Who doesn’t love new and unusual books? I love discovering books off the beaten path. I’m privileged to work with a few companies who send me recommendations for books of this kind, and this month’s list is top notch.
I’ll be honest: I was skeptical about a few of these. When they first arrived I wasn’t sure I’d enjoy them, but I am glad to say they proved me wrong! You probably haven’t heard of these titles, and you won’t find them at your local library, but I guarantee they are worth your time.
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What’s Up With the Fig Leaves? by Heather Thieneman
When I write about modesty, I struggle to articulate the balance of modesty as a “heart issue” and the undeniable fact that modesty is a physical act reflected in our dress. I’ve never mastered the answers to questions like, “Isn’t modesty determined by culture?” and “If modesty can’t be determined by a list of rules, isn’t it subjective?”
That’s why I am in love with this book by Heather Theineman. It is the most thoroughly researched argument for modesty I have ever read (and I’ve read almost all the books available on this topic). If you’ve ever left a Christian modesty article dissatisfied, or with questions unanswered, this book is for you. From the Greek and Hebrew root words to the cultural context of biblical passages, to the changing historical and social views of modesty, no part of this discussion is left unturned.
What I like best about this book is that it focuses on a motivation for modesty far beyond the typical “it causes men to lust” argument. While that is indeed a part of modesty’s influence, it’s not why we’re called to pursue it. The biblical precedent for modesty goes far deeper. I can’t sing the praises of What’s Up With the Fig Leaves? enough.
Rocking Ordinary by Lea Ann Garfias
It took me a while to work through Lea Ann Garfias’ Rocking Ordinary, not just because my plate was full, but because I didn’t want to miss what she had to say.
If you’ve ever been frustrated by what feels like the mundane of your life, you’ll want to read this book. Each chapter will help you better understand what it means to embrace your place; to find purpose in the “boring” of life and to truly “rock” ordinary.
Lea Ann has a very conversational, story-based approach that makes this book an easy read, but not a quick read. You’ll be stopping frequently to underline (if you’re like me) and will probably come back to certain points that stand out to you. It’s a re-reader for sure!
When Jesus Was a Green-Eyed Brunette by Max Davis
Ya’ll, this book made me cry after only three chapters.
There’s nothing that breaks my heart more than legalism. Like the author of this book, I spent a long time looking at God through the lens of judgment and fear. If you’ve struggled with a view of God based on works, this book will change that view.
Davis illustrates – through his own testimony and the testimonies of others – what “being Jesus” to a lost world really looks like. He reveals just how powerful the influence and aroma of Christ will be when we let Him into our lives; how an encounter with the Spirit of Christ in another person can transform the world. This book is for “those hurting and weary from worn-out religion”; those tired of a Jesus reached through works, rather than a worshipful life motivated by grace.
Two thumbs up – get it here.
Chosen for Greatness: How Adoption Changes the World by Paul Batura
I had a hard time putting this book down. As someone with an interest in both history and adoption, I found the best of both worlds in Paul Batura’s latest work.
Chosen for Greatness highlights the stories of 16 well-known adoptees. Many of these were people I had no idea were adopted! Each chapter is only a few pages long and highlights the adoption story and consequential trajectory of that person’s life. This would be a great book to read alongside Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers.
Batura makes the point that these people did not succeed in spite of being adopted, but because of their adoption story. I was especially taken in by the stories of Steve Jobs and Nancy Reagan, but there was just as much fascination in the history of Nelson Mandela, John Hancock, George Washington Carver, and Faith Hill.
The book is written from a Christian perspective though not all the characters spotlighted shared that worldview. The foreword is by Eric Metaxas.
The Beginner’s Bible by ZonderKidz
This bible isn’t actually for me – it’s for Adeline. Addie loves books and until now was a big fan of her board book Bible and Say and Pray Devotional. As she gets older, we’re moving to more in-depth Bible stories, which is where the Beginner’s Bible comes in.
This bible goes far more in-depth than most children’s bibles. Each “story” is based on a passage of Scripture (the passage address is below the story title if you want to look at the original story in context). The illustrations are somewhat “cartoonish” and extremely bright, which Addie likes at this stage in her development. At 15 months Addie enjoys the pictures, but I anticipate using it for bedtime devotions as she gets older.
This would be a good Christmas present or dedication gift. You can get it here.