Wednesday, August 24, 2011

2011 Books (so far...)

I have read many books this year, mostly due to the Kindle I received from a dear friend as a gift. I am so grateful! For some reason I read exponentially faster on a Kindle than a physical book. Call me crazy, but Allen says the same thing!  I hope the ratings and blurbs help you as you decide what to add to your reading list. Here are some other reviews you might also want to check. If you also have a Kindle and want me to "loan" you a book, just let me know! I will do so gladly!

10 Questions to Diagnose Your Spiritual Health, Don Whitney ****1/2
A wonderful book that I highly recommend to all...greatly challenged by it!

Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World, Joanna Weaver ***
Good book during a specific season in my life...many women would gain encouragement reading this book!

The Scarlet Thread, Francine Rivers ***Trying to get into a bit of fiction this year and started here...recommended for those who are looking to add some fiction into their lives. Francine Rivers is a gifted writer.

Boundaries, Henry Cloud & John Townsend *
Read this book after hearing about it from several "fall-outs" (marriage, mother/daughter, etc.) based on the information received in this book. I was highly discouraged to see that it comes from a psychological/science worldview rather than a biblical worldview, therefore, much of what is recommended is faulty and is leading to relationship "fall-out." I would not recommend this to anyone (except maybe one chapter to a really mature believer who struggles with being walked on, even then, there are probably better books for that).

When Helping Hurts, ***I enjoyed this book and it opened up my eyes to some things I hadn't thought of before in regards to missions and giving.

Calm My Anxious Heart, Linda Dillow **** 1/2
Ironically, I read this book while Allen was gone for a week and I was feeling anxious about being home alone. I loved the book and how it spoke to my heart. Very well written and includes study questions at the end. I can see this being a good small group women's study.

Gospel-Centered Life Bible Study, Bob Thune *****
I went through this study with some ladies this spring and it was phenomenal. We went to a deeper level with the Gospel and being able to articulate it well among each other, hopefully translating to lives that express it openly. The Gospel is applied to many aspects of life that it isn't often applied to. It was very helpful and stretching if you truly make yourself answer the study questions!

A Book You'll Actually Read (NT and Church Leadership), Mark Driscoll *****
I would HIGHLY recommend this to a new believer. Very good read for someone who is new to the faith. And very short and readable.

To Train Up a Child, Michael and Debi Pearl **1/2
I have been hearing about this book ever since having kids and I finally sat down to read it after it was given to me. I don't think I ever encountered the Gospel while reading this book. Some training techniques may be useful and practical, but I would be remiss to use these techniques unless the Gospel is incorporated and expressed as well, which they give no indications of in the book.  They also made the training so cut and dry. Do "x" 3 times then "y" will happen. I can imagine many parents getting discouraged when it doesn't actually work this way in their homes.

Created To Be His Helpmeet, Debi Pearl **1/2
It took me awhile to make it through this large handbook about marriage. I truly appreciate a lot of truth that she offered as well as challenges that I needed to hear about being a helpmate to my husband. There were a few examples that she took too far, blaming the wife when her children are sinned against and a particular one that made me want to throw the book across the room. I think the rest of my experience and the rating was colored by that. ;) In many ways it seemed like a rant against the particular people that she ministers to.

Surprised By Grace, Tullian Tchividijian ***
I actually read this book while Allen was going through a sermon series on Jonah in the Spring. It was helpful to read through the passage that Allen was going to preach before I heard the sermon. I do believe it gave me greater understanding into the book of Jonah.

My Husband Wants to be a Church Planter, So What Does That Make Me?, NAMB **1/2
 A book that the SBC gives out to new church planter's wives when they preparing to plant the church. Although the format of the book wasn't preferable and many topics weren't brought up, I was pleasantly surprised that even some of the topics that usually are avoided were actually addressed in this book. If they could format this book in a way that makes sense and add some more useful content, this could be a great read for church planting wives.

Biblical Theology in the Life of the Church, Michael Lawrence ****1/2
Allen took a group of us at New Life through this book as a class in the Spring. I really learned how to read, study and interpret the Bible in a way that is true to the text. It didn't get 5 stars because it is a bit academic, but if you truly want to learn about biblical theology, this is your book!

Leaders Who Last, Dave Kraft *****
Amazing book! Even if you aren't a leader in name, everyone leads someone, whether it be your children, other women who come to you for counsel, or as a leader in your community or example in church. This is intensely practical and requires you to sit down and examine your life. Allen used many quotes from this book in his new book, Good Soldiers.

Six Ways to Keep the "Little" in Your Girl, Dannah Gresh ***
As I think about Taylor coming up on the tween years, my stomach basically curls up into knots and I have to pray and ask God for mercy. This book was helpful but would have been more helpful if Taylor Joy were older (think 7-12). I may re-read it in a couple of years... 

Give Them Grace, Elyse Fitzpatrick ***
I was beyond excited about this book and the acclaim it was receiving around blogland. All in all, it is a Gospel-saturated book that truly made me think through the reasons why I parent the way that I do and I came away as a deeper thinker in regards to parenting. But it wasn't exactly the book's purpose. It was mainly because I would read certain things, question them and have to think through it biblically. I was glad to have a group of ladies to discuss it with and I enjoyed the discussion much more than the book itself.

A Meal with Jesus, Tim Chester *****
Everyone should read this! Amazing book about the impact of the sit down meal on relationships, including discipleship, outreach, friendships, and the poor. I loved this book and found myself nodding and highlighting much of it! I'm sure I will read it again at some point.

Prodigal God, Tim Keller *****
I basically devoured this book while we were on vacation this Summer. I really hope I have saturated all of the great truth that Keller so skillfully conveys. Excellent book!

Faithful Women and Their Extraordinary God, Noel Piper ***
I was challenged and convicted hearing the life stories of these women. If I feel I have sacrificed or pity for myself about something I am dealing with, this is certainly the cure for that. I am beyond grateful for the way these women advanced the Gospel.

Leota's Garden, Francine Rivers **
I got this free on my Kindle and I love Francine Rivers. Yet, I didn't particularly love this book. The ending was abrupt and it didn't end the way I wanted it to. So, two stars.

Note to Self, Joe Thorn ***
I had heard that this was comparable to A Gospel Primer (GP), which I love. It was very good and filled with Gospel truth, but it didn't hold the same power as GP for me personally. It's longer and more wordy, whereas GP is almost straight scripture and cuts to the heart. Still, I consider it a great daily devotional if you are looking for one.
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  1. Thank you so much for reviewing your books - I'm a huge Kindle worm :) Can't wait to tackle some of the ones you recommended to help me read the Bible more effectively. Tons of good ideas for my small group too - yay!

  2. I totally agree with Boundaries. Put it down half-way through.


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