As we traveled the country this spring and summer, I have been reading. A lot.
We listened to a long biography of Lincoln called “Team of Rivals” in the car and I had time to read while in hotels. Here are a few of the books I read.
“Crown Duel” “Court Duel” “A Stranger to Command” and “Trouble with Kings” by Sherwood Smith I didn’t read them one after the other; I read them between the nonfiction books listed below. These are fantasy books about a land far away and in another time. I enjoyed the story lines. They are easy reads and fun. No sex, profanity, or expicit violence. Yes, there are wars, but the blood and guts are not described in detail. The characters are interesting. The protagonists are likable and antogonists get it in the end. I like to read books where the characters I like live happily ever after, but with more than a few twists, turns and adventures along the way. And sometimes I need books written on a middle school reading level.
“The Wright Brothers” by David McCullough Most of us were taught in elementary school that the Wright Brothers invented the airplane. We may have been taught they owned a bicycle shops. That’s about it. But there is much more to the story!
A friend recommended this book on his Facebook page, so I downloaded it. I could not put it down! Their story is much more than just flying at Kitty Hawk. McCullough gives us insight into their family and introduces us to their sister Kathrine who played a big part in their success. I had not thought before about the dangers and hardships encountered in their quest for flight. I enjoyed reading about the business end of their discoveries as well. McCullough has written a number of biographies, and I will be reading some more of them this fall.
“In the Land of Blue Burkas” by Kate McCord
Kate worked for a NGO in Afghanistan. Her love for the women of this impoverished country is inspiring. Not only did I learn about Islam and Afghanistan, I learned more about how to love others with the love of Christ. It is a beautiful book about a country full of beauty, ignorance, and poverty. I found myself reading passages outloud to Ron. She caused me to think about how I treat others and showed the common humnaity in us all.
“Seeking Allah, FInding Jesus” by Nabeel Qureshi This book about a young man’s journey in finding Jesus was a great read. I enjoyed the stories about his family and friends. He taught me about Islam and his belief system while showing us the human side of a Muslim family. The arguments for and against Islam and Christianity are presented as he descovered them – honestly and surprisingly. Along with the book above, I have gained a new love for Muslin people.
“Dreams and Visions. Is Jesus Awakening the Muslim World?” by Tom Doyle It is facinating how God seems to be using dreams and vision to reach Muslim people. The author makes it clear that people are not coming to life in Christ through their dreams, but these dreams and visions are causing them to seek Him. The stories from around the globe are intriging and exciting. These stories caused me to want to pray for Muslims around the world and gave me new insight to a culture I was unfamiliar with until I read these three books.
“Les Mis” by Victor HugoThe classic book about France in the nineteenth century. Jean Valjean is an excon who tries to redeem his past. Andrew was Thenardier in the youth production of Les Mis when he was 16. It was his first big role. I love this story and enjoyed reading the book. It is free in Kindle format.
“Back to Tonic” by Eugene Kiepura. This is not an easy read. Oh, the words were easy enough to understand. But the events and thoughts were not easy to read about. I read part of it one night. Then I put it down. Though I wanted to keep reading, I had to take a break to digest what I had read. It is not a long book, but it took me four full days to finish it. I loved every moment of reading this book, even the parts that broke my heart and brought up memories of the first few months after The Accident. Gene’s writing is honest, raw and beautiful. His journey is heart wrenching and encouraging. I enjoy his blog. I loved this book. If you have lost a child or know someone who has lost a child, I encourage you to read it. This week I am reading it for a second time. With my highlighter.
“Tents, Tortoises, and Tailgates: My Life as a Wildlife Biologist” by Scott Lillie
Another blog I enjoy is Dispatches from the Field. The July 31 post was by guest blogger Scott Lillie. It was a short entertaining story of his adventure in a Spider Forest. Since I liked the story and needed something light to read, I bought the Kindle book. I was not disappointed. This book is easy to read in snippets of time. Waiting at the doctors, just before bed, etc. Fun, interesting stories of wildlife and the people who study nature.
“Peace Child” by Don Richardson
I first read this book about nine years ago. It was part of our homeschool curriculum. I read it again every few years. Don Richardson writes about the work he and his wife Carol did as a missionaries to the Sawi people in the former Netherlands New Guinea, now Indonesia. It is a lovely story of God’s redemptive work in a group of people who practiced headhunting and cannibalism.
“The Ryn” and “The Remedy” by Serena Chase
A friend commented on Ms. Chase’s fan page. I was intrigued that my friend would do such a thing. She must really like these books! So I bought them. I found “The Ryn” a bit slow at first, but at about chapter four I quickly got into the plot! Fun characters, unexpected twists, and great writing make for a great fairytale! I will be reading her next two books this fall.
“Kisses from Katie” by Katie Davis
My daughter Margaret recommended this book. The story of an eighteen year old girl who goes to Uganda for a year between high school and college but ends up staying and making a home. She finds herself with thirteen daughters and a thriving international ministry by age twenty-two. Katie shares her heart, her story, and her loving God in this touching book. You can read Katie’s blog here. I am challenged by her faith to examine my own walk.
Am I loving the person in front of me? Is Jesus enough for me? I’m not sure sometimes, but I want to trust Him. Lord, help my unbelief!
“The Count of Monte Cristo” by Alexandre Dumas
The story of young Dante who, on the eve of his wedding, is betrayed and sent to prison unjustly. Another prisoner teaches him how to exact revenge. He escapes, finds a treasure, and gets his sweet revenge. A wonderful tail which has been made into a great movie. (I love reading classics!) Note: the movie is very different from the book!
At age ten, Ralph moved with his family to Colorado. The year was 1910. They were poor and his daddy was sick. This is the true story of a family the stuck together with love, faith, and hard work. We were introduced to the series as part of homeschool curriculum. My children loved when I read these aloud to them. I still enjoy reading all eight books. I’ll finish the other three this fall.