These Farmhouse Bookshelves (Friendship Edition)

Apr 4, 2017


You probably know that I love to share about the books I’m reading just as often as I can, but it’s a rare day when I can tell you about a wonderful new book on friendship written by one of my oldest and dearest, real-life friends.

Never Unfriended: The Secret to Finding and Keeping Lasting Friendships by Lisa-Jo Baker

I want to tell you that Lisa-Jo was the perfect person to write this book because she is a perfect friend. I want to say this because she has always been such a very good friend to me. When we said goodbye many years ago, just before she and her husband left Chicago for Ukraine, I assumed our friendship would fade. But Lisa-Jo held on. And I will forever be grateful to her for that.

But I will not in fact tell you that Lisa-Jo wrote this book out of a place of perfection. I will not even tell you that she wrote it out of a place of personal strength. I know her well enough to know that she feels her own failures as a friend keenly, and that she has also felt the deep wounds only a friend can inflict.

Like most precious things, this book is the fruit of suffering and struggle. When Lisa-Jo reminds me that I am free to become a friend to others because I have found the most perfect friendship in Jesus, I listen.

I listen, because she knows this for herself, and because she tells the story so persuasively and so well.

One: Unity in a Divided World is the just-released book by Deidra Riggs. I don’t know Deidra nearly as well as I know Lisa-Jo (we are facebook friends who have never met in person), and yet, I know enough of Deidra, and of her wisdom and experience and passion, to know that this timely book should be embraced and widely read.

If you are troubled by the rancor and divisions that seem so prevalent today, here is a book to inspire you and challenge you to pursue the reconciling way of Jesus.

Whether you’ve never heard of the Enneagram or have read every book about it you can get your hands on, I highly recommend this new book by Ian Morgan Cron (the author of one of my favorite memoirs!) and Suzanne Stabile.

The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery is probably the most user-friendly introduction to the Enneagram I have read. Not only that, it is wonderfully written (in fact, this book is proof that instructive nonfiction can feature insanely good writing).

The Enneagram is an ancient personality typing system with roots in Christian monasticism. I have personally found it to be a powerful tool for gaining self understanding and, perhaps most importantly, compassion and even gratitude for those who are very different from me.

I am slowly reading my way through Anne Fadiman’s book At Large and At Small: Familiar EssaysI am reading slowly only because I am making myself read slowly. I want to devour these delightful, witty, intelligent essays like a bowl of ice cream (and Fadiman even has an essay on ice cream!), but I also want this treat to last as long as possible.


Tell me, do you read nonfiction?



  1. mimionlife

    Good friendships are truly blessings from God. 🙂 Yes, I read Christian non-fiction and Christian fiction.

  2. Lisa-Jo Baker (@lisajobaker)

    So grateful for that day we walked into a Chicago apartment — who knew all these years later that friendship would have stuck so tight. What a gift!

  3. Danielle Jones

    Yes. I’m reading The Professor and the Madman right now. Might be something you’d enjoy. It’s about the making the OED, which could sound geekily boring but is fascinating. 🙂

  4. waitingformymiracle

    I do read nonfiction. ? All of these look fabulous and they are going on the list. ❤

  5. Jody Lee Collins

    Christie, these all sound like very good books. Yes, I do read non-fiction (more than fiction, actually). Currently enjoying “Consider the Birds” by pastor Debbie Blue, “Supper of the Lamb” by R. Farrar Capon and just finished Stillmeadow. Sigh.
    Good contemporary fiction is hard to find, but I did recently land upon a gem at our library’s used book sale–“Where Mercy Flows” byLynne Harter.
    Thanks for sharing and thanks for asking!

  6. caallyn

    I read more non-fiction over the other. Appreciate the recommendations.

  7. katieleigh

    I read a lot of nonfiction – I loved Fadiman’s essay collection Ex Libris, but haven’t read this one! I just finished a gorgeous memoir called Birds Art Life, by Kyo Maclear.

  8. Rebecca D Martin

    Oh, oh! At Large and at Small! LOVE. You’ve read Ex Libris, too? I wish there were more Anne Fadiman. I could read her essays forever.

    You know, up until the last couple years, I was a fiction reader, all the way. Something shifted, though, and I am full force into essays and biographies and cultural critique. Is it something about turning forty? I still need a good fiction book to go to bed by, though.


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