Announcing Our Next Seven Books! {Book Club and Giveaway}

I feel a bit like a kid in a candy shop thinking about the books we will read together. It is fun and daunting to pick books because it can be a bit like introducing one friend to another and hoping they will hit it off. Well, let’s lower the stakes. We can all still be friends even if we don’t like the same books. Amen? Amen.

Two of the beautiful parts of joining a book club are:

  1. Getting to read in community and discuss what you’ve read.
  2. Reading books you might not have chosen on your own and then realizing, “Hey, I am glad I read that book. It won’t go down on my Top Ten list, but it was worth reading.”

As I considered what to choose, I used four main criteria: I am personally interested, variety of genres, available in various formats, and cost. On Facebook I had asked for suggestions and so many great suggestions came in! Some were not in ebook format and some were outrageously expensive with no cheaper options.

Here are the next seven books we will read! Leave comment as to which one (or ones) interest you, and you’ll be entered in a drawing for one of two copies of a book that released today: Worth Living: How God’s Wild Love for You Makes You Worthy by Mary DeMuth.

Drum roll please!

51fjwx9YTZL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_May’s book is: Looming Transitions: Starting and Finishing Well in Cross-Cultural Service by Amy Young — I’m also working on two workbooks I hope to have ready soon. One for individuals and one for families. This book is now on sale so you can get it for $4.99!

“When you go abroad to serve, you’re thinking about the language, the losses, and the excitement. When you return home you’re thinking about your friends and family, the losses, and the relief. Most aren’t thinking about the process of transition—and yet if you do, it can make the difference between a smooth entry and re-entry, or a decidedly bumpy landing. Veteran of serving abroad Amy Young is the perfect companion to guide you through the much-neglected process of transitions. Practical in nature, Looming Transitions places a strong emphasis on • Keeping your soul fertile as you stay grounded in Christ • Looking for the lighter moments • Learning about yourself • Helping others • Making lists • Leaning into grief as you prepare for your transition.”

For June I thought we needed some light hearted reading, so novels it is! Both FREE on Kindle and both relatively short. Bonus :).

41IAaRV7LIL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_June 7 and 14’s book is: Around the world in 80 days by Jules Verne $6.99 in paperback or free on Kindle.

In my hunt for our reading material I did a google search on “TCK Novels” and came up with a list of books TCKs should read. This was at the top. I’ll admit I heard the title, but never read it. I’m most of the way through and can’t wait to read it with you. I have fun ideas for maps, photos, and you to update us on your country as we go around the world.

Phileas Fogg takes a bet that he can get around the world in 80 days, the absolute fastest way around the world at that time. Can he? What countries and adventures will he encounter. This book has a delicious feel of another era.

51eTKAbHXgL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_June 21 and 28’s book is: Right Ho, Jeeves by PG Wodehouse $10.39 in paperback or free on Kindle.This one I discovered on my Facebook query. Kay Bruner said, “Anything by PG Wodehouse, he makes me laugh.” I’d never heard of Wodehouse, but I’m a fan of laughing! Turns out he is prodigious, and the reviews on Amazon usually go something like this, “Hilarious! How have I never heard of him?” I’m betting some of you have. I’ve only read a little bit of this one, to get the flavor of it, and am saving it to read together.

Here’s a teaser from Wikipedia: “Bertie returns to London from several weeks in Cannes spent in the company of his Aunt Dahlia Travers and her daughter Angela. In Bertie’s absence, Jeeves has been advising Bertie’s old school friend, Gussie Fink-Nottle, who is in love with a goofy, sentimental, whimsical, childish girl named Madeline Bassett. Gussie, a shy teetotaler with a passion for newts and a face like a fish, is too timid to speak to her. Bertie is annoyed that his friends consider Jeeves more intelligent than Bertie, and he takes Gussie’s case in hand, ordering Jeeves not to offer any more advice.”

