What’s on your nightstand? September ‘13

We celebrated our anniversary by spending several days on the beach last week. And we both read a lot of books at the ocean’s edge. (That’s what happens when you no longer have kids to play with in the sand.)


Safe-HouseSafe House
by Chris Ewan

Jeff read this novel first. Once I saw how he couldn’t put it down (and he never does that!), I knew I had to read it myself.  It’s a thriller set on the Isle of Man. Every chapter adds new twists and turns. So far I’m captivated by it, too.

Im-Not-Gonna-LieI’m Not Gonna Lie
And Other Lies You Tell When You Turn 50
by George Lopez

I picked this up at the library because I thought it’d make me laugh about being 50. Well, sometimes it’s working. Other times it’s a little depressing. Part comedy and part memoir, it’s a quick read that is funny but would probably be funnier hearing Lopez deliver the lines in person.

Grace-EventuallyGrace (Eventually)
Thoughts on Faith
by Anne Lamott

Typical Anne, which is insightful and witty and spiritual. I don’t always agree with her, but I do always learn and pause and reflect more because of her. Each chapter is a stand-alone commentary of truths and real-life experiences. (Have I mentioned lately I can never get too much grace? This book is full of it.)

The-Bible-according-to-PeanutsThe Bible according to Peanuts
by Robert L. Short

After enjoying The Gospel according to Peanuts, my niece Danielle graciously gave me this book to read, and we’ll compare highlights when I’m finished. I’m only in chapter one but I’m already adding yellow everywhere. (An added plus: the great Charles Schulz’ cartoons.)

You'll Get Through ThisYou’ll Get through This
Hope and Help for Your Turbulent Times
by Max Lucado

I requested this book to review because who can turn down a Lucado book, right? I’ve seen him tweet several lines from it the past several weeks so I know it’ll be good.


Walking_in_Freedom_thumb1Walking in Freedom
A 21-Day Devotional to Help Establish Your Freedom in Christ

by Neil T. Anderson

I’m reading three or four chapters/days a week in this devotional about who we really are in Christ. The truths are timeless and backed by Scripture and are always good reminders. Christ rooted our identity in him in freedom; I never want to forget that.

Transforming_Grace_thumbTransforming Grace
Living Confidently in God’s Unfailing Love

by Jerry Bridges

Because I’m reading this on my Kindle, I put it on the backburner as I instead read books I checked out from the library for the beach. (I just can’t take my Kindle to the beach yet; a sand/water phobia with it.) I’ll get back to it soon though; it’s already proven to be insightful.


Nothing_to_Envy_thumb1Nothing to Envy
Ordinary Lives in North Korea
by Barbara Demick

Excellent! It’s a collection of true stories compiled by a reporter of those who grew up in North Korea. It will remind you to be more grateful of the freedoms and luxuries we have in the free world.

by Joseph F. Girzone

This is my second time reading this novel about what might happen if Jesus returned in the flesh today through the character of Joshua. It’s interesting to speculate about and makes me think more on how to live myself as a Jesus-follower in my own culture.

The_Way_Were_Working_Isnt_Working_thThe Way We’re Working Isn’t Working
by Tony Schwartz

Glad I read it. While it’s aimed at the business world, there were excellent points that can be derived by anybody wanting to live their life well, doing whatever work it is they’re called to do. Written by the same author as The Power of Full Engagement.

The-ImperfectionistsThe Imperfectionists
by Tom Rachman

Um, so-so. It’s a novel but each chapter is only loosely related to the others. I kept waiting for a climactic tying of everything together, but it never happened. Just when I would get attached to a character, the next chapter would start over with fresh characters. It was written well, but I prefer a thicker thread running through the story.

What-We-Talk-about-When-We-Talk-about-GodWhat We Talk about When We Talk about God
by Rob Bell

I like Bell’s books. I liked this one, too. He writes concisely and doesn’t meander around his points (and usually leaves lots of white space; I like that, too). This book focuses on three small words but big concepts about God: with, for, ahead. I recommend it if you like to think outside the box.

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What’s a good book you are reading or want to read?


My books on Goodreads
More nightstands

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

  1. Marty

    Right now I am making my way through the first three chapters of Eusebius on Church history ~ my daughter is reading it for her Tradidio class and I am reading it with her. My husband also recently got me a copy of Nancy Wilson’s book True Companion Thoughts on Being a Pastor’s Wife.
    I think I need to add in the fiction novel you mentions 🙂

  2. Amy @ Hope Is the Word

    A trip to the beach, just you and the hubby? Sounds wonderful! (Can you tell I’m in the throes of parenting since I mention that first? 😉 )

    I’ve never read Joshua, though I’ve seen it around all my life.

    You always inspire me with your lists!

  3. floyd

    Great list! Doesn’t seem to be shrinking! I’m reading The Fire Of Delayed Answers by Bob Sorge and Unfinished by Richard Stearns, along with a Grisham, The Racketeer. Maybe even try to write on one of my own in my spare time!

  4. Annette W {This Simple Mom}

    Happy anniversary! (And now I definitely say go for The Fruitful Wife. You mentioned the Ever After sample…the second half of the book does talk a lot about parenting, but the first half really does focus on marriage.)

    It sounds like your beach reads were good and well-rounded. You are on a bit of a grace kick, huh? 😉

    Have a good week!

