In case you haven’t heard, I currently do not have internet where I’m living. Many people are curious to know what I do in my free time to keep from getting bored. Believe it or not, I have yet to get bored here. But there are a few favorite past times I like to indulge in here including a few card games that I play with my housemates and the kids. But in the evenings, I enjoy reading, which is probably no surprise to those of you who know me.
I have been here around 13 weeks and I just finished my 14th book today. Below is a list of all the books I’ve read in the order I’ve read them with a quick summary in case you’re interested (along with a 5 star rating scale):
1) Quitter // Jon Acuff *****
Umm. I love this man. Normally he is full of wit and sarcasm but this book is full of wit and sarcasm while also challenging the way you look at pursuing any goal in your life (mainly your dream job but can be applied to many aspects of your life). This is a good read for anyone who wishes to accomplish anything with their life.
2) Woman to Woman // Joy Loewen ***
Loewen tells of how she ministered to Muslim women in the States (she had spent time overseas previously). This book has practical advice and gives a different perspective on how to relate to women of the Muslim faith.
3) Stuff Christians Like // Jon Acuff *****
Like I said, I love this man. Acuff has a blog where he pokes fun at random traditions and stereotypes in the church in the most loving sarcastically Christian way possible. You can give it a test run by reading his blog but this book has many thoughts that aren’t found on his blog.
4) Crazy Love // Francis Chan ****
If you’re looking to be challenged then this is a good book to read. It challenged the way I looked at and thought about many things. You will probably feel the need to make some minor to major changes in your life after reading this book.
5) Heaven Is For Real // Todd Burpo ****
This is a very interesting story about a boy who tells his parents about his time in Heaven while he underwent surgery. I really enjoyed it and was hard for me to put down. I definitely recommend this one. The way the story unfolded leaves you to believe this boy’s incredible story.
6) Mountain Beyond Mountains // Tracy Kidder *****
This was a very interesting book about an amazing man. Kidder writes about a doctor, Paul Farmer, who worked to change medical policies and access in places where little to no medical facilities existed. He started in Haiti and eventually spread out. It is an inspiring and challenging story of Paul Famer.
7) Healing Life’s Hurts Through Theophostic Prayer // Edward M. Smith***
This was an interesting read though not one of my favorites. A new way to let go of your past is discussed though I felt like the author spent too much time defending himself which was annoying to me. Interesting nonetheless though.
8 ) A Vision Of The Possible: Pioneer Church Planting In Teams // Daniel Sinclair ***
This was more interesting reading it now I think because in Albania, we are trying to plant a church. I was able to read it in the context of planting a church. A lot of information and ideas are shared. A very insightful read.
9) Poke the Box // Seth Godin ****
Seth Godin always has something to say that will push you to do more. This book was a short read but full of motivation and encouragement to poke the box. To push and challenge.
10) The Ultimate Blessing // Jo Anne Lyon ****
Lyon shows how even suffering can be a blessing. Lyon tells the story of how she came to be where she is (at the time the book was written). It is very interesting to see how experiences and travels helped her to see and share suffering as a form of a blessing.
11) Café Eropa // Slavenka Drakuli Eropa // Slavenka Drakulió ****
I loved this book. Again, reading it while living in Albania, a post-communist country definitely made me understand the book better. Drakulió tells stories and makes observations she has made as a resident of another post communist country in Eastern Europe and how that has affected the mindset, habits, and ways of life of Eastern Europeans verses the Western world who never experienced communism. There are a few slow sections that keep it from being perfect but still this is quite possibly one of my new favorites.
12) 10 Secrets the Devil Doesn’t Want You to Know // Complied by John Van Diest ***
This is a compilation of different excerpts from different people to form a book. I’m not really a fan this style of book. But, a few were worth reading.
13) Three Cups of Tea // Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin *****
This is another inspiring story of one man’s journey to change Pakistan. Mortenson realized that the best way to help was not just to help provide education but education for girls. He built many schools, developed many friendships, and shares his experiences in a way that you can relate to. I really love his story and how it is shared. It makes me feel like I should be doing a lot more with my life though. So I should probably warn you in case it causes you to feel the same way. // However this was just shared (I somehow missed it…) http://bit.ly/pnagFC
14) The Heavenly Man // Paul Hathaway *****
This book is amazing. It tells the story of Brother Yun, a Chinese pastor who played a major role in the house church movement in China. He tells of his many persecutions, beatings, and sacrifices he made throughout his life for the sake of the Gospel. Yet he wouldn’t change a thing. In fact, he welcomes it. I was challenged by his thinking, mindset, and words in so many ways. This book should be read by Christians and non-Christians because Brother Yun has an amazing story and is such a great example of what a true follower of Christ looks like when everything is not going perfectly.
What books are on your recent/future reading list?