A Glance at My Bulging Bookshelf

Feb 10, 2010

I have this nasty habit of reading a ridiculous number of books, all at the same time. Here’s a sampling of the tomes collecting on my dresser and desk, books I’m in the middle of reading at this very moment:

  • A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, by Donald Miller (NF, but reads like F): This one surprised me. I didn’t expect much, and I’m getting infused by the truckload. Good for my heart, and I’m learning so much about the art of story at the same time.
  • Columbine, by Dave Cullen (NF, but reads like a novel): Chilling. Expertly researched and written.
  • Thin Places, by Mary DeMuth (Memoir): Heavy, poignant, overwhelming, redemptive. This is not a book for light readers (I’ve had to put it down a few times), but definitely a book for the broken looking for hope.
  • Connecting, by Larry Crabb (NF): An older book (1997), but with content that may be even more apropos today than it was thirteen years ago.
  • Walking On Water, by Madeleine L’Engle (NF): Just starting this one, but it looks like a keeper.
  • The Help, by Kathryn Stockett (F): Wow. Seldom do I find an author who captures her characters and their voices as well as Stockett does.
  • The Tyranny of Email, by John Freeman (NF): Absolutely fascinating account of our communication journey, from papyrus to telegraph to our inundation with email. Will make you want to unplug a bit more often.
  • The Four Loves, by C. S. Lewis (NF): Lewis is one of my personal heroes, and I enjoy most everything he wrote. This book examines the four different types of love, and is rich with quotes. But like rich, dark chocolate, I can only eat a sliver at a time.
  • Kabul 24, by Ben Pearson and Henry O. Arnold (NF): I started this one months ago and can’t seem to get through it. Though the people involved and the circumstances surrounding their captivity and release are truly inspiring, the writing is less than. Or at least for me.
  • Bowling Alone, by Robert D. Putnam (NF): This one is a research book for me, but interesting. Talks about “social capital” and the decline of American community. Paints a frightening picture if we don’t intentionally reengage with one another.
  • Our Covenant God, by Kay Arthur (NF, I’m doing the Bible study as well): Understanding and believing in the word “Covenant” changes everything.
  • Loneliness, by John T. Cacioppo and William Patrick (NF): Fascinating research on how loneliness affects the human brain, physical health and relationships. Absolutely, without a doubt, one of my most interesting finds in the past six months.
  • Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamott (NF): Can’t believe I haven’t read this classic before now. Just beginning …
  • Sex, Lies and Religion, by Randy Elrod (NF): I received an electronic version of this a couple weeks ago, but haven’t cracked it’s spicy cover yet. Sure to be interesting, a conversation starter at the least. The official release is 2/14/10.
  • A Novel Idea, by multiple authors (NF Compilation): A resource that sits on my desk for quick writing tips from multiple fiction authors.
  • How We Love, by Milan and Kay Yerkovich (NF): I mentioned this one in a previous blog post. This is the kind of book that has the potential to change every last one of your relationships.

I usually read 80% fiction, 20% non-fiction. As you can see by my notes, I’m reading predominantly non-fiction at the moment. Be reassured, I have a stack of novels sitting untouched BEGGING me to crack their covers. Soon, my darlings … soon.

What are YOU reading?


  1. Keith Ferrin

    I’m currently joining with several other guys and doing a 4-month read thru the whole Bible, so I’m not doing much other reading. However, I am halfway through Pure Please (by Gary Thomas). It’s fantastic! I also just started Eat This Book (by Eugene Peterson). Very, very promising!

    • Michele

      I haven’t heard of either one of those, Keith (except for the Bible. Haha.). Let me know what you think when you’re done. Joanna, I downloaded a Terri Blackstock book to my Kindle recently. Haven’t read anything of hers before. What is “The Art of Receiving?” Sounds like something I would want to read … Diane, I’m a little ADD when it comes to books. Actually I choose books like I choose clothes: based on temperature, mood and time of day. 🙂 Therefore, I need a closet-full to keep me satisfied!

  2. Diane Marie Shaw

    Wow, I thought I had a lot of books going at once but you certainly topped me.
    I have books all over the house so if I have a minute I pick up the nearest one and read a few pages. I can’t not read, it is in my DNA. 🙂

  3. Joanna

    I’m currently in the middle of the “Restoration” series by Terri Blackstock. I’m also reading “What Your Kindergartner Needs to Know,” “The Art of Receiving,” “Breaking Free,” and “Vegetable Gardening for Dummies.”

  4. Jerolyn

    Wow, that’s a lot of books to read at one time. I noticed the one by Donald Miller and wondered if you had read his :Blue Like Jazz”
    I am currently reading Crazy Love by Francis Chan, The Bait of Satan by John Bevere, Do Hard Things by Alex & Brett Harris.
    I’ve just finished reading some other incredible books as well. Tea With Hezbolla, Who is My Enemy? and Organic Church. As you can see, I read very little fiction. My husband has read the series by Joel Rosenburg and my daughter loved the circle series by Ted Dekker.

    I love the way God uses these authors to speak to us in challenging our beliefs and prodding us to go deeper in our walk with Christ.

  5. alece

    i’m reading Eat Pray Love and Ruthless Trust at the moment. and i have a stack of books on my shelf just waiting to be read. i can’t seem to read as fast as i used to.

  6. Michele

    Blue Like Jazz sits on my shelf, Jerolyn, as does Crazy Love. Haven’t been able to get into either one yet. I want to read Tea with Hezbollah soon. Alece, I loved Eat, Pray, Love. From strictly a writing standpoint, her storytelling was stellar.

  7. Marla Benroth

    MIchele! I can’t believe I’ve found a fellow Multiple Book Reader of the same magnitude as me! I just read 3 memoirs in 3 weeks (I love people’s stories)! I read the fabulous book, True Story, by Michael Finkel, read partway through Kelly Corrigan’s The Middle Place and took a quick detour to David Johnsons No Ordinary Lives (believing that “everyone has a story”, he started a column with the same name over 25 years ago.) It seems like I usually have more than five books going at once…My ALL TIME favorite memoir – which I’ve read several times – is The Glass Castle, by Jeanette Walls. HAPPY READING!

  8. robyn.Beckley.Vining

    great list!
    Eat This Book is most certainly to be read.

    Great list.
    I’m refreshing my NT Wright know in honor of his visit here in April, then digging into some on your list.
    Looks good!

    • Michele

      Marla, Glass Castle is on my read-next list! Have to finish a few of these, first. Robyn! Hi! Good to see your face around these parts. 😉 Thanks for the recommend. I’ll add it to my list, too.

  9. Jeremie

    I'm so glad to know that I'm not the only one who starts books and doesn't always finish them right away (or in my case….EVER!). I love to read, but I definitely read by "moods". Your comparison of picking books to picking clothes is perfect!


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