Wednesday, February 24, 2010

My book list

My friend, Missy, posted her book list this morning and wondered what others are reading and recommending. Thought I would whip up a post of my current reading list, my TO Read list and my Have read list. Beware, this may be LONG - I am a lover of books:)

Currently Reading:

Shantaram - by Gregory David Roberts - my current fiction book, given to me by a friend as a Christmas gift. The story is intriguing as it seems to mirror the author's real life. It is a very thick book and I'm only 4 or 5 chapters into it. The chapters are long, which hinders my reading - I usually only read this at night before I turn out the lights and since I'm training for a race I can hardly get through a page or two before rolling over. I like the book so far and I like the characters. I'm eager to get further into this book.

Love Beyond Reason - by John Ortberg - my current non-fiction book. I'm not far into this one either. I only read a section at a time and am only able to do so a couple of days a week. I WISH my children would sleep a little later in the morning! One thought that I took from this book today: part of loving God is attending to him (which begs the question - what does "attend to" mean?) Also, loving others means paying attention to them and being sincerely interested in them. Thinking about this, mulling it over, trying to figure out how to turn my thoughts/feelings into words and blog about it to perchance work through this a bit. Maybe tomorrow.

Recently Have Read:

Three Cups of Tea - by Gregory Mortenson - given to me by the same friend who gave me Shantaram. Took me a while to really get into this book, but probably a little less than halfway through it I WANTED to read it. Gave me a lot of insight into the middle eastern/arabic culture and the war that we are in in that area of the world. Definitely a thought-provoking book and well worth reading. At one point I thought that if I were in college and had no relationship responsibilities I would drop everything and find Gregory Mortenson and demand that he allow me to work with him. At some point action becomes important rather than considering possible action. He has a passion. He prioritized everything around that passion. He had tunnel vision. He changed (and continues to change) many, many lives. I want passion like that for something.

Abba's Child - by Brennan Manning - oh man did this book take my breath away. The chapter on the Imposter is worth the price of the book in itself. This book spoke loudly to a silent but restless portion of my soul and helped me realize that introverted, extroverted, shy, whatever - those things don't define me. I am beloved. My Imposter is the uncomfortable, somewhat bitchy looking, self-conscious outward facade that shines through in public when I don't know anyone. THAT is not who I am, but the Imposter who covers me and tries to define me. Wow, I can't even put it into good words. This is a must read for me probably every year or so. What an incredibly important book.

God is Closer Than You Think - by John Ortberg - This book gave me a definition of the Contemplative spiritual pathway that I felt like put ME into words. It also provided the idea of: How do we bring Up There down here? Those 4 words come back to me over and over and over. The idea is simple enough for me to reflect on it and remember it often and to ask it over and over and over. How do I bring Up There down here - for my girls? for my husband? for the people I see in the grocery store? for my friends? my family? for the people I pass in life? for my neighbors? Add this to the idea from his book that I listed above that: the main place you do the work of God is as you go along... seeing what Jesus would see and responding as he would - geez John Ortberg, you rock my world (quite literally).

Velvet Elvis - by Rob Bell - Rob Bell makes me wonder. A lot. He has a way of writing that compels me to read more and to think about what I've read. Do I agree or disagree with that statement/paragraph/idea/concept/chapter? I love his writing. I enjoy his books and thinking. He makes me wonder.

To Read:

A New Kind of Christian - by Brian McLaren - apparently Brian McLaren is a pretty heavy hitter in the emergent church movement. I don't really even know what the emergent chruch movement is or what it is about, what I do know is that in my research of a different book written by a Hope College professor there was much criticism of Brian McLaren. If nothing else, this will be a thought provoking book as well.

For Parents Only - by Shaunti Feldhahn - I've read For Women's Eyes Only and enjoyed it. It was a quick read and was insightful about the thoughts and feelings of men - from a purely objective data collection point of view. I'm eager to receive this book and find out if it applies to a parent of young children.

