Thursday, September 22, 2011

2011 Reading List ... so far

I usually do a mid-year reading list, but this year hasn't exactly been "the year of the book" at our house. When I started making my list, I actually have read much more than I thought. Most of them were book club selections, but I read a few "my choice" books too.

Choosing to See by Marybeth Chapman. Wife of my all-time favorite CCM artist, Steven Curtis, this book chronicles their life together, including the tragic loss of their adopted daughter, Maria. This book is kind of depressing, but it also very real and touching. I cried many times while reading this book and read several passages aloud to Will because they rang so true about how Christians struggle and deal with loss and tragedies (whether great or small). I highly recommend it. But keep the Kleenexes close by. (On a side note, this was the first book I read on my iPad/Kindle app.)

Half-Broke Horses by Jeanette Wells. I read this book upon the recommendation of one of my all-time favorites blogger picking it for her online book club of sorts. See discussion here. I really liked this book a lot. The Glass Castle, Wells' own memoir is one of my favorites, not only because she has an awesome life story, but because she tells it so well. HBH is an autobiography of sorts about Wells' cowgirl grandmother (kind of a prequel to her own life story). I highly recommend this book for a quick, easy and entertaining read

Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah. Now that I think about it, I think I read this last year, but we discussed it in our book club this year. I'm right. I did.

The Hole in Our Gospel by Richard Stearns. This book is still in progress. I'll keep you posted.

Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese. This one is still in progress too.

The Heart of the Matter by Emily Giffin. I love all things Emily Giffin. Her books are typically quick, fun reads. I read this one quickly because I borrowed it from a friend and wanted to return it before it got buried in the deep, dark depths of books known as my "reading list". This one hit a little more close to home with the husband of a seemingly perfect couple (with two small children) having an affair and almost destroying his family. It did have Dex and Rachel (from the famed "Something Borrowed" and "Something Blue" books that are my favorites by Giffin) as minor characters in the story, which was fun.

Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay. I read this book in one full day at the beach. The weather was cloudy and iffy so I sat inside on the balcony and read while Luke took his morning nap and then David took his afternoon nap. I did not like how the story ended and did not buy the modern day comparison between Sarah's life and the life of the narrator (whose name escapes me at the moment), but I thought the true historical story of the German Nazi occupation of France and rounding up of thousands of French Jews was interesting and something you don't typically learn about in your high school history lesson on WWII.

Best Friends Forever by Jennifer Weiner. This book was just okay. I've read too many stories about childhood best friends who have a major tiff only to reconnect many years later at some drunken high school reunion. But, it was an easy read and the story kept me interested enough to keep the pages turning.

Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo. Everyone should read this book. I read it in two hours while we were driving to the beach. As a christian, this book solidifies what I hope heaven to truly be ... a place of splendor to spend eternity with God the Father and God the Son and a reunion with our loved ones who have gone on before us.

Radical by David Platt. I love how simply Platt lays out his "radical" ideas about the true calling of a christian. And I agree. Over the past year, our Sunday School class has really tried to convert our thinking to a global worldview and focus on spreading the gospel to those who have never heard it. This is a radical idea in our present-day culture where the focus is always on me, me, me.

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. I started reading this book back in January and it was really good. The store is about an American soldier in WWII, who survived a plane crash over the ocean only to be captured/rescued by the Japanese.) I read it avidly. I remember sitting at the table feeding Luke in his high chair and reading it on my ipad it was so good. It was a page turner. And then it kept going and going and going and I had to put it down. I thought if this poor guy gets sent to one more POW camp ... I had forgotten about finishing it until a friend asked me about it last night at church. I really need to pick it back up.

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