51sH41Jmm0L._SX335_BO1,204,203,200_July’s book will be: A Passion for the Impossible: The Life of Lilias Trotter by Miriam Huffman Rockness. I’m very sorry there is no free version, but this book sounds amazing and worth buying. I’ve been dying to ask Elizabeth Trotter if Jonathan’s family is any relation. This book is our biography reading for the summer and I can’t wait for this one either!

Amazon describes thus: “You may not have heard of Lilias Trotter, but you know the hymn she inspired—’Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus.’ After you read A Passion for the Impossible, you’ll never hear that song without remembering Lilias and what she did. She left her life of privilege in England and her promising art career to settle in hostile Algeria. Dismissing her because she was a woman, the Algerian men accused her of being a British spy. But for the sake of the gospel, she never quit, no matter how many obstacles were in her path. You’ll marvel as you read about this woman’s passion for the impossible, her brilliantly gifted life, and the miraculous ways the Lord used her to share the gospel.”

Good, right?! Lillias Trotter’s life was turned into a movie last year called Many Beautiful Things. Here is the trailer:


51nG7RIMaVL._SX330_BO1,204,203,200_August’s book will be: City of Tranquil Light: A Novel by Bo Caldwell as cheap as $.90 used or $9.99 on Kindle. Like Lillias Trotter, this was a Facebook poll recommendation. Thank you all for helping gather our book club. I have read this one before and absolutely love it. But I read it alone and had no one to talk to about it.

Amazon says this: “Will Kiehn is seemingly destined for life as a humble farmer in the Midwest when, having felt a call from God, he travels to the vast North China Plain in the early twentieth-century. There he is surprised by love and weds a strong and determined fellow M, Katherine. They soon find themselves witnesses to the crumbling of a more than two-thousand-year-old dynasty that plunges the country into decades of civil war. As the couple works to improve the lives of the people of Kuang P’ing Ch’eng— City of Tranquil Light, a place they have come to love—and face incredible hardship, will their faith and relationship be enough to sustain them?

“Told through Will and Katherine’s alternating viewpoints—and inspired by the lives of the author’s maternal grandparents—City of Tranquil Light is a tender and elegiac portrait of a young marriage set against the backdrop of the shifting face of a beautiful but torn nation. A deeply spiritual book, it shows how those who work to teach others often have the most to learn, and is further evidence that Bo Caldwell writes ‘vividly and with great historical perspective’ (San Jose Mercury News).”

Sounds perfect for us, doesn’t it?!

September is FULL, isn’t it? By September—actually the last Tuesday in August—we are in need of something easy and moving.

41dfXsZcQDL._SL250_So, September’s book will be: Wonder by R. J. Palacio. Used copies are available, $9.99 on Kindle, or this free PDF version I found. If you haven’t heard of this, you should. It is a recent YA (Young Adult) novel that is taking the reading world by storm. Which makes it sound like I have read it . . . I haven’t, so let’s read it together!

From Amazon: “The book that inspired the Choose Kind movement.”

“I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse. “

“August Pullman was born with a facial difference that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid—but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face. Wonder begins from Auggie’s point of view, but soon switches to include his classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others. These perspectives converge in a portrait of one community’s struggle with empathy, compassion, and acceptance.”

51qFADYDs4L._SX321_BO1,204,203,200_Finally our Fall book! Consider the Birds: A Provocative Guide to Birds of the Bible by Debbie Blue is available in used copies and is $9,99 on Kindle. We will read this from September 20- November 22. After reading this book (Hat Tip to Kimberly who shared it on FB several years ago as the best book she read that year), I could not believe how many birds in the Bible I missed. You do not have to be into birds to love this book. Case in point, me. Instead, it will foster a new appreciate for God in usually overlooked places. If I’ve missed this much with birds, what else have I missed?

