Rev. Chris Lee – The OMG Effect

I’ve been following Rev. Chris on instagram for a while and have loved his 60 second sermons that he posts to give a brief moment of pause during the day. When I saw that he was bringing out a book, I had to pre-order it. Each chapter in the book starts with one of Chris’ 60 second sermons, then continues on with that topic. Topics including Positivity, Prayer, Humble Confidence, Death and Grief, and Love. Each chapter is...

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Sister Wendy Beckett – The Art of Holy Week and Easter

Having no art background and having not ever gone to art galleries or spent time looking at art, I’m probably not the target audience for this book. But then again, maybe I’m exactly the target audience, because I found this book absolutely fascinating. Filled with some pictures that I’d seen before and a lot I’d never come across, this book opened my eyes to the deeper meanings behind the canvas. Each picture...

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Lenny Duncan – Dear Church

This is possibly one of the most passionate books I’ve read in a long time – the subtitle was “A love letter from a black preacher to the whitest denomination in the U.S.”, and that’s exactly what it felt like – a love letter. A book that raises as many potentially ‘controversial’ points as this one could easily be seen as provocative and argument-starting, but the whole book is written from a...

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Austin Channing Brown – I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness

I’ve been trying to make more of an effort to educate myself on topics that are out of my comfort zone. It’s become abundantly clear this year through many things that have happened that it’s not enough not to be racist, but you need to be actively anti-racist too. And the only way I can think of being able to do that is to educate myself more around the problems that I could not even dream of. This book was a very...

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Colin Marshall & Tony Payne – The Trellis and the Vine

I picked up this book on the recommendation of a few people from Church. As is clearly obvious, things are not normal at the moment and of course Church has been affected by that. Almost every activity we do has been cancelled or materially altered in some way, and as we start to look to ‘the new normal’, it’s the perfect opportunity to take a deep breath and evaluate what and how we’re doing. As I’m sure it did...

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Naomi Graham – Love Surpassing Knowledge

Having seen people I know have to leave a church due to a lack of inclusion and acceptance, I was interested to read this book to figure out what we should be doing better. As the book blurb says “Accessibility is so much more than ramps and physical access”. “When we see someone who is different to us, do we choose to look away to walk away and disengage because we are fearful of what might happen or of what they might say...

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John Mark Comer – The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry

I’ve had this book on my shelf for ages, and having read it, I really wish I’d picked it up so much earlier (at the start of lockdown, but ideally way before that), as it has taught me so much about myself. Just a heads up (I finished writing and had to come back to add this), this review feels a bit more like therapy than an actual review, but I just had to write about how much I personally connected to this book, so feel free to...

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Chris & Rosie Ramsey – Sh**ged. Married. Annoyed.

When I pre-ordered this book earlier this year, I didn’t know how much I’d be in need of a good laugh when it finally was released in September. 6 months into lockdown/weird corona times and this book arrived in a week where I was feeling a bit down in the dumps. It proved to be just what I thought it would be, the perfect tonic. If you’ve not listened to Chris and Rosie’s podcast, first of all, you’re missing...

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Henry Louis Gates Jr – Dark Sky Rising

I picked up this book as something to listen to when I was decorating the spare room, and while this wasn’t an easy listen, I definitely learnt a lot. We never really learned about American history at school, so although this book was aimed at a younger age range, it was the perfect level for me. Starting with the civil war, the book takes you through the history of black America leading to the founding of the NAACP. Despite the...

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David Runcorn – Love Means Love

An insightful and clear unpicking of the ‘issue’ of same-sex marriage that has caused (and continues to cause) friction in the church. It’s a divisive issue and one that is probably not talked about enough because of the potential for upset. This book unpicks the common objections for same sex relationships and gay marriage and thoroughly and overwhelmingly shows you why these objections are not biblical in...

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Healthy Faith and the Coronavirus

I was so impressed with how quickly this book was released when Coronavirus first hit and we all went into lockdown. I’m not so impressed with how long it’s taken me to read it, but that’s entirely my fault and not a reflection of the book! As you would guess from the title, the book talks us through how to correlate our faith with the coronavirus pandemic in a healthy way, when the atmosphere around is is the complete...

