Opportunities to Affect Reading Guides

CBF's 2018-19 Opportunities to Affect Reading Guide list features novels, memoirs, spiritual reflection and young adult fiction. We hope these books will enrich and challenge your missional journey.


Reading Guides for 2017-18
Reading Guides for 2016-17


Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond

Princeton sociologist Matthew Desmond follows eight families in Milwaukee as they struggle to keep a roof over their heads, transforming our understanding of poverty and economic exploitation while providing ideas for solving one of America’s most devastating problems.

pdfDownload the free discussion guide.



The Ninth Hour by Alice McDermott 

Tracing three generations of an Irish immigrant family, The Ninth Hour tells a story that is both individual and universal in its understanding of the human condition. Meditating on fairness, faith, sacrifice, duty and love, it illuminates the bonds that unite or divide us.

pdfDownload the free discussion guide.



The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (YA)

The uneasy balance of Starr Carter’s life is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend at the hands of a police officer. As the only person alive who knows what really went down that night, what Starr does—or does not—say could upend her community and endanger her life. 

pdfDownload the free discussion guide.



The Summer that Melted Everything by Tiffany McDaniel

This debut novel centers on Fielding Bliss in the summer of 1984, the year a heat wave scorched Breathed, Ohio, and Fielding became friends with the devil.

pdfDownload the free discussion guide.



Everything Happens for a Reason: And Other Lies I've Loved by Kate Bowler

Bowler shares her battle with cancer in an account populated with friends, mega-church preachers, relatives, and doctors. Bowler offers up irreverent, hard-won observations on dying and the ways it has taught her to live.

Free discussion guide available by November 15, 2018.



When the English Fall by David Williams

When a catastrophic solar storm brings about the collapse of modern civilization, an Amish community is caught up in the devastating aftermath in this thought-provoking examination of how we live today and what remains if the center cannot hold.

pdfDownload the free discussion guide.



Inspired by Rachel Held Evans

Drawing upon recent scholarship and literary analysis, Evans creatively retells our favorite Bible stories and connects them to our present-day ones. Readers are invited to fall in love with Scripture all over again without checking their intellect at the door.

Free discussion guide available by January 15, 2019.



Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf

Addie Moore pays an unexpected visit to a neighbor, Louis Waters. Her husband died years ago, as did his wife. Addie and Louis have long been living alone in empty houses. As Addie and Louis come to know each other better, a story of second chances unfolds.

pdfDownload the free discussion guide.



Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits by Laila Lalami 

Four Moroccans illegally cross the Strait of Gibraltar in an inflatable boat headed for Spain, each with his or her own story. What propels them to risk their lives in search of a better future?

Free discussion guide available by March 15, 2019.



The Shepherd's Hut by Tim Winton

Jaxie Clackton flees from the scene of his father’s violent death and strikes out for the vast wilds of Western Australia. But once he discovers he’s not alone out there, all Jaxie’s plans go awry. He meets a fellow exile, the ruined priest Fintan MacGillis, a man on whom his life will soon depend.

Free discussion guide available by April 15, 2019.

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