From Amazon: “Highlighting 10 birds throughout Scripture, author Debbie Blue explores their significance in both familiar and unfamiliar biblical stories and illustrates how and why they have represented humanity across culture, Christian tradition, art, and contemporary psyche. With these (usually) minor characters at the forefront of human imaginations, poignant life lessons illuminate such qualities as desire and gratitude, power and vulnerability, insignificance and importance—even as readers gain a better understanding that God’s mysterious grace is sometimes most evident in His simplest of creatures.”


What a line-up we have! I wanted to tell you all of them now in case you need/want time to track down physical copies. Don’t forget next week is the first two chapters of Looming Transitions—you don’t need to be in a transition right now to find this book helpful. It has something for everyone.

Leave a comment and you might get drawn to win a copy of Worth Living: How God’s Wild Love for You Makes You Worthy by Mary DeMuth.

With reading and learning joy, Amy

Disclosure: Amazon Affiliate links included in this post. If you click through to Amazon, any purchase you make supports this site. 


  1. Sarah Hilkemann May 2, 2016

    This looks like a fun line-up, Amy! I’m glad you included your book so we can process it all together. I also have been wanting to re-read the book about Lilias Trotter, so I’m so glad that made your list! It was really influential in my journey overseas when I read it several years ago. My teammate and I also just watched the documentary about her on Amazon, and I would highly recommend it!

    1. Amy Young May 6, 2016

      I’m hoping to see the movie soon and your recommendation is helping to build the anticipation!!


  2. Annalisa May 2, 2016

    Thank you for putting out the list!  I get to visit my folks for two weeks at the end of this month, and I’m already putting together my Amazon purchases.  God must have been the one telling me to wait! 😀

    1. Amy Young May 6, 2016

      Isn’t it the best feeling to plan book buying? Or library list? :)!!!

      1. Annalisa May 7, 2016

        Sadly, libraries aren’t very existent here. 🙁  (Possibly why Guatemala has–or at least had 7 years ago–the worst illiteracy in the Western Hemisphere.)  And if I read all the books during the 2 weeks while visiting my parents, that wouldn’t be very book clubish. 😀  But yes, it’s nice when you can get books from the library.  However, I don’t tend to be shy about sharing my books with others who want to read them.

        1. Phyllis May 7, 2016

          If you have a Kindle or a device with the Kindle app, you can check out ebooks from American libraries. I use my mom’s library card for that.

  3. Keri May 2, 2016


    Yea for Summer Book Club!  I am so excited.  Right Ho, Jeeves looks fun.  I just purchased the actual book of City of Tranquil Lights and it will be delivered to my US address.  I am so thankful for my kindle, but I am so excited to read an actual book!

    1. Amy Young May 6, 2016

      Keri, Agreed! Electronic books are super convenient, but there is also just something about holding a book in your hands 🙂

  4. Elizabeth May 2, 2016

    In quick answer — we don’t know about Lilias Trotter, but we need to find out! Another friend here in PP was asking the same thing recently. We also regularly receive hits to our website from people searching for the sermons from some other Trotter gentleman (can’t remember the name right now). Will need to look into this!

    And kudos to you for figuring out so many books so far in advance! I may not have time for all of them, but I was wanting to read the bird book anyway, so I may just have to join you on that one!

    BTW I’m getting ready to read “The Secret Garden” (an old book club selection) to my kids. 🙂 Excited to talk about the TCK issues with them. And then I plan to read “Jungle Book” to them — Kipling is a TCK too, and one who ended up traveling a ton as a writer in India as an adult.

    1. Amy Young May 6, 2016

      Elizabeth, thanks for scratching that Trotter itch. Whatever you find out, we’d love to hear :)!

      I haven’t read Rudyard Kipling, but I want to!

      1. lynn May 7, 2016

        I really enjoy Kipling’s book  KIM.

