I really enjoy reading, and typically read two books at a time. I am on track to read 40 books this year. Reading expands my knowledge, assists me in growing spiritually, emotionally, and intellectually, and provides “an escape” from “what is going on out there.”
Here are some books I would highly recommend for your reading:
1. The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of the Great Migration by Isabelle Wilkerson. The author chronicles the lives of three persons who moved out of the south due to racial prejudice and persecution. Between 1915-1970, 6 million African-Americans fled from the “Jim Crow” south to the cities of the North and West. A national bestseller. This is a great, eye-opening book!!
2. Saints and Scoundrels in the Story of JESUS by Nancy Guthrie. The story of JESUS in the gospels involves all kinds of unique people. Some were scoundrels. Others became saints. The author re-introduces us to some very fascinating Biblical characters!
3. Leadership on the Line by Ronald Heifetz & Marty Linsky. This book focuses on adaptive leadership. The authors reveal the challenges of adaptive leadership and offer ways to learn, grow, and lead through big change initiatives. The authors do not shy away from the reality of leadership – and remind us it can be a painful experience.
4. GOD in the Rainforest by Kathryn Long. The author provides a thorough examination of the efforts to evangelize and disciple the Waorani people (Aucan Indians) of the Ecuadorian Amazon. She recounts the story of the 5 missionaries who were speared to death by a band of the Waorani in January 1956. But she goes well beyond that event to detail the life of the Waorani and the efforts to establish churches among this people group in the 20th century.
5. Jonathan Edwards: A Life by George Marsden. The best biography of Edwards. The author traces the life of Edwards, one of America’s most influential and remarkable theologians, in colonial New England in the 18th century.
6. James Monroe: A Life by Tim McGrath. A definitive biography of the 5th president of the United States. The author details Monroe’s life: his childhood and his nearly half century of serving his country in numerous positions of leadership, including Senator, ambassadorships, Secretary of State, Governor of Virginia, and US President. You also learn much about what life was like during the early years of our country.
7. President without a Party: The Life of John Tyler by Christopher Leahy. A new release. It is the first full-scale biography of the 10th president of the US in over 50 years. It is a fascinating read of one of America’s least effective presidents. You learn much about life in the 1800’s, and discover partisan politics is not a recent “invention.” When US President William Henry Harrison died after only 31 days in office, suddenly John Tyler, who was “thrown in” at the last minute on the Harrison “ticket” as Vice President, was thrust into office.
8. Redeeming Power: Understanding Authority and Abuse in the Church by Diane Langberg. Powerful, profound, and very sobering. One reviewer said, “A must-read for spiritual leaders and for every Christian.” I totally agree! The author, an internationally recognized Christian psychologist and experienced counselor for over 47 years, declares that power has a God-given role in human relationships and institutions, but it can lead to abuse when used in unhealthy ways. As one reviewer declared, Langberg “offers a clinical and theological framework for understanding how power operates, the effects of the abuse of power, and how power can be redeemed and restored to its proper God-given place in relationships and institutions.”