Saturday, February 22, 2014

Five Favorites: books from January and February

This week: We took our Kendra to visit her potential college home in Denton, TX  The campus tour was lovely, but it's the gigantic used bookstore Recycled Reads that sealed the deal for me!

Five Favorites: my 2014 reading list

-- 1 --

1  The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell(Ballantine Books, 1997. 408 pages) 
This novel just about wrecked me -- in mostly good ways. Since it falls in the category of Sci-Fi, I'd probably not have picked it up on my own.  But some dear friends shared how much they'd loved the story of -- well, a Jesuit priest in outer space. With only a little bit of experience reading science fiction, I've quickly learned that the power of the genre -- for me -- is the way a well-told story of an imaginary land and its inhabitants can help me reframe the powerful drama of my own land and species in the most surprising, touching ways.  This was the case for me reading about the brave team of space explorers hoping to give and receive love on the planet Rakhat -- for some, even the love of the Gospel of Christ.  The devastating results of offering pure, but misunderstood, love mirrors all the great tragedies we know since the beginning of man.  And the beginning of my very own life on Earth.  

-- 2 --
2  Found: A Story of Questions, Grace and Everyday Prayer by Micha Boyett(Worthy Publishing, 2014. 240 pages) 
I am a lucky woman.  I knew this book while it was in the "womb".  I'm so proud of Micha for persevering not only in the story she tells in these pages: learning to pray when life gets turned upside down not by the tragic, but the daily mundane.  I'm also proud of her for birthing this book while her life kept twisting in unexpected ways.  I'll write a longer review later, but for now want you to know you can pre-order the book before it's April release.

-- 3 --
3  The Class by Erich Segal(Bantam Books, 1986. 560 pages) 
When I was home for Christmas my mom kept mentioning this book she'd just read and enjoyed.  Since she's a good mom she didn't hesitate to send that book right home with me to read on our flight.  An interesting novel based on the very real community of Harvard class of 1958 -- a world in which a GPA didn't guarantee against prejudice or for happiness.

-- 4 --
4  Holy Luck by Eugene Peterson(Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2013. 128 pages)
Ever since Brian and I heard Pastor Peterson speak in 2008 during a symposium for pastors, church leaders in artists in Austin, we have reclaimed the word "luck" as another way to say "We are surprisingly blessed, indeed!"  This small book of poetry reminds me that this man wrote the Message translation of the Bible.  And he knows he is a lucky man, indeed.

-- 5 --
5  Somewhere in France: a novel of the Great War by Jennifer Robson(William Morrow Paperbacks, 2013. 400 pages)
I regularly fill up my library hold list with recommendations from Katie Noah Gibson's monthly blog posts.  Since I'm ever interested in the zeitgeist of Great Britain during the War to end all wars (and the one after that one), this book went on my to-read list.  It was a quick and pleasurable read.  (*If you don't like to read about the act of sex, don't read this novel.  It's not gratuitous, but it is definitely the intended -- pardon the pun -- climax of the story.)

*Go to my Book Pile page to see my reading lists from previous years.*


A book-filled weekend for us all, dear ones.

For more Five Favorites, visit Moxie Wife!

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