Summertime is here, which means many of us will find ourselves with a bit more time to read. If you haven’t created your summer TBR list, today’s the day to start. Don’t get stuck in a car or on a beach without a good book in hand.
Along those lines, we’ve rounded up a few of our staff favorites. These books are all recommended because we think they are both enjoyable reads AND guide us in our spiritual formation in one way or another.
Everybody, Always: Becoming Love in a World Full of Setbacks and Difficult People
If you’ve read “Love Does”, you don’t need much persuading to pick up this second book by Bob Goff. Bob’s main premise is that Christ’s call to us is simple: Love Everybody Always. Through his characteristic and colorful storytelling ability, Bob will make you want to get out of your seat and start loving those around you (yes, even those “hard-to-love people”) in extravagant ways.
Reading People: How Seeing the World through the Lens of the Personality Changes Everything.
Myers-Briggs. Enneagram. Strengthsfinder. There are a plethora of ways we can learn about who we are. But how does that change our lives? Blogger and podcaster Anne Bogel explains 8 different personality frameworks and then shares about how each of these lenses has helped her to love herself and others better. Reading People has helped me discover how God has uniquely created me, and how I can more intentionally understand and love the uniqueness in others as well.
The Gift of Pain
This book is a powerful semi-memoir on Dr. Brand’s work with leprosy patients: how he learned what a gift that pain can be from people who feel no physical pain. This introduction from the book captured me, and I haven’t been able to put it down: “Dr. Brand probes the mystery of pain and reveals its importance. As an indicator that lets us know something is wrong, pain has a value that becomes clearest in its absence. The Gift of Pain looks at what pain is and why we need it. Together, the renowned surgeon and award-winning writer Philip Yancey shed fresh light on a gift that none of us want and none of us can do without.”
Becoming Dallas Willard: The Formation of a Philosopher, Teacher, and Christ-Follower
Dallas Willard was a philosopher, author, and pastor who fundamentally shaped the way we understand spiritual formation as Christ-followers in the 21st century. This awe-inspiriting biography takes us behind the scenes of Dallas’ life, helping us understand the factors that shaped him as a father, a professor, and a Christ-follower. Fun Fact: Madison is the backdrop for one of the chapters because Dallas earned his PhD from UW-Madison!
The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery
Have you been wondering what this Enneagram thing is all about? The Road Back to You is an easy to read introduction to what the Enneagram is and how you can discover your type. The basic idea of the Enneagram is that if we can understand our prime motivations for why we do the things we do, we will then have a starting point for growth in our lives.
Everything Happens for a Reason: And Other Lies I’ve Loved
Thirty-five-year-old Kate Bowler has things going for her. After spending a decade in school, she lands a dream job at her alma mater, Duke Divinity School. She and her high school sweetheart have their first child after a long struggle with infertility. And then the unthinkable happens– she discovers she has stage IV colon cancer. Kate begins to wrestle with the question- what does it mean to suffer, or die, in a society that insists that everything happens for a reason? Despite the difficult topic, Kate’s smart, funny, and honest perspective makes this a beautiful read.
5 Love Languages
This quick and easy summer read will improve your relationships and marriage by helping you understand how you and the people you love best give and receive love. Chapman teaches about 5 love languages and then gives you tools for discovering and applying these ways of loving in your life.
Total Money Makeover
Can’t do Financial Peace University? This book is a great alternative. It does a good job breaking down intimidating topics surrounding money into easily digestible information.