Unarmed Empire by Sean Palmer

This is my second time reading this book, and the redundancy was intentional. I can think of no other book I’ve read in the past decade that is more appropriate and instructive for our time. In a polarized, divisive, hostile culture, the tendency to “other” the Other is ubiquitous. For Christ followers (heck, for everybody) we must find a better way. This book paves the path for us. If only we’ll have the courage to follow.


Tripwire by Lee Child

The third of the Reacher novels, this one may be my favorite of the three. Jack Reacher is still the star of the show, but I found the other main characters much more interesting than in the first two installments. There were some borderline creepy moments when Reacher falls for a woman he has known since she was a teenager, but Child goes out of his way to inform the reader that their knowledge of one another in those years was chaste. Beyond that, it has some extra plot twists and elements that made it a super entertaining read.


The Last Juror by John Grisham

I hadn’t read The Last Juror in years. For whatever reason, I don’t remember liking it all that well. But I own every book Grisham has written and I decided to give it another try. Like Thanksgiving Dinner, it was better leftover than at first. It’s got all the fundamental Grisham elements — a small town square populated by caricatures reminiscent of my small town upbringing, a lovable protagonist, a grizzly crime that needs solving, and some beautiful friendships that give the whole story depth and substance. Well worth your time if you missed it when it came out in 2004.


Fidelity: Five Stories by Wendell Berry

My counselor told me to read some Wendell Berry and, being the dutiful counselee that I am, I chose this collection of short stories and consumed it quickly. Berry is a prolific author, well-known for poetry. The bookstore and library didn’t have any of his poetry books, so I was stuck with prose. Gosh, he’s a good writer. Like, really good. All five stories center around a particular place in rural Kentucky (Berry famously has devoted himself to a particular place and the region appears to be his muse for this fictional locale. Beautifully written. I loved this one. Probably my favorite of the month.


The Cyclist’s Friend by Chris Naylor

This is a book about bikes. I picked it up at our local bookstore and enjoyed every page of it. It had a lot of little known trivia, a fairly robust history of the bicycle, and some helpful tips for modern times.


Just Ride by Grant Peterson

This is another book about bikes. My brother-in-law loaned it (and three others) to me when It old him about the first book I read about bikes. He is an avid cyclists and I chose three out of his expansive library. Even if you don’t like bikes that much and are just a curious person, I think you’d enjoy this every-(wo)man’s guide to cycling. It’s helpful, and it has some snark, and it’s an easy read.

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