May was the month for audio books.
Road trips and lots of cleaning and cooking created space for a lot of listening time, which was then filled with music, sermons, and, um, five audio books. #nerd.
“Real life is more important than books. It’s living the Christian life that matters; books exist to serve life, and the only books worth writing are those that emerge from a life that is awake, alert, and engaged with real people.”
-Joe Rigney, Lewis on the Christian life
Here’s my eclectic reading (and listening) list:
The Holiness of God by R.C. Sproul
It was my first time reading this classic and it’s one of the best books I’ve ever read. If you haven’t, read it. I’ll be re-reading soon.
Lost in Shangri-La by Mitchell Zuckoff
Lost in Shangri-La is the previously untold story of a US plane crash in the South Pacific during World War II. Former Boston Globe reporter Mitchell Zuckoff writes in an engaging and inspiring manner as he gives another testament to the resilience of the human spirit and what transpired to give Americans freedom.
This was like aloe for a sunburned heart. As one who not only has been jarred by the dark waters of depression and wants to serve others struggling with the grim beast, this book was a gift wrapped in sunshine and cobweb-killing heart medicine. If you are prone to depression or know someone who does, read this.
The Art of Memoir by Mary Karr
One of my goals for the year was/is to read more about writing. This was part of accomplishing that goal. My overall takeaway from the book: tell the truth. It’s sad we need a book to tell us that. I liked hearing Karr’s story woven into the book but I wouldn’t read it again.
Jonathan Edwards: America’s Genius by Christian Timothy George
A good introduction to Johnny E. A really quick listen; perfect for a road trip with kids.
Sincerely, John the Ghost by John O’Callaghan
John O’Callaghan is the frontman for The Maine and this is his book of poetry and lyrics. It’s filled with depth, raw emotion, and a plethora of starting points for good questions and lyrical analysis (which I love).
I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai
I remember hearing about a Pakistani girl being shot on a bus in 2012, but never knew the full story. It was an interesting read (listen) that exposed how often I have taken education and freedom for granted.
Music and Worship by Bryan Chapell
Loved this little book (which was more like a pamphlet than a book). I couldn’t find a link, but I highly recommend it. Spoiler: He takes the reader back to Scripture and pursuing the glory of God at every turn.
How to Find Love in a Bookshop by Veronica Henry
On top of working sometimes 15+ hour days, I’m reading several deeply theological books that are taking a long time to read and process, so I found myself desperate for books that didn’t require a lot of brainpower. Meaning, I turned to fiction.
How to Find Love in a Bookshop probably wouldn’t make the top-10 at the book Olympics but it did the job of giving me a sweet-though-complex book escape. One of my favorite quotes from Henry’s work:
“Books are more precious than jewels. She truly believed this. What did a diamond bring you? A momentary flash of brilliance. A diamond scintillated for second; a book could scintillate forever.”
The Austen Escape by Katherine Reay
Katherine Reay is one of my favorite fiction writers as she takes classic literature and weaves their plots into modern-day stories. If you know me, you know I love Jane Austen and this was exactly what my tired brain needed to take a mental vacation and relax.