Sunday, May 03, 2009

Best books I read in 2008

I know this post is really late in coming, but I figured "better late than never." And I read some good books in 2008 that I wanted to recommend to you. I'll write more about the books later, as I have time . 1. KJV/ERV Parallel Bible I read the entire Bible last summer. It was a great way to refresh my memory about some stories and to get an overview of the Bible. I picked up on some themes I had never noticed before and loved tracing the work of God through Old Testament and seeing how His plan was completed in the New Testament and how He continues to work today. I chose the Easy-to-Read version because . . . it's easy to read. Harvest Ministries published this parallel study Bible with the KJV in one column and the Easy-to-Read next to it. You can follow a plan, such as the plan which a Bible class at Harvest used, or this one, or you can simply divide the number of pages in your Bible by 90 (like I did). 2. The Path of Loneliness by Elizabeth Elliot Elizabeth Elliot clearly knows and loves her God and she inspired me to passionately pursue Him too. Although I shied away from reading this book because I thought it was just about singleness, I am glad I read it, because it addresses every Christian's need to find satisfaction in Christ. Next to the Bible, this was the best book I read all year and is probably one of the best books I've ever read. 3. Did I Kiss Marriage Goodbye?: Trusting God with a Hope Deferred by Carolyn McCulley And this is the best book on singleness I've ever read. I was hesitant to read this book, too, because I hate books about singleness. However, Carolyn McCulley doesn't talk down to singles (she's single too) or make empty promises (if you just do x, you'll get married) or imply that the reason I'm still single is because I'm not content (a "more spiritual" way of saying "if you just do x, you'll get married" or "if you work a little harder, God will answer your prayers"). I learned how singles can use their gifts in the church to spread the gospel and minister to the saints. Because of a challenge in this book, I've been purposefully developing my homemaking skills, so I can entertain guests and bless others in that way (if you're one of my friends, you know I still have a long way to go). I regularly read Carolyn's blog Radical Womanhood and recommend that you make a trip over there. 4. Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card I'm not much of a sci-fi fan--actually, I hadn't read any sci-fi since I went through a Jules Verne phase in high school--so I was a little nervous to read Ender's Game. I was afraid I wouldn't like it and offend the friend who recommended it to me. However, I really enjoyed the book and highly recommend it. I won't try to summarize the plot, because I'm really bad at doing that (just ask Johnny Wiglesworth--I almost ruined the book for him because I did such a horrendous job at pitching it!). I also read Ender's Shadow but it wasn't quite as interesting to me as Ender's Game. 5. Flyboys by James Bradley I wrote about this book in February. Excellent book! By the way, this book is nothing like the movie--different war, different theater. 6. Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell A powerful story of Luttrell's survival after his entire team of Seals was killed in a fight in Afghanistan. I'm thankful for the men and women who serve our country in the military (including my brother!). POE: Strong language, but I thought the story was worth reading. 7. Tools for Teaching by Fred Jones This book was a lifesaver. I already had procedures in place, but Jones helped me see that I often nagged my students. I also learned much from the chapter on developing a presence in the classroom (my roommates laughed as they watched me perfect the "royal turn" but that and a look that means business have come in handy this year!).

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