ABC Voices

A Midsummer Reading List

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We're about halfway through summer, but there's still plenty of time to read a couple great books! The ABC Blog team has shared some of their top book recommendations. Listed below is a wide variety of books that should help you grow, think, learn, feel, or simply relax and enjoy. Enjoy!

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Alex’s Top Three

1) The Chosen - Chaim Potok

The Chosen Book Cover Allendale Baptist Church Blog

Fiction: I love this story of two Jewish boys growing up in 1940s New York. Learning their culture is fascinating, and Potok's writing always keeps me interested. I go back to this book again and again!

2) The Shadow of the Almighty - Elisabeth Elliot

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Christian Biography: Elisabeth Elliot writes the biography of her late husband, Jim, the missionary killed by the Auca Indians. His story is compelling and convicting- the example of a man willing to give up everything for His Lord is inspiring!

3) The Discipline of Grace - Jerry Bridges

Book Cover Allendale Baptist Church

Christian Non-Fiction: This book completely changed my understanding of God's grace and how it affects my daily life. I would highly recommend it to anyone who struggles with the relationship between works and grace.

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Ryan's Top Three

1) I, Isaac, Take Thee, Rebekah - Ravi Zacharias

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Christian Non-Fiction: This is a beautiful examination of what a biblical understanding of marriage is. It's rich in poetic imagery, biblical examination, and storytelling like only the great Ravi Zacharias can tell.

2) Does God Love Everyone? - Dr. Jerry Walls

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Christian Non-Fiction: It is probably the quickest read in a massive sea of books dealing with this issue. Walls does an excellent job boiling down the issue from both a philosophical and biblical angle. I recommend this book mainly so that Christians understand how incredibly relevant and highly debated this question is even within Protestant Evangelicalism.

3) Frankenstein - Mary Shelley

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Fiction: This is a classic that is often misunderstood because of how often it has been repeated and altered. While dark and minimally frightening, this story tackles big ideas like "What is a human?" or "What is a soul?" This story ties together great themes like ethics and morality into an engaging narrative. Check out the original!

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Amy's Top Three

1) The Strong-Willed Child - Dr. James Dobson

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Christian Non-Fiction: If you have a strong-willed child or think you may have one, this is an excellent book for you! The “will” is absolutely STRONG with my oldest, and Dr. Dobson helps you understand how to parent these types of children. He addresses biblical discipline and gives many different guidelines and ideas for developing a balanced lifestyle for your family when you have a strong-willed child.

2) Present Over Perfect - Shauna Niequist

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Christian Non-Fiction: I am currently reading this book and doing a subsequent Bible Study along with it and it’s an excellent resource if you are feeling overwhelmed, overbooked, stressed and worn-out. Shauna addresses how she went from living in the fast lane 24/7 to slowing down and living a more simple and purposeful life. She discusses how to discover the important things you need to say “yes” to and to set aside the things that are not essential to the wellbeing of your family.

3) The Best Yes - Lysa TerKeurst

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Christian Non-Fiction: The Best Yes is another great book about how your most important “yes” should be to God and how to determine when it is okay to say “no”. Lysa discusses her struggle with never wanting to let anyone down and feeling like saying yes was so important for “ministry”; however, when she took the time to discover the purpose and motivation for her “yes” answers, she was able to discover some guidelines that we can follow that will help us to choose the best “yes” for our life and our family.

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Tim’s Top Three

1) All The Light We Cannot See - Anthony Doerr

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Fiction: This book is set in WW2 and is mostly observed from the viewpoint of 2 children. It is a fascinating perspective. Despite living in war-torn/German-occupied France, Little Marie-Laurie, who is blind, is able to see a rich beauty in life that few can. The prose is excellent and the book causes us to consider there is more to life than the problems right in front of our faces.

2) David and Goliath - Malcolm Gladwell

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Non-Fiction: As usual, Gladwell revisits common understandings about life and flips them on their heads. In this book, in particular, he shows how the Goliaths of the world are never quite as big as they seem to be, and how the Davids of the world are rarely as disadvantaged as they seem. It will leave you considering everything you've thought about education, success, and even the possibilities for your own life.

3) Total Truth - Nancey Pearcey

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Christian Non-Fiction: Nancy Pearcey applies her rigorous journalistic skills to observe the causes and effects of ideas. The specific term to describe her topic matter is "worldviews." She expertly shows the audience how beliefs have very real consequences on the world, for better or for worse. Why did Christians get the boot from the University? Why is our culture rapidly redefining what was once understood as common morality? Pearcey does a fantastic job answering these questions and also offers biblical solutions. This is a book that more Christians need to read.

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McKenzie’s Top Three

1) The Peace Maker - Ken Sande

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Christian Non-Fiction: I have been slowly working through this easy read over the past few months, and every page is enlightening! Ken Sande makes so much sense of conflict and resolution, and he always points back to the gospel. This is a must-read for any Christian, as all of us encounter some sort of conflict in our lives.

2) To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee

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Fiction: This has been a favorite of mine (and of many) since high school when it was on my English class reading list. Seeing life through young Scout's eyes is intriguing to me. Her unique perspective that comes from watching her father deal with a tough court case teaches readers not to judge someone based on what they hear. Rather, readers (through Scout's mind) learn to "climb inside of his skin and walk around in it."


3) The Oath - Frank Peretti

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Fiction: This 1,000 plus page novel is simple to read, but impossible to put down. It is fast-paced and intense- not for the faint of heart! Frank Peretti paints a haunting picture of the power of sin in his story about a small town that has decades-old secrets. When a stranger starts digging into town history, the town's sins come to light, and people begin reaping the consequences of their actions. It is only a matter of time before the entire town is destroyed. Who will save them from themselves?

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Pastor Mark’s Top Three

1) When People Are Big and God is Small - Edward T. Welch

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Christian Non-Fiction: An excellent book that helps people who struggle with fear of man issues. This work has helped me to see that my fear needs to be of God (Proverbs 1:7) first and foremost! And when my fear is in its proper place, I have nothing else to fear.

2) Instruments In The Redeemer’s Hands - Paul David Tripp

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Christian Non-Fiction: The subtitle “People in Need of Change Helping People in Need of Change” sums up why I love this book so much. It is one of the more important books I’ve read.

3) The Crucified Life - A.W. Tozer

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Christian Non-Fiction: A refreshing bold work on how to make the most of one’s Christian life. This will challenge you not to waste the new life the Lord has given you!

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