What's On My Shelf (Nov 2022)
As we enter the winter season of cozy reading, we're trading the fresh breeze with a scent of grass clippings for warmth drifting from the register (and the faintest scent of dust) while we watch the snowflakes fall.
Here's what's been on my shelf the last while. Some were seminary readings and other for personal interests and enjoyment. I hope you find something interesting in this list.
You can also check out previous shelves here.
Also, if you're there, find me on Goodreads! (or, consider joining! It's social media for book lovers).
For the Mission History Lover
Inland! A Brief Account of AIM Ministry in East Africa 1970-2020 by Colin McDougall
This is a short history of Africa Inland Mission, written particularly to help understand how the mission began and how those founding values have endured through the culture of the mission until now. Having worked with AIM this was a very insightful. If you've worked in East Africa with AIM this will be an easier read, if not, you'll want to read this with maps beside you. I really enjoyed this and am so glad Colin put it together! (5 stars)
To Equip Your Christian Living
* Embracing Complementarianism: Turning Biblical Convictions into Positive Church Culture by Graham Beynon & Jane Tooher
This one is primarily written for church leaders, to help provide a biblical foundation for church roles and some practical tips for leading. It's also helpful for anyone who wants to learn more about a complementarian conviction and how God has created us equal and distinct. Read my longer review here. (4 stars)
* God Shines Forth: How the Nature of God Shapes and Drives the Mission of the Church by Daniel Hames & Michael Reeves
This work gives us a vision for the Christian life that delights in God, and how this delight is the fuel for the mission. He addresses reasons why evangelism is difficult for many believers and how returning to revel in the glory of God helps guide our heart and our actions. Your heart will be enriched as you learn to gaze once again upon our Lord! (4 stars)
For the Story Lover
* The Lost Melody by Joanna Davison Politano
After her father's death, Vivienne, a young pianist finally has the ability to choose what comes next in her future. Her heart's desire is to make a difference in the lives of women who've been abused and neglected. She expects a proposal from her best friend from childhood, but a mystery unfolds first. Receipts made to an asylum, indicating the care of a ward there, whom she knows nothing about. Her curiosity will get the better of her.
Enter into the story of a woman who is simply looking for answers, but will find herself in a heap more trouble than she ever imagined. Your toes will curl, you'll feel disgruntled, and you'll discover how she finds friendship in the unlikeliest of places. Her story will challenge you to find your purpose and calling exactly where you are. (5 stars)
The Sheriffs of Savage Wells by Sarah Eden
A few confessions: I read this series backwards, it's a clean read but not faith-based, and yes I try to pick up stories in different genres, including westerns apparently :) Paisley Bell temporarily takes on the job of sheriff while the community searches for a permanent one. She loves the work and her community, she's good at it, and she needs the money to care for her aging father. But she can't compete with a legend. I enjoyed it. (5 stars)
* A Cry in the Dark by Jessica Patch
This is a sequel to Her Darkest Secret. The same FBI team is now sent to the mountains to investigate the heinous murder of young women found in a cave. The story focuses on Violet, the team's profiler, her background and traumatic history surrounding her birth.
There's a distinct Criminal Minds feel to her stories, with dark and creepy vibes, which may not be for everyone. However, it effectively highlights the need for the Gospel and a Savior in their darkest moments. (5 stars)
For the Content Consumer
How to Take Smart Notes: One Simple Technique to Boost Writing, Learning and Thinking by Sonke Ahrens
As a consumer of content, I’ve highlighted, saved, reviewed and written from a variety of topics. But I’ve never had a cohesive workflow or process to go from reading, to processing, to writing.
Enter the Zettlekasten Method of note-taking.
I’ll admit it’s a bit overwhelming at first. I took a week to read and understand articles about it, to read this book, and to nervously start playing with this method. So far, what I can tell you is, it’s a lot of work when you get started, but I can already start to see the benefits in generating content ideas and discovering connections in thoughts and ideas. I’m using Roam Research as my digital slipbox.
This book won’t outline the process for you, there’s a lot of good articles on the web to give you a step-by-step guide (once I'm more fluent I may also put one together), but you’ll find really helpful principles for note-taking and writing in this book. So I do recommend it generally for that. It's a book I wish I'd come across 10 years ago. (5 stars)
For the Leader
Bearing the Unbearable: Trauma, Gospel and Pastoral Care by Deborah van Deusen Hunsinger
This book teaches how to apply the restorative power of the Gospel to those who've suffered past trauma. For the pastor, the lay leader, the small group leader and Christian counsellor, you'll find both foundational principles and practical strategies to walk alongside others. She utilizes secular research but strongly applies the Gospel. (5 stars)
When God & Science Meet: Surprising Discoveries of Agreement
If you are a Christian working in the sciences, you will find these articles edifying as the authors share how their faith intersects with their studies, research and applications.
If you are a pastor or involved in shepherding, please read this! Many evangelical Christians don't know what to do with science and while these articles don't present a robust framework for integrating theology and science, they do share how a Christian worldview integrates with their work in a variety of fields of study.
As a nurse, this was enjoyable to read. (5 stars)
*denotes books I've received from Netgalley and/or the publisher with the opportunity to post an honest review.