"I am studying a book by Henrietta C. Mears called What the Bible Is All About. In the Scriptures we find the answers to life’s questions: Where did I come from? Why am I here? Where am I going? Why do I exist? This book is a help to understand God’s Word. I love how when we begin to fill our hearts with His Word, He speaks to us!"

I like John Grisham’s books. I call them “brain candy” because they are easy to read, the characters are interesting, and his stories (which are usually about lawyers, courtrooms and the law) are interesting. I’m currently reading Sycamore Row. This particular book is about a rich old codger with cancer who commits suicide to end his suffering, but before he does, he handwrites a will cutting out his ungrateful and unkind children and leaves almost everything to his African-American maid.

Just finished Ashley Cleveland’s Little Black Sheep. Wow. I am very impressed by her writing — her honesty, vulnerability, command of language. What a gripping story, well-written from beginning to end. Having had a chance to spend some time with Ashley recently, I heard her read an excerpt from the book. It took only a couple of sentences before I knew it was a must-read for me. Hard to put down. Finished it in two sittings, only due to having to take a break for food and mommy duties!

On BUDDY GREENE’S Nightstand
Caring for Words in a Culture of Lies by Marilyn Chandler McEntyre. I love it because we live in this world of tweeting and sound bites, and we’re probably communicating more poorly than we ever have. We’ve forgotten how to use language in a way that we really speak to each other, understand each other. Everything is abbreviated and nobody takes the time to fi nd the right word or phrase for what they are really trying to say. It’s a world of “whatevers,” LOLs and FYIs, so this book is sort of a protest to that, but very positive. Not a complaining book, but a celebration of the power of language.

Living Into Focus: Choosing What Matters in an Age of Distractions by Arthur Boers. This book helps us fi nd boundaries for the technology that is so prevalent and we’re so dependent upon (and can really end up consuming our time)—and what we’re being distracted from. It gets us to think about focal practices such as making meals together, taking walks, reading regularly, daily chores—things that make us slow down and feel the rhythm of our lives.

Mystery and Manners: Occasional Prose by Flannery O’Connor. A series of essays and talks that Flannery gave that speak to everything from fi ction-writing, to the teaching of literature, to being a creative person of faith and being a regional writer.

Strong Poison by Dorothy L. Sayers. I’d always heard she was a great mystery writer, and from this introduction, she is fantastic! I prefer her over Agatha Christie, who was much more popular. Dorothy is a really great writer and develops character really well. She was also among the Inklings group, which included C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien.