After reading like crazy in July and August (probably making up for all the weeks I didn’t read while we moved), my literary adventures slowed down a bit over the past few months!
Part of that was just the normal fluctuation of life; part of it was because I was digging through some deeper material . . . specifically the two-volume set on a Mormon’s journey to Christianity, which was fascinating and educational but also full of meat and rather long. Along with those two books, I read three others that fit within my #Read2016 categories, and two just-for-fun books in a fictional series.
Here’s what I explored from September-October (includes affiliate links):
Gospel Meditations for Missions, by Chris Anderson (et al)
Category: Book with the word “Gospel” in the title
This book of 31 daily meditations is not just for missionaries; it’s for any Christian who wants to obey God’s command to preach the gospel and make disciples. The entries are short yet thought-provoking, and each one pointed to some particular aspect of missions that is relevant to all believers, whether on the field or not. I enjoyed the meditations, and appreciated that they each started with an assigned passage of Scripture, not just a single verse or two. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who desires a greater heart for sharing the gospel!
A Mormon’s Unexpected Journey: Volume 1, by Carma Naylor
A Mormon’s Unexpected Journey: Volume 2, by Carma Naylor
Category: Book about religion/theology
This two-volume set is written by a woman whose great-great-grandparents were among the pioneers who walked from Iowa City to the great Salt Lake Basin, pulling their possessions in a wooden handcart. She had a rich LDS heritage, and loved every bit of it. She was even married in the Salt Lake Temple, a much-desired achievement for all faithful Mormons. But when her best friend (a non-Mormon) started asking questions about her faith, the author started digging deeper into the history and theology of Mormonism, hoping to convince her friend of its value and authenticity — yet not only did her research fail to convert her friend, it caused the author herself to start questioning some of her most deeply-held convictions. These two books share the struggles she faced to break free from spiritual bondage, the grief of leaving a religion she’d loved and served her entire life, and the way God can lead when He calls a person to salvation. Yet they chronicle more than just her personal journey from one religion to another; they also share the incredible depth of her research as she sought answers for the questions on her heart, like a treatise comparing the teachings and experiences of Mormonism with the unchanging truth of God’s Holy Word. I’ve read many other books about Mormonism, but this was certainly the most personal of them, and thus perhaps the most powerful, as it brings spiritual truths out of the classroom and into real life.
Closed Casket (an Agatha Christie novel), by Sophie Hannah
Category: Mystery Novel
As any die-hard Agatha Christie fans can understand, I’ve been hesitant to read the new “Agatha Christie” books by Sophie Hannah — not because Hannah is a poor author, but because it’s hard to hear the characters in an unfamiliar voice. Hannah’s first attempt a few years ago was interesting, but not quite on par with an original AC. I wasn’t sure about reading this second attempt of hers, but I finally picked it up and was pleasantly surprised! It felt like Hannah had achieved a more authentic-sounding voice for Poirot, and while her story wasn’t quite an AC original, it was close enough that I’d give her another chance in the future. It’s a hard thing to follow in a master’s footsteps, but I give the author props for a commendable attempt!
Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline
Category: Book for Young Adults
I had heard good things about this book, but I’m not sure if I would have picked it up for myself, had it not been the recent pick for our library book club. It started off slow and some of the early monologues felt extraneous or out of place; there was also a some unnecessary language in the first few chapters. But the premise drew me in, and the characters held my interest. The book is less dystopian than science-fiction; it’s a throw-back to the 1980’s gaming culture, and if you’re not familiar with either the decade or the gaming lingo, then you probably wouldn’t enjoy it. I’ve got just enough of both that it appealed to my inner geek. It’s probably more for adults than teens; and while I enjoyed it overall, I would be picky about recommending it.
What have you been reading lately?
PS – Find me on Goodreads to share what you’re reading and follow my progress for #Read2016!