You guys! It's been too long. I've read at least a dozen books, and revised my own, since we last did a literate getaway. I'll keep it short and sweet but there are some GREAT reads here.
All Shall Be Well: Awakening to God's Presence in his Messy, Abundant World (by Catherine McNeil)
I like Catherine's writing style. It's comforting and comfortable. Plus THIS cover! In these essays she reminds us to pay attention to the world around us. We all need reminding of that.
Evangelicals Adrift: Supplanting Scripture with Sacramentalism (by Matthew Ferris)
Matt and I converse on Twitter. When he told me about his book I was grateful to get a chance to read it. He reminds Evangelicals we play an important part in church history too, and makes a strong argument for sola scriptura.
The Louder Song: Listening for Hope in the Midst of Lament (by Aubrey Sampson)
I've long been looking for a book on the biblical concept of lament. I think it's largely missing from our society. This book explores what it is and how it helps. So good!
Surprised by Paradox: The Promise of "And" in an Either-Or World (by Jen Pollock Michel)
What a great book! If we examine our faith at all we'll realize there are a lot of paradoxes. Jen takes a close look at several. This book points out the mystery of faith, how we can't figure it all out completely, and that's more than OK.
How the Body of Christ Talks: Recovering the Practice of Conversation in the Church (by Christopher Smith)
This book is part of an ongoing conversation the author has started about being in church community. His book, Reading for the Common Good, looks at how to read corporately in a church setting. Chris's church is actually practicing these things he's writing about, which makes it especially meaningful.
From Risk to Resilience: How Empowering Young Women Can Change Everything (by Jenny Rae Armstrong)
I thought I knew the basic premise of this book but was blown away by the threads this author found between young women around the world. What we teach our daughters here has an influence on how women around the world are treated. Full of statistics, stories and ideas. What a helpful read.
How to Human: An Incomplete Manual for Living in a Messed-up World (by Alice Connor)
This title caught my attention immediately. How to human. That's what we're missing. Alice writes about her own experiences working with college students in campus outreach. The stories will make you smile and cry. Readers will be reminded (and learn) how we can love and respect others even when we're different. She's a great storyteller.
Holy Disunity: How What Separates Us Can Save Us (by Layton E. Williams) OUT 10/8!
The whole time I read this one I kept thinking it would partner well with the book above. In a world where our differences seem to be highlighted, we have to learn how to live in that tension. That very term was used in this book. With a focus on church, and lots of biblical examples, Layton helps us make sense of holy disunity. A helpful read.
The Cross & The Stag: The Incredible Adventures of St. Eustathius (by Gabriel Wilson)
Even better than my opinion, I'll tell you my daughter saw this book on the mail pile, took it to her room and read it in from cover to cover. She liked the illustrations and has read it a couple more times since then. It's a great read for upper elementary/middle school kids. Oh, and I learned a lot and liked it too!
Light From Distant Stars (by Shawn Smucker)
I've read all of Shawn's books and always look forward to the next one. This one had two of my favorite things; church and baseball. The plot twists make it a page turner. I highly recommend this one or any of his books.
Stars of Alabama (by Sean Dietrich)
The kind of descriptive writing you'd expect from Sean of the South. He did his homework too, as this novel takes place during the Great Depression. The novel weaves in and out of various character's lives. It's amazing seeing the ways they connect.
Christmas in the Four Gospel Homes: An Advent Study (by Dr. Cynthia Campbell)
I'm looking for an Advent study to use in Bible study this December and that's when I came across this brand new one. Looking at each Gospel account of the birth of Jesus, or the effect of his incarnation on the book, Campbell walks readers through Advent. A very creative take for something different in your small group.
My Dearest Dietrich (by Amanda Barratt)
I've long been interested in the life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and when I saw this biography about his relationship with Maria von Wedemeyer (if one could call their brief time together a relationship) I wanted to start reading right away. It's a true story brought to life in vivid color, told from books and personal letters. What a journey. What a couple. I enjoyed this one immensely!
I received a copy of "The Louder Song," "Surprised by Paradox," "How the Body of Christ Talks," "From Risk to Resilience," "Stars of Alabama," and "Christmas in the Four Gospel Homes" from NetGalley for the purpose of generating a review. I received a copy of "The Cross & The Stag" from the publisher, Ancient Faith Ministries, for the purpose of generating a review. I received a copy of "Evangelicals Adrift," "All Shall Be Well," "How to Human," "Holy Disunity," "Light From Distant Stars" and "My Dearest Dietrich" from the author for being on his or her launch team. The opinions expressed here are my own.