Friday, April 12, 2013

Reading List Update

It's been a while since I've updated, so I have several new books to add to the list.  There's another one that I just finished last night, but man oh man, the things I have to say about THAT book necessitate an entire post dedicated to it, so I'll save that one for later. 

I finished two secular books (both happened to be from my mom's library) - the first was A Friend of the Family by Lauren Grodstein.  I was not a fan.  The writing was taut and engaging, but it felt like it was trying too hard.  It also had a bit of a complex that I couldn't move past; was it trying to be a version of The Cider House Rules or of  Misery?  It also relied on typical archetypes in which religious folks are crazy whack-a-dos who just don't get it.  That's intellectually lazy and a huge pet peeve of mine. 

After that I finished Anita Shreve's The Pilot's Wife.  I call her work "literature lite".  Her actual writing certainly holds some literary value, but her plots seem made for light entertainment.  This was an easy read and would make a good summer book for Mom while the kids are at the pool. 

I also finished a pair of Christian books - the first was a loaned copy from our pastor of Christ in the Passover by Ceil and Moishe Rosen.  This served as a nice accompaniment to our Passover festivities and our deepening interest in Jewish festivals.  And then I had a copy of Angela Thomas's 52 Things Kids Need From A Mom that I picked up from a sale table at my local Christian bookstore because it was inexpensive and looked like it would be perfect for my short snippets of reading I do at the table or while cooking.  I was pleasantly surprised by this book.  There were some great tidbits in there, and they were shared in a way that were never prideful or overbearing (how hard it is to accomplish a balance between sharing tips and not appearing like a know-it-all, but Mrs. Thomas manages to carry it off).  This is a short snippet that especially spoke to me (and a trend I notice amongst Christian women), in her chapter titled To Teach Them to Not Be Easily Offended.

Every weekend I have the privilege of meeting women from all over the world.  Several years ago, I realized that too many of the women I was meeting were living in ongoing bitterness.  I understood why they felt entitled to bitterness because of divorce, health issues, or the loss of career, opportunities, friendships, and children, but at the same time, I kept asking myself, Aren't we supposed to life differently than this?  The Bible says:

See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many (Hebrews 12:15).

According to the Bible, bitterness is dangerous because it can take root deep inside our heart and grow, spreading its poison into our minds and emotions before we even realize what has happened.  The person who is easily offended has given their heart permission to let the root of bitterness grow.  Holding on to resentments.  Counting their grievances.  Building grudges and bad feelings.  Whenever I meet a woman who has learned to find comfort in bitterness, I quickly pray, Oh, Lord, keep me from such a miserable life.

10. 52 Things Kids Need From A Mom - Angela Thomas

9. Christ in the Passover - Ceil & Moishe Rosen

8. The Pilot's Wife - Anita Shreve

7. A Friend of the Family - Lauren Grodstein

6. Not a Fan - Kyle Idleman
5. Body Surfing - Anita Shreve

4. The Magician's Assistant - Ann Patchett

3. Twelve Extraordinary Women - John MacArthur

2. The Merchant's Daughter - Melanie Dickerson

1. Gideon's Call ~ Peter Leavell


Moriah Schairer said...

A book I think I should recommend to you is "Pagan Christianity". The name looks menacing but actually it is a delightful book about practices in the Church that aren't biblical and coherent with the 1st Churches.

The Merry Band of Fife said...

Thank you for the recommendation, Moriah. From the title, I bet the read would be eye-opening. I've had discussions with a few of my friends about the subject and it's positively astounded how many "traditions" we hold are steeped in paganism!