Mindset by Carol Dweck
As a recovering perfectionist, this book stacks up evidence of the harm caused by perfectionism borne of a fixed mindset (the idea that you have certain set strengths and should therefore act within them). I read it initially with my teacher hat on, but by the time I finished chapter 1, the personal impact was clear. Even if you’re not a perfectionist (recovering or proud!) or a teacher, I’d highly recommend it. I plan to come back to it regularly.
Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl DeWunn
Reality is rough. This book is filled with research and sadly true stories of women around the world who live with unbelievable oppression. It is also filled with the hopeful and true stories of amazingly strong women and thoughtful interventions. This is why we are charged to care for the widows and orphans and to look out for the oppressed.
When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor…and Yourself by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert
What does that care look like? What does it not look like? This thought-provoking book has changed my thoughts and questions about the best ways to respond to the brokenness around the world and close to home- no matter where home is. While you could probably learn much more about these concepts in university classes, I found this a good primer for helping me to think through alternatives to pity and throwing money at problems (not that money is always bad…read the book.:)
Loving the Way Jesus Loves by Philip Ryken
Given to me by my hostess during a stay in Colorado Springs, I find myself coming back to the challenge offered by Ryken often. I am quickly convicted and simultaneously encouraged that I can only love because I was- am- first loved so well. When my temptation is to work harder to love better, the glory of the good news of Jesus shines brightly.
Getting Love Right by Dallas Willard
This short text is basically a paper presented at a conference for Christian counselors. Its brevity makes the point well:
“Our aim under love is not to be loving to this or that person, or in this or that situation, but to be a person possessed by love as an overall character of life, whatever is or is not going on.”
Again, this must be the outworking of internal grace and love within. That’s supernatural.
Renovation of the Heart by Dallas Willard
What makes up “me?” And what does it take for me to become more of who God has made me to be? This book is not light reading, but it’s worth a slow, steady, prayerful read. I found this book to be especially practical, and the tone is intent and direct. “Work out your salvation…for it is God Who works in you” might look like this!
What will you re-read from this year?