We’re halfway through March.
I’m not exactly sure how that happened. It feels like yesterday was the (welcomed) end of January and then we blinked and here we are practically ready to deck the halls with boughs of holly all over again.
Maybe that was too far.
Anyway, for my own records and for anyone interested, here’s the books I read and listened to last month.
Suffering: Gospel Hope When Life Doesn’t Make Sense by Paul Tripp
This was such an excellent Christ-centered book on suffering. And by that I mean it was about suffering but it really wasn’t, and that’s what made it so darn good. This is an incredibly helpful book to read and give at any time, but especially in a dark season as it doesn’t compound the hurt by focusing on it, but by drawing our attention to something greater: the Gospel that is our hope and life.
The Flight Girls: A Novel by Noelle Salazar
I thoroughly enjoyed this historical fiction novel. Unlike books like Boys in the Boat, this wasn’t as fact driven. But, following the fictional story line, the historical information of the book was conveyed and engaging. It was an emotional read but a good one. Peep this sweet quote (I could have written this about my own independent heart):
“I hadn’t wanted to be tied to a man, having always considered it a limiting life, a life of dependency and neediness. I didn’t want to need anybody but myself. I didn’t want to count on anybody but me. As I looked up at the man before me, however, I knew needing him and depending on him would never limit me, it would only set me free.”
Peace Like a River by Leif Enger
It took me a long time to read this and a long time to get into it once I started. It was almost too beautiful and eloquent for me? I feel like that admittance might get me put on blast by my fellow evangelicals who love this book so dearly, but it really wasn’t my favorite. Chalk it up to different strokes and all that.
Our Harlem: Seven Days of Cooking, Music and Soul at the Red Rooster by Marcus Samuelsson
I did, however, really enjoy this audio documentary. I love cooking and recipes and the stories behind food and dishes and this was so refreshing. It was historical and fun and definitely made me want to book a plane to Harlem as soon as possible to go eat at the Red Rooster and experience the community they share.
The Christ-Centered Exposition Commentaries are some of the best out there. I love them so much and I really, really, really, loved this one and using it while teaching through Ephesians with a group of ladies. What gifts of grace are found in this book that helps us find even deeper treasures in Ephesians. Grateful.
Alone with the Stars by David Gillham
Returning to this book was like returning to your pillow at the end of a grueling day. It is unbelievably practical and helpful and filled to the brim with Gospel guidance in ministering to our own hearts and those of others who are walking through the darkness of depression. I am so grateful for Charles Spurgeon’s and Zack Eswine’s life and words and for the Lord who has seen fit to share them with us. Buy this book for everyone you know, including yourself.
The Light Over London by Julia Kelly
I really enjoyed Flight Girls (see above) but this one was not my favorite. I wanted The Light Over London to be as good as Flight Girls and it just wasn’t. It wasn’t nearly (!) as historically-driven as I wanted and it was too romance-y for my taste and expectations for the book. It was well-written, just not my favorite.
Awe: Why It Matters for Everything We Think, Say, and Do by Paul Tripp
This book is a gift. I’ve re-read this more than almost any other book I own. I’ve listened to it three times on Audible (it’s an excellent listen), and I’m profoundly grateful for its practicality and Gospel-drenchedness (new word, you’re welcome). In our women’s gathering at church this week, we gave three of these books out as door prizes. That’s how much we value this message and the heart behind it. Read this.
John Calvin: A Heart for Devotion, Doctrine, & Doxology edited by Burk Parsons
I loved this book. Regardless of where you stand theologically, you would be benefited and helped by this absolute jewel. This was probably my favorite book of February. Maybe of the year. So helpful, practical, and dense. I loved every bit.
“It is necessary always to begin with this principle—to know the God whom we worship.” -John Calvin