Truth be told, my stack of #books isn't on one shelf. It's actually a collection of piles, scattered across my desk, nightstand and kitchen cabinet (and a few random overflow locations that my husband wishes he could avoid)... oh, and on my iPad.
Always having enjoyed reading, I found myself sticking to categories that I was most comfortable with. Last year I discovered the #vtreadingchallenge from a friend, and it has really challenged the broadness of what I read. It helped me begin engaging in books that I normally wouldn't pick up, like biographies or church history. Mortimer Adler writes* "Good books are over your head; they would not be good for you if they were not." What we read influences how we think, which helps us to better engage with what we believe, and with the world around us.
So, I share with you some of the books I have read this year, in case something will catch your eye!
The True Story of Canadian Human Trafficking by Paul Boge. This book was honestly, a hard read. Yet, just because it was hard, doesn't mean it shouldn't be read. This book is written in an excellent way that informs you about human trafficking from a variety of perspectives. It tells the story of Joy Smith -an MP in the Canadian government- as her and her team work to get Bill C-268 into law (minimum sentencing for those found guilty of human trafficking), it tells the story of a girl who was trafficked and also provides the perspective of a john. I learned a lot, I grieved a lot. I am grateful for the Joy Smith Foundation and the work they are doing to both bring an end to human trafficking and help girls heal from the trauma of their experiences.
2,000 Years of Christ’s Power: Volume 1 The Age of the Early Church Fathers by Nick Needham. We are studying medieval history in our homeschool this year, and I found this collection of church history. It was super helpful to reinforce what we were studying, and help me think about the life of the early church and how the Christian faith was shaped in the early years. Next I'll move onto Volume 2 :)
Destroyer of the Gods: Early Christian Distinctiveness in the Roman World by Larry Hurtado. I really enjoyed this book! I feel like in the year 2019, we have a difficult time understanding what life was like in the first century, and how faith in Jesus caused people's lives to be so different. This book helps to show the drastically different life that Christians lived compared to their pagan neighbours, and the challenge that it was to do live different.
Sola: How the Five Solas Are Still Reforming the Church by Jason Allen.
The five Latin phrases (Sola scriptura, sola fide, sola gratia, sola christus, sola deo gloria) that marked the Reformation have an influence on us today. These are five essays on each Sola that help us see the relevance and importance of the Reformation on our faith today.
Family Worship by Donald Whitney. This was a simple read on how family worship is seen in scripture, in history and practically in our homes. Sing. Read. Pray. A great encouragement and challenge as we lead our families.
Unashamed: Healing our Brokenness and Finding Freedom From Shame by Heather Davis Nelson. This book provides a biblical perspective on shame. "shame: It’s the feeling of “not good enough,” according to our own standard or our perception of someone else’s standard for us. It’s what keeps us from being honest about our struggles, sins, and less-than-perfect moments." If you have read anything by Brene Brown, this book references her research, but Heather brings us directly to Gospel truths: "Through union with Christ you are clothed with honor rather than shame, made part of a community to which you will always belong, and given a kingdom that cannot be taken away." I want to say we all struggle with shame in some way, so I recommend it!
The Gospel Comes With A House Key: Practicing Radical Ordinary Hospitality in Our Post Christian World by Rosaria Butterfield. The example of this woman's hospitality is inspiring to me! A life devoted to serving those around her in community. I was blessed to hear her story and her encouragement for the church to continue to gather around the table and bless both the bellies and hearts of those around us.
Sing! How Worship Transforms Your Life, Family, and Church by Keith Getty. When we lived in Africa, singing was not a stigma. It was loud, it was unabandoned, it was often without instruments. Entering back into the west, it seems we can be fearful of our own voices, as if we have to be a trained musician to let our voices grace the air. Getty encourages us that we are created to, commanded to and compelled to SING! So he asks, will you sing?
Invitations From God: Accepting God’s Offer to Rest, Weep, Forgive, Wait, Remember and More by Adele Calhoun. God invites us to participate in our spiritual growth, and it is most often a difficult choice for us, as it leads us into places of our healing that we often don't want to go. The beauty of the invitation is that God is with us and His Spirit continues to transform us as we move together with Him. I gave it 5 stars, and it's a book I will likely return to often.
Lost Girls of Paris by Pam Jenhoff. Inspired by true events, the story is set during the second world war, as a group of women are trained as radio operators and sent behind enemy lines.
Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline. Another historical fiction set in America, as a teenage girl and elderly woman develop a friendship and discover stories from each other's past.
Just for Fun
I’d Rather Be Reading: The Dilemmas and Delights of the Reading Life by Anne Bogel. I had to put this one in because it made me laugh, a lot. If you aren't a reader, you likely won't enjoy it as much, but if you are, it is like you have found a long lost friend who relates completely to your bookish quirks.
What have you been reading lately??