In an attempt to keep you all up to date on my reading adventures, you’re getting a FOUR IN ONE post. All four books completely unrelated except for this common thread: I read them all this month. I determined to read more this year. But before rushing out to buy some new titles, the wisest thing was to deplete every book shelf in the house. (My parents’ night-tables, Brandon’s shelves and our TV room.). I made a pile in the corner of my room. And until the pile is gone, no book stores allowed.
1. Too Busy Not to Pray by Bill Hybels // This book was my Grandma’s when she was alive and one of the various titles I lifted from her collection. I really love and respect Bill Hybels ministry. I’ve attended his Global Leadership Summit simulcast and enjoyed reading “The Power of a Whisper” a few years ago. “Too Busy Not to Pray” was written during a season in Hybels’ life where he was challenged to research prayer. Why should we pray? Why do we make prayer so difficult? What does it mean to listen to God’s voice? It’s a short, practical book and has inspired my own prayer life. (As did “The Power of a Whisper.”) 4/5
2. The Help by Kathryn Stockett // I don’t watch a lot of movies (in the theatre or at home!) but when “The Help” came out I knew I needed to see it… but never got around to it. I bought the book months ago and had the chance to read it over Christmas break. Woah. I could not have enjoyed it more. I am intrigued and horrified by what African-Americans faced in the Southern states, even into the 1950′s and 1960′s. The dialogue and characters were superb. (Side note: I picked up the autobiography of Martin Luther King Jr. right after The Help. And sheesh. He deserves his own blog post. Felt like weeping the entire way through. I will be back to share on that soon.) 5/5
3. What Good is God? by Philip Yancey // Yancey is an all-star. He traveled all over the world in search of the answer to this question “What Good is God?” His searching led him to India, to the motel Martin Luther King Jr. was shot, to the Virgina Tech campus soon after the massacre, even to an Alcoholic’s Anonymous conference. Every chapter starts with a story and ends with the written speech he delivered in each of the 10 places. A diverse book that made me see just how big this world is, how big pain can be, and how big God always is. 5/5
4. Onward by Howard Schultz // Found this book on my brother’s bookshelf and read the majority of it last week over a green tea at Bellingham Woods Coffee. (I don’t know why I give you background information. Sorry. I think it’s fun.) This was a very interesting read, especially because Starbucks is a very present brand in my life. I’ve read books (like Jim Collins Good to Great) about great leaders who’ve turned companies around, but Onward is unique in that when Schultz writes about changes Starbucks made… I can remember seeing those changes take place. And when products failed, I remember noticing items off the menu. As a customer, I am a literal part of Starbucks’ journey. Loved reading about Howard’s gutsy leadership, cool while handling media criticism, wisdom in the midst of a sinking economy and performance under pressure. 5/5