Tuesday, August 21, 2007

What I read this summer

As far as reading goes, I'm moving back into school mode, so I thought I'd take stock of what I actually read this summer. I did not meet my 25 book desired goal, but I did enjoy a rich assortment of reading. Here is what I read, along with a (short! don't want to bore you) review.

1. Doing Things Right in Matters of the Heart by John Ensor. This short little book was the Girl Talk book club choice, and I read it and liked it and recommend it to any single or dating person. Emily, I am bringing it for you to borrow. (wow, I just re-read that and it sounded so flippant like "hey, read this FUN book if you are on the dating scene -- like, for sure!" But what I really meant was "I agreed with the underlying principles of this book -- sort of the I Kissed Dating Goodbye for this generation. The author has straight his theology on man's depravity and God's plan for marriage").

2. Shopping for Time by the Girl Talkers . . . I've already said enough about this one, I think!

3. Feminine Appeal by Carolyn Mahaney. This was the best book I've read on Titus 2 -- every married woman should read it!

4. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. This was a re-read I'd been dying to do, and I enjoyed it even more the 2nd time around, since I'd been in Scout and Jem's world for a couple of weeks when my little sister Abby was staying with us. She read it and loved it so much she started right over and we got the movie from the library and everything.

5. The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Sp
eare. Another re-read. Just as good the 2nd time. I'm very fond of this book.

6. Safely Home by Randy Alcorn. This is another one I've written much about. If you did not hear me before, hear me now -- I haven't met anyone yet who hasn't been wowed. Ask Morning Rose!

7. Love, Ruby Lavendar by Deborah Wiles. This was my bedtime book during Camp OUTT: light, sweet and original. The title comes from a series of letters a little girl writes to her grandmother, who is also her best friend. It would be a great book to read with your daughter. Some good scenes of forgiveness and understanding when Ruby finally forgives a mean girl who has really done her harm.

8. Each Little Bird that Sings by Deborah Wiles. (Another re-read), One of my all-time favorite children's books, it won the read-aloud award in 2006, and makes me think somehow the author had access to my own brain as a child. Comfort Snowberger lives above a funeral home and goes to all the funerals. The book certainly has some sad parts, but it is peppered with humor (such as Comfort's tips on how to act at funerals and what sort of food to bring), and will leave you wanting to make funeral-dinner potatoes.

9. Harry Potter a
nd the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling. This final book in the famous series was my favorite. The link I included in the title takes you to an excellent article in Christianity Today which summarizes much of my thinking better than I could. Check it out if you are a Potter fan or skeptic. Here is a picture of me reading the first chapter aloud at midnight to some of the people at the Ultimate Night of Magic thrown by my darling old bookstore, Blue Kangaroo Books. The hundreds of other people who were there were in line for their books, and thus not in the picture. I did have a handful of teenage boys stop by to hear me read and as they left, called out "thanks! You're a good reader!" Awww.

10. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis. I explain here how I read this book for C
amp OUTT. It's maybe my favorite Narnia story (after Last Battle, and LWW, and . . . )

11.Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens. All of you who had to read this in high school will say "what? You didn't know that?" when I say that I was taken aback by the violence and darkness of this book. I suppose up to this point I've chosen to read the sweeter Dicken's classics, which I like a great deal better. I can't argue, though, it is a good book, full of superb characterization, which is my favorite element of literature.

12. What Is a Healthy Church? by Mark Dever. This smaller version of his book Nine Marks of a Healthy Church is designed for lay people, and has a frank, clear manner that makes it easy to read as well as personally challenging. Totally recommend this to anyone thinking about leaving, looking for, joining, improving or just being in the life of a church.

13. On Asking God Why by Elisabeth Elliot. This is a good book to read one chapter of each day along with your devotions, or any other time you need a short chapter with a truly good deep thought in it. That said, this book is not best read as a whole -- each chapter is on a different subject (unlike my favorite Elliot books: The Path of Suffering and Shadow of the Almighty). It's probably a collection of devotionals she wrote for her newsletter. But it's her pen, and it's good stuff!

I've read several chapters of a slew of other books, including The Four Loves, The Last Battle, Relationships, From Homer to Harry Potter, When Sinners Say I Do and others I grab if I'm on break at work. I'm off to class required reading!


Anonymous said...

I recently wrote a post on our summer reading too, and my favorite book by far was Safely Home. I read it twice and found it even better the second time (I missed a lot of details the first time). A couple friends are reading it now and like it just as much. I also bought a bunch of Safely Home books to give away as gifts.

Sara Mincy said...

Thanks for the list. I want to read Feminine Appeal- sounds great. I also love the Witch of Blackbird Pond...I think it has been about 15 years since I last read it.

James and Christen said...


I really want to join the 5am club but first, I have a dumb question. How early do you go to bed? :)

We are finally on line in our home but now our microphone isn't working. So, no skype for now!! God is really teaching me patience.

I have just finished Lies Women Believe and it was better than I thought. I am starting Come Walk with Me, by Carole Mayhill. I think it is going to AWESOME. It is on being discipled to a walk with Christ, like HE intended. i.e. a walk of peace, JOY, love etc. Then my plan is to read Discipline the Glad Surrender. (which I bought for you but you already had!! - thanks)
My current goal is to read one book per month.

Pray for me that God will open my mind as I study Portuguese. I REALLY want to learn quickly. I am learning a lot but there are times when I am so discouraged with all that I don't know.

Tchau my Friend.


GloryandGrace said...

Thoughts on When Sinners Say I Do? I've been thinking about buying that one, so I was curious when you mentioned it at the end of your post!

Gretchen said...

MR -- you are my Safely Home poster girl. :)

Sara -- might be time to revisit Witch of Blackbird pond. Nothing like an old book to bring back your childhood!

Christen -- yay, I'm so glad to hear from you! I'll tell you, the 5am club is not as hard as it sounds. Plus you are sort of a morning girl. I go to bed at 10:30, thinking I can read until 11. Usually I don't make it that far. It's just good to get a bit extra sleep at other times if you can (for instance, Saturdays and Sundays have been more like 6, and sometimes naps). Good goal with the one book a month! I will be praying for your Portuguese. . . that is out of mind for me!

Grace -- what I read was 2 thumbs up. He lays into silly thinking that problems in relationships are stemming from much other than the fact that we are sinners, and really lays out a Biblical Theology of man. Good stuff. Straightforward. No fluff.

GloryandGrace said...

You rhymed, heehee

Laura said...

I'm not sure if you will remember me but I met you once when I came out to Danville to visit Christen (my sister). Christen was telling me about "Shopping for Time" and I'm in an accountability group with my pastor's wife and she brings up things from "When Sinners Say I Do" almost on a weekly basis. Both are books I need to read. Thanks for the list of good books. Now I also want to go get "Feminine Appeal".

Laura Lee

Emily said...

I read the article about HP, and i think it was very well put. I so enjoyed the last book, adn i kind of wish everyone would read that article. The children who are kept from thiese books, really are missing out.