Books I Read in ’18

Why do you care what books I read? I don’t know, but I’m thinking some people are like me and work on recommendations.

Did you ever wonder why there wasn’t a rating system for books, though? I do. Especially when I want to suggest a good read for my young teenage daughter! Is it R? PG-13? G? Who knows? Hey, maybe now I have my idea for Shark Tank.

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These are random old books I did not read. Kindle makes it really hard to take artistic photos of books you did read.

Anyways, here are a few books I read in 2018:

  • A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23 by W. Phillip Keller: I just can’t say enough good things about this book. It resonated with everything I appreciate in a book that is geared towards inviting me closer to God and growth in my walk with Jesus. I gave it to lots of people at Christmas. And, it’s really cheap and short so you have no excuse to not read it.
  • Paul and Gender by Cynthia Long Westfall: This is a graduate level academic kind of book and it really challenged me. It shone some light on big issues within the church regarding the interpretation of certain passages on men and women. I’m still pondering it and figuring out what it means for my daily life. But, I believe it is an important read no matter where you fall on the Complementarian/ Egalitarian spectrum.
  • The Guernsey and Literary Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer: This was a delightful read. Laughter, tears, sorrow, and joy. I thoroughly enjoyed it and the letter format employed. I loved imagining the scenes referred to in part in letters. Pick this up when you need to unwind and relax. It’s a good one. In writing this post, I discovered the author died before publication. She never lived to see the success of the truly wonderful story she created.
  • My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry by Backman: Well, I love this author and he delivered again in this thought-provoking book about how we see life and the people we love. It’s also about courage to face our fears and the freedom it brings. Oh, and it will make you laugh and cry which are the marks of truly great books, in my opinion.
  • The Stand by Stephen King: I can’t recommend this one. It is definitely rated R and it disturbed my sleep. Reading this was a huge break from my normal selections and I’m not sure I’ll read any more of Stephen King’s books. The surprising thing about this book (the reason I’m even telling you I read it!) is that he understands sin, righteousness, punishment, and grace and brings it to very vivid life. Sin is evil and he understands it in the mild forms we often pass over, and also in the trajectory evil takes. It is chilling and too horrifically true. The only positive thing I can say about seeing that is that Jesus and His Way stands out. King also brings to life right things. Things as they should be and the constant push and pull we experience as humans choosing between the two. Stephen King knows his Bible really well. I found that really interesting. I still recommend his book On Writing. 
  • Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult: This was a thought-provoking read on race, racism, and how it looks today. It’s a primer on the issues of modern-day racism and white supremacy in a fictional story. If you want to delve into these issues, this book is a good step into the shallow end.
  • The Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance: I enjoyed this memoir about Vance’s life. It is thoughtful and brings to attention a section of society that doesn’t often get  highlighted. It resonates with my idea that most people we meet are culturally different from us in some way even if they are citizens of our own nation. And, that we often share cultural similarities across different socio-economic realities. It’s a good read and doesn’t feel too academic.

So, what will I read in 2019? I’m not sure. My friend put up some good books on a recent post. I like to work on recommendations!

I’ll also be reading numerous academic books in preparation for 3 or 4 seminary minimesters this summer. Pray for me! Ha. I guess I should read some more fiction before I get swallowed up by footnotes.

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