What’s on my nightstand

It’s spring break this week. I’ve been attempting some spring cleaning (and those of you who know me in real life just gave a collective gasp). In my scrubbing frenzy, I’m realizing that cleaning like a madwoman and writing anything profound are mutually exclusive. Not that my usually posting is anything remotely resembling profound but sometimes I like to try.

Anyway, it’s been awhile since I’ve participated in 5 Minutes for Books’ “What’s On Your Nightstand” carnival so I thought, hey, since it’s spring break and I’m spending my day cleaning without any thought about any other subject other than my total lack of housekeeping skill and discipline, today’s a good day to join up. Participants in the Nightstand carnival post their current and recent reads on the last Tuesday of each month. As you may have realized, today is Wednesday but I figure I can still crash the party. So here’s what I’m reading and have recently read…


The Atonement: Its Meaning and Significance by Leon Morris. So good. My friend Rebecca at Rebecca Writes has recommended this title many times and I’m embarrassed I’m just now reading it. Morris examines various Biblical concepts used to describe and portray the atonement: covenant, redemption, sacrifice, propitiation, and so on. I echo Rebecca’s recommendation: get it, read it.

Still Life with Bread Crumbs: A Novel by Anna Quindlen. I grabbed this one at the library last week not knowing much about it. I generally plan my trips to the library in advance, checking availability and reviews and such. I know, I know, I am such a nerd. I’m also cheap (when it comes to fiction) and I have little patience for not-very-good books. I’m a little more than halfway through this novel and am enjoying it very much. It is beautifully written and (so far) quite engaging. I won’t say if I recommend it or not until I’m finished.


The Gospel-Centered Woman: Understanding Biblical Womanhood through the Lens of the Gospel by Wendy Alsup. Wendy is one of my favorite authors/bloggers/thinkers. I appreciated this book and its consistent, deliberate focus on Christ. I thought the chapters “Godliness with Contentment” and “The Gospel in Your Context” to be especially strong (read: convicting).

Where’d You Go, Bernadette: A Novel by Maria Semple. Fun, satiric, and hilarious.

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys. A haunting YA novel about Stalin’s Russia.

Hollow City by Ransom Riggs. I liked Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children but it had been awhile since I’d read it and this, the second book in the series, picks right up where that novel left off with no helpful review information. After a quick Google search for a synopsis of the first book, I was then able to read and enjoy Hollow City and I even think it may be the stronger of the two books.


So much of what I read is subject to whim and availability. I do have something of a “To Read” list but I rarely have a firm plan of what I’m reading next. I am expecting a couple of resources about the Sermon on the Mount to arrive today so I will certainly be reading and referring to them in the coming days and weeks as I prepare my Bible study lessons each week. Other books I’d like tackle soon:

  • Gospel Amnesia by Luma Sims. Luma is twitter and blog friend and I’m looking forward to reading her book.
  • The Storytelling God by Jared Wilson. All of Jared’s books I’ve read are fantastic and this one about Jesus’ parables looks to maintain that standard.
  • How the Gospel Brings Us All the Way Home by Derek Thomas.
  • Daring Greatly by Brene Brown. My friend raves about this title so I’m excited about reading it.

As far as fiction, I don’t know what I’ll read next. I do have a stack of books I grabbed at the library when I checked out the Quindlen novel. That being said, I’m always a little afraid to broadcast what novels I’m reading before I finish them in case they are really bad and someone misconstrues my reading them as my recommending them! Is that weird?

What about you? What are you reading this month? You can link up your list at 5 Minutes for Books as well as check out what other readers are reading!


Author: Lisa Spence

Wife, mother, Bible teacher, bibliophile, occasional blogger

4 thoughts on “What’s on my nightstand”

  1. I am delighted to see that The Atonement is at my local library–so I put in a request for it today. It’s been a while since I read something really theological (as opposed to the more memoir-ish “my experience with God or with theology”). I think it’ll do me good to steep a while in the reality of Christ’s work.

    Glad you chose to “crash the party” this month!

  2. I’m so happy to see that you read “Where’d You Go, Bernadette?”! I just read it over spring break and loved it. Such a fun, creative, interesting read.

    I’m about halfway through “Daring Greatly” and need to pick it back up again. It’s affirming and convicting at the same time.

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