Books I’m reading – May 2015

Once a month we share the books we’ve finished reading and are reading now at 5 Minutes for Books.

Here is my reading list for May and early June. I’m still working on eliminating books from my shelf or my Kindle that have been sitting there too long.


1. The In-Between
Embracing the Tension Between Now and the Next Big Thing: A Spiritual Memoir
by Jeff Goins


We rarely live in the “big moments” of life. Most of our life is spent doing ordinary stuff. But those are times worth embracing too. Jeff Goins shares what those in-between moments have meant to him and can mean to us.

2. Frankenstein
by Mary Shelley


Even though I’ve seen movies about Frankenstein, I’ve never read the book. But the 1818 version or 1831 version??? My hardcopy is 1818; my kindle version is 1831. And I’ve discovered they are significantly different. For now I’m going with 1818. This is my pick for the “19 Century Classic” category in the Back to the Classics 2015 reading challenge.

3. When Mockingbirds Sing
by Billy Coffey


My review here

This novel is about 9-year-old Leah’s mysterious paintings dictated by the Rainbow Man, and the havoc they cause with the preacher of her town. I’m over halfway finished and I’ve yet to figure out where the author is going with it. That’s a good thing. Surprise me.

4. The Marriage You’ve Always Wanted
by Gary Chapman


I don’t read many marriage books anymore, but I was gifted this book last year from another blogger. I’ve enjoyed Gary Chapman’s teachings (author of The Five Love Languages) for years. This book may not contain many new ideas to me yet, but it is already reminding me of many areas I could step it up a notch in my marriage with Jeff.


1. The Age of the Image
Redefining Literacy in a World of Screens
by Stephen Apkon


My review here

Visual storytelling takes on new dimensions in our technological age. This book addresses the how and the why of what it means to be literate in our current times. I found it very interesting indeed.

2. The Invisible Man
by H. G. Wells


For a book published in 1897, I found it surprisingly modern in some of its tone. See?

“You don’t blame me, do you? You don’t blame me?”
“I never blame anyone,” said Kemp. “It’s quite out of fashion.”

Being invisible does have a certain attraction, but this short, classic story of a man who discovers a way to become invisible shows the chaos that can ensue from it.

3. 50 Women Every Christian Should Know
Learning from Heroines of the Faith
by Michelle DeRusha


My review here

So many women I didn’t know! I’m glad to learn at least a few things about each one of these 50 women that Michelle DeRusha chose as heroines of faith. Fascinating.

4. A Wrinkle in Time
by Madeleine L’Engle


If you don’t already know, this wonderful classic is a fantasy novel about children who travel to other planets in search of their father. (But it’s so much more, truly.) It’s my pick for the 1960s of reading one Newbery Award winner per decade with Amy and friends. It’s the first of a quintet. I’ve read through them all years back but needed a refresher.

And in a weird twist of timing, Madeleine L’Engle was one of the 50 women in Michelle’s 50 Women Every Christian Should Know (above) that I also read this month. Michelle writes, “For Madeleine, writing fantasy was a way for her to apprehend the mysteries of God. She claimed the young adult fantasy novel A Wrinkle in Time was a theological book because it was a metaphor for God’s love.” (I also discovered that Madeleine was married to Dr. Charles Tyler of All My Children fame, going back to the days when I watched that).

“I hoped it was a dream,” Meg said.
Her mother carefully turned over four slices of French toast, then said in a steady voice, “No, Meg. Don’t hope it was a dream. I don’t understand it any more than you do, but one thing I’ve learned is that you don’t have to understand things for them to be.

5. The Little Prince
by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry


This novella originally written in French in 1943 is about a little prince traveling through space, landing on different planets, including earth. According to Wikipedia, it’s one of the most-read and most-translated books in the world. I enjoyed its simple story on the surface, and I know each chapter could go deeper, so maybe I need a second reading through at some point. It’s a spiritual memoir of sorts for Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, a French writer, aviator, and aristocrat who died in 1944 while flying a reconnaissance mission for France over the Mediterranean.

