Book Recommendations

It’s always hard to find books that are worth the time and effort to read which is one of the primary reasons that I’m always looking for recommendations when trying to decide what to read next. Here are several books that I’ve read recently and think you might enjoy.

The Years of Lyndon Johnson by Robert Caro. Given my love for biography, history, and politics, the first 4 volumes of this series (the author is working on the 5th and final volume) have been an absolute delight to read. This series easily makes my list of best books that I’ve ever read. Here’s how good it is: The 4 volumes contain 3,400 pages and I was disappointed when it ended.

The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert by Rosaria Butterfield. How does Rosaria go from a lesbian Women’s Studies professor at Syracuse University to a pastor’s wife and mother of both adopted and foster children? She tells the story of her unlikely conversion in this powerful memoir. I was reminded that when it comes to sharing the gospel nothing compares to the power love, genuine relationships, building bridges, and the simple belief that no one is outside of the scope of God’s love.

The Yellow Birds: A Novel by Kevin Powers. The author, a veteran of the Iraq war, writes a moving account of two soldiers trying to stay alive. In the background the reader is forced to wrestle with not just the meaningless of war but all of life. I love books like this, but, then again, I’m not into “happy endings.”

The Hole in Our Holiness by Kevin DeYoung. Christians want to grow in their faith but there’s much confusion about how exactly to do so. DeYoung, a pastor in East Lansing, MI, helps us understand how to obey Jesus’ commands without becoming a legalist. This is a great companion to Jesus Plus Nothing Equals Everything.

Cold-Case Christianity: A Homicide Detective Investigates the Claims of the Gospels by J. Warner Wallace. As a Los Angeles detective for 30 years Wallace learned how to let the evidence lead him to the perpetrator. He uses those same skills to show how the evidence led him from his long held atheism to faith in Christ. This is a good book to give someone who is open to considering Christianity but has intellectual questions.

Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness by William Styron. At the age of 60 this celebrated author fell into a serious, life threatening depression and in this short personal memoir he helped me see the struggle in a way I never had before.

People Who Eat Darkness by Richard Lloyd Parry. This true crime story tells how a 21 year old English woman named Lucie Blackman disappeared from the streets of Tokyo. I found this book similar to In Cold Blood by Truman Capote although not quite as intense and disturbing.

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