Monday, November 02, 2009

October 2009 Reading List

Anna's Books
Completed this month:
  • Fourth Dawn by Bodie and Brock Thoene - As I worked on the script for “Beyond Bethlehem,” I wanted to read some other fiction written on the subject, to get some ideas. This book in the excellent series, The A.D. Chronicles goes into the story of Mary and Joseph before they marry. It is well written, well researched, and very insightful as it looks at the events in the way they could have happened. Your heart will connect to the characters as you realize how much they were probably facing at that time in history.
  • Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens - After slogging through Great Expectations at 14, I wasn’t too keen on Dickens. Too wordy and hard to follow, I determined. However, with many people enjoying his books, I decided to give it another shot. Little Dorrit was a good read, and I enjoyed the sweet story of devotion. Amy is easy to love and empathize with, and she is surrounded by a plethora of interesting characters. A bit too many interesting characters, if you ask me. The book, at 850 pages of small print, took a while to read (over a month!), and it was confusing at times, when it kept switching back and forth between characters such as the Meagles and the Merdles. While I’m not running out to pick up my next Dickens book yet, this book has shown me that Dickens’ writing, while not my favorite, can be an enjoyable read… once in a while.
  • Drama Ministry by Steve Pederson - If you’re involved at all with drama/theatre in a Christian setting, this is a book you’ll want to read! It goes over the power of drama, why we should use it, the good and bad ways it’s used in the church, and why we should strive for excellence through it. It also goes through the practical aspects of assembling a team, training actors, making the team last, and being effective. It has fun exercise ideas and practical and applicable things to put into practice. It is more geared towards those doing short sketches and dramas, not full-length productions, as I do. However, I’ve definitely gotten good ideas! And, in the future, I would be interested in being a part of a drama team, if God so leads. Even if you’re not currently a part of drama, but would be interested, this book would give you things to think about. There are a few things I don’t necessarily agree with (such as how much touching males/females should do when it’s “just acting”), so use discernment. Overall, however, I highly recommend this book for the dramatically-minded!
  • Fifth Seal by Bodie and Brock Thoene - The fifth book of The A.D. Chronicles brings the story of Joseph and Mary to life. As newlyweds, the pregnancy and difficulties they have to face are brought to life in a way that will make you think. The story also follows the lives of shepherds and their wives in Bethlehem, and culminates with the birth of Jesus, bringing the two stories together. The way they covered the birth in itself made you think. You also get snippets of the story of the wise men. Throughout the book, prophecy and the study of stars and Hebrew words is woven in ways that make it intriguing! I highly recommend this historical fiction. No, it probably didn’t happen exactly as they write, but it will cause you to think about the story in a new way and dig deeper into the Scripture yourself. They definitely stay true to the details in the Bible while tastefully making the characters relatable.
  • Set-Apart Femininity by Leslie Ludy - This was my 3rd time reading this book, and I was just as inspired and challenged to seek God deeper and live a life of radical, set-apartness for Him. With challenging questions and plenty of encouragement to live a life for God no matter what, this book will help shape your life for the better. Leslie wrote the book kind of in response to the book Captivating by John and Stasi Eldgredge, with the focus more on Christ than on yourself in discovering true femininity.
  • A Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton-Porter - This sweet story and great classic was hard to put down! You will be delighted and drawn in by the story of Elnora as she perseveres through hardship to discover her dreams. The Christian perspective of the novel is refreshing while not being preachy, and the themes of hard-work and caring for others above yourself are touching. You’ll also discover a new appreciation for the way God made moths, believe it or not! =) A highly recommended read.
  • Darwin's Black Box by Michael Behe - You will be amazed as you learn about the complexity of a single cell is this “biochemical challenge to evolution.” This book raises question after question about evolution as it looks at life, showing that even the smallest cell would have been impossible to “just happen” to evolve. The book is well-written, and the analogies help you follow the complexities, although some of the technical descriptions were a little hard to understand. While making the case for Intelligent Design, the book doesn’t attribute the work to God, necessarily. While it would have been nice if it had pointed people to the Creator, it does raise needed questions to cause people to think. It definitely left me with a great awe of the way God made life even on the minuscule level!
Currently reading:
  • The 100 Most Important Events in Christian History by A. Kenneth Curtis, J. Stephen Lang, & Randy Peterson
  • Music At Your Fingertips by Ruth Slenczynska
  • Restoring the Dance by Ann Stevenson
  • 100 Lessons in Classical Ballet by Vera S. Kostrovitskaya
  • Dance Anatomy and Kinesiology by Karen Clippinger
  • A Dance with Deception by Charles Colson
  • The Making of a Leader by Frank Damazio
  • 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:
  • Letter Perfect by Cathy Marie Hake - This was a sweet and slightly suspenseful book. It was enjoyable to spend some free time reading it and laughing at the "heroine's" sense of humor and awkwardness. Letter Perfect is great if you need to just curl up and spend some laughing.
Currently reading:

Besides my schoolwork, I'm not really reading anything at the moment.

