Tuesday, July 01, 2008

June Reading List

Anna's Books

Completed This Month:
  • The Eleventh Hour by Michael Phillips - My second read-through of this book was delightful, as I read it to set the stage for the next books in The Secret of the Rose series. Set at the time of the Nazi take-over, this book is exciting as it follows one Christian family's involvement in helping hide Jews during the war. Although it is somewhat of a love story, I so enjoyed the fact that the characters displayed restraint and purity, becoming great friends from the beginning. Also, the conversations between Baron von Dortmann and his daughter Sabina are great, as he helps her dig deeper to learn more about God and His creation.
  • Knowing God by J.I. Packer - This book caused one to dig deeper and strive to know God in a fuller way. As the back of the book says, we were made to know God and our aim in life should be to know Him. Each of the chapters explores different aspects of God to truly help one know Him better.
  • A Rose Remembered by Michael Phillips - The second book in The Secret of the Rose series was full of excitement! I had a hard time putting it down, and finished it within a few days. This book picked up 16 years after the last book ended, following the lives of Matthew and Sabina, separated by war and not knowing where the other one could be. They meet again, but life in Germany under the Communist regime is not an easy one. The story takes place as the wall between East and West Germany goes up. Although this is fiction, I enjoyed reading about what the feelings on each side of the wall might have been like. The plot is full of exciting twists and turns that are, I must say, sometimes unbelievable, but they do keep one on edge. I really like how roses are weaved throughout the plot - very sweet!
  • Escape to Freedom by Michael Phillips - It's not often that I get to read books in one series right in a row, but it certainly helps the story fit together! This third book of The Secret of the Rose was a great read as we spent hours in the car traveling to visit family one weekend. The plot continued on in the character's exciting lives, and follows them through a daring escape under the wall from East to West Germany. All of the conversations are very interesting, though they can get long. I like how Michael Phillips weaves in discussions about God and the Christian life into His stories! Again, some of the things that happen seem somewhat improbable, but it makes for a good story. And, it closes with two beautiful weddings! =)
  • Tramp for the Lord by Corrie ten Boom - After I read and really enjoyed The Hiding Place, Mardi and Maria Pauline suggested that I read Tramp for the Lord, and Miriam Rebekah was kind enough to let me borrow it from the "Hart Family Library". I'm so glad that I read this! Corrie ten Boom's story didn't end with her release from the concentration camp, though her faith there is what she is most famous for. She went on to travel the world, sharing her experiences, and telling people about the Lord. Even into her 80s, she continued traveling, inspiring many to live for Jesus. Her experiences will help encourage you and build your faith.
  • Dawn of Liberty by Michael Phillips - The fourth and last in The Secret of the Rose series followed the experiences of Matthew and Sabina (now in their 70s) and their son Tad. They returned to Germany for a conference on evangelism, and I like how the conversation was woven in with them discussing ways to actually do God's work - not just give money or hand out tracks, though that does accomplish some things. One thing I didn't particularly like was how Tad became very close friends with a girl in Germany, pretty much dating her before she became a Christian. It turned out great in the end, she accepted the Lord, and I appreciate how the relationship was very pure. However, we need to remember that it doesn't usually work out like that, and becoming emotionally involved with someone you're attracted to who isn't a Christian, is not a good idea. Another fun thing about these books is how they give both sides to the story - they follow the main characters, but they also follow the lives of the Gestapo or KGB. In this book a former KGB guard completely turned around and started following the Lord, showing that God can use anyone!
  • In My Father's House by Corrie ten Boom - Having read about Corrie's later years in The Hiding Place and Tramp for the Lord, it was fun to read about her early years, growing up with her family, and living with her family as a single young lady. God really used her in those years, as she worked with her father and also led girl's clubs and taught different classes. It was encouraging to see how her early experiences prepared her for what she did later in life, and for what she had to go through. God truly knows what He's doing!
  • 50 Crucial Questions: An Overview of Central Concerns about Manhood and Womanhood by John Piper and Wayne Grudem - Elijah picked up this little book free off of a table at New Attitude. It was adapted from the book Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. I enjoyed reading it, and liked how it didn't shy away from, but rather explained some of the hard to understand portions of Scripture relating to manhood and womanhood. It's well written, and makes me want to read the whole of Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, though I've heard it's pretty thick! =
