on my bookshelf, summer’s end edition

Way back in June, on the 12th to be precise, I presented my (ambitious) list of summer reading. It included the following:

  1. The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness by Timothy Keller
  2. Crazy Busy by Kevin DeYoung
  3. Stitches: A Handbook on Meaning, Hope and Repair by Anne LaMott
  4. Perfecting Ourselves to Death by Richard Winter
  5. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
  6. The Emotionally Destructive Marriage by Leslie Vernick
  7. Counterfeit Gods by Timothy Keller
  8. Death By Living: Life is Meant to Be Spent by N.D. Wilson
  9. How To Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk by Faber & Mazlish
  10. Running on Empty: The Gospel for Women in Ministry by Barbara Bancroft
  11. Sparkly Green Earrings by Melanie Shankle
  12. Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne

Here’s what I’ve read of the list above:

  1. The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness by Timothy Keller
  2. Crazy Busy by Kevin DeYoung
  3. Stitches: A Handbook on Meaning, Hope and Repair by Anne LaMott
  4. Perfecting Ourselves to Death by Richard Winter
  5. Counterfeit Gods by Timothy Keller
  6. Sparkly Green Earrings by Melanie Shankle

Six out of 12 isn’t bad … at least for a mom whose summer was far from those of my youth when I would spend hours upon hours holed up in my room or out on the beach reading novels to my heart’s content.


I do have a few new ones on my current shelf, which perfectly illustrates my ADD tendencies when it comes to reading. I’m always hearing about great new books, or running into them at the Barnes & Noble or my Amazon “recommended” list and I can’t resist. Almost *every* time, I succumb to the allure of the fresh, new, yet unread book. And I add it to my ever-overflowing bookshelf.

I will give you a review of my current ones:

1. Made for More by Hannah Anderson – I had the privilege of meeting Hannah in Orlando at The Gospel Coalition Women’s Conference. She is warm, inviting, and was incredibly encouraging as I asked her questions about her path to publication of this book. I’m only a few chapters in, and I love what I’m reading so far. It’s a fresh approach to the identity question we all struggle through as women. She wisely says in her introduction, “good times can initiate the search for identity as often as the bad,” and goes on to lay out how searching for identity is a search that will land us at the feet of our Maker, Christ himself. I can’t wait to read more!

2. Surprised by Motherhood by Lisa-Jo Baker – My latest in the favorite of new genres of mom memoirs. So many, and so many good ones. Lisa-Jo’s stands out from the rest in her poignant descriptions of her reluctance to be a mom and the grief of losing her own mom years before becoming one herself. Beautifully written and heartfelt. It’s a page-turner for this mom’s heart! A favorite thought from yesterday’s reading – “Becoming a parent is a lot like breaking up with yourself. … Children arrive and blow through what used to be your routine.” 

3. Anatomy of the Soul by Curt Thompson, M.D. – The professional book on my shelf recommended by several people. The thesis in the intro says it all: “I believe our lives will be abundant, joyful, and peaceful only to the degree that we are engaged, known, and understood by one another. I also believe we cannot separate what we do with our brains and our relationships from what we do with God.” Amen!

4. How Toddlers Thrive by Tovah Klein, PhD – Oh, yes, added to my very-long-list of parenting books, this one I picked up on a whim from the shelves of our local library and it’s a fascinating developmental study with practical tips on connecting with my seemingly inexplicable preschoolers. For example, she suggests the best way to conquer meal-time battles is to stop talking or focusing on what your child is eating and use meal times as a time for conversation about the day (novel concept, ha!). A good summary of what she says is helpful to remember in parenting preschoolers is to remember that, “Every time your child takes a step forward toward growing up more …, they are also reminded of how much they need you.” 

5. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt – My novel I’ve been enjoying this summer. A bestseller that I’d heard a lot about before beginning, and I have not been disappointed in the writing itself. The story itself has a tragic beginning and some dark places in the middle, but I am hoping redemption is coming (about 2/3 done … we shall see). At 771 pages, the only way I could stick it out is with the writer’s compelling style. And the plan to meet up with a few friends to discuss it. 

Anything you’re reading now? Have you read any of the above? Leave a comment – I’d love to hear from you. 

One thought on “on my bookshelf, summer’s end edition

  1. Looks like a good list! I’m reading Anne Lamott’s book too, as well as Tim Keller’s Walking with God through Pain and Suffering. Good meaty stuff, but because the content has such depth, it’s not a fast read. My fast, fun read right now is Tina Fey’s Bossypants. 🙂

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