What’s on your nightstand? July ‘13

On the 4th Tuesday of each month, we share what we’re reading. Here’s what I’ve been into.

Just started

Jesus-My-Father-the-CIA-and-MeJesus, My Father, the CIA, and Me
A Memoir…of Sorts
by Ian Morgon Cron

[My review here] Sad at times, but a very interesting story of Ian being raised by an alcoholic dad who also worked for the CIA. As I near the end of the book, I’m seeing how Jesus will have the biggest influence of all in his life.

Grace-Walk-Steve-McVeyGrace Walk
by Steve McVey

Because I absolutely loved his book 52 Lies Heard in Church Every Sunday, I’m dipping back to an older book of his, also good, on how we need to drop the legalism and accept the free gift of God’s grace.

“For a long time I thought that to experience success in my Christian life, I had to work harder. But I discovered that the key to enjoying success is not strenuous work, but spiritual rest.” – Steve McVey

Gods-Favorite-Place-on-EarthGod’s Favorite Place on Earth
by Frank Viola

When Jesus was on earth, he was rejected in many towns. But one place we never read of his rejection was in the town of Bethany, home to Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. Viola centers his book around events in that town, drawing in principles for us as well to love more and struggle less.

Atlas-ShruggedAtlas Shrugged
by Ayn Rand

I’m a little scared of this novel—the font is tiny and yet it’s still over 1,000 pages. I’m 50 pages in and so far, so good. I’ll stick with it for now (unless you overwhelmingly tell me it’s a waste of time!), even though I have no idea what it’s supposed to be about (and no, I didn’t see the movie or even previews for the movie).

Still reading

understanding-jesus-a-guide-to-his-l[1]Understanding Jesus
A Guide to His Life and Times

by Stephen M. Miller

Still working through the life of Jesus in this book. I’m up to his last days before the crucifixion. It includes some helpful historical information that I wasn’t aware of as well as spiritual insights from the author.

“Jesus recognized the promise as genuine. So he replied, “Salvation has come to this home today” (Luke 19:9). It wasn’t Zacchaeus’ vow that produced salvation. It was salvation that produced the vow. Contact with Jesus changed the tax collector. The tin man found a heart.” – Stephen M. Miller

Finished from June’s nightstand

Occupy-Spirituality_thumbOccupy Spirituality
A Radical Vision for a New Generation
by Adam Bucko and Matthew Fox

[My review here] Mixed feelings about this one. It’s a dialogue between the two authors—a 72-year-old priest and a 37-year-old mentor to homeless youth (among other things), centering around their own lives and their work in “sacred activism.” It has value, but you have to weed through a lot of words to uncover it. (Available to the public on September 3, so hopefully it’ll get some tighter editing before the final printing.)

messy-spirituality_thumbMessy Spirituality
by Mike Yoconelli

It’s small but full of stories and excellent commentary on how Christianity isn’t always the clean, neat progression of growth that we’d like it to be. (Sometimes I just like the feel of a book in my hands, too; this was one of those.)

Dancing-Priest-Glynn-Young_thumb1_thDancing Priest
by Glynn Young

A sweet story by a fellow-blogger. The story is about an Olympic cyclist turned priest and his mission in the world, including his romance with a non-believing American student. It is a novel including faith, but it doesn’t preach at you. I enjoyed it.

Leaving-ChurchLeaving Church
A Memoir of Faith
by Barbara Brown Taylor

Love this one! Taylor is refreshingly honest but also purposeful in the stories she shares about her journey to becoming a “successful” Episcopal priest and then her decision a few years later to step down from it.

“I was neither as good as I hoped I might be nor as bad as I feared. I was simply another of God’s beggars, grateful to have found my way into the pool.” – Barbara Brown Taylor

Spy-the-LieSpy the Lie
Three Former CIA Officers Reveal Their Secrets to Unlocking Deception

by Philip Houston

So interesting! I don’t plan on becoming a human lie detector, but this information was very enlightening. Here are a few of the obstacles that make us gullible to believing lies: the belief that people will not lie to you; reliance on behavioral myths; complexities of communication; and our inescapable biases.

Help-Thanks-WowHelp Thanks Wow
Three Essential Prayers

by Anne Lamott

One of my favorite authors on one of my favorite subjects. A short, easy-to-read book that will inspire you to pray more often and more sincerely.

“Quiet, deep breath after any prayer is another form of Amen.” – Anne Lamott

Paperless-Home-OrganizationPaperless Home Organization
by Mystie Winckler

Yes, it is paperless itself—I read it on my Kindle—and it’s practical. It encourages you to rely on Evernote (I do, more and more), Google Calendar, and Remember the Milk (I need to learn it). I’m all about digital and using the cloud, and so is this book. A useful resource.

* * *

What’s a good book you are reading now or recently finished?


