As a book lover, I enjoy seeing lists from friends (real or merely internet) of what books they have read, what books they have enjoyed. Many of these lists pop up at the end of the calendar year.
But truthfully–I can also get a bit overwhelmed by them, coming all at once like that. I generally try to cull a few suggestions out, and let myself disregard the rest. (Information overload is an issue for me.)
I would be better served, personally, in having those lists or book suggestions come to me in bits and pieces. Having said that, I realize that those of you doing a book round-up list aren’t necessarily doing it solely for my benefit. ( The world doesn’t revolve around me. Crazy, I know.)
But that doesn’t mean I can’t do my personal book list a different way. And so I am.
I am going to try to post, every month, near the end of it (or a few days into the next month, as I am doing here), what books I have read in the past month.
(If you prefer an annual list, you can wait until the end of the year and read all my book posts, I guess. :))
Here we go.
Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson–I received this as a gift from Bethany and Andrew for Christmas. It was a sweet novel which actually had people my age or older as protagonists. As Bethany knows, I rarely read fiction, so this was a risky choice for her to give me. :) But I enjoyed it quite a bit, and it was one of those books that I devoured quickly. Quite enjoyable.
Leaving Egypt: Finding God in the Wilderness Places by Chuck DeGroat–I have had this book for awhile on my Kindle app for iPhone, but had forgotten about it. (Which is one of my problems that I have with digital books–I am too much of an “out of sight, out of mind” type of person.) I am very glad that I noticed it. DeGroat uses the story of the Israelites coming out of slavery in Egypt and relates it to our own journeys from sin patterns, addictions, or just old, familiar ways of dealing with our lives, instead of the newer, sometimes scarier, freedom that God has for us. I saw far too many similarities between myself and the whiney children of Israel. Insightful book. There are also questions at the end of each chapter, for either personal reflection, or to work through with others.
Blink by Malcolm Gladwell–I am a huge Malcolm Gladwell fan. I found a copy of this in a used bookstore, and snatched it up, since I had not ever read it. Gladwell has a great way of writing about psychology and society and economics, and how people behave, in a very accessible, entertaining way. In this book he looks at how we make decisions, and how our common perceptions of how we do so may or may not be accurate. (Also, apropos to nothing, he has a rockin’ afro.)
Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas–I have been slowly working my way through this book for a few months (again, it was a victim of being an iBook/Kindle version). As a history fan, I like a good biography. Metaxas gives an engaging, thorough picture of the life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Lutheran pastor, teacher, theologian/author, and part of a failed conspiracy to assassinate Hitler.
A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World by Paul Miller–As I have mentioned to some of you, this is one of my all-time top five books. (In fact, this is my second–or third?–time through this book.) Praying is hard, and Miller acknowledges that honestly and freely. He gently leads us into a different way of praying, and living, while addressing our cynicism, despair, and apathy. Instead of having a “prayer life”, I now have a life of prayer. Highly recommended.
As you can see, my tastes tend to run toward non-fiction rather than fiction. I am attempting to have a better mix this year; maybe one fiction for every two non-fiction? Or one fiction per month? It’s a goal, anyway. :) I am already in the midst of another fiction book. Who’d have thought?
(I was also excited to find this book list by Seth Godin–all non-fiction, though, of course. [The first book in the list is The Gift of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by Brene' Brown, which I've already read, and recommended to others--so, so good!])
Feel free to leave your book recommendations in the comments!