  • Deliver us from Evil by Don Basham - The subtitle of this book is "The story of a man who dared to explore the censored fourth of Christ's ministry." It gives the experiences of a man who experienced and helped others experienced deliverance from demons. At times it seemed really strange, but as he says, our enemy is rather ugly! Plus, though at times it seemed to be focused too much on those taken hold of by evil spirits, I had to remind myself that that's what he was writing about, so those are the stories he shared. He (obviously) wouldn't write about all the other people who weren't possessed and didn't need deliverance.
  • What a Daughter Needs from her Dad by Michael Farris - In looking for a book to order dad for Father's Day, I came across this one and decided to order it. Of course, it is written for dad's, but I enjoyed reading it first. =) It's a beautiful book about "how a man prepares his daughter for life". Michael Farris, as the father of 6 daughters and 4 sons, knows a lot about parenting, and his daughters have become wonderful young women. It gives encouragement and practical suggestions for dads.
  • Interviewing Your Daughter's Date by Dennis Rainey - This was the book I actually ordered for Dad for Father's Day, after hearing about it on the radio. My Dad has mentioned that he wouldn't know what to say to a young man wanting to court his daughter, so I thought that this book outlining "8 steps to no regrets" might have some good suggestions. Dad told me to read it first, since he knew I'd finish quickly. =) It did have some good points, and I liked how Dennis Rainey talked about protecting his daughters and showing her through example (he took his daughters on "dates" from the time they were little, to show them how a man was supposed to treat them) what a gentleman was. However, the book turns out to be geared mostly toward those with dating daughters in high school. The dates and interviewees were not geared towards being interested in marriage, but rather basically just casual dates to have fun. He stressed purity and standards, but I'd prefer to wait until I'm ready for marriage, then court with that in mind. So, Dad may get some good things out of it, but I'm giving him What a Daughter Needs from her Dad as well, which I think is a better book.
  • Cat and Dog Theology by Bob Sjogren & Gerald Robison - We read this book out loud as part of our family devotions. It's a very thought-provoking book, one that will probably radically change one's thinking. It really shows the shift that has happened in the church recently, and will reveal selfishness of thought in your own life. It reveals how most Christians today think more like a "Cat" (it's all about me, and God wants me to be comfortable) though they wouldn't want to admit it, while we should be more like a "Dog" (it's all about God and His glory). It's entertaining and challenging - a great book to read as a family.
Currently Reading:
  • Do Hard Things by Alex and Brett Harris -As I've written before, this book is the one our generation needs to read! I'm re-reading it, taking it chapter by chapter and writing down thoughts and meaningful quotes. It helps it really sink
  • Authentic Beauty by Leslie Ludy - I've read this book twice before, but somehow my copy got borrowed or lost, so I ordered it again from Amazon. This book is a great encouragement to be a set-apart young lady. It focuses on knowing your Heavenly Prince more intimately, for to have a healthy relationship, you need to have it built of the foundation of a wonderful relationship with Jesus. Be forewarned: the subject matter deals with things of a mature (and sad!) nature, so I wouldn't recommend it to girls under 14 or 15, and you still would probably want your mom to read it first.
  • From Tyndale to Madison by Michael Farris - This book traces the development of religious freedom from the time of Tyndale and his daring work translating the Bible into English to the time of Madison and the writing of the Bill of Rights. It's quite interesting, and sad to see how each religious group in England persecuted the other while in power.
  • His Princess by Sheri Rose Shepherd - This is encouraging little book is beautiful, with "love letters from your King" written on each page, against a background of lovely roses and stationery. Reading a page a day helps keep me focused on my Heavenly Father and King.
  • Valley of Vision compiled by Arthur Bennett - This compilation of Puritan prayers helps one really think and pray deeply. I've been reading and praying through a page at the end of my devotions each morning. It has helped me focus more on God and His glory as I pray, and is teaching me to pray more.
  • Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem - This could have been on every reading list, as I'm still going through it with the Rebelution book study. It's been great to read through again and be reminded and reinforced in why I believe what I believe.

