This month I decided to spice it up and add some variety to my reading, so while I still read a few spiritual formation books, I added in some fiction (yay!) and a book on the craft of writing. I’d like to continue adding some fiction and some more “secular” reads to my list, so pleeease let me know if you have any recommendations in those categories!
You can click on the pictures of the books to find them on Amazon!
“So what is it about writing that makes it – for some of us – as necessary as breathing? It is in the thousands of days of trying, failing, sitting, thinking, resisting, dreaming, raveling, unraveling that we are our most engaged, alert, and alive.”
Still Writing, by Dani Shapiro: I picked this one up per the rec of one of my great writing friends, and I was not disappointed. This book reminded me of the beauty of writing. It reminded me of the importance of not just saying something to say something, but of weaving words together in a way that is captivating and compelling. Shapiro accurately describes the joys and frustrations and wonder and loneliness of writing in a way that made me feel understood and hopeful. Such a good read for any of my fellow creatives!
“We will always be homesick…There is only one place where we can enjoy blessed self forgetfulness, and nothing in the suburbs, or city, or country, will ever satisfy. We can only go to the rock that does not move, where God, who has gone through exile on our behalf, will show himself ever, always, and tenderly steadfast.”
Finding Holy in the Suburbs, by Ashley Hales: As a wanna-be missionary turned church planter in the suburbs, the topic of this book resonated deeply with me. Ashley’s explanation and exegesis of our contemporary consumeristic culture was fascinating and convicting. One of the most interesting ideas to me was her insight on our longings. She spoke of how the tangible things we long for are but dust, and that what we really crave is the idea that we think is behind them – the peace, the community, the rest we think the tangible thing will bring. But the tangible thing (the house, the perfect family, the spouse, the money) cannot bear the weight of that longing. Instead we should allow our physical things to point us to our future home and rest. We must not allow our hearts to be content with the thing. This book is a fabulous read for anyone living in a suburban context.
Making Sense of God, by Tim Keller: A group from our church is reading this book together to prepare for an upcoming mission trip. Keller’s insight on religion is so incredibly helpful toward creating a framework of God in the modern world. He provides an explanation of Christianity to the “thinking person,” for the one who thinks walking into a church means leaving your brain at the door. His explanation of God to the secular intellect is incredibly helpful. It’s a dense and theological read, so prepare your mind for that, but it’s a worthwhile one to spend the time on.
“Growing as a helper means having a Philippians 2:5-11 mindset, where we consider humility and service as more important than our immediate glory. It is not demeaning, any more than Christ laying his life down for us was demeaning of his full deity.”
Accidental Feminist, by Courtney Reissig: I really enjoyed this book by Coutney Reissig. Courtney addresses contemporary feminist views from a Biblical lens, not in a way that bashes every feminist mindset, but in a way that encourages women to look to Scripture to shape their understanding of what it means to be a woman of God. I especially appreciated the way Courtney addressed both single and married women… women with children and women without children. Her holistic view of womanhood was helpful and encouraging! I’m hoping to read a few more books this year on what Scripture says about womanhood, so let me know if you have any recommendations on that front.
Sense and Sensibility, by Jane Austen: I was so excited to add a fictional read in this month, especially one that I hadn’t read before. Pride and Prejudice has long been one of my favorite books because of Austen’s wit and writing ability, so I was excited to read another Austen classic. Austen is low-key hilarious and I just love the way she portrays the drama of society and relationships. This book made me laugh, gasp, and realize just how little dating has changed, even in 200 years.
“If I could but know his heart, everything would become easy.”
Ah yes, Marianne, wouldn’t that make all of our lives infinitely easier…
Also Amazon has tons of hardcover classics with stunning covers like this and I low-key want to go buy ALL OF THEM.
I’m SUPER excited about the pile of books that is growing on my nightstand for next month. Get ready!