"Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed."

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

July Books

Still Waters by Jennifer Lauck -- the last book I read in June was about Jennifer's growing up years - well, until around age 12. This book takes off from there, and talks about her life with her new parents, reuniting briefly with her brother, schools and work and starting a family.


Show Me the Way by Jennifer Lauck -- so, yeah, the library had another one of her books and this is three in a row that I've read by this author.  This one had a few flashbacks from Jennifer's childhood and young adulthood - a few familiar, and a few new stories. But mostly it was stories from her pregnancies, children's births, and dealing with her young children. I know parents adore their children, and I do love my nephews, but I was reminded throughout this book of how happy I am not having any children of my own. 

All In by Mark Batterson -- we read his first book just before going to Syria. He always challenges me, and makes me want to DO something. Which I rarely do.  Boo.  Lots of good stuff, but one thing I noted that applied to me:

"Our prayers tend to focus on external circumstances more than internal attitudes because we'd rather have God change our circumstances than change us."  (pg. 121)

Miracle in the Hills: The Lively Personal Story of a Woman Doctor's Forty-year Crusade in the Mountains of North Carolina by Mary T. Martin Sloop, M.D.  -- my mom found this in the library...fun to read about this lady's life in Crossnore, NC

A Farewell to Mars by Brian Zahnd -- "an evangelical pastor's journey toward the Biblical gospel of peace."  -- I saw this on the new book shelf at the library, and then one of my favorite authors whom I follow on Facebook recommended it a few days later.  Such a challenging book!  Especially for those like myself in a culture that often seems to want to bring peace through violence (war).  Great read!

The Guns of August by Barbara W. Tuchman -- a friend sent this to me for my birthday. We had been talking about World War I together, and I suppose he thought it would be good for me to read more about it. He googled "best English books on WWI" or something like that, and this was recommended.   I didn't even know who sent it until I inquired on Facebook about a book appearing in my mailbox.  There were parts of this book that I found interesting, but I must admit I'm not a big fan.  It took me exactly 2 months and 1 day to finish this - though I did not read some every day. I did try to read a page or ten most days, but there were plenty of days where this book was completely ignored.  So glad I finally finished it today (7/25) so I can included it on this list!

Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven by Susan Jane Gilman -- the author recounts her 1986 trip to China with a friend from college - wow

Stronger by Jeff Bauman -- I saw this in the new book section of the library; it's from one of the guys who lost his legs after the Boston marathon bombing in 2013 - I enjoyed reading his story

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

June Books

Can't believe it's already July! This year is flying!

Shadowed by Grace by Cara C. Putman -- I found this novel in the new book section.  It was about a photographer who went to Italy during the final months of World War II in search of her father.  It wasn't really all that interesting to me although it made me think of my times in Europe which have been nice.  Need to visit Italy one day.

Last Train to Paris by Michele Zackheim -- another book from the new books shelf at the library, and I liked this one much better. It's about a reporter who covers news in Europe during WWII.  The reporter is Jewish, and it was interesting reading about her adventures, her family, and her friends there.

Listen to the Squawking Chicken by Elaine Lui -- a Chinese-Canadian tells her story which includes so much about her mother's influence on her life. I learned quite a bit about Chinese culture (at least her version of it) in this book. The part about filial piety (pg. 58) was quite interesting especially at how much it differs from how people raise children here.

Jesus, My Father, the CIA, and Me: a memoir ...of sorts by Ian Morgan Cron -- I found this book at Goodwill awhile back and finally read it this month.  The author recounts his years growing up with an abusive alcoholic father, and his own struggles with drinking too much, too young in an effort to earn his father's love.  My favorite part was when he recounted his childhood to an elderly black woman whom he met at a church he attended in Denver when he was in seminary.  The part about Jesus asking him for forgiveness and her reply that "love always stoops," really touched me.  (pg. 175)

The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen by Syrie James  -- I read a similar book about Louisa Mae Alcott that I really liked more than I thought I would. So when I saw this one at the library, I decided to see if it were similar.  I liked it.

In The Presence of My Enemies by Gracia Burnham -- I'm over a decade late reading this memoir, but I saw it at a local thrift store, and it drew my attention. I remember when New Tribes missionaries Martin and Gracia Burnham were kidnapped by the Abu Sayyaf, a terrorist group, in the Philippines in 2001.  It was interesting reading this account of how they were treated, and how they passed the time during their year-long captivity.  I especially enjoyed reminders of God's faithfulness to them even during those very low points, and found myself praying for these awful men, that God will show them their need for salvation through Christ. I prayed that the lives of the Burnhams showed them the peace and joy they can have in following Christ rather than a horrible ideology. 

Blackbird by Jennifer Lauck -- a biography my mom finished and said was good.  It was. But so sad, too. I wanted to jump into this book a few times and intervene on this child's behalf. Goodness, there are some mighty cruel people in this world.  I'm reading the sequel to this book now. Not sure if I will finish it in time for this post. (nope)