“But I was not reassured. I remembered the fox. One runs the risk of weeping a little, if one lets himself be tamed. . . .”

6. The Soul of a Pilgrim
Eight Practices for the Journey Within
by Christine Valters Paintner


My review here

A book to do, not just read! One of my favorite types. This one shows eight paths to an inner (and also potentially outer) pilgrimage to a deeper intimacy with God. I read through it already—it was good!—to write a review next month at Patheos, but now I’m working it one week at a time for my own spiritual growth. Books like this prove the adage: You get out of it what you put into it.

* * *

What are you reading this month? Please share here.


My books on Goodreads
Previous reading lists

26 thoughts on “Books I’m reading – May 2015

  1. Linda@Creekside

    I just finished BEING MORTAL – the day you posted your review was the day our book club chose it as their next read. Powerful, thought-provoking. And those 3 questions that he asks should be ingested by us all as we wade into seasons of illness, aging, and surprise diagnoses.

    It was a game-changer, for sure.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I really, really enjoy reading other people’s lists too. Every month I pick up new titles when we do our Nightstand posts. No wonder I can never stay on top of my list–it grows much faster than I can read. ha.

  2. bekahcubed

    So many fascinating books – so little time to comment!

    I was fascinated by your review of The Age of the Image, in many ways because I am not at ALL an image-based learner. I always ask my husband to interpret assembly instructions for furniture into words for me, since diagrams and images befuddle me (while written instructions are always helpful.)

    I’m looking forward to reading A Little Prince next month – I had it set to automatically request at the library the middle of this month and almost didn’t get to the library in time to pick it up before the one-week hold expired! After rushing to put going-out-of-the-house clothes on and to pack up Tirzah Mae so we could get to the library before it closed for the day, it had better be a good book!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I do still like written instructions too. Maybe I just need it all—both words and images. ha. I started A Little Prince early so I’d be sure to finish it in June, but it was so short that I just kept going and finished early. Oops. That doesn’t happen too often. I’ll look forward to what you’ll say about it. I suspect there is much more to it than I gleaned from the first reading.

  3. Barbara H.

    I didn’t know there were two versions of Frankenstein – I wonder why. It’s one of those I think I should probably read some time, but I don’t know when I’ll get to it.

    The Invisible Man sounds interesting.

    I love it when two books I am reading unexpectedly intersect in some way.

    I am looking forward to The Little Prince – I’m hoping the library will send its copy to my branch soon.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I did read some about why Shelley revised Frankenstein 13 years later–part of it was her own philosophical changes due to life experiences. After too much ado, I finally settled on the 1818 version. Once I finish, I hope to go back and read more about the differences between the two versions. It’s actually more entertaining than I expected (i.e. not as much tangential info as many novels of that time, yet still plenty).

  4. Lynn Severance

    I am a huge Madeleine L’Engle fan – have many of her books. She and Luci Shaw were the best of friends for years and spoke as a team at a C.S. Lewis conference in Oxford ( not the one I attended ). Luci, later ( at the conference I did attend in Oxford ) accepted a lifetime recognition award for Madeleine who was unable to travel at that time. They wrote a story of their almost life-long friendship in “Friends for the Journey”. There is also a compilation of their individual writings in a book titled, “Winter Song: Christmas Readings” which is wonderful – a great Advent resource for nourishment.

    “The Little Prince” came into my life first when I was in college and my copy is very very worn. Do revisit it sometime when you are not in a rush to finish so many books . 🙂 There is so much spiritual wisdom in this seemingly simple story. It would be an easy one to dismiss as being “for children” but truly, only adults can absorb the depths of its wisdom.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      What an intimate connection you have then with Madeleine L’Engle. I’ve never read any of her works outside the Wrinkle in Time series, but I should. She seems like she was a fascinating woman.

      I do need to return to The Little Prince later to get more out of it. Because it was short and moved at a good pace, I read it in only a few sittings, so I didn’t have much time to reflect on it in between days. I can definitely see it having a deeper meaning for adults than kids, but an interesting one for kids as well. I do love authors who can do that (including C.S. Lewis and Madeleine L’Engle!).

