Books I Love

Read these four books, then go write an awesome novel


I am super excited about National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) this November. I don’t think I can participate because I’ve been doing NaNoWriLIFE for the past five years, but I’m all fired up about the idea of you participating. I felt God nudging me to write this post, like he was saying, “There is someone out there who needs to write a book. I gave them this great idea for a story, and they keep talking themselves out of putting it down on paper. They read your blog due to an unfortunate lost bet situation, so please... Read More

My favorite book ever. EVER.

Wow. Posting on weekends is hard. But my yeoman work to get one final post up for the 7 for 7 challengeĀ is well worth it, because I’m going to tell you about a book that you’re going to cherish forever. I have not yet mentioned this book on the blog, nor in social media, because it seemed like such a high-pressure endeavor. “What if I make a passing comment about it once, and then I do a more thorough review later, but people don’t listen to the second one because I’d already mentioned it once before?!” I’d... Read More

We have a publisher!

My bookshelf

One thousand eight hundred and twenty days ago, I started writing my book, a memoir about going from atheism to belief. After three complete, from-a-blank-page rewrites; countless feedback sessions from Joe and my agent and brilliant fellow writers, each of which left me wondering whether I should perhaps just give up on the written word altogether; revisions that made me feel like my brain was melting; a reality show; three new babies; and a pitch process that almost sent me into cardiac arrest every time I saw my agent’s name in my inbox…I... Read More

140-character book reviews

I’m working on some book revisions this week and next, which means that I’ll be too caught up in the throes of ecstatic joy to be able to write much here other than Quick Takes. I will have such rock-solid confidence in the the usefulness of these efforts — I shall find myself so immersed in hope at the knowledge that, despite the fact that my literary agent has said that my last 1,632 efforts weren’t good enough, the 1,633rd time just might be the charm! — that I will forget all about the fun and instant gratification... Read More

Living an awesome story

A good nickname for me would be “Inertia,” because, like the dictionary definition of the word, I tend to “exist in a state of rest or uniform motion in a straight line, unless that state is changed by an external force.” If my choice is accepting an invitation to go to an interesting social event or continuing to sit in front of my computer, I’ll choose the latter. If I had an idea for a new way to decorate the living room, I wouldn’t do it, even if I had the time or money. In other words, left to my own devices,... Read More

The 7 Habits of People Who Place Radical Trust in God

I read a lot of biographies and memoirs about inspiring people who place radical trust in God. (By “radical” I don’t mean reckless or imprudent, but am referring to the difficult, very counter-cultural act of recognizing God’s sovereignty over every area of our lives. More on that here.) From He Leadeth Me to God’s Smuggler, Mother Angelica to The Heavenly Man to The Shadow of His Wings, these true stories are about people from all walks of the Christian life: Catholic and Protestant, consecrated religious and lay people,... Read More

Some great new books (to which I happened to contribute)

And now for a long-overdue update on some exciting new books that I’ve been a part of: Daily Guideposts: Your First Year of Motherhood Hot off the presses, Your First Year of Motherhood is a priceless gem for any woman who has recently become a mother. It’s formatted as a series of daily reflections, each one no more than a page — perfect for weary moms who are too tired and busy for some weighty tome. Each reflection contains a personal story of some wisdom gained or lesson learned, a verse from Scripture, and a suggested prayer. Our... Read More

Trust School

I’m reading the astoundingly good book God’s Smuggler, which is the memoir of a Dutch Protestant missionary who smuggled Bibles behind the Iron Curtain during the Cold War. At its core, the book is all about trusting God. On almost every page there is some example of how God comes through when we place 100% of our trust in him and hold nothing back. One of the most interesting parts of the book for me was when the author, Andrew van der Bijl (a.k.a. Brother Andrew), talks about a unique type of missionary school he attended inĀ Scotland.... Read More

Recommended reading for Lent

Ash Wednesday is just around the corner (March 9), so I wanted to share my suggestions for great Lenten reads, and get your suggestions as well. Also, based on some emails I’ve been getting with questions about Lent, I wanted to say: If you’re considering observing Lent but aren’t familiar with it, I strongly encourage you to go ahead and do so! If you’re not sure where to start, just give up some small thing that you like (e.g. listening to the radio on the way to work, sugar in your coffee, a certain TV show, etc.) and... Read More

Three secular books for the Christian spiritual life

Recently I’ve come across a few books that I picked up just for fun but that ended up having a very positive impact on my spiritual life. In general, I prefer to read books for Christians and by Christians if my aim is spiritual growth. However, these three books taught me valuable lessons that I hadn’t seen covered (or, at least, not covered in quite the same way) in the Christian market. Since each of them has had a lasting, positive impact on my spiritual life, I thought I’d share. The War of Art by Steven Pressfield This is... Read More

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