Reading Roundabout….help!!!

** This posted has been up-dated due to more recommendations coming in and there are many more suggestions in the comments – Thanks – Keep them coming!! **


I’ve blogged plenty about our church’s Reading Roundabout.

The concept is a number of ladies, a number of months and a number of books.

The books we are reading in the current year are listed here.

It appears I’m going to have more ladies involved for the next years reading and so I’m going to need 15 books.

I’m trying to come up with some books for the next year which although doesn’t start until October, will no doubt be upon me quickly.  

I was wondering if any of you could advise me on your top few books which come into the Reformed Christian category.

This is only our third year of the Reading Roundabout and while I do use the church library and our own books we also buy a few copies each year.

The list so far which is open to change is something like this,


Respectable Sins by Jerry Bridges.

Overcoming the World by Joel Beeke.

The Nine Day Queen of England Lady Jane Grey by Faith Cook

Is God past his sell-by date?  by John Blanchard

A path through suffering by Elisabeth Elliot

Shopping for Time by Carolyn Mahanney


other possibilities which I won’t buy all off,  are…..

Stepping into the Shadows by Rosemary Sookhdeo  (I’m not familiar with this book but it was recommended by one of our deacons, you can read about it here).

Heaven at Home by Ginger Plowman

A Chance to die The Life and Legacy of Amy Carmichael  by Elisabeth Elliot

In my Father’s House by Corrie Ten Boom

Faithful Women and their Extraordinary God by Noel Piper


So can you offer any suggestions?  I normally like a variety of Theology, Biography, Practical Christianity.   

I’d appreciate any help you can give.



(Note to our own ladies:  If you have any suggestions or own any of these books please let me know.  It really would be a pity to use our funds to buy books which are sitting on shelves 🙂  Thanks)


** updated to add **  A few suggestions came via private e-mail, I’m adding them here to keep them together.  Mrs B in Sacramento recommended Humility by CJ Mahanney.  Mrs J in GR recommended Lost in the Middle by Paul D Tripp, Free Grace and Dying love by Susannah Spurgeon and Too wise to be mistaken, too Good to be Unkind by Cathy Steere.

**updated 30th May to add,

Humility by Andrew Murray, The rare Jewel of Christian Contentment by J Burroughs (good one) and War of Worlds by Paul David Tripp were all suggested by contacts on facebook.

Mrs J in the Grand Rapids church who incidentally started the Reading Roundabout concept has suggested a few more, she has just finished Love your Muselim Neighbour by Edward Challen and also suggests God Knows My Size by Silvia Tarniceriu and also The Peacemaker books by Ken Sande.**

Any more?





24 thoughts on “Reading Roundabout….help!!!

  1. Some recommendations for you:

    It was too hard to pick from the resources there! All of the books I have listed at this blog we have either read ourselves, come highly recommended by others who have read them, are written by authors we know (in a few cases) or come highly recommended by numerous people among our church, fellowship, and friendship circles. In other words, we’re highly particular and list only the best stuff!

    I hope that helps you narrow it down, anyway. 🙂

  2. I don’t know what you’ve read in the past, but if you haven’t read “Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God” by J.I. Packer, that would be a good one!

    Another good one would be Sinclair Ferguson’s “The Christian Life.”

    Both would fall under the theology list. Both are my favorite books to give away. (Along with Sproul’s “Chosen by God.”)

  3. “Pilgrim’s Progress” is an important classic that has often been missed. If you’ve not read it, it’s a must read. (Charles Spurgeon read it over 100 times, and that’s a pretty good recommendation!) Also, I recommend “Evidence Not Seen,” the story of Darlene Diebler Rose who was taken captive and held in a Japanese prison camp. “Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret” and John Piper’s “What Jesus Demands From the World” are excellent.

    So many good books!

  4. Here are a few I think would be good:

    The Hidden Smile of God by John Piper, which is three short biographies in one book: John Bunyan, William Cowper, and David Brainerd.

    The Atonement: It’s Meaning and Significance by Leon Morris. This would be theology, but it’s intended for the lay person, so it’s not difficult to get through. And it’s very, very good.

    Praying Backwards by Bryan Chapell. A very practical book on prayer.

    Twelve Extraordinary Women by John MacArthur, which contains character studies of twelve (actually 13, because Mary and Martha are together) biblical women.

    Father, Son, and Holy Spirit by Bruce Ware. Theology again, on the roles within the Trinity, but intended for the ordinary reader, so accessible for everyone.

  5. Elaine, your suggestions sound wonderful…I just wanted to echo what Rosemary said, “Evidence Not Seen”—-one of my absolute favorites. Wonderful book about how a woman remains sweet in the midst of horrific trials. Maybe this one’s been used already though..Can’t wait to start! 🙂

  6. Carla – Thanks loads of options there!
    Kim – Great suggestions – all names I know, thanks so much.
    Rosemary – Thanks for your suggestions I have “What Jesus Demands from the World” in my own reading list this year – great minds think alike 😉
    Rebecca – Great – a few of your suggestions I hadn’t heard of so I’m going to be on Amazon for a while!!
    Jenni – It’s looking like “Evidence Not Seen” is a must then – I think it’s good to have books like that which are a little easier to read than the theolgy ones.

