The official day of “fall” is coming up, and in my book, that means an instinctive urge to crunch on sweet apples, make yummy dishes like curry butternut squash soup and my Mom’s ginger molasses snaps, drink hot apple cider and pumpkin spice lattes, go shopping and be inspired, and of course, read good books.
Though I am out here in Phoenix with my sister, and the hot, dry weather does not exactly conjure up that “tingle” in slightly snippy air, I am discovering some great reads. This is mostly due to the fact that when the kids take their “rest-time,” I NEED my own rest-time 🙂
So, here is a list of some of my favorite 2010 reads that I think you may enjoy, as well as a handful of books I am currently reading:
The Kalahari Typing School for Men
Alexander McCall Smith
The fourth installment in a series called “The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency,” this book is just as addicting as the first, second and third! Smith has created a witty series about a local woman from Botswana who receives a large inheritance after her father passes away and decides to set up her own detective agency in town. Each book provides mysterious “cases” of how she helps her fellow people to solve their personal, and often private mysteries. Not only do the stories, themes, dialogue, jokes, cinematography, and music resonate in my own heart after living in Kenya for a year, but the main character, Precious Ramotswe, provides a refreshing perspective of a single working professional woman in another country that I have never had before. I highly recommend this series to other ladies in particular.
A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World
Paul E. Miller
There aren’t many spiritual books that I have read in my lifetime where I came away thinking, “Wow, this book has changed my life.” Well, A Praying Life is one of those special few. Never in my life have I read a book so helpful, practical, and uplifting for my soul. Miller sets out both biblical and theologically sound arguments for all the ‘W”s of prayer: Who, What, When, Where, Why and How. He uses personal examples. He provides simple testimonies of answers to prayer. And, I have truly benefited from applying this book to my personal, daily prayer life. It will definitely be on my list to read at least every other year.
It’s no surprise that “The Help” is the #1 New York Times Bestseller! Stockett must have surprised her readers (and herself) by being a first-time author, but she has no trouble setting the stage for a wonderful, ‘down-South’ story that follows the lives of three women (black, white, old, young, respected, shunned, privileged, poor, etc.) who couldn’t be more different than the way Southerners & Northerners each make their own BBQ and cornbread. I’m only on page 97 of 451, but am thoroughly soaking up each chapter…if you want a “feel-good” book in which you really get to know characters, their lives, and how people overcome racial injustices, you’ll want to pick this one up. It’s not only easy to read before you go to bed :), but it will make you laugh out LOUD! (My Mom attests to that.)
“The Best of A.W. Tozer”
Compiled by Warren Wiersbe
No one can compare to C.S. Lewis. But, when I read Tozer, it’s like tasting a new, inspiring variation of some type of comfort food. Ok, so that’s a bad metaphor, but I can’t think of another one at the moment 🙂 This year, I read my first book by Tozer called “The Knowledge of the Holy.” It is all about various attributes of God’s character, and how we as humans should respond to the knowledge of those attributes, both in awe and and gratefulness and obedience. This book contains excerpts from The Knowledge of the Holy, as well as The Pursuit of God, God’s Pursuit of Man, How to Be Filled with the Holy Spirit, I Talk Back to the Devil, Who Put Jesus on the Cross? and others! It is a rich collection, and one that keeps me on my toes through a combination of theology, philosophy, logic, and apologetic’s. Each excerpt is also perfect for a short devotional time, usually being being two and three pages max.
“The Path of Loneliness”
Let’s face it. We ALL feel lonely at various points in our life, and through various seasons of trials and difficult circumstances. As I continue to walk through the process of re-entry back to America, and wade through a season of many unknowns, Elliot provides a very encouraging perspective in this book. She herself faced incredible sorrow in her life, losing multiple husbands and being made a widow multiple times. Ultimately, I think this book is helping me realize that I am made for one, perfect, all-satisfying relationship alone, and that is with Jesus Christ. So, whether you are single, married, widowed, divorced, a young mother, an empty-nest mother, or just feeling a bit lonely in life these days, I would encourage you to pick up this book and allow Elliot’s godly and inspiring perspective refresh your soul. Here is a quote from one of the earlier chapters:
“It is here (in loneliness), where we happen to be at this moment and not in another place or another time, that we may learn to love Him – here where it seems He is not at work, where His will seems obscure or frightening, where He is not doing what we expected Him to do, where He is most absent. Here and nowhere else is the appointed place. If faithd oes not go to work here, it will not go to work at all.”
READ THIS YEAR
You may also enjoy reading…
1. All of Grace, Spurgeon
2. Gift from the Sea, Anne Morrow Lindbergh
3. Stolen Lives: Twenty Years in a Desert Jail, Malika Oufkir
4. The Ishbane Conspiracy, Alcorn
5. Instrument in the Redeemer’s Hands, Paul Tripp
6. All Things for Good, Thomas Watson
7. Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell
8. Death in the Garden, Elizabeth Ironside
9. My Life in France, Julia Child
10. Grug: Ideas for an Urban, Organic Kitchen, Anna Lappe