Mark Alan Williams
8 Great Books I Read on Our Recent Vacation
Plus a Wonderful Bonus Book
Carolyn and I recently went on a vacation that afforded me time to do some extra
reading. I was able to finish reading 8 books during the vacation, and one more right
afterwards. And in case you’re wondering, yes, we had a fantastic time on the
vacation—you can ask Carolyn.
Discipleship is not only about face-to-face interactions. We can be discipled by books
and the Bible is an excellent example! If you would like to grow in your relationship with
Christ, I highly recommend reading books, reading blogs (like this one) and listening to
Christian radio, television, podcasts and videos.
Of course, there are benefits to each of these delivery systems. I like books because I can
read them at my own pace, I can mark them up, I can easily refer back to them, I can use
quotes from them, and more.
Furthermore, and I know people have strong opinions on this, I love to read books on
Kindle Reader (usually on my computer). Some of the advantages I find:
The books take up no extra space in my suitcase, briefcase or office. (I have some 250 books in my Kindle Reader!)
I can make the font as large as I want.
I can easily hold the electronic device and flip pages quickly.
I don’t have to retype what I want to copy and save elsewhere.
The books download instantly, anywhere I have internet.
Often they are very inexpensive. I highly recommend subscribing to BookBub and getting their daily deals emails on inexpensive eBooks chosen to fit your reading preferences.
Here are the 8 books I finished on our vacation:
Atomic Habits by James Clear
Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus by Nabeel Qureshi
Life without Lack by Dallas Willard
God’s Answers to Life’s Difficult Questions by Rick Warren
Made to Stick by Chip Heath and Dan Heath
Hearing God by Mark & Patti Virkler
Everybody Always by Bob Goff
Not Forgotten by Kenneth Bae
Here are some notes about what I found helpful in these books:
1. Atomic Habits by James Clear
If you want to break some bad habits or establish some good habits, this is a wonderful
resource. This particular book is not written from a Christian or devotional perspective. It
is more a research-based book with great stories to illustrate the points.
Buy this book here: https://amzn.to/2xgkATZ
2. Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus by Nabeel Qureshi
This was the biggest “wow” book I read on this trip. It is the autobiography of a Pakistani
whose family moved to the USA and after trying to convert Christians who challenged
his statements about Islam and Christianity, the author became a follower of Jesus. This
happened despite tremendous social consequences of leaving Islam. While it is his
conversion story, the book contains a lot of explanation of Islam, how it sees Christianity
and the Bible, and how he was converted through studying the facts.
Carolyn also read this book and found it fascinating.
Buy this book here: https://amzn.to/2XeeFyc
3. Life without Lack by Dallas Willard
This is another wonderful book by Dallas Willard, who wrote deeply and thoughtfully
about the Christian life. I found the book encouraging and spiritually stimulating.
Buy this book here: https://amzn.to/2Xat7lR
4. God’s Answers to Life’s Difficult Questions by Rick Warren
Pastor Rick Warren, also author of The Purpose Driven Life, has a great gift for making
Biblical living easy to understand and practice. He covers topics like:
How Can I Live Above Average?
How Can I Have Peace Of Mind?
Each chapter is based on a passage of Scripture and can bring real hope in difficult
Buy this book here: https://amzn.to/2IVw99M
5. Made to Stick by Chip Heath and Dan Heath
This is a book on sharing your message in a way that others will pay attention to and
listen to. This father and son writing team shares that messages which stick are:
You might think this would be a boring read, however the stories which illustrate the
points are fascinating. If you have a story to tell or a ministry or business to promote, I
would strongly recommend this book.
Buy this book here: https://amzn.to/2X8WCo9
6. Hearing God by Mark & Patti Virkler
This book is more a workbook on hearing God. If you’re interested in that topic, I would
recommend this one. It even has a section on dream interpretation, which was of
particular interest to me after reading how a key component in Nabeel Qureshi’s
conversion (and many other Muslims) is dreams about Jesus.
Buy this book here: https://amzn.to/2LtK3Bu
7. Everybody Always by Bob Goff
Bob Goff is one fascinating guy. I really enjoyed reading his first book Love Does. Both
books contain a lot of remarkable stories from his life and experiences. He then seeks to
apply the stories to Christian living. I found the stories a lot more meaningful than the
applications. However, many people are loving both of these books and they are certainly
Buy this book here: https://amzn.to/2FDmHFJ
8. Not Forgotten by Kenneth Bae
Kenneth Bae has the distinction of being the longest held prisoner of the North Korean
regime since the Korean War. While trying to reach into North Korea with the Gospel,
Kenneth got himself arrested due to a big mistake, and was eventually sentenced to 15
years of hard labor. After about two years he was released, due to much political
negotiation by the Obama administration.
Reading this book will give people a better understanding of the Korean dictatorship,
where their God is their Supreme Leader, Kim Jong-un. Reading about how Kenneth was
able to endure the extreme mental pressure and very difficult physical challenges through
his faith in Jesus was truly inspiring.
Buy this book here: https://amzn.to/2XdXY0K
That’s the eight books. However, here’s a bonus read which I finished just after our vacation:
9. Do More Better by Tim Challies
The subtitle of this book is “A Practical Guide to Productivity.” Indeed, it is an awesome
book on productivity with a modern slant that covers the wonderful electronic tools
available in our day. If followed, it will definitely help people to stay organized and
Tim Challies is a very effective and popular Christian blogger and pastor. He is super
productive based on the tools he shares in this book. Over the years I’ve read several
books on time management and productivity. This one is probably the best.
Buy this book here: https://amzn.to/2xifwhP
A FINAL NOTE:
I can’t remember a vacation in which I read more. However, please understand that for 6
of these 8 books, I had started them before the trip and finished them because I had some
additional time for reading. I’m really grateful for the extra reading time and all the help
and discipling from these books.
If you are not sure that you have received God’s gift of salvation through Jesus, learn
about how to be positive HERE.
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