Curling up on the sofa with a book and a mug of tea or hot chocolate is always a pleasure at the end of a hectic day. Here in Cyprus we are currently in our third strict lockdown, which means there is more 'sofa book time' than usual.
Pictured below are nine recommendable books I have read over the last few months (or am still reading). It is not my aim to give a detailed review of each book, but a brief outline of the contents may be useful to fellow bookworms, with further book recommendations in the various genres. While Kindle has increased the availability of books in general, my preference is still to hold and read a literal book in my hand.
A solid Bible commentary is always a useful companion in our daily Bible reading. William McBride's book on the Messianic Psalms gives a keen insight into the meaning of these intriguing Psalms, with reference to the original Hebrew.
For my younger readers, William McDonald's Believer's Bible Commentary is also a highly recommended Bible study tool for a comprehensive overview of the whole Bible.
Books on the Holocaust are crucial reminders that such depravity should never reoccur in a world which is increasingly anti-Semitic. It is also inspiring to read of the heroic courage of those who survived concentration camps or helped to save Jews from Nazi annihilation. A Garland for Ashes is a life account of a young Jewish girl who escaped the Nazi regime by the Kindertransport rescue effort, which placed Jewish children in families in Britain.
Other important reads on this topic are Night by Elie Wiesel, Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas,The Auschwitz Escape (fiction) by Joel C. Rosenberg and The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom. In My Father's House by Corrie Ten boom describes the years before the events of The Hiding Place, which sheds light on the character of this family who risked their lives to hide Jews.
A Wind In The House Of Islam documents how God has been working in the Islamic world to bring people to a knowledge of salvation over recent decades, with anecdotes from past centuries of missionary endeavours.
A separate account of a Muslim finding Christ called Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus by Nabeel Qureshi, is one I highly recommend. This book teaches the reader much about the beliefs of Islam, which is important knowledge as we reach out to our communities.
The New York Times best-selling author of The Last Days, Joel C. Rosenberg, has written a number of Christian political thrillers set in the Middle East which read almost like prophecy, in addition to non-fiction works. Residing in Jerusalem, he is one of the most exciting authors alive today who gives much insight into the Middle East in interviews, on his website and now through his newly-founded news and media website at All Arab News.
An Open Door: A True Story Of Courage In Congo commemorates 50 years of missionary service in the Democratic Republic of the Congo by Maud Kells OBE. It is an inspiring record of God's miraculous ways in the life of an amazing N. Irish woman of God.
Against The Tide by Angus Kinnear is also an encouraging account of the life of the humble, fearless Watchman Nee, who served the Lord in China and was imprisoned for his faith.
Biographies of great men and women of God often impact our Christian lives significantly. The following recommendations may be noteworthy, particularly to younger readers:
Through Gates of Splendor by Elisabeth Elliot
Tortured For Christ by Richard Wurmbrand
A Chance To Die: The Life And Legacy Of Amy Carmichael by Elisabeth Elliot
Death Of A Guru by Rabi R Maharaj
The Cross And The Switchblade by David Wilkerson
The Silk Roads by Peter Frankopan, is described as 'a major reassessment of world history'. This tome of 521 pages, while it is taking me out of my comfort zone, is an epic read well worth time and attention.
I also recommend The History of Christianity (A Lion Handbook) as a user-friendly and attractively presented text book on the development of Christianity throughout the world.
Holley Gerth's devotionals including Hope Your Heart Needs, What Your Heart Needs For The Hard Days and Coffee For Your Heart have cheered me over the last few months. These are heart-warming devotions for 52 or 40 days, with personal anecdotes and poems by the author.
Other devotionals I have enjoyed in the past include:
My Utmost For His Highest by Oswald Chambers
The Finishing Touch: Becoming God's Masterpiece by Charles Swindoll
Morning By Morning by Charles Spurgeon
Inspiring Women Every Day published by CWR
The genre of apologetics is also essential on our reading lists. Popular Christian apologetic authors include C. S. Lewis, Professor John Lennox, Lee Strobel, Josh McDowell and William Lane Craig. Their writings are particularly beneficial for students and those who have frequent conversations with atheists. John Lennox recently compiled a short book entitled: Where Is God In A Coronavirus World? which is a relevant read for today's situation.
If you have any book recommendations or any comments on the books mentioned, please feel free to share your thoughts through the contact option on the site.