  5. Susan

    My goodness, so many books! I generally am not a fan of Rob Bell; I may have to check out this one, though. Maybe he will grow on me 🙂 I need to read the “turning 50” book (how did that happen?), and I love the idea of reading a book and sharing thoughts with your niece. I have done that with my niece over a Boxcar Children book. So fun!

    1. Lisa notes...

      I’m not sure how the 50 thing happens either. 🙂 But it has. I guess the book about it made me feel better overall than worse, but it did have its moments. ha.

      If you don’t typically like Rob Bell’s style, you probably won’t like this one either ; it’s in the same genre as his last few anyway. But he does have lots of good things to say about God in this one that I really appreciated. So I’d just say proceed at your own risk. 🙂

  6. Carrie, Reading to Know

    Bell is too far out of the box, I think. I think he crossed a line in his theology. And other thoughts. 😀

    Nothing to Envy sounds fantastic!

    As does the book about working. That sounds like a much needed book these days. My husband works in the corporate world and the way that they work is DEFINITELY NOT working!

    1. Lisa notes...

      Even if you’ve disagreed with Bell on other matters, you’d probably be less offended by this book. But nonetheless, if he’s not your cup of tea, there are plenty of other books out there to read. 🙂

      And Nothing to Envy is definitely a good one. Although it’s not written from a spiritual perspective, it’s easy to see in it what a lack of God can do in a society. 🙁 It’s a painful but profitable read on many levels.

  7. Barbara H.

    At first I thought Safe House might be the book from a film I saw years ago with Patrick Stewart as a retiree with Alzheimer’s who used to work at a government agency and who thinks someone is after him, but everyone thinks he is just imagining it – but someone IS after him. And he has to try to figure it out while he can still think clearly. That one had me at the edge of my seat. But I looked up the summary for this one, and it’s a different story. Still sounds interesting, though!

    I’d have a hard time with The Imperfectionists, too – I’d prefer more of a unifying thread.

    You always have such a challenging list.

    1. Barbara H.

      Ahem – I was looking up more about the movie I mentioned, and saw a brief clip from it – in which was a horrible word I hadn’t remembered being in there. Maybe because I saw it on TV it was bleeped out? But I thought I’d better mention that in case anyone looks it up. I probably would not have mentioned it if I had known it was in there.

      1. Lisa notes...

        Thanks for the addendum, Barbara. The movie sounds like quite a thriller but one I’d probably not like because of its intensity. The book has surprised me here and there with a little bit of violence, but overall I’d give it between a G and a PG rating (if it were a movie) which isn’t bad for a thriller.

  8. bekahcubed

    My problem with the Kindle (and pretty much any book I own rather than getting it from the library) is that I’m ALWAYS putting books on it on the backburner because they aren’t *urgent* like library books are. I’ve had good success putting my Kindle in a Ziploc bag to keep it from getting wet and/or dirty–but I have an old keyboard version, so I don’t have to worry about whether a touch screen still works with the bag.

    1. Lisa notes...

      I have that exact problem with my Kindle (and really any book that I own, but I’ve found it heightened with my Kindle). Library books always are read first because of the due date, then books loaned by friends, then “real” books I own, then Kindle books. Unless it’s a Kindle book I really, really want to read, in which case I can bump it up in priority. 🙂

      I have an old keyboard version too, and that’s one reason I haven’t wanted to update; I like the manual keyboard. I suppose that’s old school even though it’s still a relatively new piece of technology. ha.

  9. Joyful Reader

    I really enjoyed Joshua too. Then we saw the movie…even better! I am a big fan of Lucado! I have one sitting on my shelf that I really wish I would get to! This one looked promising. As always a great list of books!

  10. Tonia

    An anniversary at the beach sounds very nice – I’m fairly sure I’d have to pack a suitcase full of books, though! Love your list – so many books that look really interesting.

  11. Teresa

    I am getting ready to reread The Confident Heart by Renee Swope; am reading Steve Foss’ Satan’s Dirty Little Secret and Jonathan Cahn’ The Harbinger

  12. Mary

    My reading is all over the place. I’m reading Kathi Lipp’s Praying God’s Word for your Husband (& leading a book study on this one.) I’m also re-reading Denise Hughes On Becoming a Writer. And I am reading a couple of other books I can’t remember the titles…oh, and I am reading Ruthless Trust by Brennan Manning. Recently I read Intentional Walk, a book about the faith of many of the St. Louis Cardinals – AWESOME BOOK!!

    Happy Anniversary – how many years? We celebrated 30 this year.

    1. Lisa notes...

      I love your list of books, Mary. Brennan Manning was one of my favorite authors. I don’t think I’ve read Ruthless Truth though; gotta add it to my list. I read Albert Pujol’s “More than the Game” a couple years ago since he’s been one of my favorite players for awhile. I was sad when he left the Cardinals. I’ll have to add Intentional Walk to my list now.

      21 years for us! (I had to do the math first; don’t tell Jeff. ha)

  13. Jen E @ mommablogsalot

    My book club read The Imperfectionists last year and I have to say I reeeeaaaalllllly didn’t like it. I agree with everything you said except I think I was more irritated by it than you seem to be. :O) On a happier note, this month our book club read A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki and not only did I LOVE it, the entire group loved it and that almost never happens, so if you are looking for a good read, that is one that I can highly recommend.
    Happy belated anniversary!

  14. Dianna

    I’ve heard a lot of good things about the Safe House…adding it to my wish list…birthday is coming up so I may just have to treat myself. 😉 And I completely understand about not taking the Kindle to the beach! Love you!

  15. Pingback: My reading list October '13

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