Carmen’s 23 books of 2023

Each year, I have the opportunity to read a lot of books and interview many authors for Mornings with Carmen, and I’m happy to share my favorites from 2023. Bonus: we’ve included a corresponding interview!

1. The Bible Endless are the “other” books that have been and will be written. If you have not read and are not reading the Bible, all your other reading is futile. The Word of God alone has the power you need to grow in grace and the knowledge of the Lord. Read this book first, foremost and always.

2. Once You See: Seven Temptations of the Western Church by Jeff Christopherson

No ordinary book, this novel addresses the challenges of the Western Church through story. I loved it so much I spoke with the author Jeff several times this year. Interview

3. Biblical Critical Theory by Christopher Watkin

A compelling read that shows how the Bible and its unfolding story help us make sense of modern life and culture. Interview

4. Politics for People who Hate Politics: How to Engage without Losing Your Friends or Selling Your Soul  by Denise Gitsham

A book for those of us who want to care about current events and politics– and our friends at the same time. Interview

5. The Great deChurching, Who’s Leaving, Why Are They Going, and What Will It Take to Bring Them Back? by Jim Davis and Michael Graham

We know people are leaving church at record rates– but why? And what can we do? Interview

6. Praying for Your Child from Head to Toe: A 30-Day Guide to Powerful and Effective Scripture-Based Prayers by Sharon Jaynes

A practical guide to help you pray the very words of Scripture over your child. Interview

7. God Speaks Science: What Neurons, Giant Squid, and Supernovae Reveal About Our Creator by John Van Sloten

A book to help us know God through His creation and what science has revealed. Interview

8. To Be a Woman:The Confusion Over Female Identity and How Christians Can Respond by Katie McCoy

In a time when our culture is confused about gender, and women and girls in particular struggle to understand their identity, this book helps the Christian respond in a Christlike way. Interview

9. The Secret Place of Thunder:Trading Our Need to Be Noticed for a Hidden Life with Christ  by John Starke

Our modern, image obsessed, always-on-display culture may preach that worth comes from performance, but this book reminds us our true value is “hidden in Christ.” (No interview)

10. Reset: Powerful Habits to Own Your Thoughts, Understand Your Feelings, and Change Your Life by Debra Fileta

Debra is a regular on Mornings with Carmen sharing insights and wisdom about changing our habits and thoughts, just like this book. Interview

11. Made for People: Why We Drift into Loneliness and How to Fight for a Life of Friendship by Justin Whitmel Earley

Loneliness is a health crisis, but there is a way out and Made for People shows us how. Interview

12. Flourish: Finding Purpose in the Unknown and Unexpected Seasons of Life by Grace Wabuke Klein

This book is a comfort and guide in trusting God when walking through long, unexpected seasons of difficulty. Interview

13. The Deepest Place: Suffering and the Formation of Hope by Curt Thompson, MD

A book helping us explore how we can embrace suffering as a path to lasting hope and a deeper relationship with Christ, and to find wholeness in life. Interview

14. Five Lies of our Anti Christian Age by Rosaria Butterfield

Rosaria gives us a look at five culture idols she used to believe that still seek to sway people, including the Church, away from Biblical truth. Interview

15. The Wolf in Their Pockets: 13 Ways the Social Internet Threatens the People You Lead by Chris Martin

Christ is a regular guest on Mornings with Carmen, helping us see how social media and smart phones are influencing our daily lives– and what we must do to fight it. Interview

16. Beyond Her Yes: Reimagining Pro-Life Ministry to Empower Women and Support Families in Overcoming Poverty by Marisol Maldonado Rodriguez

Renew Life Center‘s Rodriguez calls us to re-imagine what it means to be pro-life and how we can tangibly support pregnant women with a community around them. Interview

17. A Quiet Mind to Suffer With: Mental Illness, Trauma, and the Death of Christ by John Andrew Bryant

In this intensely honest book about mental illness and suffering, the author shares his story Christ’s love and presence in his pain. Interview

18. During School Hours: WHY and HOW LifeWise Academy is Reinstalling Religious Education into the Public School Day by Joel Penton

The true story of reaching kids, during public school hours, that would otherwise not be reached with the hope of the Gospel. Interview

19. The Evangelical Imagination: How Stories, Images, and Metaphors Created a Culture in Crisis by Karen Swallow Prior

Prior explores evangelicalism by looking at the art, images and popular culture that has surrounded the movement. Interview

20. Finding Joy on Death Row: Unexpected Lessons from Lives We Discarded by Dewey Williams

A pastor’s experience serving on Death Row and powerful stories of redemption of those he met there. Interview

21. Fit God’s Way: Your Bible-Based Guide to Food, Fitness, and Wholeness by Kim Dolan Leto

A regular guest on Mornings with Carmen, Kim shares in this practical guide how to live a healthy life and see themselves as God does. Interview

22. The Awe of God: The Astounding Way a Healthy Fear of God Transforms Your Life by John Bevere

What does it mean to “fear the Lord”? This book invites readers to revisit Holy Fear, as a way to cultivate a deeper, more intimate relationship with God. Interview

23. Chasing Proof, Finding Faith: A Young Scientist’s Search for Truth in a World of Uncertainty by Tom Rudelius

In this book, a physicist and string theorist shares his story of coming to know Jesus through his brother and looking at the evidence of the universe. Interview