Unshelved ~ What I Read in November

I consider reading to be essential to life, but especially critical to the core development of the Christian. Making my way through roughly 100 books a year, I try to do much to prompt others to read as well. As such, books are usually the number one gifted item by me and it is not uncommon for me to keep a stack of some good books in my office for the purposes of giving away.
I have been encouraged to share my reading list with others, finding that it is helpful to spur others in their own reading. So here is a look at the books that came off the shelf for my reading enjoyment this month:
  1. Parenting by Paul Tripp: Released on September 30th, this is on my books of the year list. It is a great, gospel-centered book. He doesn’t just share principles, but shows you how and why the gospel matters in your parenting. You can read my review of it here.
  2. Pulpit Aflame edited by Joel R. Beeke and Dustin W. Benge: When this book came out it immediately fount its way onto my wish list. So when Ligonier Ministries put it on sale for $5.00, I quickly ordered it. The book consists of essays in honor of Steve Lawson. Known for his preaching, the book features essays by leading preachers in the evangelical Christian community and what they have to say is powerful.
  3. Onward by Russell Moore: This book came out to high praise and like Pulpit Aflame, when it went on sale on Kindle, I went ahead and picked it up. Honestly, I never fount it quite as compelling as many of the trusted reviewers did. There were certain points that I disagreed with or at least questioned. Don’t get me wrong. I still had some great takeaways from the book and learned from it, but it’s one that I found I had to wade through.
  4. The I Am Bible by Terry Kirby: This book came across my reading pile because I was asked to do a review of it, otherwise I wouldn’t have picked it up on my own. In many ways there were some good things about it, but for the most part I wouldn’t recommend it. I have my concerns more about the process behind putting it together than anything (frankly I am not a fan of the red-letter Bible concept for similar reasons, so my concern lies more there). However, you can read my review here which was fairly positive.
  5. The Amusement Park Mystery (The Boxcar Children) by Gertrude Chandler Warner: I have been a fan of mystery books for years. When it comes to fiction, they are at the core of what I read and it was Gertrude Chandler Warner that started that in my life. In third grade I discovered The Boxcar Children series by her. This was always my favorite of the series. Occasionally for a simplistic read, I find myself going back to books of my past. I still find them entertaining, although at a different level, so I came across this one last week and picked it up for a read. Some of my favorite memories as a kid was traveling to Seattle with my mom and stepfather. We made it a point to go to Barnes and Noble whenever possible and it was on my agenda to pick up a Hardy Boys or Nancy Drew book (still in the mystery category).
  6. The Whistler by John Grisham: My desire for mysteries hasn’t changed much and usually two of the books I read in an given month fall into this category by some of my favorite authors. While I am not a fan of the occasional sexual scene or crude word that he places in the storyline, they are far less than many authors and I often find John Grisham’s plot twists compelling. This also was a milestone book for me because with the completion of Skipping Christmas in October and this one last month I have now read all of John Grisham’s books.
A look at a couple of ongoing books (that you keep seeing on my list):
  1. God is the Gospel by John Piper: Still going on this one. It has been tremendous in my life and I am thankful for the opportunity to work through it with my accountability partner.
  2. Ecclesiastes (Reformed Expository Commentary) by Douglas Sean O’Donnell: This has been my devotional with my wife in the evenings. So far I have enjoyed it for some of the insights it has opened up for Ecclesiastes, a book I often struggle to understand.
Admittedly, this is a short list this month, especially considering some of the easy fiction reads that I had in there. But with visitors from the United States, I found it important to keep the reading light in order to spend time there.
If you’re looking for something to read, I recommend Parenting by Paul Tripp. I think every reader will benefit it and find it applicable not only in parenting, but in all venues of life.