    Keep the ideas coming ladies 🙂

  7. I also would recommend ‘Evidence Not Seen’, I should have a copy of this though I haven’t seen it for a while! Also ‘Twelve Extraordinary Women’ by John MacArthur is a great read – someone at church loaned me it.

  8. CJ Mahaney’s The Cross-Centered Life is a short one, but really good. I have read about half of it, but got interrupted, but War of Words by Paul David Tripp is another you could try.

    The Feminist Mistake by Mary Kassian is a bit “heavier” than some, but it’s a great book, too.

    Also heavy, but one of the best books I’ve ever read is The Holiness of God by R.C. Sproul.

    Biblical Womanhood in the Home is edited by Nancy Leigh deMoss, but has contributions from other female authors.

  9. Also if you can get your hands on a book called ‘They looked for a city’ – I had this one too but again I haven’t seen it in a long time! It’s the true story of a Jewish couple, how they met and were converted despite strong opposition from family. It’s set in war time and their children are all sent different places due to the war. It tells how God amazingly brought them all together again. It’s a great read but quite heart breaking as well.

  10. Have you guys read “Stepping Heavenward” ? It’s my all time favorite and I’ve read it at least 6 times. It was written by Elisabeth Prentiss who also wrote the famous hymn “More love to Thee”. Hope your book hunting goes well!!!

  11. This is great ladies – thanks so much.

    Stepping Heavenward is one I’m sure most of the ladies will have read thanks Kelly – Have you read More Love to Thee by Sharon James, it’s Elizabeth Prentiss biography and is very good too!

    Keep them coming…

  12. 1. Family Driven Faith by Dr Voddie Baucham
    2. Instruments in the Redeemers Hands by Paul Tripp
    3. Heaven by Randy Alcorn
    4. Jesus the Evangelist by Richard D. Philips
    5. Esther and Ruth by Iain Duguid
    6. The Battle Belongs to the LORD by K. Scott Oliphint

    1, 2 and 6 have become very dear to me.

  13. Phil that’s great – I haven’t heard of the last three.

    I actually thought I was quite well read until I asked for this list!! 🙂

  14. I thought of another one. The book Growing Up Christian is an excellent book. It talks about kids growing up in the church, and the problems that can bring. I wish I had read it sooner. It’s by Karl Graustein.

  15. ON the biography front, MY Heart In HIs Hands is a good one- the story of Ann Judson, by Sharon James.
    I have to be honest and say that I have not managed to get much reading done recently. The Tab has a ‘read for the Lord’ programme – I think you can get to it from their website, which may have some useful suggestions.

  16. Kim – that sounds like a good one too.
    Susanna – We actually have that one in our church library and I have been presuming most of our ladies have read it because of that, but it’s a great suggestion too. Thanks. I went through tough seasons where reading was concerned when mine were younger so I really do sympathise. They are only seasons though 🙂 Blessings.

  17. The Shadow of Christ in the Law of Moses–a huge help in understanding the Bible as a whole by seeing how the Old Testament is about Christ. See Monergism’s review:

    Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life by Donald S. Whitney is, in the words of a friend who prompted me to read it, “immensely practical.” He talks about the importance of meditation in one’s life, how George Mueller got motivation to pray through meditating on the Bible, gives ideas on how to keep a journal (the keeping of which by many Puritans he cites as one reason for their spiritual greatness, as it helped the individuals to be accountable before God for everything they did). I could write about it a long while and hardly make this book sound nearly as worth reading as it is, but I need to get to some duties, so this and a (more helpful) summary by another will have to do at least for now. Here’s the summary by another:

    (I’m not affiliated with, nor Monergism Books! I simply love to find resources through them, see what they have to say on th resources, and then save money by getting some of the best-sounding books through the online book store. I’ve found some of the best books I’ve read in this manner and many of the best articles.)

  18. Lindsay, thanks for joining in, I haven’t read any of your suggestions but I have heard of them both. Our Adult Sunday School class recently studied Spiritual Disciplines within the Church by Witney so we are familiar with his writings.

  19. Elaine,

    Your reading roundabout sounds splendid. I can’t endorse Elisabeth Elliot’s A Path Through Suffering enough. It really is excellent. You have all kinds of fantastic suggestions here — enough to keep your roundabout going and going, eh?

    Thanks so much for stopping by Gret-reads-247! Of course you may read and not comment if you like, but I’d be happy to hear from you again. 🙂 I’ll check back when you make your final choices for the reading roundabout. If you don’t mind, I may link you and post about this fab idea! Keep up the great reading and encouraging others to read with you!


  20. OH! This is a great list!

    The Donald Whitney book on Spiritual Disciplines is excellent!

    Here are a couple more:

    Above all Earthly Powers. David Wells

    George Marsden’s biography of Jonathan Edwards

    Redemption, Accomplished and Applied by John Murray (a foundational must read in my opinion.)

    Fair Sunshine by Jock Purves (history/biographical sketches of the Scottish Covenanters)

  21. Just wanted to note here that Mrs Q at church has suggested we use her copy of Having a Mary heart in a Martha World.

    Also if any church members have any of the above books and are willing for them to be used, please contact me.

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