Two Book-Review/Book-Response Songs

The created world—a gift to mortals—is fertile ground for playful, daring hearts. And I’ve only really begun to let my inner adventurer enjoy it, so that I might live life more fully, more courageously. . . .

If you scroll back through your life, you might find that your fear of disapproval has blocked your playfulness. Maybe it’s because you’ve felt the sting of rejection and self-doubt too many times.

If you’re not careful, you could stop trying anything that seems scary or dangerous—little things, like playing the French horn, or momentous things, like being a parent. The perfectionists’s mantra is this: If you can’t do it right the first time, don’t do it at all. Let your new mantra be this: Do it anyway, even if you fall.

– Jennifer Dukes Lee, Love Idol (188, 189-190)

The best part about trying something new is the stretching and learning that inevitably happen. Songwriting, for example. I have no formal music education, but several years ago I had this crazy idea to try writing a song.

Ann Kroeker has written “book responses” instead of “book reviews.” (Here’s one of Ann’s book responses.) Since my two most recent songs were based on books, I think songwriting might be one way I respond to a good book. The song helps me receive, remember, and respond to the book’s message. So each song you see below is a book review/response of sorts. Each song was also intended as a gift to the book’s author.

And when I finish a song based on a book, it means I can sing the book!

Thanks to free music-notation software (like LilyPond and MuseScore), I can make lead sheets of the songs I write. Find the links below to download these, if you’d like to sing along with me. (Please do!)

Most of all, I encourage you to read these two books. You’ll find sample chapters at their listings.

1. “Already Loved” (based on the book Love Idol, by Jennifer Dukes Lee)


Ever since Jennifer wrote this blog post about singing your prayers, I’ve carried a mental connection between her and the band Third Day. So after I read Jennifer’s book Love Idol (Tyndale, 2014), I wrote a Third-Day-copycat song called “Already Loved.” Be sure to sing it in your best Mac Powell voice!

Click here to download the “Already Loved” lead sheet.

2. “It’s Never Too Soon” (based on the book Pursue the Intentional Life, by Jean Fleming)

I sang “It’s Never Too Soon” with fifty other women at a retreat where Jean Fleming was the speaker. We were in beautiful Estes Park, Colorado. What a memorable weekend.

The song “It’s Never Too Soon” is based on the book Pursue the Intentional Life (NavPress, 2013).

Click here to download the “It’s Never Too Soon” lead sheet.

To listen to an audio recording of “It’s Never Too Soon,” please leave a comment below, and I can e-mail the audio file to you.

And if you are a songwriter, I would welcome your feedback. I appreciate learning from people who know what they’re doing!


7 thoughts on “Two Book-Review/Book-Response Songs

  1. Wow what a great idea Monica to sing your reviews!!! It is so YOU & reflects your heart for Jesus. :) I just completed an Intentional Living training last weekend, if I’d known about your song I’d have had you sing for us!!

  2. Receive, remember, respond <– I like that.

    Something new for me is that I've been summarizing bible chapters in haiku format. Right now I'm in Isaiah 61. Until I read this post, I didn't connect the dots of those 3Rs. Here's one from today…

    healing, liberty
    comfort, beauty, hoy – praise them
    forth through salvation.

  3. Monica, my small group is studying Pursue the Intentional Life and I would really love to play “It’s Never Too Soon” for them but can’t find the audio recording. Can you help me? Thanks!

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