My books on Goodreads
More nightstands

24 thoughts on “What’s on your nightstand? July ‘13

  1. Susan

    Wow — so many books! I saw the “CIA” book for review and thought it looked interesting; sounds like it is. I’ve wondered about Atlas Shrugged for years. I hate it when books I feel like I “should” read are so long — sheesh! I’ll look forward to reading your thoughts on it!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Atlas Shrugged is definitely a “should” book for me. ha. But I figure it must be good or it wouldn’t have been out there so long on my should-list. But we’ll see. 🙂 I’ll let you know about a year from now if I finally finish reading it.

  2. Barbara H.

    Jesus, My Father, the CIA, and Me sound fascinating- I just put it on my TBR list.

    I’ll look forward to seeing what you think about Atlas Shrugged. I keep seeing it on recommended classics lists but couldn’t quite get a handle on what it was supposed to be about, and the size was daunting!

    I need to figure out Evernote. My husband and son both enjoy using it.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I think you’d like “Jesus, My Father,…” because it’s a memoir of an unusual life. Definitely not one I relate to (thankfully), at least not the beginning of his life.

      I still haven’t figured out how I best can utilize Evernote for my own use. But I’m not going to give up quite yet (I’ll probably give up on Atlas Shrugged much sooner, ha).

  3. floyd

    You never cease to amaze me. I want to read Atlas Shrugged as well… I’m actually reading one by a fellow blogger Hazel Moon, it’s her second of edition of Rescue The Stories Part Two. I love real life stories and how they influence lives.

  4. Katie

    Jesus, My Father, the CIA, and me…. I have heard of that…. and a friend recently won it at our recovery group…… I am hoping to borrow it from him sometime. I am currently rereading A Grace Disguised , Forgotten God, ….. and a mystery the name escapes me for now.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      So you re-read books as well. Me, too. 🙂 I started re-reading Forgotten God about a year ago but stopped. Maybe I’ll pick it back up again before much longer…. The CIA book would be a great one for your recovery group because they could empathize with the pain that the author went through.

  5. Lorna

    Loved “Leaving Church” and have on my to-read list “God’s Favorite Place on Earth”. I just finished “Dirty God” by Johnnie Moore. Love, Love, Loved this book. It’s a book about Grace, but not in the way you think it will be explained. I don’t think there’s a page I didn’t have something underlined. I highly recommend it.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Books where you have to underline something on every page–my kind of reading! Thanks for the suggestion of Dirty God. I’ll add it to my to-read list right now.

  6. beverley

    I am always amazed at how much you read! I really should do this again on my blog, as it encouraged me to read more and reading is something i love to do and i am still able to do it. I have even bribed myself with new books if i finish all the ones on the book shelf. It doesn’t work i just go to the library. What am i reading – The Last Town on Earth by Robert Mullen ( a novel).

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I try those tricks on myself too, Beverley. I say I can’t start a new book unless I read one old unread book on my shelf. It sometimes even works. 🙂 But yeah, going to the library always kills that plan. So many good books; so little time.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I’ll take that as a sign to keep going with Atlas Shrugged. 🙂 Even though you haven’t read it yourself, you remember somebody saying that about it, so that must mean something.

  7. bill (cycleguy)

    hi Lisa! Thanks for visiting my blog. not sure how you got there but I am always glad to meet new people. I wanted to comment on this one. Several actually. Frank Viola’s book is really good. I spent a whole week blogging about it. Starts here http://billgrandi.ovcf.org/wordpress/?m=20130619 then skips to http://billgrandi.ovcf.org/wordpress/?p=10062 and the week after that. Also read Grace Walk (good one as was the one you mentioned); Messy Spirituality (excellent) and Dancing Priest (most excellent). I am not much of a reader in bed though since I am a firm believer that bed means sleep. 🙂 Good list here though.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I followed you over from a comment you left on Rick Dawson’s blog. (or maybe Floyd’s; I can’t remember now). Thanks for leaving the links to your posts on Viola’s books–I’ll definitely read them. I’ve read a couple of his books already and really love how he thinks. It sounds like we have very similar taste so you’ll have to keep me informed when you find another great book you love. 🙂

  8. Dawn

    Hi Lisa, I love your choices! Always! The Ann Rand is a fave of my moms, although she is not a believer…but she loves to read- so that book has been around me for my whole life as well as other stuff but I have not read it…look forward to your insights. LOved Annie L.’s and appreciate your WOYN shares every time.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I made it past the 100 page mark in Rand’s book so I’m committed now. ha. I love Anne L’s books too–always good. Next I want to read her “Grace (Eventually)” book.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Grace Walk is very good so far! Hard to go wrong with that subject. 🙂 And yes, Paperless Home Org was interesting. I’m dipping more into Remember the Milk but now that I’m trying to practice it, I need to go re-read the book again. ha.

  9. Pingback: Where I am–August 2013 | Lisa notes . . .

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