I finished reading half a dozen books last month, including the New York Times Bestseller, Effortless by Greg McKeown. Read on for my impression of all six titles.
6 Books I read in June
George Muller by Geoff and Janet Benge
While the grandkids were here last month, we started a new read-aloud, George Müller: The Guardian of Bristol’s Orphans by Geoff and Janet Benge.
You may already be familiar with this great man of faith. Stories of his total reliance upon God to provide for the hundreds of orphans under his care have been told for decades.
Yet George was quite the trouble maker in his teen years. He would lie, cheat, steal, and gamble without the slightest remorse for any of those misdeeds. On the rare occasion he got caught, he would chastise himself, not for committing the sin, but for failing to keep it hidden.
These character flaws followed George even into divinity school, where as a young adult he was preparing to become a Lutheran pastor. When the provost of the school charged the students to give as much attention to developing good character as to making good grades, Muller focused on doing things that would make him appear more godly while continuing to indulge his sinful heart.
It wasn’t until he met a group of earnest believers who read the Bible with a fierce desire to live by its truth and who prayed expectantly, as if God were standing right there in the room, ready to answer, that George Müller’s eyes were finally opened to what he had been missing: a personal relationship with Jesus and a newfound delight in reading — and doing — His Word.
Effortless by Greg McKeown
Last month, I read Greg McKeown’s Essentialism and found it nothing less than inspiring. But what if you strip your life down to the bare essentials — to those things that truly matter most — and it is still too much for you to handle?
Enter McKeown’s newest book, Effortless. It’s all about maximizing and multiplying and exponentially extending your reach so that you may enjoy the absolute highest residual dividends on the time and effort you invest in those essential goals.
While this is not a Christian book, per se, it has some very biblical concepts in it, including the benefit of (1) choosing gratitude over grumbling, (2) extending forgiveness over harboring grudges, (3) prioritizing regular periods of rest, relaxation, and refreshment, and more.
Along Came Gallileo by Jeanne Bendick
Galileo disagreed with the commonly-held belief of his time that the earth was the center of the universe.
Instead, he preferred to accept the findings of his own astronomical observations, which all pointed to the idea that our solar system’s planets orbit the sun.
It was interesting to read how fiercely Galileo was persecuted for clinging to his scientifically-accurate but politically-incorrect views.
Those in authority did everything they could to silence him!
Which just goes to prove: The more things change, the more they stay the same.
We so enjoyed this slim, illustrated volume that we immediately started another of Bendick’s books, Galen and the Gateway to Medicine.
Taran Wanderer and The High King by Lloyd Alexander
I finished re-reading the last two books of The Chronicles of Prydain last month.
In Taran Wanderer, Taran goes searching for information about his parents. Although that quest ultimately fails, he learns far more valuable lessons about loyalty, integrity, diplomacy, hard work, as well as a variety of trades, including blacksmithing, weaving, and pottery making.
In The High King, Taran must put all his newfound wisdom and skill to use in order to defeat an enemy who threatens to enslave and destroy everyone and every place he holds dear. I love the way Alexander wraps up this saga in the final book. All the unanswered questions from the previous four volumes are finally resolved and tied neatly together.
Plays Well With Others by Eric Barker
My husband and I finished listening to the Plays Well with Others audiobook by Eric Barker in June.
It was fantastic, as was his bestselling Barking Up the Wrong Tree which we listened to in May.
Eric Barker’s books, like his newsletters, are packed with surprising statistics and scientific studies, yet his storytelling is so strong that the data-driven narrative never feels dry or boring.
In fact, both books were so interesting that Doug and I felt compelled to stop the recording every page or two to discuss what we were hearing. Here’s one of my own blog posts that grew entirely from such a discussion.
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