Have you read any of these books? What are you currently reading?


Mardi said...

"Drama Ministry" sounds like an interesting book. I have been interested in drama for sometime so I think I am going to order the book!

I always like reading ya'lls reading list's, you always mention great sounding books!

SK: ) said...

Hello! For the most delightful Dickens experience, try "David Copperfield" or "Pickwick Papers." If you don't like either of those books, give up Dickens altogether.

"Great Expectations" and "Little Dorrit" bear the distinct disadvantage of having neither Mr. Micawber or Sam Weller to brighten their story lines. :-)

Anonymous said...

Have you heard of E.M. Bounds? He has written many books on prayer. Right now I'm trying to read "The Possibilites of Prayer" by E.M. Bounds.

Renee said...

I'm currently reading Les Miserables and God's Chinese Son (about the Taiping Rebellion in China). :)

The Sisters said...

I'm reading Dicken's "The Pickwick Papers". It is very slow going but his characters are always so detailed that you can picture them very clearly. It is taking me a while but I am enjoying it...most of the time!

Anonymous said...

I'm in the middle of Little Dorrit right now, and loving it. =) It can be slow at times, but the rest of the book makes up for it.

Miriam Rebekah said...

I want to read Little Dorrit so bad. I watched the movie with Derek Jacoby when I was really young and remember it being quite good.

Christmas I come!

dreamer426 said...

Please don't give up on Dickens! My absolute favorite book beside's Scripture is his, "A Tale of Two Cities". The story is beautiful and moving, and I guarantee you will cry at the wonderful beauty of the ending, and the parallels you will see.

Anna Naomi said...

Don't worry, you all! I haven't given up on Dickens, and I did enjoy Little Dorrit - it just took a while, and I disliked having to renew it from the library 2-3 times! =) It did help me see that Dickens is worthwhile, and it was enjoyable to read an older novel. It's neat to see others out there that enjoy his books, and I shall take your recommendations on what to read of his... when I have more time!

Lisa: I haven't heard of E.M. Bounds. I'll have to be on the lookout for his books.

Rebecca said...

Yes I want to read Darwin's black box, I like seeing other ways to teaching about evolution and why it does not work. Maybe I will read Little Dorrit sometime. Believe it or not I am not much of a Dickens fan.

I am reading Daughtars of Destiny by Noelle Wheeler, Sense and Sensibility by Austen, Pilgrim's Progress by Bunyan, and Little Women by Alcott. I am also just finished listening to The Prince by Machiavelli and am now listening to Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes on CD's. Its easier that way to get sewing done and listen at the same time!

Rebecca said...

Oh and I forgot I highly recommend Let Me Be A Woman by Elizabeth Elliot and The Joshua Generation by Michael Farris, they were both a real eye opener this past fall! I loved them!

Anna Naomi said...

Rebecca: There are a few of us that aren't huge Dicken's fans, and that's okay! Each one has their own tastes. =)

I need to get some books on tape to listen to. I keep meaning to (as you said, that way you can accomplish two things at once!), but keep forgetting. My dad learned many things by listening to books on tape during his commute to and from work before he retired.

I've read Let Me Be a Woman! and really enjoyed it! I haven't read The Joshua Generation but have enjoyed Michael Farris's works, so I'll have to look for it.

Maria Pauline said...

Ah, I am still slogging through "Bleak House," though I think I will finish it by the end of the month, for the threads are finally interweaving and making me curious. I have never heard of "Little Dorrit," though I have read a number of Dickens. Perhaps you should try "A Tale of Two Cities"? It isn't as long and of a different variety than his other works.

Books on tape truly are wonderful! I get them from the library and listen to them while working on things. It is so nice with long books! I don't think I could have through "Moby Dick" otherwise. I've learned to check if I can get a recording before I loan anything from the library.