I Was Just Wondering - by Philip Yancey
Disappointment With God - by Philip Yancey
Above All - by Brennan Manning

Going to Reread soon:
Becoming God's True Woman - by Nancy Leigh DeMoss - this is a book worth blogging about. Definitely one where I need to wade through some of it and take what I can from it as I don't agree with the perspective of some of the writers. However, there is a lot of good things in this book and I credit the book with revolutionizing my thinking and understanding of some of the topics covered in the book. Helped me come to a few important decisions in my life and helped me understand my purpose as a wife and a mother a little better. I hope to reread it soon and get some thoughts on here.

What are YOU reading?

With the exception of the two books that I received as gifts, I got all of the books listed via a website called I've also gotten many more than I listed here. If you have books that you'd like to get rid of and would like to add to your personal library or begin a personal library I would HIGHLY suggest checking this website out. I got every one of these books for the mere cost of media mail shipping and have been able to rid my home of books that were never going to be read or reread and were taking up space. I'm a HUGE fan of! If you'd like to join, let me know - I'd be happy to send you an invite (I think I MIGHT get a credit toward a book if you join via my referral, but I'm not sure).


Amy 5:28 PM  

Currently reading (and Rob is reading too) Sheet Music - Uncovering the Secrets of Sexual Intimacy in Marriage by Dr. Kevin Leman -- it's REALLY good...much better than other "sex books" I read in premarital counseling etc.

I will be reading You Can Still Wear Cute Shoes--And other great advice from an unlikely precher's wife by Lisa Mc Kay, I'm More than the pastor's wife by Lorna Dobson and Sustainable Youth Ministry by Mark Devries. I'm on a little bit of a ministry book trend right now.

Right around New Years I read a fiction book, "Snow Flower the Secret Fan" and it was soooo good...highly recommend it.

BTW - I read the Brian Mc Claren book and did enjoy it. I have done a lot of reading on the Emergent Movement. I don't agree with everything, but there is some ideas behind it ALL churches can learn from and embrace. Ironically I think the movement is more similar to Reformed theology than others give it credit for. Would be curious to know what you think after you read it.

Abbi Togtman 7:46 PM  

Who was the Hope College prof that was critical of Brian McClaren? Just wondering...I was a religion/psych major. Have you read Blue Like Jazz by Don Miller? There are Emergent influences there...Rob Bell has a bit of that influence as well. I have not read Brian McClaren but am somewhat familiar with the Emergent Church thing.

As far as what I'm reading right now...HARRY POTTER #5! I'll prob. go non-fiction after that, we'll see.

i am not 8:07 PM  

Abbi - I don't think it was the hope professor who was especially critical of Brian McLaren (not sure - haven't read the book), but rather the reviewers of the Prof's book. The book is Why I'm Not Emergent. I don't remember the author. I cannot decide if I want to read it or not. I'm kind of scared of it.

Have not read Blue Like Jazz, but need to borrow it from Jenny as my list whittles down.

As for Harry Potter. I miss Harry, Ron and Hermione. They were such a dominant part of my life for a whole year. I felt like something was missing when I finished. Obsessed would be a weak way to describe me and HP. Dave read them all last year and had the same thing!

Jen 8:50 AM  

I just finished Lynn Austin's latest book~Though Waters Roar last week. Still love her stuff. It's so much better than stereotypical Christian fiction~characters are so much more than the one dimensional good girl/bad boy of those others. I used to work at Family Bookstores and we were allowed to "check out" books to read so I read A LOT of Christian fiction!

As for non-fiction, I will be reading Paula Deen's autobiography. Caroline has to do a book report on a biography and this in the one she wants to do. I need to read it first to make sure it will work for her report. I also just finished Young, Reformed and Restless. I liked it a lot. It helped take some of my 5 pt Calvinist beliefs out of Catechism language and into something to discuss with my dear Armenian friends. :-)

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