The Bookshelf, Part 2


Back in April I reviewed some books that I had read in 2014.  Here are 5 more for the list.

A Short History of the 20th Century by John Lukacs

I wouldn’t say it was short, and it didn’t cover the whole 20th Century, and it definitely centered on Europe and Americas.  But I thought it was an interesting look at world history from World War 1 through the end of the Cold War.  He infuses some of his own theories and philosophy into the history, which I think is interesting.
John Quincy Adams by Harlow Giles Unger

This was the next stop on my plan to read a biography about each American President.  I enjoyed it because I really love John and Abigail Adams and their son John.  The challenges that they faced and the maturity with which they faced them are inspirational to me.  Read more at The Bookshelf…
Declarations by Joel Osteen

If you spend 5 minutes every morning with Joel Osteen you can’t help but smile!  This 2-CD book goes through 31 positive Scriptures that you can pray over your life.  It’s full of pithy phrases that you can put on your fridge:  “Don’t expect the worst.  That’s using your faith in reverse!”  All in all, it is a good reminder that our words are powerful and we should be careful to be purposeful in what we say.  It’s also a good reminder that God likes us a lot!  Here is a good morning quote from Joel:  “Good morning you blessed, prosperous, successful, strong, talented, confident, secure, disciplined, focused, highly favored, child of the most high God!”

 Rich Like Them by Ryan d’Agostino

Interesting premise here:  the author spent Fridays and Saturdays walking around the richest zip codes in the US, knocking on doors, and asking the owners if they had advice about being successful.  I’m a sucker for this type of book.  It mixes personal stories with common sense platitudes like “work harder than everyone else” and “find what you’re good at and go with it” to describe how these people found success.
Revolutionary Summer by Joseph Ellis

This book covers the beginning phases of the Revolutionary War in the year 1776.  The author’s stated purpose is to cover both the military side and the political/legislative side, and to explore how those two worlds interacted (and interfered) with each other.   Read more at The Bookshelf…

As you know, we at OPL really enjoy to read.  What books have you been reading this year?

Other posts you may like:

The Bookshelf…

Summer Reading Lists

Good History

Funny Kids’ Books

Tag Books

Kids’ Books with a Purpose


5 thoughts on “The Bookshelf, Part 2

  1. I think you can see my books at

    You lost me at Joel Osteen.

    1. Nate says:

      Have you read this one yet? Don’t knock it til you’ve tried it!


  2. Ruth says:

    We named our son after Joel Osteen! Kidding…but love his positivity and his smiling disposition! I love talking about books and when you guys post what you are reading! And love history so want to check some of those out!!! That’s one awesome thing about homeschooling – getting to dive into lots of great history literature with the kids. I got a biography about George Washington Carver I can’t wait to read with them along with some books from the “Heroes of Faith” series as supplements for our history curriculum this year that look really good. There are around 37 books in the Heroes of the Faith series about missionaries, founding fathers, preachers that made a huge impact through their life and faith in Christ that I’m looking forward to reading together this year!

    One book that I come back to often that I love is:

    Change Your Heart, Change Your Life by Gary Smalley – it was an accidental find that has been one of my all time favorite books. He shares his story about how renewing his mind with scripture literally changed his life and discusses the lies that we believe that keep us in bondage. It’s a great read!!!

    I have also started this one:

    Telling Yourself the Truth by William Backus and Marie Chapian which has a similar theme. I’m early in the book but has been good so far!!!

    Also working on:

    Undaunted by Christine Caine who I LOVE and it’s all about reaching out and living fully for Christ with lots of personal stories which are always my favorite, especially from her!

    One that has come highly recommended and haven’t gotten to start yet but hoping to soon:

    What the Bible Says about Child Training by J. Richard Fugate — looks very good and meaty in the subject of parenting.

    Could go on and on but will stop there 🙂

    1. Nate says:

      Thanks Ruth! I will add some of these to my list. You can tell the kids that we are growing a peanut plant in our garden, so they can come look at that when you are discussing George Washington Carver.

      I am looking forward to doing the Heroes of Faith series with the kids – that series, to me, is the ultimate: Reading. About People. In History. Who served God in amazing ways. I don’t know how it could be a better combination!

  3. Ruth says:

    That’s awesome – we will definitely check out the peanut plant! Love the little I know about G.W. Carver!!! I figured you guys knew about the Heroes of Faith and I concur – the combination of it all is perfect!!!

We want to hear from you!