Tuesday, June 02, 2009

May 2009 Reading List

Anna's Books
Completed This Month:

  • So Much More by Anna Sophia and Elizabeth Botkin - As I headed for home, I once again picked up this book to read to give me insights and ideas as I prepared for a new sphere of life, that of a daughter at home. This was my 5th or 6th re-read, yet the words still rang true, especially after experiencing college and all of the mindsets that come along with it. My college experience was definitely not as bad as those described in the book (being at a Christian college helped), but many of the same ideologies were present. This book is a good one for every young lady to read, and many in her family as well (my brother Elijah enjoyed reading some of it, as have my mom and dad). It gets you to think about the hard questions, and will inspire you to be a daughter of vision. Is it perfect? No - no book is! I can't answer all the hard questions about every situation, and I am not saying that going to college is bad - and nor do the Botkins. But they raise the question of whether it is always wise. It is something to at least think through. They may come across as too strong sometimes, but they at least they are willing to ask hard questions, and they are careful about looking to God and Scripture as their guide. Some may disagree with their application of certain passages, but, for the most part, their message rings true with me.
  • The Bravehearted Gospel by Eric Ludy - Eric writes in a passionate way about how we as Christians need to wake up and be willing to stand firm in God's truth. He talks about the emergent church movement, where it is right, and where it goes wrong. His writing style is conversational and often entertaining and enjoyable to read. Yet, at the same time, he doesn't shy away from the hard questions. He stands strong in calling us to fight for the truth of the Gospel by not giving into the demands that we become so similar to the culture that we loose the truth and strength of God's Word. He calls us out of apathy and timidity and into a life of powerful faith. Although he is quick to point out the evil of legalism, he also rightly talks about how we as the church today often try so hard to avoid any sign of legalism, that we end up not standing firm for anything at all. My only criticism of this book is that, while the message is very important and it's good to explain things, it took a while for the book to get past explaining why he was writing the book and into the message he is proclaiming.
  • I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Joshua Harris - Having read this book a few times in my high school years, I read this again after coming home from college. I'd heard a few people at college blame this book for causing guys and girls to avoid each other, and I'd also heard many messages to our RUF group about dating (against courtship) and marriage. This book again strengthened my resolve not to give in to the typical dating model, and it gave practical examples and stories of how to live as a single young person striving to remain pure in today's culture. It is easy in writing to seem to promise quick-fix solutions and models that seem to apply in every situation, when life itself is very complex. But, I think Josh does a great job in balancing real life and theory, while ultimately pointing us all to the cross and the ultimate relationship in life.
  • Boy Meets Girl by Joshua Harris - The sequel to I Kissed Dating Goodbye, this book gives practical advice on how to "say hello to courtship." I had read this book once before, but it made a lot more sense now as I was at the age where a courtship could potentially happen (or it could be years down the road!). Josh and Shannon's story is sweet, and many other stories are woven in to show the beauty of how God works in creative ways in different lives. The book has practical advice on how to evaluate a relationship and helpful questions to ask when headed towards engagement and marriage. Through it all, Josh points us to Christ and calls us to be sensitive to His voice in all of life, and humble in our interactions with each other. He willingly acknowledges that courting isn't perfect, stresses that there is no perfectly right way to get to know someone, and that you don't even have to call a relationship "courtship" for it to be God-honoring! The important thing is that you are focused on Christ and sensitive to His leading. And while you shouldn't think that having a set of rules will make the relationship perfect, he does advise getting good advice from others and setting helpful guidelines and boundaries to help you stay on the path of purity.
  • The Way Home by Mary Pride - This was yet another book that I had read before, but wanted to be reminded of. Although it is written to wives and mothers, it is also very helpful for young ladies who would like to be married one day. Because of some of the things it discusses, however, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone under age 16. This book exposes the empty lies that the world today often promises as "fulfillment" while calling us to live valiantly in the sphere of influence God has placed us in as women. This book was written in 1985, so some of the statistics are outdated, but in many ways, the world has just gotten worse since the writing of this book, with many of its sad predictions being fulfilled. I highly, highly recommend this book. It will open your eyes and challenge you to think through many things that are simply accepted today. It will also you encourage you to live more purposefully! Mary Pride was herself a feminist before she got saved, and she calls us to come "beyond feminism, back to reality."
Currently Reading:

  • My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chamber
  • For the Love of God Volume 1: A daily companion for discovering the riches of God's Word by D.A. Carson
  • The Actor at Work by Robert Benedetti
  • Costuming the Biblical Play by Lucy Barton

Miriam's Books
This month was mostly re-reads for me, but they are some of my favorites.

Completed This Month:

  • North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell - When Margaret's family has to move from sunny southern England to a northern mill town, she has to make many adjustments to the harsh environment. Most of the people aren't used to Margaret's style and very honest manner. She always means what she says and is always surprising others. There is a romance but there is also the story of Margaret's becoming a woman and taking charge of the house, taking care of her ill mother and assisting her father in his needs.
  • Eye of the Oracle, Enoch's Ghost, and Last of the Nephilim by Bryan Davis - The first three books in the quartet, Oracles of Fire, are really good books. As the fourth and final book just came out, I wanted to catch up on what had happened last, so I decided to start at the beginning again. Davis is excellent at mixing fantasy with redemption in the most beautiful language. I recommend these books for any young teen and older. I can't wait to the read the last book!
  • Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell - I saw the film based off this book many years ago and didn't understand much of it, being rather young. Since it was such a classic, I decided to see if I liked it. I enjoyed Mitchell's writing style and much of the book. I got angry with Scarlett for wasting her life until the very last chapter when she realizes what she's done to herself. If you've ever considered reading this book, just be aware that it does not have the most happy ending.
  • Scarlett by Alexandra Ripley - Ripley wrote this book as her idea of a sequel to Gone With the Wind. I have to admit that she did an excellent job of carrying over Mitchell's writing style and even Scarlett's character. The best thing about the book was that Ripley redeems our main character and Scarlett even gets her man back. =) Disclaimer: There were a couple of heavy (not graphic) scenes between Rhett and Scarlett that I would recommend skipping over. I wouldn't recommend the book itself to anyone younger than myself (18).
  • Western Civilization 1 - This book was for a CLEP test I took just a couple of weeks ago. Beginning at the Ancient Near East and ending with Early Modern Europe, there was a lot of information to take in for one test. If you're even considering CLEPing something, these books are really the best thing to study with. They're put out by REA (Research & Education Association).

