Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Books I read in July 2009

Christian Living:
Essential Virtues by Jim Berg This book is about II Peter 1:5-9. It was required reading for Harvest staff this summer because our theme this year is "Making a Difference: To make a difference, you've got to be different."
It's hard for me to express my thoughts about this book. There were things that I appreciated about it and I did learn a lot; however, I also have some reservations about some of the things Dr. Berg emphasized. I was a little disappointed because I was looking forward to reading this book, since II Peter 1 is one of my favorite passages of the Bible.
It seems that men really like this book; Pastor and other males that have talked about it say positive things about it. However, women generally don't seem to really like it. Maybe it's the writing style? or the message appeals more to men?
If anyone actually reads this post and wants to discuss the book more, please email or message me.
Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God by Francis Chan I was greatly challenged by this book. I highly recommend it! The first chapters speak of God's character and love for us and remind us of the brevity of life. The last few chapters talk about our love for God and how we can practically demonstrate love to God and others. Chapter 4, "Profile of the Lukewarm Christian," and Chapter 5, "Serving Leftovers to a Holy God," were especially convicting. The book is worth buying just for those chapters. I actually got this book on when it was the free book of the month. It's not free anymore, but it's only $5.49. Right now the book is $8.49 at CBD. I bought a paper copy too, because I want to be able to loan the book out. I've already reread sections of it.
Esther: It's Tough Being a Woman by Beth Moore I really enjoyed delving into the book of Esther. Beth Moore always presents good historical info and helps you imagine life in the king's court. I especially benefited from the extended look at Haman's character. I have much more in common with him than I'd like to admit. Generally, I focus on Queen Esther when I read this book (as I'm sure most do!), but I realized how much I seek attention and praise like Haman did. It was also neat to see how God's promises to preserve His people were worked out in the end of the book.
For Professional Development:
Curriculum Development: A Guide to Practice by Jon Wiles I read this book for the Curriculum Development class I took this summer. Not exactly a thrilling read.
Fun: King of Torts by John Grisham For the flight back to Guam, I packed some pretty serious books--Essential Virtues and Curriculum Development--so when my flight was delayed in Hawaii, I bought two John Grisham novels and finished this one before I got to Guam. Both of these books are pretty typical Grisham fare but both of them ended badly. I was rather disappointed in the endings, actually, because I still believe good should triumph over evil in literature. Even if good doesn't always triumph over evil on earth, one day the Righteous Judge will make all things right.
The Appeal by John Grisham
Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer Well, I finally finished the Twilight series. While the last book was better than the others, I have the same reservations about the series that I have expressed already. Actually, while I telling the story line to my roommate, I thought--and kept saying to her--"This is so bizarre. I can't believe I read this whole series." The story seems somewhat believable as you're reading it, but completely pointless when you're explaining it to someone else.
I read the series because many of my students have read it and asked me about it. However, I wouldn't recommend that you spend your time on this series.