Oh, August. The month when school starts back, the temperature takes a tiny chill pill, and apparently I have more time for reading (which probably has something to do with the whole back-to-school, all-my-babies-have-left-me-during-the-week-for-the-classroom thing).
As my schedule opened up so have my bookshelves. The following are the books that filled most of my free time last month.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince – J. K. Rowling
Contrary to Order of the Phoenix, Half-Blood Prince sucked me in right away and I devoured this one. It’s currently tied as my favorite book in the series (with Prisoner of Azkaban) and I loved every excruciating and beautiful moment of this one.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – J. K. Rowling
“I open at the close.” I read this in less than 72 hours, finishing the series at midnight. Final verdict: it’s as good as everyone says. So beautiful, so pro-life, so pro-redemption, so pro-bringing-Sophie-to-tears.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – J. K. Rowling
Okay, I’m just going to say it: I didn’t love this. I didn’t hate it either, and I’m glad I read it, but it definitely wasn’t up to par with the original series. I did, however, love that Ginny was the sports editor for The Daily Prophet. Solidarity, sister.
Greater than Gold – David Boudia
After watching this interview, I was an instant fan of David Boudia and Steele Johnson who use their platform (literally) to honor the real Champion. I read this book in one night during the Olympics and enjoyed it. I will confess I found David a bit preachy at times, but he was 10 out of 10 for theology. (Additional thoughts: this would be a great book for someone investigating Christianity as it is nonthreatening but grounded in the real Gospel.) Here’s the super encouraging book trailer.
None Like Him – Jen Wilkin
It’s no secret that Jen Wilkin is one of my favorite people and it’s no secret that this book is great. John Calvin said, “True wisdom consists in two things: Knowledge of God and Knowledge of Self.” In None Like Him, J. Wilk helps us fight for true wisdom by equipping us with an overview of 10 of God’s attributes and how He differs from us. It reminds me of A. W. Tozer’s Knowledge of the Holy, though not as deep. My only complaint: the book didn’t show as much of Jen’s personality as Women of the Word (that being said, I realize the topic didn’t lend itself to such as did her first book).
Blind Spots – Collin Hansen
If you’ve been in the church longer than six months, you should read this book. The longer you’ve been in the church the more you should read this book. I share more about the book and some of my favorite quotes from it here.
Live Like a Narnian: Christian Discipleship in Lewis’s Chronicles – Joe Rigney
Brilliant. This book is brilliant. It’s beautifully unfolds parts of C. S. Lewis’s classic chronicles and highlights discipleship throughout. It’s rich and beautiful and, if you love Narnia, this book should be on your shelf. I will certainly return to it often, especially before and after each reading of Narnia.
Northanger Abbey – Jane Austen
Published posthumously, Northanger Abbey is one of Jane’s best. It was on my list to read last year before going to Bath (the setting for a large portion of the book [you can check out photos from our trip to Bath on my best friend’s blog here and photos encapsulating our whole trip to England on my blog here, here, and here]), but I loved reading it (well, *listening* to it during a road trip) afterward because I could picture things so much better. I’m a fan of all things Jane (here are photos from our time at her house museum) and this was definitely one of my favorite Austen stories as it contrasts fiction and reality. One of my favorite parts of the book is a quote from the narrator in the last chapter as she considers, in light of the past, on the current status of the heroine and her husband: “I know no one more entitled, by unpretending merit, or better prepared by habitual suffering, to receive and enjoy felicity.” Lesson: Joy is sweeter after suffering. The resurrection is spectacular because it is preceded by death.