From romance to Black History, February is all about love. This month, my books, while not all sappy love stories, explores the different parts of what makes us human—our relationship with God, our relationships with the people we love—and have loved, and our relationship with the world.
All About Love
Non-Fiction – Religion & Spirituality
Unshakeable by John Eckhardt
Last month, Apostle Eckhardt led a prophetic activation at my church and I was blessed tremendously as I learned more about praying for others. Until then, I didn’t know that as Christians we should desire spiritual gifts (I Corinthians 14::1).
We all know people who sometimes act in polar opposites: the minister who is godly,
prayerful, and holy at times, yet has periods of sin and perversion; the person who is
outgoing and cheerful, yet falls into bouts of withdrawal and depression; or the person
who is gentle and kind, yet has periods of outburst and rage.
Unshakeable is a teaching unlike any other from best-selling author John Eckhardt on
breaking the most binding, demonic force: double-mindedness. Through this powerful
book you will develop a firm, Christlike identity that will not be easily shaken by this world.
You will learn how to overcome the manifestations of double-mindedness that result in:
Broken marriages and divorce
Indecision and passivity
Bitterness and anger
Hurt and offense
Fear and rejection
Spiritually rooted sickness and disease
And much more!
Fiction – Love & Romance
Now is the Time to Open Your Heart by Alice Walker
Full disclosure, I’ve read this book before. I decided to save a few bucks or a trip to the library by reading something I already had on my bookshelf. And, I know I won’t be disappointed with a story by this Pulitzer Prize winning author.
In Now Is the Time to Open Your Heart, Alice Walker has created a work that ranks among her ?nest achievements: the story of a woman’s spiritual adventure that becomes a passage through time, a quest for self, and a collision with love.
Kate has always been a wanderer. A well-published author, married many times, she has lived a life rich with explorations of the natural world and the human soul. Now, at fifty-seven, she leaves her lover, Yolo, to embark on a new excursion, one that begins on the Colorado River, proceeds through the past, and flows, inexorably, into the future. As Yolo begins his own parallel voyage, Kate encounters celibates and lovers, shamans and snakes, memories of family disaster and marital discord, and emerges at a place where nothing remains but love.
Told with the accessible style and deep feeling that are its author’s hallmarks, Now Is the Time to Open Your Heart is Alice Walker’s most surprising achievement.
A few off my friends on Facebook wanted to know how I manage to read so many books each month. My secret—audiobooks. I listen to them when driving, shopping, cooking, cleaning, or walking on the treadmill. I’ve read one of these books before. Can you guess which one?
Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America by Michael Eric Dyson
In the wake of yet another set of police killings of black men, Michael Eric Dyson wrote a tell-it-straight, no-holds-barred piece for the NYT on Sunday, July 7: “Death in Black and White” (it was updated within a day to acknowledge the killing of police officers in Dallas). The response has been overwhelming. Beyoncé and Isabel Wilkerson tweeted it; JJ Abrams, among many other prominent people, wrote him a long fan letter. The NYT closed the comments section after 2,500 responses, and Dyson has been on NPR, BBC, and CNN nonstop since then.
Fifty years ago Malcolm X told a white woman who asked what she could do for the cause, “Nothing.” Dyson believes he was wrong. In Tears We Cannot Stop, he responds to that question. If we are to make real racial progress, we must face difficult truths, including being honest about how black grievance has been ignored, dismissed, or discounted. As Dyson writes, “At birth you are given a pair of binoculars that see black life from a distance, never with the texture of intimacy. Those binoculars are privilege; they are status, regardless of your class. In fact the greatest privilege that exists is for white folk to get stopped by a cop and not end up dead…. The problem is you do not want to know anything different from what you think you know…. You think we have been handed everything because we fought your selfish insistence that the world, all of it – all its resources, all its riches, all its bounty, all its grace – should be yours first and foremost, and if there’s anything left, why then we can have some, but only if we ask politely and behave gratefully.”
In the tradition of The Fire Next Time (Baldwin), short, emotional, literary, powerful, this is the book that all Americans who care about the current and long-burning crisis in race relations need to hear.
Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
Ralph Elllison’s Invisible Man is a monumental novel, one that can well be called an epic of 20th-century African-American life. It is a strange story, in which many extraordinary things happen, some of them shocking and brutal, some of them pitiful and touching – yet always with elements of comedy and irony and burlesque that appear in unexpected places.
If you’re curious about anything else I’m reading, take a look at the Goodreads widget in my sidebar. If you’re not following me there, friend me here.
What are you reading this month? I’m accepting recommendations for March.