Summer is a great time for me to catch up on my love of reading. I will read just about anything and everything. I have a wide variety of interests and love to read whatever I can get my hands on from the library.
Here are a few of the titles I tackled this summer, in no particular order:
Glennon Doyle blogs, inspires, and tackles big projects of love over at Momastery. I have enjoyed her TED talks as well as her blog for years. This book is a compilation of many blog posts, some of which I had read before. But I enjoyed them again. Often in tears or through laughter.
This is a fairly easy read, but with a lot of challenging thoughts. If that makes sense at all. The stories are engaging, honest, and full of hope. Whether or not you agree with all of Glennon’s thoughts, I think most women would find stories that inspire, encourage and challenge in this book.
I have to be honest. I had to read this one and a half times. Halfway through, I was lost. I had not connected to the characters or the plot at all. Then I began participating in my online discussion and realized that I was missing quite a bit, so I started again from the beginning AND read the spark notes, like any good student.
Once I was a more informed reader, I was able to engage the book in a more meaningful way. In the end, I learned about about E. M. Forester’s thoughts on society and enjoyed watching both Bellatrix Lestrange and Professor McGonagall interact about three decades ago on the big screen as Lucy and Charlotte. (A Room With a View is available on Netflix)
This books are part of a young adult fantasy series by Sarah J. Maas. There are going to be six full novels released in the end in addition to, The Assassin’s Blade, which is a collection of novellas. Only four titles, including The Assassin’s Blade, are available currently. Book number four in the complete series will be released in September.
A few chapters into the first book, I realized I had picked up a fantasy book. This is not my usual genre, but I was pleasantly surprised that I was enjoying the book. I am not typically one for dark magic, Faeries, and such, but the main character is an assassin in her realm and her storyline had me intrigued.
After moving quickly through the Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight, I picked up The Assassin’s Blade. This particular book contains five prequel novellas, told in chronological order as snipets in the life of our main character.
I am still reading the final novella, but I know where it is heading because of my reading of the other books. These were fun to read after the other two because it is always interesting to learn the back story after learning the “front story”.
A Gracious Space: Spring Edition. By Julie Bogart.
I have already blogged about this book in the past. I love the daily readings as well as the additional time I have in the summer to reflect on them.
Finally, I indulged in some deeper thinking and theologically “heavy” books:
Life Together. By Deitrich Bonhoeffer
What is most fascinating to me is the variety of friends who love this book. My conservative Christian friends, including PCA pastors, as well as my more liberal Christian friends all LOVE Bonhoeffer. This fact only intrigues me and I can’t wait to dig back into this book soon.
Malestrom. By Carolyn Custis James.
Carolyn Custis James tackles the issue of the patriarchal system found in the bible which has been adopted into a polite version by many evangelical Christians in the west. (think: biblical submission, complementarianism) The driving principle in this book is that any form of patriarchy is not biblical and is in fact, dangerous as it contributes to a societal “order” that was never God’s intent.
I have two chapters left in this book. (Yes, I jump around book titles quite a bit) It has been easy to read and quite fascinating. I find myself re-reading many stories in the bible so that I might attempt to process them in a different light.
Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church. By Rachel Held Evans.
Ah. Rachel Held Evans. Progressive Christian. In my conservative or evangelical circles, most folks don’t care for her theology. And while she and I don’t agree on everything, I find her a great writer and an excellent source for anyone who wants to understand more about progressive Christian theology.
Her piece on abortion is one of my favorites and “won” me over as a blog reader. I have read several blog entries now and find myself challenged, even when I disagree.
This particular book is the record of her journey with God and the church. Each section of the book focuses on a church sacrament and her own journey as it relates. It is an intriguing way to approach her story. I found a lot of great thoughts in it, even if our journeys have been really different.
I will say that I enjoyed it and have every intention of reading it a second (or third) time. I can’t say I agree with it in its entirety, but I am content to explore it some more. It is important to me to understand a variety of points of view when it comes to faith, God and the Bible. I never want to be “satisfied” that I know it all and have “figured it out” when it comes to God. I think that is a dangerous place to be. New ideas challenge me and either change my mind or solidify what I already believed.
I realize that many Christians, especially conservative ones, immediately shut down anyone who attempts to read the bible from a “non-literal” view point. If that is true of you, then don’t even bother to check out this book.
On the horizon…just picked up from the library…
Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass). By Sarah Maas.
What have you been reading?
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