There is a quote attributed to Groucho Marx that I thoroughly enjoy every time I read it. He said “I find television very education. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.” Admittedly, this is not always the case for me, but I enjoy reading regardless. It is a habit and joy that we have loved instilling into our children, and it brings me great joy to see them carry books with them to bed. I not only enjoy reading myself, but I also receive great pleasure in watching others read as well. My hope is that as I share what I read in January, that a book will capture your attention and cause you to read more. So here is a quick look at the books I completed this month (you can click on the titles to learn more about the book):
Books About Missions
I am working my way through a missions project and so am reading constantly books that address missions. I previously read and reviewed The Missionary Call and deemed it an OK book. I may have to revise that review, because the second time through I found it more profitable. Senders by Paul Seger is a book that I recommend to church leaders. It is my go-to book on how to support your missionaries.
- The Missionary Call by M. David Sills (read my book review here)
- Senders by Paul Seger (read my book review here)
- Senders Study Guide by Paul Seger
- The Art of Man Fishing by Thomas Boston
Books About Christian Living
The bulk of our reading should be centered on God, God’s Son, and God’s message and the application of that. Remember God was a book review book and is probably best to be avoided. The other three are great in their own disciplines. A review of Elisabeth Elliot’s book is forthcoming and you can read the review of Parenting with Godly Correction by clicking the link.
- A Family Well-Ordered by Cotton Mather
- Parenting with Loving Correction by Sam Crabtree (read my book review here)
- Suffering is Never for Nothing by Elisabeth Elliot
- Remember God by Annie Downs (read my book review here)
Books About Life
These books offer simple skill development for productive living. Matt Perman is known for his teaching on productivity and Unstuck continues that by teaching what to do when one is unable to progress. The information he provides is not new, but he teaches from a Christian perspective which is notable. While many of the concepts have been taught to me before, something about his presentation of it made it click for me and so personally, I benefited much because he made connections that others didn’t.
Books About History or People:
After reading to develop our relationship with God, I find history as being extremely important. I had some other books picked out for my historical reading for the month and never intended to read the following but overall was pleased with my reading of them. Ray Rhodes does a masterful job at delving into the life of Susannah Spurgeon. This is not only a great read to learn more about her, but it is simply a well-written biography. The Residence gives an inside look into the White House staff (ushers, chefs, florists, etc.). At times the book could appear a bit sensational, but overall the author avoided this. Perhaps the most pleasing thing about this book was the picture of the staff not allowing politics to divide them or their relationships with others.
- Susie by Ray Rhodes (read my book review here)
- The Residence by Kate Brower
- Racing to the Finish by Dale Earnhardt Jr. (read my book review here)
Books of Fictional Intrigue:
When seeking a book to wind down my evening, thus is less intense and requires little thought, I cycle through about five authors and rarely go outside of those particular authors except when a particular author comes very highly recommended. One of those authors that I routinely seek is Clive Cussler, who has a number of series. Currently, I am on the verge of finishing The NUMA Files and this past month completed the following three.
You’re not going to find a book that is well-written with literary devices or unique phrasing (in other words, he is no Nick Hornby, Louise Penny, or Donna Leon). It’s hard to write well when you are simply publishing a book a year. But I find the storylines unique from any other author. So for quick, easy reads, these are good books for that.
As I look back at the month of January, it has been a good month of reading for me and I am thankful for the books that the Lord has allowed me to read and they way they have directed me to him. Perhaps you also can be encouraged to read some of the books on this list. Enjoy your reading time!