April 2020 brought with it a wave of unexpected craziness.
It was full of pandemics and precautions, hurts and heaviness, smiles and sorrows. It was also the first full month I haven’t had employment in more than eight years. This made room for a lot of things, including a lot of reading.
Here are the books I consumed last month:
Becoming C. S. Lewis (1898–1918), Volume 1: A Biography of Young Jack Lewis by Harry Lee Poe
Very academic and facts-driven. I think I was expecting more of a story? It was good but I believe you have to really, really, really love C. S. Lewis to get through it. I was also surprised at how much sexual references/content Crossway allowed in the book regarding his adolescent years. I understand he wasn’t a believer then, but the detail definitely took me by surprise and I didn’t really love that.
The Pastor and Counseling: The Basics of Shepherding Members in Need by Jeremy Pierre and Deepak Reju
I read this in one sitting. It’s wonderful and helpful for all believers, not just pastors (though, I imagine, especially [and appropriately] helpful for them).
Jesus Keep Me Near the Cross: Experiencing the Passion and Power of Easter edited by Nancy Guthrie
We read this leading up to Resurrection Day and it was excellent in every way. Short, daily readings from various writers/pastors throughout history. Her Advent book is one of my favorites and her Easter one did not disappoint. I highly recommend reading this—and don’t wait until next Easter. Start this week. It will fuel your heart and stir your affections for the Lord.
Enough About Me: Find Lasting Joy in the Age of Self by Jen Oshman
My friend Jen knocked this out of the park. This book is so incredibly needed and necessary. Fun, convicting, challenging, and drenched with the Gospel, this is a winner. Buy it and read it with all the women you know. It will be helpful and challenging and give grounds for great conversations.
Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy: Discovering the Grace of Lament by Mark Vroegop
This was my second or third read through of this book and it was just as helpful as the first time. Another necessary book for a church culture that is typically ill-equipped to both walk with others through grief and to walk their own heart through grief.
On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King
I’ve said for the longest time that I always want to be reading a book about counseling and a book about writing. This was April’s writing book. It was weird. And also helpful.
Gentle and Lowly: The Heart of Christ for Sinners and Sufferers by Dane Ortlund
One of the most helpful and freeing books I have ever read. Someone called it “liquid grace for a parched heart” and I concur to the nth degree. Buy this book. Buy it and read it and read it again and then buy it for others and read it with them. Oh my goodness. The best, most helpful book I’ve read in a very, very long time.
A Christ-Centered Wedding: Rejoicing in the Gospel on Your Big Day by Catherine Parks and Linda Strode
One of my beautiful bridesmaids mailed this to me and I read it in a day. It is SO GOOD. If you or a believer you know is recently engaged and/or planning a wedding this is tremendously helpful and beautifully Christ-centered (they did a good job with the title).
Rainbow Valley (Anne of Green Gables, No. 7) by L.M. Montgomery
Oh, Anne. Book seven was different from all the others in content but I enjoyed some bright fiction. Only one more book to go in the series. If you haven’t read the first Anne of Green Gables, do it. Ah! It’s so good.
The Storm-Tossed Family: How the Cross Reshapes the Home by Russell Moore
This was my second reading of this book and I think I got more out of it this time than the last. I read this for the first time in 2018 and I’m not sure Drew and I were even dating yet. As we prepare for marriage, this book was so helpful and full of timely and practical encouragement and wisdom. I highly recommend this for anyone at any point in their lives/relationships. It will help your own heart and equip you to counsel and serve others better.
2 comments on “April Reads”
Thanks for the book update, I definitely will have to check out the Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy and the Ortlund book. Also, thank you for the comments on the new Lewis biography, I was wondering if Poe would tackle those events. I have several on Lewis, but keep debating about ordering this new one. Thanks again!
Thank you so much for your book recommendations. You are always reading and it’s helpful to know what’s out there and what has helped you!