Hey, friends! Do you like to read? I do. How many books do you think I have read since moving to North Africa last October?
Are you ready?
Fifty-seven. That’s right, even I am a little impressed with myself. While it’s been difficult to find hardcopies of good English books, I am infinitely grateful for my library app, Hoopla. During my first few months as an expat, I lived and breathed Hoopla’s extensive collection of Agatha Christie novels. In fact, thirty of those fifty-seven books—yep, they were murder mysteries.
Today, I wanted to share the top five books I’ve read since moving. These are definitely books to add to your summer reading list:
1. Muslims, Christians, and Jesus by Carl Medearis
If you’re looking for a quick overview of Islam and its intersection with Christianity, look no further. Short and accessible, Carl’s book outlines core beliefs in Islam and helps Western Christians learn how to better love our Muslim neighbors. While I’m not sure how I feel about all of Carl’s ideas, I think that this book is a great place to start a conversation. I have recommended it to so many people who want to talk with me about my experience living in the Arab world.
2. A War of Loves: The Unexpected Story of a Gay Activist Discovering Jesus by David Bennett
This is one of those stories that just makes you fall a little more in love with Jesus. I found out about David Bennett when he appeared as a guest on the Hole in My Heart podcast (highly recommend!!!). To my delight, his new book was available on audio through Hoopla. And wow. This memoir touched me so deeply. Listening to David’s story gave me so much empathy and respect for the journey that our Christian LGBTI brothers and sisters walk.
3. A Taste for Death by P. D. James
It is no secret that I love murder mysteries. This, however, was my first P.D. James novel. It was on my TBR list when I went to Germany in January and I was delighted to find a copy at the Munich Readery. Back in North Africa, it sat on my shelf for almost a month while I salivated over the prospect of turning real paper pages. I’m being dramatic, but I loved reading this book, and I promise it was more than just the paper. The story was captivating. Paging through it now, I am struck again by James’ profound theological bent. I highly recommend it to all fellow lovers of detective fiction.
4. The Man Born to Be King by Dorothy Sayers
I adore this play cycle! I read it for the first time this spring during Lent. At first I wanted to find the original audio drama, but it’s virtually unavailable, so I broke down and bought the ebook—and I’m so glad I did. Sayer’s notes on characterization and voicing are invaluable! She brings familiar New Testament stories to life with all her typical brilliance.
5. The Jesuit Guide to Almost Everything by James Martin
After pilgriming through the spiritual exercises last year, I was already a big fan of everything Ignatian. This book just confirmed my love for Jesuit tradition. Friendly, funny, and practical—Martin helps readers learn to find God in all things.