It’s been some time since I’ve shared what’s on my nightstand, so I thought I’d compile a list of highlights from what I read over the summer months. I’m once again this year taking on the #vtReadingChallenge created by Tim Challies, and this year my goal is “The Committed Reader” plan, which is fifty-two books in fifty-two weeks. So far I’ve made it through forty-five, so I’d say I’m right on target. (Yay for attainable goals!)

Fiction

Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell — I am so glad I decided to conquer this massive classic (instead of “thinking about it tomorrow.”) As is typically true, it was so much better than the (already-great) film. In a book there’s time to fully develop the characters (at least one would hope so in 1000 pages!) and veer off into sub-plots which, in my opinion, makes the story stronger.

Emma by Jane Austen — Definitely not my first time (nor my last) to devour this witty novel. It is the perfect companion for lazy summer days in the hammock (or Lyme-induced times of rest!).

Hannah Coulter, Nathan Coulter, and The Memory of Old Jack by Wendell Berry — After hearing much about this author from a friend, I finally decided it was time to try him out. As you see, I’m now hooked.

Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky — There’s a funny story to this book. No, the novel itself isn’t funny; in fact it was rather boring. The only reason I chose it was because it came highly recommended. The funny part is that after persevering through three-fourths of this thirty-seven hour audio book, I discovered it was not the right book! By that point I figured I should at least finish it, so I did. (But thank heavens it’s over!)

Non-Fiction

The Great Bridge by David McCullough — The captivating history of the Brooklyn Bridge and the life and times of its engineer, Washington A. Roebling. This is, believe it or not, my first work to read by McCullough.

13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened in Benghazi by Mitchell Zuckoff. An account of the events of September 11, 2012 in Benghazi, Libya as told by four members of the Annex Security Team. I appreciate that this isn’t about politics or finger-pointing, but about the bravery and sacrifice of true heroes.

The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines — This may sound odd, but I’ve actually never seen a full episode of “Fixer Upper.” However, that did not stop me from reading about and falling in love with this spunky Texan couple. It’s an easy read, especially if you listen to the audio book narrated by the authors.

The Tea Cyclopedia: A Celebration of the World’s Favorite Drink by Keith Souter — I love all things tea, so I couldn’t resist this fun little book when I saw it at my local library. If you’re curious as to the origin of tea drinking in different cultures, the growing and making of tea, or the difference between green, white, black, red, oolong, or herbal tea (which is actually not tea at all), this book is for you.

Christian Non-Fiction

12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You by Tony Reinke — Don’t read this unless you want to be challenged about the use (or overuse) of your smartphone!

The Four Loves by C.S. Lewis — I’ve read embarrassingly little by this well-known-and-loved author. So this was the first of more to come in this year to help rectify that sad fact. (It was good, BTW!)

Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller and English Lessons by Andrea Lucado — I list these two together not because they’re a series or an equal pair, but because they’re both memoirs of young adults traveling through life searching for the answers to true faith.

From Good to Grace by Christine Hoover — An important reminder based on the premises of Gal. 3:3 that “having begun in the Spirit” we are not now “made perfect by the flesh.” This book is about “letting go of the goodness gospel,” a false gospel that cheapens and undermines grace and applies pressure to sanctify oneself.

Give Them Grace: Dazzling Your Kids with the Love of Jesus by Elyse Fitzpatrick and Jessica Thompson — I think I should get on a monthly reading of anything by Elyse. And about grace. So good! (Even if I’m not a parent!)

Hope When It Hurts by Sarah Walton and Kristen Wetherell — Read. This. Book. Your source of “hurt” may not be physical like mine, but we all have hurts or are walking through them with a loved one. This book oozes comfort and hope because it consistently points you back to Jesus, the Source of all comfort and hope!

What have you read and enjoyed lately?

(BTW, here’s a great article on the wrong way to read Christian books.)

One thought on “For the Love of Books

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