Currently Reading:

  • Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell
  • Do Hard Things by Alex and Brett Harris
  • Let Me Be A Woman by Elisabeth Elliot


Anonymous said...

Hi Girls!! I always check in on you both dispte being a little (ok fair bit!!) older and married! I love your reading lists because reading is a passion of mine as well although with a little one there isn't much time for it at the moment! Miriam, if you enjoyed Scarlett as the conculsion to Gone with the Wind you should track down Rhett Butler's People. It is the same story line as Gone with the Wind but from Rhetts point of view. Very good. Although from memory again not good for under 18's. I can only think of 2 maybe 3 scenes though that are distasteful off the top of my head so it is still worth the read. :-)

Anna~ I really admire you for heading home. You have shown great maturity in trying college (we call in University here in Australia or Uni for short) and admitting it wasn't for you. I am sure that God will use that honesty in your testimony to bless others.

Well blessings to you both girls!!

Mardi said...

Those books sound interesting...especially "The Bravehearted Gospel," by Eric Ludy, I am going to order it. I'm taking a Personal Evangelism course, so I think the book might be helpful.

Anna, I was encouraged by your comments on "I Kissed Dating Goodbye," and "Boy Meets Girl," those are two of my favorite books. Recently someone who doesn't agree with the books had some comments, and it was brought to my attention that someone else doesn't agree with me being picky about dating, and prefering courtship and waiting on God's Mr. Right.. I was beginning to feel "down" (which is never good to let yourself get down!) Anyway, reading what you had to say about the books was an encouragement to me! Thanks!

Miriam, I read "Let Me Be A Woman" by Elisabeth Elliot last month and enjoyed it very much!

Steve said...

You might find my blog where I critique Josh Harris's book of interest:

"I Kissed Dating Goodbye: Wisdom or Foolishness?"

I believe his book has both. I think a lot of what he teaches is more applicable to teenagers vs. older singles (he makes no distinction etc.). Also, Harris is quick to point out the defects of dating but doesn't acknowledge the problems his approach has caused over the years.

Hope this helps.

Anonymous said...

I saw you were reading "Do Hard Things" are you planing on attending "The Rebelution?
God bless,

Madeline said...

Good sounding books....
I enjoyed I kissed Dating Goodbye as a wakeup call...My mom said I couldn't date till I was 16...it helped remember why. I am a believer in Christian Dating, neither worldly dating nor true courtship.
I've read many books on the subject to make this decision. My latest reading for me has just been easy fantasy fiction, somehwat urban at times. It's summer and I'm babysitting all summer so I've been reading a lot.
A great Christian Fiction mystery was Blood Bayou, also Salty like Blood.

Anonymous said...

Groschi from Germany said ...
you are reading Gaskell? that's fine :O)
Hope, you find the Bronte sisters and Jane Austen too.
The old english women writers of 18th/19th century are lovely O)
best regards from W├╝rzburg/franconia in Germany.

Maria said...

So many good books! I have a feeling I need to look for this North and South sometime. I believe the only book I finished in May was Anna Karenina, a great piece of literature examining Russian culture as well as life in general.


Brooke said...

Those are some great books you girls have read!

Anna~~The Way Home by Mary Pride sounds great!! I will have to order that and read it sometimes. Have you happened to read "Passionate Housewives, Desperate for God" by Mrs. Chancy and Mrs. McDonald, or "Where's Mom?" by Dorthy Patterson? Those are some really great reads as well.

God bless!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing another book list. Being a huge reading fan myself, I always love to see what others are reading and what they think of the books. "Gone With The Wind" is on my to read list!

Anna Naomi said...

Mrs. Amy: Thank you for your encouragement!

Mardi: I definitely recommend that you get The Bravehearted Gosepel! You'll enjoy it. And, I'm glad you were encouraged by my thoughts on I Kissed Dating Goodbye.

Steve: Yes, a lot of books on dating/courtship are more applicable to teens than those of marriageable age. However, I still think that are good truths in I Kissed Dating Goodbye, and Boy Meets Girl is definitely good for older singles. Josh Harris' books aren't perfect, but then, no books are apart from the Bible! I think Josh's message has been taken to extremes and misunderstood, resulting in awkward boy/girl interaction. When I read the book, I noticed how he encouraged girls and boys to interact in groups as friends, in order to learn how to build each other up as sisters and brothers in Christ. Plus, it is impossible for one book to cover the situations of many different people of many different ages. While I do agree with the book in most things, we should definitely also be discerning.

Sara: Yes, we both are hoping to got to The Rebelution tour in Birmingham this August!

Madeline: Thanks for sharing what you are reading!

Groschi: Glaskell is a great author! Thanks for your comment from Germany!

Maria: Anna Karenina sounds like a book I should read sometimes - it sounds interesting!

Brooke: I have read (and own) and enjoyed Passionate Housewives, Desperate for God, but not Where's Mom? Thanks for the recommendation!

Lilyamongthorns: Glad you enjoy this lists! It's fun to share, and I enjoy hearing about what others are reading as well!