Tuesday, December 01, 2009

November 2009 Reading List

Anna's Books

Completed this month:
  • Restoring the Dance by Ann Stevenson - Written in 1997, at a time when dance was beginning to be used in the church again, this book attempts to bring clarity to what dance should be when used as worship. It wisely urged those who used dance with an “anything goes” attitude to slow down and carefully evaluate what God would have them do, while encouraging those on the other side, who didn’t allow any dancing, to be open to how God could use it.
    It was enjoyable to read a book focused on the kind of dancing that I enjoy – that done expressly for the glory of God. It was interesting to study different Scriptures with words that could have been translated as “dance” or had connotations as such, and I was reminded of the powerful tool dance can be. The book exposed the sad things we have accepted as dance in the secular world, and how even young children are taught to use it sensually. However, I didn’t quite agree with her reasoning that all dance in the “secular” sense is dishonoring to God. I think there can be tasteful and enjoyable group dances or dance moves used for exercise, but I do agree that the most powerful is the kind expressly done for worship.
    If you are involved in dance in a Christian setting, I would encourage you to read this book with a discerning and prayerful attitude.
  • And the Bride Wore White by Dana Gresh - Subtitled “seven secrets to sexual purity,” this book emphasizes the importance of purity in this fallen world. Dannah is honest as she shares her struggles and those of others, but through hers and other stories, she shows that purity, though it may be a “slow burn” at times, is definitely worth it. This book assumes that you date, and so gives you tips to stay pure in your dating relationships. As one who isn’t dating, partly to avoid the temptation it would bring, it’s not a book I connected deeply with. I also wasn’t sure that we girls should make a list (like she encourages) that our future husbands have to match up to. After all, character is better than looks or personality! However, this book was an enjoyable read, and did give me encouragement to keep waiting, even when it’s hard.
  • Sixth Covenant by Bodie and Brock Thoene - The 6th book in The AD Chronicles picks up where the previous one left off, right after baby Jesus was born. In an exciting way, it includes portions of the wise men on their journey as they seek the newborn King while following the Bethlehem shepherds and Mary and Jospeh’s life among them. It, of course, added a lot of details to the events found in the Bible, and you have to remember that this is only an interpretation of what might have happened. It weaves in Scripture in a powerful way, however, and makes the whole historical story more gripping and personal.
  • The 100 Most Important Events in Christian History by A. Kenneth Curtis, J. Stephen Lang, & Randy Peterson - As the name implies, this book covers 100 important events in the history of Christianity, beginning in 64 AD with the fire in Rome and going to 1966-1976 with the growth of the Chinese church despite the Cultural Revolution. It was interesting to read about the different events as they were presented chronologically. Placing the events, many of which I knew about, on a timeline in my head, has helped me see the progression and growth of Christianity through the centuries.
  • Music At Your Fingertips by Ruth Slenczynska - This book is filled with “advice for the artist and amateur on playing the piano.” It was interesting to read, but as an amateur, I would say this book is much more suited toward someone more devoted – I could never practice the 7 hours/day it recommends! However, it gives helpful tips on practicing, technique, style, memorization, selecting pieces for study and a concert, and much more. If you’re looking to improve your piano playing, this book may help.
  • The Miracle Worker by William Gibson - This play pretty accurately portrayed the childhood of Hellen Keller and Anne Sullivan’s influence as her teacher. It was fun to read how they staged a story I grew up enjoying. However, from all that the stage and acting required, it would be a difficult play to bring to life on a limited budget and with amateur actors.
  • A Dance with Deception by Charles Colson - Consisting of transcripts of Chuck Colson’s 5-minue daily broadcast of “Breakpoint” organized by topic, this was an interesting read. These transcripts are from the early 1990s, but they deal with many of the same issues we face today – and in many cases, it’s just gotten worse.
  • The Making of a Leader by Frank Damazio - This book delved into an in-depth study of the Biblical qualifications and examples of leadership. Though aimed more towards pastors and church leaders, it also had advice and was practical for other kinds of leaders – even small roles. I enjoyed the study and challenging myself to think through the character qualities it presented. The book is very well researched, but the numerous lists and comparison-contrasts that seemed to be endless and repetitive got a bit tiring. It was a good read, but one I was glad to finish.
  • Singlehood that Glorifies God by John Coblentz - A short booklet that deals with “living with eternal purpose,” this is chapter 4 from the book Christian Family Living. It explores reasons for singleness, negative and positive aspects of it, things to avoid in this season, and suggestions of ways to serve. It is a brief but good read to help evaluate ways to live your life in the single years.
  • Freckles by Gene Stratton-Porter - This was another delightful read. Classic, clean novels are always a treat! This book tells the story of an orphan boy that learns courage and finds acceptance and love. The plot may be a bit too predictable for some, but it is sweet! This book tells the story of the Limberlost swamp before the book A Girl of the Limberlost.
  • Freckles Comes Home by Jeanette Stratton-Porter - After Gene Stratton-Porter's death, her daughter wrote this book as a sequel to the much-beloved Freckles. It was fun to read what could have happened after the last book, but I found some of the details changed and not how I would have imagined it. It was another enjoyable read, but somewhat disappointing at the same time!
Currently reading:
  • Biblical Womanhood in the Home edited by Nancy Leigh DeMoss
  • On Writing Well by William Zinsser
  • Dance Anatomy and Kinesiology by Karen Clippinger
  • John Adams by David McCullough
  • The Family Meal Table and Hospitality by Nancy Campbell
  • 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
Miriam's Books

Completed this month:
  • The Edge of Reason by Kristin Heitzmann - This was a really neat suspense book and I enjoyed reading a couple of chapters every night. It was good training for me, as I never read that little at a time. A young woman has dreams that haunt her, but she can't figure out why. She is a landscape architect and she builds labyrinths. She thinks that by building these labyrinths, she can lock up whatever it is haunting her.
  • Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chobosky - I do not recommend this book. A friend recommended and loaned it to me, so I read it over Thanksgiving break. It's short and didn't take long, but the book as a whole wasn't very uplifting or edifying. The story follows a young man who is writing letters like a journal through his first year of high school. He relates the experiences and experiments of this time period in his life. I didn't enjoy it very much and would never give to someone to read.

Have you read any of these books? What good books have you recently read?


Anonymous said...

Anna--'Restoring the Dance' sounds like a book my mom would enjoy, as she taught Ballet for many years. 'Singlehood that Glorifies God' sounds very helpful--especially for those of us who are nearer to thirty than twenty and still unmarried.

Miriam--What, specifically, didn't you like about 'Perks of Being a Wallflower'? The title sounds interesting, as I'm a bit of a wallflower myself, so I was curious.

God bless you both, and keep up the good work!

~'Wild Rose' in Idaho

Sister in prayer said...

I am currently reading, the desire of ages. I've only read four chapters, but so far its been a really good book, and i have enjoyed it!

Anonymous said...

Wild Rose - I've read some of 'Perks of being a wallflower' and didn't enjoy it. I guess it could have been a good story there weren't as much sexual content.
But I haven't read all of it so I'm the best person to ask.
Anna, why wouldn't you recommend it?


Anna Naomi said...

Homeschooled Pilgrim: 'Perks of being a wallflower' isn't a book I've read - it's one of Miriam's. :) So, she'll have to answer when she has time.