Tuesday, June 30, 2009

June 2009 Reading List

Anna's Books

Completed This Month:

  • To the Ends of the Earth by T. Davis Bunn - Having not read fiction in a while, I enjoyed the treat of this novel set in the era of the Byzantine Empire. It is an exciting, historical-based adventure following the life of Travis, a young man whose life is continually in danger. He meets and travels with the beautiful Lydia and her father, true Christians who are concerned over the trivialization of Christianity by many in the empire. Of course, the two young ones fall immediately in love, but Travis is not a Christian and so Lydia resolves to put him out of her mind. Through many trials, they come through and the ending is happily resolved. It was a fun read, though one more suited for older teens and up.
  • Costuming the Biblical Play by Lucy Barton - Published in 1937, I was able to buy this book off of Amazon.com, interested in it because of the Biblical plays I have produced and hope to continue doing. It gives good historical background for each era and civilization that you would be costuming in a variety of Biblical plays. It includes many sketches that help you visualize each step. Some of the information is outdated (it's amazing how much less expensive fabric was back then!), but it gives good suggestions. I will definitely apply some of what I learned about the historical periods in the upcoming plays I costume, although because of little time, few workers, and a low budget, I can't make everything an exact historical replica! But, this book does give suggestions for how to creatively make things you'd need. I definitely recommend it to anyone interested in doing Biblical plays!
  • Wind of Destiny by Dr. Lou Campbell - Dr. Lou was my adviser and main theatre professor at Belhaven College, and he gave this novel he has written to my family on a recent visit here by him and his wife. It is an interesting book that spans many years and locations as it follows the very different lives of Kyle, a wealthy business heir, and Rachel, a missionary nurse. They meet briefly in different places over the years, and are captivated with each other. Circumstances always seem to get in the way to separate them, however. The descriptiveness of the novel is beautiful, and the descriptions of locations are based on in-person experiences of the author. The one thing I wished had been different is the way that Rachel, a Christian, is romantically involved with Kyle far before he becomes a Christian. Of course, things turn out fine in the end, but she makes no objections to hugs, kisses, and even talk of marriage while he is an unbeliever. Love is powerful, but God's Word is clear that we're not to be yoked with an unbeliever, and those that stay involved, hoping their partner with become a Christian, often only end up with heartache and strife.
  • Prepare for Rain by Michael Catt - This book tells "the story of the church that believed God for the impossible." It is written by the pastor of Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Georgia, the church that made the movies "Facing the Giants" and "Fireproof." It is a powerful book about how God led Sherwood to seek Him earnestly, pray sincerely, and "prepare for rain," tilling their fields and watching for God's blessing. With a mission to reach the world from Albany, Georgia, God has indeed used this body of believers in amazing ways. You will be challenged to pray more boldly and sincerely and inspired by the amazing things our Lord can do with ordinary people.
  • Lies Young Women Believe by Nancy Leigh DeMoss and Dannah Gresh - This a powerful book exposing 25 of the most common lies that young women believe and showing them "the truth that sets them free." The book is written in a fun conversational style and includes cute templates and graphics, but it doesn't shy away from the hard things facing our generation and is chock-full of Biblical truth. By God's grace I have not believed most of the lies that this book exposes, but it still gave me things to think and pray through, exposing messages that can be tempting to buy into, and an insight into how to relate to girls that face these things every day. If you are looking for a book to buy an average or not-so-average teen girl, this is a great one to get! It will bring truth and God's Word to someone who may be in bondage.
  • Family-Based Youth Ministry by Mark DeVries - Subtitled "reaching the been-there, done-that generation," this book, published in 1994, explores how typical youth ministry has and hasn't worked. It rightly points out that while the fun, always exciting and experiential-based typical youth program often succeeds in making mature teenage Christians, it often fails to put them on the path to mature adult Christians, resulting in many teens dropping out when they graduate the youth program because they find that church is really not all that exciting anymore. This book shows how teens need to be surrounded by "normal" Christian adults (not just youth workers) that they can learn from and emulate. It emphasizes how discipleship should start in the family, and how parents should be actively involved with their youth in the church. It also acknowledges that while not all families are perfect and not all parents be involved, having a lot of adults working with the youth and incorporating them into the church-wide community of believers will prepare the teens for Christian adulthood. It's a great book for youth ministers and anyone who doesn't care much for the typical "youth group" program.
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
  • Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

