In case any of you are looking for some new summer reads, in today’s post I’m going to highlight five books I’ve enjoyed over the last few months. There is quite a variety in terms of style and content, so hopefully there will be something here for everyone!
Echoes Of Exodus by Alastair J. Roberts and Andrew Wilson
Any book which opens with the concept “Scripture is music,” has me on board from the start!
In this book, the authors look at the theme of the Exodus and, using rich musical imagery, explore how it recurs all through the Bible. Just as in a musical composition, the theme appears in different keys or with an altered rhythm. Sometimes one phrase is the same but then it moves in an unexpected direction, or it may be orchestrated differently but it is still recognisable as the theme. The same is true with the theme of the Exodus in the Bible.
I found this a fascinating book. Understanding the Bible as one big story is something I was already passionate about and I thought I had a reasonably good grasp of this, but there were so many “wow” moments as I read through this book and discovered connections I had never noticed before!
You will appreciate this book more if you already have a fairly good knowledge of the Bible as several events are referenced only briefly and if you are already familiar with these, the connections referenced will make more sense. I found the section on Ezekiel hard-going as this is one of the books I am least familiar with, but it did leave me wanting to read it again to understand it better!
I appreciated the conclusion the authors reach- that this is not music merely to listen to, but that we are called to participate: “We are called to make the echoes of the exodus louder… part of the task of the church is to amplify the music of redemption.”
I have read two of Andrew Wilson’s other books in the past (Incomparable and God*Stories) and I have always appreciated the way he explains complex theology in an accessible way without watering it down.
If you’d like to dig deeper into the themes of the Bible, I’d highly recommend this book!
The Key Of All Unknown by K A Hitchins
This is a detective story with a difference! It tells the story of Tilda Moss, a gifted research scientist, as she lies in hospital, unable to move or communicate in any way after a fall from a balcony. The plot unfolds as Tilda tries to figure out what happened and who was responsible by piecing together memories as well as listening to conversations taking place in her hospital room.
I loved the originality of a story where the main character is in a seemingly vegetative state and, while it doesn’t sound like it would create a page-turner, I found that I was drawn into Tilda’s story, and I read the book in three days, eager to discover the answer to the mystery!
As well as being a great story, the book is also thought-provoking, reflecting on many of the big questions about life and death.
I reviewed The Gardener’s Daughter by the same author earlier this year.
Only Child by Rhiannon Navin
This was another book I struggled to put down! It tells the story of a school shooting and its aftermath through the eyes of Zach, a six year old boy. Obviously the subject matter is very difficult, and it is an emotional and heart-breaking story, but I think it is tackled very sensitively.
I loved the way the events unfolded through the eyes of a child and I thought the character of Zach was portrayed very well.
It is a beautiful exploration of grief and how it impacts people in different ways as the characters each seek to find a way forward following a tragedy, and it is definitely a story that will stick with me.
When God Doesn’t Fix It by Laura Story
Laura Story’s song “Blessings” has had a huge impact on me, as it has for many others, and I had been keen to read this book for a few years! I finally managed to get round to it and I was not disappointed.
In it, Laura shares some of her own story, and tells of the journey she and her husband have been on following his diagnosis with a brain tumour, which left him with incurable short-term memory loss.
Laura is honest about the struggles and the wrestling in prayer, asking God to fix her situation, but she also points to hope and testifies to God’s presence, even in the midst of heartache and broken dreams, showing that our suffering can be a path to deeper intimacy with him.
As well as sharing her own story, in each chapter Laura identifies a common myth people believe about suffering and counters this with a biblical truth. This is helpful for allowing the reader to apply the teachings of the book to their own unresolved situations.
“The answer to why doesn’t help us heal. But knowing that God’s glory can be displayed, even in the brokenness of our lives, gives us hope despite our circumstances.”
An Intentional Life by Karen Stott
If you struggle with knowing what your purpose is, with living intentionally, and with balancing your responsibilities to others with the passions God has given you, this is a book that I’m sure you will find encouraging.
Karen Stott shares her story of attempting to live intentionally and it is full of encouragement and inspiration for others seeking to do the same.
The chapters are short and easy to read, and the anecdotes she shares cover various areas of life, including family, church and business.
Here are a few of my favourite quotes:
“A calling isn’t a destination. It’s a lifestyle. It’s simply responding to his invitation with one more step of faith, one more surrender, one more yes.”
“That’s how amazing God is. He takes the pieces of our stories that seem like setbacks and uses them as the foundation to set others free.”
“We weren’t put on this earth to fulfil our great dream. We were put on this earth to fulfil God’s great plan.”
What about you? What good books have you been reading recently?
I’m grateful to Crossway, Instant Apostle, Mantle, Harvest House, and Netgalley for access to complementary digital copies of most of these books in exchange for an honest review. I only share books here that I believe will genuinely be beneficial to my readers.
Amazon links are not affiliate links, but simply provided for your convenience.