“To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark.” — Victor Hugo, Les Miserables
In June, I shared what books I had read for the first six months of the year. It felt appropriate to publish July’s reads today, as I’ve been told it’s National Book Lovers Day (also, who comes up with these holidays? Asking for a friend).
Saturate – Jeff Vanderstelt
I love the Gospel. I love people. This made me love both more. Full of the Gospel, real life, and ways to integrate both, Jeff Vanderstelt hit a home run with this gem that teaches and proves church not to be an event but the body of Christ. He beautifully explains living on mission and that we are to be disciples who make disciples integrating Gospel intentionality into our everyday rhythms. My goal is to go through this book (and it’s implications) with my small group girls this fall. It should be required reading for every Christ-follower.
This book made me think, laugh, worship, and love people better. It is deep and profound while being simple and understandable. Through this book, I believe Rosaria (who I will refer to by her first name because I like to imagine we’re friends) helped me better understand and love the homosexual community while convicting me of prejudices and unbiblical ways of thinking. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has questions on faith, feminism, the LGBT community, or even foster care and adoption. It’s rich and solid and I’m looking forward to reading it again.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – J. K. Rowling
This is my first time reading through the HP series and, confession, it was really hard for me to get into this one. It was good after I (finally) got engaged with it, but it was tough. That said, I’m continually amazed at the stunning way Rowling crafted the entire series which is definitely one of the greatest masterpieces of all literature. She’s a genius.
Ciao, Bella – Ryan Phillips
I really enjoyed this book. It was sweet and well-written and exactly what I needed to read (well, listen, since it was an audio book) at the time. It was easy to listen to, easy to follow, and unrealistic in the best way. It would be labeled “Christian” fiction but it wasn’t overtly so, which I greatly appreciate. It explores the “what if ‘fantasy'” some people might have of “Here’s my life, but what if something more glamorous came along? What if someone famous fell in love with me? What if I suddenly had the resources to travel wherever I wanted? What if almost everyone knew my name?” and how it feels to get everything you ever thought you wanted. I really loved it and would definitely recommend it.
Is God Anti-Gay? – Sam Allberry
Confession: I actually read this in June and forgot to list it in the previous book list. I’m so thankful for this tiny book loaded with content. Author Sam Allberry realized he was attracted to the same sex as a teenager. He is now a pastor and passionate Christ-follower. This book addresses a variety of questions and concerns, he answers with Scripture, and—my favorite part—he writes from a position of understanding. He knows what he’s talking about and is firmly committed to the authority of God’s Word. This book has intrigued my small group girls and several of them have picked it up and read it through, as it directly answers questions they (or those around them) have about homosexuality and what God really thinks about it. I give this book five out of five stars.
As always, I would love to hear what you’re reading and what you recommend! Leave a comment and help expand my bibliophile horizons.