Here are 6 non-fiction books and 4 novels I recommend from what I finished reading this and last months, including a 1-minute video review of a favorite.
Books I Recommend
1. The Ministry of Ordinary Places
Waking Up to God’s Goodness Around You
by Shannan Martin
If you doubt your “small” ministry of ordinary things is relevant, this book is a wake-up call. Shannan Martin stresses how important the ordinary things are. She gives tons of examples from her own life to get you motivated.
2. The Bible Tells Me So
Why Defending Scripture Has Made Us Unable to Read It
by Peter Enns
This book will make my top 10 of 2019, I’m sure. Peter Enns has a witty way of shaking up our thoughts about why we believe what we do, and energizing us to think differently where needed. He is a Bible scholar who isn’t afraid to ask the hard questions about the Bible and faith.
3. Good and Mad
The Revolutionary Power of Women’s Anger
by Rebecca Traister
Once upon a time, it was acceptable for men to get angry but not women. But that is changing. Rebecca Traister explains why it’s not only acceptable, but also healthy for women to be angry about injustices we see.
4. Resist and Persist
Faith and the Fight for Equality
by Erin Wathen
Along the same lines, but from a Christ-centered perspective, Erin Wathen explains how we all (both women and men) need to step it up in engaging culture on issues of inequality. She explains why the church should be the epicenter of dignity and justice.
5. 40 Days of Christmas
Celebrating the Glory of Our Savior
by Joseph Castleberry
I read this engaging devotional during the 40 days of Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany. I’ll return to it again in future Christmas seasons because it is short, gospel-centered, and thought-provoking.
6. Remember Death
The Surprising Path to Living Hope
by Matthew McCullough
Why are we so scared of death in this era of information and enlightenment? And even among saved believers? Matthew McCullough walks through reason after reason (or excuse after excuse) of why we fear death instead of embracing it as a reason to hope. I’ll share more about this one in its own blog post next week.
7. The Great Alone
by Kristin Hannah
When her Vietnam veteran father decides to move the family to Alaska in 1974, teenage Leni isn’t thrilled about it. But as the story unfolds, we see both the challenges and beauty of the move in a riveting life and death drama of family dynamics. Kristin Hannah really knows how to tell a good story. I loved this one.
8. The Street Lawyer
by John Grisham
Michael Brock is a lawyer for a prestigious D.C. firm when a homeless man breaks into the office and changes his life forever. This novel is a winner on several levels: entertaining read, interesting plot, social justice. I listened to it on audio and loved it.
9. Never Let Me Go
by Kazuo Ishiguro
This is a strange novel about children who grew up in an exclusive boarding school in England. Something mysterious is going on, and you only find out about it as the characters begin to understand it themselves. I enjoyed the suspense and relationships involved.
10. Big Little Lies
by Liane Moriarty
Madeline, Celeste, and Jane are three mothers of kindergarten students at a school in Australia. This novel highlights a year in their lives of interacting with each other and other parents at the school and outside of school. It is entertaining and light-hearted a lot of the time, but switches to some very serious issues at other times. It also contains an air of mystery which kept me wanting to read. (Disclaimer: I know nothing about the TV series.)
- I Think You’re Wrong (But I’m Listening)
A Guide to Grace-Filled Political Conversations
by Sarah Stewart Holland, Beth A Silvers
- The Universal Christ
How a Forgotten Reality can Change Everything We See, Hope for, and Believe
by Richard Rohr
- Eternity is Now in Session
A Radical Rediscovery of What Jesus Really Taught about Salvation, Eternity and Getting to the Good Place
by John Ortberg
- How the Bible Actually Works
In Which I Explain How an Ancient, Ambiguous, and Diverse Book Leads Us to Wisdom Rather Than Answers—and Why That’s Good News
by Peter Enns
- The Time Is Now
A Call to Uncommon Courage
by Joan D. Chittister
by Rainbow Rowell
A Sexual Reformation
by Nadia Bolz-Weber
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What good book have you read this month? Please share in the comments.
- Ordinary Is Underrated – The Ministry of Ordinary Places
- On the Blog – January 2019