The Bookbag * 5 . 19

Yep, May's a busy one alright.  Our jam-packed calendar squares remind us that the endless housebound winter is long gone and the lazy days of summer have yet to arrive.

But always ... there's time to read.  Early in the morning we sneak in a few pages, we lull our selves to sleep with a couple of chapters in the midnight hours.  We tuck a small volume or our Kindle into awaiting bags hoping to capture a half hour to savor an exquisite storyline ... or invite Spirit-inspired words to change our lives in all the ways that matter most.

I've read 11 books in the two months since our March Bookbag post.  I paged through a few more before returning to them to the library unread.  And these are the three that I most highly recommend.

Joy: Poet, Seeker, and the Woman Who Captivated C.S. Lewis
Abigail Santamaria
Attention All Becoming Mrs. Lewis Book Club Readers!  This is the follow-up volume for you.  Whether you absolutely loved Joy ... or wrestled with how she lived out her faith and had some misgivings about her pursuit of Lewis, you'll find this fascinating bio to be rich and full and answer quite a few of the questions you gathered in the course of our discussion.

Our stories along the way, for better or worse, surely influence the choices we make in search for a love that fully satisfies.

And just like Joy, author Santamaria pulls no punches.  This is must reading for all who found Joy to be an intricately complex woman.
Hardcover - $28.00
Kindle - $13.14

When God's Ways Make No Sense
Dr. Larry Crabb
I'm a huge Larry Crabb fan from way back.  A highly respected leader in Christian counseling circles, this esteemed psychologist always goes right to the heart of whatever subject is on the table.  You'll wince a bit as he shines the light on the inner motives of our self-absorbed souls, but you'll love the rich path toward an authentic faith that he leads us to.

'More often now than earlier in my Christian life, I find myself asking three rather weighty questions, questions that fifty years of counseling have convinced me that many others are asking as well.  Perhaps not out loud.  The questions might be heard as evidence of little faith, maybe as questions that really shouldn't be asked by Christians who trust Jesus to guide them through their lives.

But these are three questions that life will at some point nudge every honest Christian to ask:
Question 1: Why Must Suffering Play Such a Big Role in the Christian Life?

Question 2: Why Must Failure Be Such an Ongoing Part of the Christian Life?

Question 3: How Are We to Respond to Seemingly Random Suffering with No Obvious Purpose and to Repeated Failure That We Try Hard to Resist but Sometimes Can't?' {pages 30 - 31}.
Hardcover - $11.95
Kindle - $9.99

It's Okay Not to Be Okay: Moving Forward One Day at a Time
Sheila Walsh
We often talk about the waiting rooms of our lives.  It's there we dwell while trying to figure out the next right thing to pursue or perhaps while waiting for God's answers or direction.

But at least most waiting rooms have comfy chairs, magazines to leaf through, windows to gaze out of.  Being stuck in the hallway takes the waiting room to a whole other level.

If you're in that scary place, Sheila Walsh is an authentic, sensitive guide because she's been there, done that.  And her story will assure you that not only is it okay not to be okay, but that it won't last forever.  Because God has other plans.

'God not only lives in the wide-open spaces of our lives, God lives in the hallway, and His presence can be most keenly felt when the door has been slammed in our face.  So many of the distractions that had filled my life had numbed me to the whole point of my life: to bring glory to God, to know Him, to allow the Holy Spirit to invade every space.  I began to worship in the hallway' {page 45}.
Hardcover - $10.99
Kindle - $10.44

We're right smack dab in the middle of our conversation!  Emily Freeman's brand new gift to all us decision fatigued seekers is hitting home for readers.  It's not too late to grab your copy and jump right into the conversation!  Go right here to begin.
Hardcover - $11.28
Kindle - $9.99


Dana McMahan

Tom Hallman, Jr.

Diana Petrillo

Glorious Weakness:
Discovering God In All We Lack
Alia Joy

Holy Envy:
Finding God in the Faith of Others
Barbara Brown Taylor

Searching for Sunday:
Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church
Rachel Held Evans 

What recent reads would you highly recommend?  If you have a bookish blog post to share, please give us an intriguing preview and your link in the comment section!  I do love when my far-flung friends get to know each other ...

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chatting with
AnneMary & Sue