I love to read, and I love to share what I’ve read with others. So it makes sense to periodically post an update of the best things I’ve read lately. Below you’ll find four Christian living-type books and one novel. I’m not on the cutting edge of brand-new releases, and I know that. You likely have already read about most of these books on other sites. But as you browse these titles, hopefully you’ll find a book or two to add to your own summer (or fall) reading list.
I’ll be taking a month-long break in July, but I’ll be back with weekly posts in August. Happy reading! 😊
Incomparable by Andrew Wilson
I was surprised to learn that what I thought was a new release from pastor Andrew Wilson was actually a re-release of a book published several ago. I have a feeling it’s something do with the success of his recent book, God of All Things. Incomparable, while not brand new material, is excellent stuff. In very short chapters (devotional length), Wilson walks through many attributes and names of God and delivers bite-sized, accessible theology. You won’t be confused or bogged down by this work, but you will grow in your knowledge of the character and attributes of God, even if it’s a topic you’ve studied before.
Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy: Discovering the Grace of Lament by Mark Vroegop
Though I learned about this book back in the spring of 2020, I was hesitant to read it. It sounded like a downer. Who wants to read about lament? No thanks. However, I received it as a gift and decided to give it a try, and I’m glad I did. The book was born out of season of grief and lament in Pastor Vroegop’s life, and is written with appropriate pastoral tenderness. If you’re walking through a season of trial—whether big or small—you will be helped by adding the language of lament to your prayers. If you’re not currently in a valley, you’ll still benefit from this book. Sadly, we all have reason to lament, whether it’s because of the headlines or personal sorrow.
Deeper by Dane Ortlund
If you read Gentle and Lowly by Dane Ortlund, you’ve probably decided, as I have, that anything he writes is probably worth a read. Thus, I was excited to read the follow-up to Gentle and Lowly, Deeper. This is a book on sanctification, or, as Ortlund puts it “real change for real sinners.” While the content of the book is not surprising or revolutionary, the tone and tenor in which it’s presented is refreshing. However, Ortlund does approach the topic from roads that are a little less traveled-by in this niche. I don’t know that I’ve ever read a Christian-growth book that includes a chapter on union with Christ, but Ortlund has one. And if for no other reason than that, I gladly recommend Deeper to you.
Love Into Light: The Gospel, the Homosexual, and the Church by Peter Hubbard
The title pretty much sums this book up. Hubbard, a pastor and biblical counselor, delves into the topic of how the church can minister to homosexuals well without condoning their sin). I appreciated his sensitivity and winsomeness in broaching a topic that we’re often quick to shy away from. The audience of this book is probably primarily intended to be pastors, but even laypeople like myself benefit from it as we consider what it looks like to love well both in church and in our own neighborhoods.
The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson
The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek explores two very interesting historical threads. One is a line of blue people. (You’ll find out what makes them blue as you read the novel.) The narrator, Cussy Mary Carter, must live with this unusual skin tone, which, as you might expect, brings with it a great deal of hardship and prejudice. Cussy Mary’s job is the other historical thread. Part of a historical program known as the Kentucky Pack Horse Library Project, Cussy is a “book woman,” a cross between a librarian and a delivery person. Traveling through the backwoods of Kentucky with blue skin on an ornery mule has more than a few adventures in store for Cussy Mary. Lovers of historical fiction will appreciate this work that sheds light on some obscure bits of history exploring some important universal themes.