  5. Linda Watt May 2, 2016

    I like some of the selections for the Book Club. Would you believe that some of them are even cheaper on Half Price Books? 4 of them for around $10. I have not been reading much for fun these days so this comes as a great possibility. I have seen the Lillas Trotter movie and it really inspired my husband and I to embrace the struggles in ministry we have had and to persevere knowing that God is doing something great! I am thinking of giving the Lillas Trotter book to my husband for his birthday. He found some of her writings and her paintings on a web site and they really ministered to him.


    1. Amy Young May 6, 2016

      I’m not surprised :). This is in part why I wanted people to have the list ahead of time to be able to shop around. Yay!! And I love your ideas for your husband’s birthday 🙂

  6. Michele May 2, 2016

    I’ always have trouble finishing the book(s) I’m already in the middle of, so haven’t yet joined the book club, though I often read and get something good from the posts on the books. A Passion for the Impossible and By Ho, Jeeves sound great to me. I always love a biography, and I realized it’s been a really long time since I read something that made me laugh.

    1. Amy Young May 6, 2016

      That’s what I was thinking too . . I need a good laugh 🙂

  7. Ruth May 2, 2016

    I haven’t been good about actually reading the books at book club time, which is reportedly the point of a book club. Maybe I can get more in sync with some of the summer selections. You shouldn’t have told us about them all in advance though because I want to read them now.  🙂 I think Wonder looks especially interesting. I really like YA fiction. Not taxing, but you can get some good writing.

    1. Amy Young May 6, 2016

      I know :)! I want to read them all right now too! And I agree on YA — good writing and usually a good plot. I will say I’m reading a YA book right now that was recommended to me and I seriously hope no teenagers actually read it! Good writing, but . . . too much I hope my nieces don’t read before adulthood!

  8. Jennifer Ott May 2, 2016

    What fun!  I’ve read some books I never would have chosen because of this book club!  My oldest son and I read “Wonder” together, but I know I will enjoy going through it with this community.

    1. Amy Young May 6, 2016

      Thanks Jennifer 🙂 . . . I know I said this in the post, but that’s also what I love about book club, the gentle, wonderful nudge of a community to read books I might not get around to reading left to myself 🙂

  9. Violeta May 3, 2016

    I love reading and am looking forward to sharing and reading other people’s comments. I have always wanted to be part of a book club so this came at such a perfect time in my life. Looking forward to this journey of reading together!

    1. Amy Young May 6, 2016

      Violeta, welcome! We love reading too and the comments is some of the bed part of book club. People are so gracious and love to talk about what they have read.

  10. Phyllis May 3, 2016

    Jeeves! Yes! The TV series is a family favourite for us, and I love the books. You have to watch some, too, if you haven’t already. I am not a TV and movie person, so this is a lot coming from me; they really bring the books alive. My little ones (who don’t even speak English) like to say, “Indeed, sir” thanks to

    The other books in your lineup look also interesting.

    1. Amy Young May 6, 2016

      The things you learn!!! I didn’t know Jeeves was a TV show, will need to explore :). Indeed, Ma’am. :)!!

  11. Joanna May 3, 2016

    I’ve never actually joined a book club before, but will definitely join you for some of these. Nice to discover some new books. I’ve already got and have read ‘Looming Transitions’ so that’s a great one to start with. Thanks for getting this all together, Amy!

    1. Amy Young May 6, 2016

      It’s fun to read books together, isn’t it :)!!

  12. J May 3, 2016

    Hi Amy,
    Great to hear that you will be discussing Looming Transitions. I am enjoying the book and hope to finish it soon. I’m sure there will be a lot of interesting discussions.
    I will see which of the other books I can get time to read. Wonder sounds interesting, my husband works with people with facial deformities and often tells me about the impact that this has on their lives.
    Looking forward to the discussions.