Miriam's Books

Completed This Month:

  • The Emily books by Lucy M. Montgomery - I'd been wanting to read this trilogy for a while and I was finally able to borrow them from a friend. They were really sweet and wholesome, but I have to say I still enjoy the Anne books much better. Emily comes to live with two aunts and an uncle after her father dies and from there on, her life changes for good and she becomes Emily of New Moon.
  • The House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne - I began this book a couple of years ago and just couldn't get into it (which was strange because I loved The Scarlet Letter), but I made it through the first hard chapters and really got into it this time. There's just something about the words, "God will give him blood to drink!" that add the sense of mystery needed for this book.
  • The Bones of Makaidos by Bryan Davis - The last book in the Oracles of Fire series was so good! I'm sad because it's over, but he ended the story so well. Throughout all his books Davis has tied in the story of redemption, creating a beautiful story of love, sacrifice, and waiting. A definite must-read!
  • The Giver by Lois Lowry - Imagine a town where everything is black and white, but no one realizes it because they don't know there is such a thing as color. They don't know that there is something called weather. What is love and hate...and pain? There is one person who possesses this knowledge and he is the Receiver. The Receiver of the Memories that no one else remembers. This one person holds the burden of all knowledge so that the people won't know. But he is dying and it is time for someone else to become the Receiver, so he has now become the Giver.
  • In Search of Eden by Linda Nichols - A mother is looking for her daughter that she was forced to give up for adoption at its birth. Along the path she finds memories, a chance for love, and God.
  • Room in the Heart by Sonia Levitin - This was set at the beginning of World War II. It's written from the perspective of several different characters and does an excellent job of portraying the emotion that these older teenagers were feeling. As the Nazis begin to occupy their home of Denmark, they start to realize they can do something about the tragedy.
  • Like Dandelion Dust by Karen Kingsbury - This was a wonderful book. A couple adopted a son and five years later, the biological father wants him back as he had never known that his wife gave their son up. The father appears to have been a changed man from what he was, but appearances can be deceiving. Meanwhile, this young couple's life seems to have crashed around them. They will lose their beloved son...unless they can make their plan work. They never planned on finding God along the way.

Just a note, there is often other books that I have read during the month, but I only post the ones that I considered really good and would recommend to other readers.

Currently Reading:
  • Let Me Be A Woman by Elisabeth Elliot (I would have finished this month, but I lost it until just recently). =)
  • The Brave-Hearted Gospel by Eric Ludy


yoshi3329 said...

I love when you post your reading lists. I helps me pick out some books that I otherwise wouldn't have. Thanks!


The Marchioness said...

I love T. Davis Bunn- his books are always very well researched and so exciting- and usually a bit romantic too! The perfect combination.

PoetLady said...

To Miriam:

I LOVE "The Giver"

GREAT Book! I recommend it!

Anna's sister,

Devyn Karyn said...

I just noticed that Miriam read The Giver wich is seriously, one of my favorite books.

damask-rose said...

Miriam, I didn't like Emily as much as Anne either - I found her rather self-absorbed and didn't like her relationship with that older man whose name I forget

The Emily books aren't as wholesome and sweet as the Anne books, I think. But I loved Jane of Lantern Hill - it is one of my favourites.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing, I always love your monthly reading lists.

I never liked Emily as much when I was younger either. I loved Anne so much though!

Maria Pauline said...


House of Seven Gables is certainly not my favorite novel! It is indeed rather strange and morbid-- I very much liked the lively girl, but the others bothered me for most of it. At least, I found the conclusion satisfactory.


Anna Naomi said...

Fun to read about your books, Miriam. =) And, please do post the books you read and wouldn't recommend - it helps us avoid them by seeing that they're not necessarily worth reading. It's hard to write negative reviews, but sometimes it's necessary for the help of others!