Miriam's Books

Completed This Month:
  • Bleak House by Charles Dickens - Another wonderful book written by Dickens. I can't help but marvel at the many plots that are carried throughout this book and eventually tie together in the end. The young "orphaned" Esther Summerson, the "childless" Lady Dedlock, the Wards in Jarndyce, kind Mr. John Jarndyce, and the little crossing sweeper, Jo, who knew too much but "I don't know nothin', sir!" was his pathethic cry. These are but a few of the well-rounded charactars in this book. I think Bleak House is probably my favorite Dickens book at present.
  • Christy by Catharine Marshall - Always a favorite re-read. I love to sit down and laugh and cry with Christy as she makes a remarkable journey from her pampered home to the backwoods mountains., where life is so different. To read this book is almost to become Christy and know what she went through as she "learned" to teach these mountain people, ending learning more herself.
  • Passionate Housewives Desperate for God by Jennie Chancey and Stacy McDonald - This is a really good book. I'm nowhere near being a housewife, but so much was applicable to my own daily life. I've always had to fight wanting to complain when doing chores or something I just didn't want to do, but this has inspired me to do my work with a cheerful attitude and willing heart.
  • Girl Talk by Carolyn Mahaney and Nicole Whitacre - I enjoyed this book immensely. The wonderful encouragement given about talking with our mothers is so neat. There are some very amusing accounts given of mother/daughters outings. I've never really had problems talking or communicating with my mother, but she and I are similar in many ways, so it's not surprising. Mother/daughter conversations are extremely important, but I'm going to add that so are father/daughter relationships. If we can't communicate with our fathers, then we will have problems down the road in life.
  • A Year Down Yonder by Richard Peck - This is the sequel to a book called Long Way From Chicago in which Joey and MaryAlice go to visit Grandma Dowdel in her hick town and have the most hilarious adventures, all due to Grandma (and sometimes her double-barrel shotgun). In this book, MaryAlice is going to spend a year with Grandma and is not exactly looking forward to going to the small school or living with Grandma Dowdel for that long. But throughout the book she slowly sees all the ways that she is similar to her grandmother and they slowly form a bond. It's also as hilarious as the first book. From stealing pecans in the middle of the night from stingy, deaf old man to setting up traps outside the outhouse at Halloween to catch mischievous boys. If you want to laugh, then I definitely recommend this book and the prequel to it.
  • Mandy by Julie Edwards - This is a really sweet book. A little orphan girl climbs over the wall adjoining the orphanage and finds a little run-down cottage. Mandy decides that she can make this a place of her "own". She sneaks over the wall every chance she gets and slowly makes the cottage a beautiful little place. There is a price for dishonesty, though. Mandy finds this out almost at the cost of her life. A great book for young girls.
  • A Flower Blooms On Charlotte Street by Milam McGraw Propst - Ociee goes to live with her aunt in the city. She makes big adjustments as she learns how to behave like a young lady and makes many friends throughout the town. This is a wonderful book for young girls, as well. This book was made into the movie, The Adventures of Ociee Nash, which follows the main plot of the book, but is very loosely adapted. The book is much better.
  • The Eleventh Hour by Micheal Phillips - I've read this book before, but as Anna recently got the whole series, I wanted to start at the beginning again. I love the way history is interwoven in the story. I look forward to the second one.
  • Adam by Ted Dekker - Some people may not enjoy suspense, but if it's written well, I do. This book was very interesting and hard to put down. One thing that is prevalent in many of Dekker's books is a spiritual element that is ties into the solving of the mystery. I thought this book was really good and if you like this type of book, then I recommend.
  • House by Ted Dekker and Frank Peretti - This book was just plain weird. When I saw it at the library, I thought that combining these two authors would be an interesting combination and it certainly was. I don't like it as much as other books I have read of either author. The main theme of the book is true, though. Sin is part of our lives and we are all sinners, but we can be saved through Jesus Christ. Some find this out almost at the cost of their lives.

Currently Reading:

  • Martin Chuzzlewit by Charles Dickens
  • In Christ Alone by Sinclair Ferguson
  • Home-Making by J. R. Miller
  • College Without Compromise by Scott and Kris Wightman


Jaybird said...

Wow! What lists! :)

Miriam, I *adore* a year down yonder! It's one of my absolute favorites! :)

Ella said...

WOw! I did not read that many books by ANY means this month! Let's see..

Those Michael Phillips books sound really good. I ought to try them. And the other Corrie Ten Boom ones also.

I am so glad you finished His Princess. I loved it! And I am about to start Valley of Vision.

I have to agree with you on Authentic Beauty. I bought it, skimmed it, (was uncomfortable with it) and returned it. Even though I am 18, I felt it was more written for girls in public highschools.

Thanks for sharing!

Ella said...

Oh, yes, I read Passionate Housewives, also Miriam. I loved it! An encouraging read even though I am not a housewife!

Elijah Lofgren said...

Thanks for posting this! :)

> Currently Reading:
> * In Christ Alone by Sinclair Ferguson
> * Home-Making by J. R. Miller
> * College Without Compromise by Scott and Kris Wightman

I look forward to hearing what you think of those! :)

Anonymous said...

Oh my...those are long lists! (I think my reading list just got longer!)

I'm reading Packer's Knowing God right now, but I think I'll have to reread it several times because there's just so much there.

Glad to hear what others are reading!

Anna Naomi said...

I had a bit more time to read this month, but a lot of the books were also pretty short! =)

Ella: Actually, I haven't finished His Princess yet - it's on my "currently reading" list. I'm enjoying it! And, I actually really enjoy Authentic Beauty, though I, too, was a bit uncomfortable the first time I read it - I actually never finished it. Then, my mom read it and liked it, and Miriam gave it to me for Christmas, and it was better the second time through. The experiences she had in school were shocking, and I don't think she really needed to go into as much detail as she did sometimes. But, the later chapters are much better then the first, and I've found a lot to encourage me in my walk as a set-apart young woman. I do think it would be a powerful book to give those who grew up in circumstances like hers.

Miss Marian May: Yes, Knowing God would be one to read again! There's so much that can be learned from it!

Anna Naomi said...

And I forgot to say...

Miriam: Books on your list sound good! If you have them, I'd be interested in borrowing Long Way from Chicago, A Year Down Yonder, Mandy, and A Flower Blooms on Charlotte Street (I liked the movie and I'm sure the book is better!)

Pearls and Diamonds said...

I saw some great books on your lists! Michael Phillips--I've never heard of him...Who publishes his work?

Anna Naomi said...

Pearls and Diamonds: Bethany House publishes most of Michael Phillips works, but I think these books were published by Tyndale House.

Maria Pauline said...

Is it just me, or does Miriam have an affinity towards Dickens?

Glad to see you read the other two Corrie ten Boom books, I honestly liked them better than The Hiding Place.

Mrs. Hart said...

>Is it just me, or does Miriam have an affinity towards Dickens?

Ha! You bet she does. She inherited from her mother! Ha!

Miriam's mother ;)