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Ben Lindsay – We Need To Talk About Race

I picked this book up to educate myself as Black Lives Matter came to a more global stage in the last few weeks. I always thought that I was a good person, that I wasn’t racist, but I realised that may not be true. And even if it is true, it’s not enough. I needed to learn more about black experiences, so that I could be part of the solution and not part of the problem. What I realised through reading this book, is that I have...

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Graham B. Usher – The Way Under Our Feet

This book felt like it was perfectly aimed at me, tying together two of my favourite things, faith and walking. I’ve got into walking a lot this year, but I never really considered that walking has a spiritual side (apart from giving me time to listen to podcast sermons while I’m out and about). In this book, we start off with a chapter titled ‘Movement’, describing how walking works, the mechanics of it and how it...

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Hyeonseo Lee – The Girl with Seven Names

I don’t think I’ll ever forget this book, because it opened my eyes to what life is like for some of the most oppressed people in the world. The thing that shocked me the most was that if this was a fiction book, I would have been laughing and saying that the plot was just too far-fetched and unbelievable. But this isn’t fiction. It’s someone’s life. And that’s terrifying. I genuinely want to cry for...

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Madeleine Davies – Lights for the Path

I received this book as an advance reading copy from NetGalley, and I’m so glad I requested it. I only wish that this book had been around for me a few years ago. Although aimed primarily at teenagers who have experienced loss, I think this book is valuable for any age range, I certainly found it so helpful to think about the ways I’ve been experiencing and ‘dealing with’ my grief over the last few years, and I think...

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She Reads Truth – His Love Endures

Another fab study from the ladies at She Reads Truth. Not gonna lie – this one was slightly daunting – the study book was almost 300 pages long, and Jeremiah is definitely the longest book of the Bible I’ve ever studied in full. And I’m not gonna lie, by the end, I was ready for it to be over – the book is heavy. BUT – I’m so glad that I got to spend Lent of this year reading through Jeremiah...

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Esther Ahmad – Unveiled

I requested this book on a whim from NetGalley, I’m not sure what drew me to it, I think it was the cover, but I genuinely didn’t know what to expect. What I got was a heart-rending story of true bravery. A woman who left her devoutly Muslim family after Jesus appeared to her in a dream to tell her he was ‘the way, the truth, and the life’. At this point in the author’s life, she was just about to go off to...

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Elaine Storkey – Women in a Patriarchal World

“The stories of people in Scripture are case histories of God’s relationship with human-kind” Throughout this book, we are introduced to 25 case histories of women in the Bible. Some well known like Mary Magdalene, others lesser known like the five daughters of Zelophehad, but all notable for being included in the history of what is undoubtedly a patriarchal society – and clearly showing what value God places on women...

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Vicky Beeching – Undivided

I’ve read many books with a quote on the cover which says “This book is a must-read”, but I think this is one of the first where I can whole-heartedly agree that it’s true. I’m not going to lie, this isn’t an easy book to read, but then it isn’t an easy life that Vicky has lived, and her bravery in writing this book is astounding. I cried multiple times while reading this, thinking of all that...

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Susan Calman – Sunny Side Up

I’ve been seeing Susan Calman more and more on tv since her appearance on Strictly Coming Dancing – she was my favourite that year! And I really feel like she’s a ray of sunshine – she makes me smile when I see her. So it was surprising to me that she struggles with depression. It shouldn’t be a surprise as I have learnt over the last couple of years how easy it is to put a happy face on when you feel the...

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She Reads Truth – Philippians

Philippians – the Epistle of Joy – and this shines through in this book, even from the very front cover – what joy! Philippians is a book of the Bible that I thought I knew quite well – it’s very quotable and has lots of verses which can be a huge encouragement. But I don’t think I’ve ever read the book as a whole – as it was intended – a letter. So I really appreciated having a couple...

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