    1. Amy Young May 6, 2016

      J, would your husband be up to an interview?! Talking to someone who works with people with facial deformities would be interesting. If so, just let me know and I’ll email you — he wouldn’t need to use name or could pick a pseudonym if that would be a better option. And me too! Looking forward to the discussions 🙂

      1. J May 16, 2016

        Hi Amy,

        Sorry, only just replying to this message. He is very busy  with work at the moment but if you email me about it I will ask him.


  13. Ruth May 3, 2016

    How exciting! I’m glad we’re going to discuss your book. I recently read it, and I’m looking forward to discussing it with others. I’m also really looking forward to the fall Debbie Blue book. I’ve heard her speak and she’s really interesting!

    1. Amy Young May 6, 2016

      You’ve heard Debbie speak?! I bet she is. Now I’m curious and could go down the rabbit trail of looking her up on Youtube 🙂

      1. Ruth May 7, 2016

        Festival of Faith and Writing at Calvin College a few years ago.  She preaches, so I bet her sermons are on a podcast somewhere.

  14. Shelly May 3, 2016

    I am most intrigued by the story of Lilias Trotter and City of Tranquil Light. (I’m definitely adding Many Beautiful Things to my viewing list.) I, too, have found YA fiction to be a refreshing change from what I normally read, so I have already downloaded the PDF of Wonder. Now, to see if I can keep up with the book club for May. I got left behind with Angie Smith’s book, but still working through it.

    1. Amy Young May 6, 2016

      Any time you can pop in, we love hearing from you :)!

  15. Katherine Wong May 3, 2016

    I’m a newcomer, so this will be my first time joining the book clu. I just started reading Looming Transitions tonight, as part of my re-entry process (to the States), so I can’t believe we’ll be reading it for May!

    And Amy, I nearly fell off my chair with your first chapter; I knew you’d lived in China, but I hadn’t realized you’d spent 5 years in my city! I am just starting to pre-mourn the loss of lajiao and huajiao in my life (as well as many, many other things). =)

    If there are any giveaway books left, I’d love one (if Kindle editions are available).

    1. Amy Young May 6, 2016

      Katherine, welcome!! Book club is fun :). Missing lajiao and huajiao is not!!

  16. Amy May 3, 2016

    The Looming Transitions book looks very interesting. I have 4 kids, and we live in Asia. It seems like the transitions are never ending. Now to find the time to read it.

    1. Amy Young May 6, 2016

      Four kids 🙂 . . . your hands are full. But you’ve hit the male on the head, transitions in this line of work are never ending. Blessings!

  17. Jodie May 3, 2016

    Thanks for putting this book list together, Amy! I’m looking forward to reading your book. I read a great novel recently (first one in a long time) that was recommended in my connection group called Sensible Shoes by Sharon Garlough Brown. That could be one to file away for your list for next summer…

    1. Amy Young May 6, 2016

      Thank you for the book suggestion, Jodie! I will file it away 🙂 — and it warms my heart to hear about a Connection Group!!

  18. Jennifer May 3, 2016

    I love Jeeves books. Right Ho Jeeves is a great. I would be interested in a “Passion for the Impossible”. And maybe “Around the World in 80 days”.

    1. Amy Young May 6, 2016

      Glad to hear the Jeeves book wasn’t a swing and a miss :). Welcome to read whatever books you are able to!

  19. Spring May 3, 2016

    I am really excited to be reading looming transitions as we transition.  What a cool idea to have a workbook for families as well as individuals.  I am also excited to have this list! I already downloaded the free kindle books 🙂

    1. Amy Young May 6, 2016

      Yay for downloading free books :)!! And I hope to have the workbooks ready by next week’s book club!

  20. Kiera May 4, 2016

    Yay for book club! Thanks for letting us know about all these books in advance. I will read electronic copies if I have to, but I love having the physical books, so I hope I will be able to get my hands on some of these this summer. I am really interested in the Birds in the Bible book and Right Ho, Jeeves sounds right up my alley. I love British humor. I’m excited to read your book too, Amy! 🙂

    1. Amy Young May 6, 2016

      Hi Kiera! I agree: Yay for book club! And also about hold a physical book 🙂

  21. Laura May 4, 2016

    Hi! Some interesting books on the list! I think the Lilias Trotter and ‘Around the world in 80 days’ are the ones that most interest me. 🙂

    1. Amy Young May 6, 2016

      I’m looking forward to reading those books too!!

