Monday, May 12, 2014

A year's worth of books

As I was looking at my cloud list of subjects on my blog, I noticed the the "books" subject was by far the smallest!  While I have a long Amazon wish list for books, a Paperbackswap account where I trade books with other members, and an extensive Pinterest board entitled "slave to books", my little blog hasn't showcased very much on this magical world of literature.  Well, that certainly puts a stain on my claim as book enthusiast.  Something must be done about this!!

In the last year or so, I've read many new books and discovered some authors new to my horizon.  I read childrens' books, old books, non fiction, fiction, historical and theological.  I don't ever want to be too old to enjoy a simple kids' book, nor too limited to read a thick theological volume, so I try to keep my stack of reading material diverse and interesting.  

A few of my friends have questioned me on my favorite books, and ones I'd recommend to them.  So here is a list of a few books I read in the last year or so, and a brief note on each.  I encourage you to use your own discretion on what you choose to read, though, basing your convictions on the Bible and what your parent's idea of what you should be "filling your head" with :).  I use the guidelines of Philippians 4:8 as my standard, which is also the heading of my blog!

{Some of} What I read last year, and a bit about them:

A Chance to Die by Elisabeth Elliot
A reverent biography of an incredible woman.  Mrs. Elliot brings Amy Charmichael to life with photos, journal entries, letters and her own words on this lady who dedicated her life to serving in India.  On a personal note, I don't necessarily agree with all of Amy Charmichael's views on life, particularly marriage, but overall this book provoked me to examine my own faith and commitment to Christ.

Crazy Love by Francis Chan
Having received this for a graduation present, I read through this as we traveled cross-country.  I was challenged, humbled and repentant as I realized how desperately in love I need to be to Jesus Christ.  This is a book that all followers of God ought to read and ponder.

The Wanderer by Sharon Creech
Technically a book for 8-12 years old, this isn't really a light read.  While the text is simple, the storyline is fascinating and the plot rather puzzling.  An enticing blend of adventure and reflection.  This is easily one of my favorite books.

The Giver (book one of The Quartet) by Lois Lowry
This is the story of a young boy, living in a seemingly Utopian, futuristic world.  He is selected for a special position in the community, one that will reveal the true joy and pain of life long forgotten.  A unique blend of science-fiction and , this suspense-filled series is heartwarming and intriguing.  Good for readers 12 and up. 

Too Small to Ignore by Dr. Wess Stafford
My heartstrings were tugged as I read this poignant book.  Children are too intensely loved by Jesus to be forgotten, and it is our duty to cherish our children and invest in others in need, whenever we get the chance.  As a boy, the author was raised as a missionary child in an African village, and during the school year he lived at a boarding school which profoundly altered his life.  His first-hand account of the hardships, trials, joys and memories compelled him to tell others that there is a way to intervene for those less fortunate, and even those in our own homes.  

Chasing Redbird by Sharon Creech
Another kids' book, but it definitely holds a place on my favorite book shelf.  This Newberry Medal-winning tale is a delightful read that will bring a smile to your face...and a sympathetic tug at your heart.  Honestly written, this is the story of a quiet young girl lost in the middle of a big family, and how she steadily finds her way into adulthood by journeying into her family's mysterious past.  

Their Yesterdays by Harold Bell Wright
Heads up speed readers: slow down on this one.  While it's not exactly an exciting novel, this book has an important message behind it, so take the time to read each page thoroughly and understand it's meaning.  While some I know didn't care for this book, I personally found it very enjoyable and thought provoking!  Harold Bell Wright was an exceptional author and I recommend all of his books with the highest regards.

Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis
You will be deeply touched when you read this book.  This young woman had a passion to follow Jesus, and He took her to Uganda.  She left everything behind to obey the call of God and continues to pour her life into serving the people of Uganda to this day.  This is a journey of radical love and sacrifice.  Follow Katie down the red dirt roads of Africa, laugh and cry with her and learn more about her ministry, Amazima.  This book is a must-read!

Dinah Harris Mysteries by Julie Cave (a trilogy)
This exciting trilogy follows the story of a former FBI special agent as she struggles to take control of her life, all the while aiding the FBI in several different twisted crimes in Washington DC.  The Lord takes hold of her and brings people into her life that disciple her to live in accordance with Christ.  These books also strongly promote a young-earth creation worldview, and is filled with scientific facts and discussions about God and human existence.  I would recommend these books for ages 13 and up.

Keep an eye out for my next post about books, coming shortly!

"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies.  The man who never reads lives only one." 
-George R. R Martin

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