6. tcavey

    I look forward to hearing more about these books from you. You introduce me to wonderful new reads- I only wish I had more time!

    My reading list has been on hold lately, I hope to dig back in and see where I left off. I’m on a few launch teams coming up, so I’ll be excited to share new books with people!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I wish I had more time for books too. I use part of my reading time now for reading blogs, especially when I just have snatches of time here and there; a blog post is easier to read than to settle down in a book. But I’ll never trade in my books. πŸ™‚ Hope yours is doing well!

  7. Jean Wise

    I always enjoy your list and insights into what you are reading. Please continue this type of post. I just read today two interesting different types of books: Overwhelmed by Brigid Schulte. Interesting insight into how we use our time. The first half – her description of being scattered and fragmented – I identified so much with and really felt drained reading it but the last half had some really good ideas. Good book to skim some parts and savor others.
    The second book I just started is called the God Box by Marylou Quinlan. Mostly a memoir of her mother but also a witness to the power of prayer. I am enjoying it.

    Hope you are having a wonderful week, Lisa.

    1. Lisa

      I love hearing your book recommendations, Jean (even if I’m slow to respond to this!). I’ll add them to my list because both are the type I love to read. Thank you.

  8. Beverley

    That looks like a good list, Lisa. I really should begin my list again. I read a Jeeves and Wooster novel myself this last month. I enjoyed it, but not sure i would go on to read the rest though; too many books too little time.

  9. bekahcubed

    It’s taking me what seems like forever to work through Nightstands (since I’m way behind on blog reading in general), but I’m glad I persisted in working my way backwards to yours. Delete sounds absolutely fascinating. As someone who is somewhat of a packrat (and even more so when it comes to information–I can and do throw away things, but find it hard to throw away my old notebooks, even if all they contain are lists of pioneer skills from the Little House books :-P) My library has a copy of Delete and I’ve added it to my interminably long TBR list!

    1. Lisa

      So much to read–I totally get that. πŸ™‚ I think you’d really like Delete, especially if you can borrow a free copy. I kept checking my library but it never had one, so I ended up buying it. It’s a lot about digital memory, but I know you’ll do like I do and find your own applications in addition to the explicit ones. It’s a fascinating topic to me.

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