  22. Sheila Yarick May 4, 2016

    These look great! I am interested in the Looming Transitions, Around the world in 80 days, Right Ho Jeeves, and Wonder. I’ve never done a book club before so this should be fun to do during the summer.

    1. Amy Young May 6, 2016

      Hi Shelia, welcome!! We’re a pretty low-key and gracious group :). This summer is a great time to jump in!

  23. Christine May 4, 2016

    I’m very much looking forward to joining in with this summer’s line up! I’ve been through a variety of major transitions over the last year, with more on the way so ‘Looming Transitions’ is perfectly timed. I’ve also always had ‘Around the World in 80 Days’ on my reading list so thank you for being the catalyst that will help me accomplish that goal.

    As for the Lilias Trotter memoir, my hard copy of it has so many flags sticking out of it for reference, it’s hard to open without one falling out! There are so many good nuggets of wisdom and insight. It’s a book of love, loss, community, transition, fear, fearlessness, and adventure. I highly recommend it to all!

    1. Amy Young May 6, 2016

      Thank you for the recommendation!! As you know, I haven’t read it yet, but I am really looking forward to the Lillias Trotter book!

  24. Lynn May 4, 2016

    This looks like a great line up! I’m not sure I’ll be able to do them all, but will try to read as many as I can. I already have the Consider the Birds book and am looking forward to reading it, so will have to join you all for that one for sure. The Jeeves book also looks fun! I have read Wonder and will look forward to seeing other’s comments on it.

    1. Amy Young May 6, 2016

      Lynn, I understand! The summer can be so full :). We’ll enjoy whenever you are able to pop in!!

  25. Felicity Congdon May 5, 2016

    fun! i’m interested in participating in reading the books:

    Around the world in 80 Days, A Passion for the Impossible, and Wonder

    I put reminders my calendar and if I find some free time in those weeks I will be joining in!

    LOVE the book club even though I rarely get to participate and sometimes flake out half way through….

    1. Amy Young May 6, 2016

      Glad you love it :). And flaking out is perfectly fine!!

  26. Heidi Van Dyken May 5, 2016

    I am looking forward to Amy’s book as well as around the world in 80 days.

  27. Kathy Vaughan May 6, 2016

    I will be in the US during part of this time, but I hope to keep up with the book club selections.  Looks like a good mix. When I think I don’t have time to read the books, I end up reading the discussions and wish I had!


    1. Amy Young May 6, 2016

      Kathy, this is what I love about books . . . they can travel with us :). But I do understand that with traveling and visiting folks, it can be just one too many things to keep up with. A good mix was the hope, let’s hope it is (since I haven’t read them all, we’ll live with the surprise!) 🙂

  28. Alisha May 6, 2016

    I just began reading Looming Transitions a couple of weeks ago, so I’m excited to see that it is on the list for May.  I’ve enjoyed P.G. Wodehouse in the past, and I’m ready for some light-hearted reading.  Thanks for putting together this list.  It looks fantastic!

    1. Amy Young May 6, 2016

      Thanks, Alisha 🙂 . . sometimes we just need some light hearted reading, don’t we?!

  29. Amy Young May 6, 2016

    Winners have been chosen, but I’d still love to hear what you’re looking forward to reading. Thanks for making book club such a hit around the world :)! Amy

  30. Harry Watson September 26, 2020

    Hi! I like some books in the list. ! I think the Lilias Trotter and ‘Around the world in 80 days’ are the ones that most interest me.
    Have a look at another free eBook sharing platform Get Free Books!

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