Aug 11, 2009 by

i love books.

(as if you didn’t notice, right?) classics, suspense, spiritual, mystery…you name it. i’ve always been a reader, but i go in and out of being immersed. of course, being a mum doesn’t always allow for reading as much as i might like sometimes, but lately, after the kids fall asleep, dave and i have been crawling into bed early and reading until our eyes can’t take it anymore. there’s nothing on tv worth watching in the summer (or is there? anyone??), and reading, unlike television, actually engages your brain. yet another thing mums can be rapacious for…

so here are a few books i’m reading or read over our vacation:
jim and casper go to church* by jim henderson and matt casper. this book is a “frank conversation about faith, churches, and well-meaning christians” written by a believer and an atheist. it candidly talks about church experiences across he gamut from churches across the grid like saddleback, mosaic, lakewood, imago dei, mars hill church, willow creek, the bridge, and the potter’s house. SO interesting for people across the board- both for atheists, agnostics, chrisitians…whoever. you can read it in a day, so pick it up at the library for a quick but thought-provoking read.

the poisonwood bible by barbara kingsolver. my friend nick got me this book SO long ago (my maiden name is etched in its inside cover) and i tried starting it a couple times and didn’t get into it. then it looked so good with all my antique books, it became a decoration for a while. i blew the dust off it and brought it to NY and i’m really enjoying it. it’s soooo well written, and is the story of a crazy pastor who takes his wife and four kids into the congo to “save” the congolese people set in the late 1950’s, early 1960’s. it’s about 600 pages, and i’m at about 200, and i just can’t stand not knowing what’s going to happen as a very subtle suspense builds with every page. i’ve heard good things about kingsolver– has anyone read any of her other books?

jesus wants to save christians by rob bell and don golden. a lovely friend of mine, kate, had let me borrow a pile of books after my post about books i want/need/have to have. this book was on that list, but i had started it and it didn’t get me right away. but i dove back in, and i’m SO glad i did. this book is about”faith and fear, wealth and war, poverty, power, safety, terror, Bibles, bombs and homeland insecurity; it’s about empty empires and the truth that everybody’s a priest; it’s about oppression, occupation, and what happens when Christians support, animate, and participate in the very things Jesus came to set people free from.” a very powerful and relevant book that had a lot to say about the ironies, complexities, an inconsistencies of “religion.” i love rob bell, as many of you know, and he doesn’t disappoint in this book.

sail by james patterson. my friend amber introduced me to patterson in college. i’ve read a handful of his books (kiss the girls, along came a spider) and enjoyed them. this book would make a great movie. good beach read.

unchristian by david kinnaman & gabe lyons. i’ve talked about this this book already, and gave you a little excerpt, but i’ll say it again. read this book. wherever or in whatever your faith is, read it. and then “let’s talk about it” as elias would say (he’s his father’s son…).

redirecting children’s behavior by kathryn kvols. my sister lauri gave me this book and i’ve garnered some good insight. it’s written in a really practical way with realistic scenarios, dialogue, and ways to react to/approach specific behaviors. since i struggle with being patient sometimes, and with pausing before i react, i appreciated the approach this author has, although her language and suggestions at times struck me as too gentle and her suggestions for some scenarios a little too unrealistic. a helpful book, though. i wish it would tell me how to not want to flip out as i write this and piper screams her bloody head off in her crib. GO TO SLEEP, CHILD. anyone know any good books for that?

so what are you all reading? i always love to hear so i can make my next book wish list…

“a good book has no ending.” r.d. cumming

*the foreword in this book is written by george barna, founder of the barna group, who did the research for unchristian. i like overlap like that when i read books- like when authors quote books i’ve already read. a small world gets smaller-type thing.

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  1. N. Toft

    Hm, looks like we might have similar book taste, so I'll mention my fave: A Severe Mercy. It's a true love story set in the 50's…the couple actually renounces atheism through their friendship with CS Lewis, and most of the book is letters back and forth with him. Looove it.
    (ps: i am a babeshavingbabes and westwardbound reader and friend:)

  2. michelle

    my husband had been given that book and when we were first dating, he told me i should read it because he loved it, too. it's one of my all time favorites. the shining barrier, davey and sheldon living on their sailboat…oh, i just loved every page. that's a great suggestion- no one has ever heard of that book. glad you hopped over to my blog! it's nice to talk with other moms and book lovers :)

  3. suzannah

    i've really enjoyed every barbara kingsolver book i've read, although i still haven't read the poisonwood bible. names are escaping me, and my internet is too slow to look them up…one was Pigs in Heaven, another Prodigal Summer…most recently i read her Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, which is sort of a memoir/primer on eating locally and it is sooo good.

    right now i'm two months behind in my book group! i'm reading The Zookeeper's Wife, and it's really interesting, but sometimes i just lack the motivation to finish non-fiction!