What I’ve Read Recently

I continually add new books to the bottom of the page, so the most recent ones are there.

Keep in mind, just because I have read the book does not mean I’m endorsing or recommending it. This is true for many, but not necessarily for all.

Bright Red Scream.jpgA Bright Red Scream: Self-Mutilation and the Language of Pain” by Merilee Strong – This powerful book was written by a journalist who did an exception job of understanding and sharing the painful experiences of those who have lived the tortured lives of self-injury.

Angels and Demons.jpgAngels & Demons” by Dan Brown – One of the most gripping novels I’ve ever read. Very graphic and violent, so be ready. Powerfully dramatic. Probably would have been bigger than “The DaVinci Code” if the author and publisher had given it a more fitting name.

Bodily Harm: The Breakthrough Healing Program for Self-Injurers” by Karen Contario & Wendy Lader – Probably the most authoritative book available on understanding the life of the self-injurer. Co-authored by the founders of SAFE Alternatives residential treatment facility for self-injurers. This book is equally beneficial for the self-injurer, the family member, or the therapist seeking to better understand and help their suffering clients.

DaVinci Code.jpgThe DaVinci Code” by Dan Brown – Call me a pagan, but I really enjoyed reading this novel (for all those who have heard or been a part of all the controversy, notice the word just before the parentheses!). Do I buy into his shoddy theology/church history? – no. Did I keep in mind as I read the book it was a novel intended to entertain? – yes.

Dream Giver.jpgThe Dream Giver” by Bruce Wilkinson – Anyone who has ever felt a nagging sense that there is something missing from your life or that you were made for more than you are doing should read this little book. Caution – it may change your life!

Emotionally Healthy Spirituality.jpgEmotionally Healthy Spirituality” by Peter Scazzero – This one goes in my top five life-impacting books of all time. Read it and grow.

Hearing God.jpgHearing God: Developing a Conversational Relationship with God” by Dallas Willard – Willard’s perspectives on relating to God and hearing and recognizing His voice were insightful and helpful for me. I particularly benefit from one of the later chapters that suggests sometimes not getting “an answer” from God means He trusts you enough to make the best decision for yourself and the Kingdom. That was so empowering for me!

Hurt.jpgHurt: Inside the World of Today’s Teenagers” by Chap Clark – If you care at all about adolescents, you need to read this book. You won’t enjoy it, but you will be better for it. And if you are willing to take it to heart, you may become a much needed part of the solution.

MonsterMonster” by Frank Peretti – I wasn’t disappointed with the gripping, page-turning plot I have come to expect of Peretti. What disappointed me was the complete lack of any poignant spiritual message, something he has delivered with heart-piercing conviction in each of his previous novels I have read. It was a good thriller, and certainly “clean,” even with some Christian references – just not spiritually stirring in any way. I’m not counting him out, yet.

Practice PresenceThe Practice of the Presence of God” by Brother Lawrence – This little book is challenging, stirring, and very nourishing. Don’t let yourself get discouraged that you aren’t at the same level as this spiritual giant. Just let it seep into your heart and mind, then come back to it in a few months or years and see how you have grown.

Ragamuffin Gospel.jpgThe Ragamuffin Gospel” by Brennan Manning – This Catholic priest from New Orleans is a recovering alcoholic who offers an authentic view of the walk of a man or woman with God as a humble and grateful “ragamuffin” loved and redeemed by the Almighty. Both challenging and encouraging.

Rumours.jpgRumours of Another World” by Phillip Yancey – I love Yancey, and have been well fed by each of his books I’ve read so far. This one challenges the reader to live in the present physical world with a presence in the spiritual real world. Think “The Matrix” for the Christian faith.

Sheet MusicSheet Music” by Kevin Leman – The best book I have read on healthy sexuality. This Christian author has a gift for humor, insight, inspiration, and Biblical guidance as he passionately leads you and your spouse to the heights of sexual passion God Himself desires for you.

Sacred CompanionsSacred Companions: The Gift of Spiritual Friendship and Direction” by David G. Benner – God sent this rich book to me a few years ago, but I was not yet ready to read it. He recently prompted me to try it again, telling me I was ready this time. I am excited to see and experience where my life goes as God grows me as a spiritual friend and spiritual director, beyond simply a professional Christian counselor.

The Way of the Wild HeartThe Way of the Wild Heart: A Map for the Masculine Journey” by John EldredgeFor the last few years I have been telling folks the best book I’ve ever read on authentic masculinity was “Wild at Heart” by John Eldredge. Now I’ve got to change that statement. Eldredge has taken the concepts and images of “Wild at Heart” and expanded them, offering this powerful book as a map through the stages of the masculine journey (Beloved Son, Cowboy, Warrior, Lover, King, Sage).

Stories of EmergenceStories of Emergence: Moving from Absolute to Authentic” edited by Mike Yaconelli – I look forward to reading this one again. It was a rich read for me, and offered me much food for thought at a time when I am deeply longing for a more meaningful experience of church and spirituality. I highly recommend reading and sharing this one. There may only be one chapter that really speaks to you, but reading that chapter will be well worth it.

I Surrender AllI Surrender All” by Clay and Renee Crosse – Clay Crosse, big time Christian recording artist, and his wife tell their story of how their marriage was nearly destroyed by pornography and worldly living, but how God showed them the way to complete transformation. I highly recommend this one!

Dangerous Book for Boys The Dangerous Book for Boys” by Conn & Hal Iggulden – This really cool book is a wealth of fun, facts, and adventures for boys of all ages. Dads (and Moms) will enjoy connecting with and leading their sons through the guidance of these brothers from the UK. Along with this book, I recommend “The Way of the Wild Heart” by John Eldredge (see above).

Disconnected “Disconnected: Parenting Teens in a MySpace World” by Chap & Dee Clark – This follow-up to “Hurt” is both encouraging and practical to any parent, youth worker, teacher, coach, or any other who has a passion for making a positive impact on today’s teens.  Thanks so much to the Clarks for continuing to share their wisdom, research, and passion with a generation of parents who are desperate for guidance in how to effectively love and lead their teens.

The Dip “The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When To Quit (And When To Stick) by Seth Godin – This great little inspirational book from one of the world’s most popular business bloggers helps you understand how important it is to quit (at the wrong things) so you can become the best in the world (which he helps you define) at the right thing.  Well worth reading.

“Abba’s Child: The Cry of the Heart for Intimite Belonging” by Brennan Manning – A powerful book that opened my eyes to how the Father above and the Great Rabbi who changed the world see me and love me, and what that means for my life.

“On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft” by Stephen King – This book was recommended to me as an excellent resource to help me get started on my writing career.  The recommendation was a good one.  Although I have no plans to write the kind of books authored by Stephen King, the man clearly knows a thing or two about writing books people buy and enjoy reading.  I am glad I read this one.