Perhaps the most important characteristic of a book table that people actually use is giving them biblically solid books that relate to their lives. The books and booklets that I pointed to on Wednesday will fulfill that objective. Not only that, their low cost will allow you to provide resources on a wide variety of topics.
As helpful as these smaller and less-expensive books are, there are some more traditional books (meaning a bit longer and a bit more expensive) that are close to being “musts.”
As I said on Wednesday, any list of recommended books is hard, considering how many really good titles are available. But through the years I’ve come across some titles that I think should be widely read.
What I’ve done is break the list down into categories, listing one to three titles for different groups of people or different situations. I hope that this will be helpful as you select good reading material for your people.
For Those Who Hurt and Those Who Help
- Side By Side: Walking With Others in Wisdom and Love by Ed Welch. This is one of the most helpful books I’ve read for both those who are going through trouble and those who walk alongside. It’s a good read for anyone who is in this category (hurt/help), but a must for anyone in church leadership.
- Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy by Mark Vroegrep. This is on my “to read” list. The subtitle of the book is “Discovering the Grace of Lament.” If “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade” doesn’t cut it for you, try looking at a biblical view of dealing with pain.
For Parents and Partners
- Give Them Grace by Elyse Fitzpatrick and Jessica Thompson.
- When Sinners Say “I Do” by Dave Harvey.
There are dozens of fine books on parenting and marriage. These are two of the best.
- Disciplines of A Godly Man by R. Kent Hughes.
- Do More Better by Tim Challies. Subtitled “A Practical Guide to Productivity,” this is a helpful book for both men and women, but I’m listing it here.
- I’d like to list some titles on men and sexual purity. However, it’s tough for a guy to walk up to a small book table, perhaps with a woman behind the counter, and buy a book on wrestling with pornography. You should look at the list of books on this subject and have a couple to give out to men who admit that they are struggling.
- Again, there are a number of solid books for women, but based on my wife’s experience and recommendations, I would suggest you look over some titles by Elyse Fitzpatrick and pick up two or three of the books she’s written. Your ladies will not be disappointed. In particular, let me recommend “Comforts From the Cross” as being particularly helpful.
For Anyone Desiring Spiritual Growth
Let me start with a couple of classics:
- Knowing God by J.I. Packer
- The Practice of Godliness by Jerry Bridges
- The Imperfect Disciple by Jared Wilson
I’ve read all three of these. The first two may be more familiar, but Jared Wilson’s book was just so good.
Let me add a few devotional books:
- New Morning Mercies by Paul Tripp
- Saving Grace by Jack Miller
- Diamonds in the Dust by Joni Erickson Tada
There are dozens of other books that I looked through and put a number on my list. Perhaps I’ll share them at some point. But these books cover a variety of topics and add to whatever you can get from CCEF, Ligonier (Sproul), and Cruciform Press.
So get started. Again, your people are reading something. Give them some good things to read!