Because it’s summer and because I have things to write that I just cannot seem to write, I thought I’d squander an evening and give you all the books I have on my nightstand.
And all the books in the kitchen.
And in the basket beside my favorite chair.
And there might be one next to the sink in the bathroom because I read when I dry my hair. Or maybe there are two. I’m not telling.
But I digress.
Here’s what I’ve got stacked everywhere.
On Racism, Social Justice, and Compassion
Shane Claiborne, The Irresistible Revolution: I’ve read this book twice and I’ll read it again. And this one quote plays over and over again in my mind: “Welcome to the irresistible revolution, and new and ancient way of life that is so attractive, who would settle for anything else? Welcome to the revolution of little people, guerrilla peacemakers, and dancing prophets, the revolution that loves and laughs. The revolution begins inside each of us, and through little acts of love, it will take over the world. Let us begin to be Christians again. Jesus, give us the courage.” Warning: Don’t read it if you want to stay the same.
Gregory Boyle, Tattoos on the Heart: Short essays about kinship and redemption and abounding compassion. No life is less valuable than any other life and this book is a cry to wake up to God’s unconditional love. I love this book. You will laugh and cry.
Patricia Raybon, My First White Friend: This book is one woman’s story of how she came to love white people by learning to love herself, and her blackness, first. Couldn’t put this one down. A must read for anyone who wants to explore the hard road from hatred to forgiveness and ultimately love.
Trevor Hudson, A Mile in My Shoes: Beautiful book written to help us experience 3 important components of pilgrimage. Hudson developed this 8 day program to enable young South Africans to think about the meaning of their faith in light of the harsh realities of their nation. Could be read in a small group setting.
Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow: I’m going to be honest and tell you that this book is one hard read. I’ve picked it up and put it back down again more than once. BUT, it is eye opening enough that I keep coming back to it. Hard read, full of things my feeble mind cannot understand nor absorb as certain truth, but I’m committed to loving my place and understanding my people, so I’ll stick it out no matter how long it takes me.
For Your Soul
Barbara Brown Taylor, An Altar in the World: I cannot find the words to honor this work of art because it is pure art for the soul. It is nothing less than sacramental and beckons me to slow down and savor the gift of life. So beautiful.
Barbara Brown Taylor, Leaving Church: I actually read this one before An Altar and I felt like she was writing my story. Leaving Church is painfully honest and magnificently redemptive. I cried and nodded my head with her for I have lived most of her words over the last few years. Raw and gorgeous.
Christine Caine, Undaunted: Do you need a kick in the pants? Are you floundering around somewhere in the bottom of your life, searching for meaning and purpose? Then this one is for you. Part memoir, part call to action, all parts making much of Jesus.
Micha Boyette, Found: This book left me longing for a sabbatical. A call to taste and see that the Lord is good by opening the door to a life of prayer. Full of longing and full of hope fulfilled.
Lisa-Jo Baker, Surprised by Motherhood: I’ll be the first to tell you that I don’t read books on mothering. But because I love this woman, I read her’s. A breath of fresh air to this mama of 6 who loves to remember that God made her woman first, wife second, and mama third. Lovely read for all mamas, no matter what the stage. ( And our MOPS read this fall!)
Jean Fleming, Pursue the Intentional Life: My word. I don’t know how I’ve been a believer for nearly 30 years and not read Jean Fleming until this summer. This book is like a peeking into the journal of a woman who has run her race well. Short, wisdom packed chapters that are written to turn the heart to Jesus.
Kristen Welsh, Rhinestone Jesus: Because I’m tired of living the safe, Jesus-following life.
Elizabeth Elliot, A Chance to Die: A favorite of mine that I return to again and again. The story of Amy Carmichael and I am laid low each time I read this book.
Gene Getz, Building Up One Another: A story of legacy and grace written by the founder of Fellowship Bible Church Dallas. A great read for anyone who is interested in knowing about the legacy and heritage of Fellowship Bible churches.
Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Anne is a spicy one, y’all, and I love her for it. This book is a wealth of helpful and hilarious writing advice. I love this woman and her fabulous hair.
Steven Pressfield, The War of Art: Language alert. For real. But this short book is jam packed with all sorts of nuggets of wisdom for anyone trying to push through creative blocks and win the war of art. And it is a war. I’m in the middle of one right now.
Liane Moriarty, What Alice Forgot: Love the way this book is written! Not going to give too much away, but it’s a great pool side read. Or hair drying read. Whichever suits your fancy.
Ann Hood, The Obituary Writer: Full of loss and longing and grief. Deeply moving.
Whatcha reading this summer?