Booklist, May 2016

I didn’t originally plan to update my reading list every month, but when I realized I read almost as many books in May as I did in the first four months of the year combined, I decided to go on and write part two of my 2016 booklist series. May was a productive reading month for me, and I am loving this challenge. I find myself reading a chapter even when I only have a few minutes of downtime, where I had gotten into the habit of just wasting time on my phone. Here are the books I added to my list in May, listed in the order they appear on the challenge list:

1. A mystery or detective novel: The Nine Tailors, by Dorothy L. Sayers. This came in the mail with our school curriculum for next year, and it will be one of Abigail’s books. I’ve always heard how great Ms. Sayers’s books are but hadn’t read one, so I decided to preview this one. It did not disappoint. Written in 1934, the language sometimes requires close concentration, but I totally would never have guessed the ending.

2. A novel set in a country that is not your own: Before Green Gables, by Budge Wilson. This is a prequel to the Anne of Green Gables series and tells Anne’s story from birth to the moment she steps off the train in Bright Rivers, awaiting Matthew Cuthbert and her future. I was unsure at first, doubting someone else could do justice to Lucy Maud Montgomery’s masterpiece, but, again, this did not disappoint. If you love Anne, check this one out. She holds true to the beauty and spirit of the original series and my daughters and I all loved it.

3. A book whose title comes from a Bible verse: Nothing is Impossible with God, by Rose Marie Miller. My husband brought me this one, and it was incredibly timely. God is calling me out into some deeper waters, and I have felt extremely weak and inadequate. Her honesty about her own weakness and what God taught her and how He worked through her was like a life preserver for me, reminding me that the God who showed His power in her life is the same God calling me. If you are feeling weak, look for this one.

4. A book about relationships or friendship: Getting to the Heart of Friendships, by Amy Baker. I read this one on vacation. I have been so grateful for the friendships in my life that continually point me back to Christ, for friends that pray with me on the phone and in the car and during a walk and at the playground. This book takes several personalities that can be toxic in friendships and shows how Christ can transform those personalities and create real and lasting and genuine friendships. I saw myself in more of the toxic descriptions than I like to admit. Challenging and hopeful at the same time.

5. A book by your favorite author: Discipine, the Glad Surrender, by Elisabeth Elliot. I’ve read it before but it’s been a very long time. She pulls no punches, tells it like it is, and very rarely misses. I especially loved the chapter entitled The Discipline of Place, which reminds us all that we ought not think of ourselves more highly than we are and we are to give honor to whom honor is due. That chapter alone should be on the required reading list of everyone who claims to be a Christian.

6. A book you have read before: Hind’s Feet on High Places, by Hannah Hurnard. I actually finished this one in February but forgot to include it on that list. I have read it before and I will read it again. This time I read it with my kids. I know they couldn’t appreciate all of the meaning, but I think they grasped some of the bigger symbolism. This is the one I go to again and again when I am feeling very Much Afraid.

7. A book about leadership: Women Leading Women, by Jaye Martin and Terri Stovall. I was excited to read this one since I find myself in more of a leadership position these days. It did have many good principles, but I found myself disappointed by the lack of application to small churches like ours. Most of it talked about teams and staff members and numbers that we just don’t have. I would love to see a similar book written for the small church who has one staff member–senior pastor–and a small handful of ladies who want to grow in the Lord. 

8. A book about adoption: After They Are Yours, by Brian Borgman. I love these books published by Cruciform Press. They are all just about 100 pages but pack so much into those pages. This one tells the story of a family who adopted and the challenges they faced in the years afterward. Adjustment, behavior issues, emotions all over the place–raw honesty about how hard it was and how the grace of God was ever present. Strongly recommend this one for anyone who has adopted.

Nineteen books down in five months. That puts me almost at the Committed Reader level. I would love to stay on this pace, which is one book a week. We’ll see, but even if I get behind again, I still love this challenge! Last year at this point I had read 9 or 10, so it is definitely increasing my reading time! If you want to jump in, print it off here.

Even if you’re not doing the challenge, comment here and share what you’ve been reading lately! I still have a lot of categories to fill and will need some suggestions!

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