  5. David

    Dear Lisa

    You get through a lot of books!

    I’m dying to hear what you think about Frankenstein! (I would be so annoying if we knew each other IRL :D) I liked it a lot and I keep meaning to re-read it. A lot different from the films obvs, a lot more profound.

    I also really enjoyed A Wrinkle in Time. She has a very gentle touch (long time since I read it).

    Me: I finished the Psalms. Yay! Now I have to decide what to do next. I’ll read them again in a different order, with a few to learning some (I might make a little booklet). I’d like to learn more about them too.


    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I’m surprised at how much I’m enjoying Frankenstein, honestly. ha. Granted, it still is a little slow at times, but for the most part Shelley keeps it on track. It’s been years since I’ve even seen a film of it, so I only know the bare-bones storyline. But I expected the book to be different anyway; they always are, right? And typically much better.

      Glad you finished the Psalms! I love your idea of making a little booklet with your favorite ones. I’m guessing you’d enjoy reading some of the backstories too. I’m currently reading Isaiah–parts of it I find very intriguing; parts encouraging; and parts of it I have a hard time figuring out at all. But that’s okay too. 🙂

  6. Bill (cycelguy)

    With the onset of summer by book reading slows. Too much to do outside (like riding my bike). 🙂 i finished a book on depression and am now reading one on Counseling for Family Violence and Abuse. My next in that series will be on Substance Abuse and Addiction. Someone from the church gave me Sit, Walk, Stand by Watchman Nee. I also found The Imperfect Marriage by Darryl Strawberry and his wife a pretty good read. At home I am reading one on the Titanic.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Good for you for enjoying summer outdoors. I should at least take my books to read outside. ha. I’m not much of a bike rider but I do love flower gardening and it’s been an enjoyable and fruitful year for it so far. Not too hot. You’ve had some heavy books going on, but I’m sure God will use them in your ministry in many ways to bless others.

  7. Jean Wise

    Great list as usual. I am slowly ( on purpose) digesting The Soul of a Pilgrim. and started reading The New Spiritual Exercises by Savary. I am going on a 7 day retreat with him in June where he is discussing the book. should be interesting.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      The retreat will be wonderful, I’m sure! Exciting. I’m now going back through The Soul of a Pilgrim to digest it more. I want to spend more time in it, with God, over the next month and a half at least. Some backs are to be savored, yes? I know you understand that. 🙂

  8. floyd

    Good for you, my Hero! I’m still struggling through Unbroken and The Jerry Lee Lewis Story… I actually threw the towel in on Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road”. Feels like I’m swimming in quicksand when it comes to reading lately…

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Jeff comes and goes with reading too. He listened to Unbroken as the audiobook and loved it that way.

      Glad I’m not the only one who occasionally has to throw in the towel on a book. I need to do it more often! ha. Thanks, Floyd.

  9. Tonia

    Love your list – it always inspires me to include more nonfiction reading.

    I have never read A Wrinkle in Time (somehow I missed that one growing up) but I think it’s going on my list of books to read with my daughter – who also likes a good fantasy novel.

  10. Cassandra

    I too really like Gary Chapman’s love languages. I should read some of his other books. And I really need to tackle The Invisible Man! My husband recently read it and recommended it to me. I hope you have great reading enjoyment in June!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      The Invisible Man was quite good–maybe also because it was short? ha. Some of these older classics can drag on and on, so I appreciate when words are concise. 🙂

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Glad to hear that about Frankenstein from you, Carrie! I’ve been surprised at how well I’ve liked it so far. I guess I thought I’d be having to force myself to read it, but I actually look forward to it. Who knew? ha. I read The Little Prince for your book club, not realizing it would go so fast. So I’m actually ahead. Wow.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      One book at a time—there is a certain stillness in that. And until you get the rest of your boxes unpacked, that’s probably enough to read anyway. 🙂

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