Completed This Month:
- God's Warrior by Frank G. Slaughter - Presented as “a biographical novel of Paul, the crusading apostle,” this book gives an interesting, dramatic look into the life of one of the most influential early Christians. The story is well-researched and follows the Biblical account pretty accurately, though it does, out of necessity for a novel, add in events that may or may not have occurred. From Saul’s early days as a tentmaker in Tarsus, his search for truth, persecution of the church, conversion, and days of preaching, I thoroughly enjoyed the story. It made the great apostle and author of many New Testament books seem more human. I do wish the book hadn’t left out the exciting sea journey on the way to Rome portrayed in Acts (it only mentions it in passing), and Paul was portrayed slightly egotistical – which I wouldn’t have thought him to be. All-in-all however, this was an enjoyable book that helped me imagine Paul in a new light.
- Dance Anatomy and Kinesiology by Karen Clippinger - This textbook goes in-depth into how the body works, specifically as it relates to dance. The pictures and illustrations help you understand the text, and there are many stretches and exercises detailed for help in improving certain aspects of technique. It also goes into common dance injuries, and how to recognize, prevent, and treat them. The text was well researched, but highly technical. I could read and understand it – mostly – but it made me appreciate the conversational and easily understood style used in the Apologia science textbooks I used in high school (and which I highly recommend!). Many of the pictures included also show dancers with little clothes on, necessary for illustrating the techniques, perhaps, but I found quite a few unduly sensual in pose and presentation. It is a helpful reference for a dance teacher, but I may be looking into other books a little easier to digest and remember.
- Business by the Good Book by David L. Steward - Subtitled “52 Lessons on Success Straight from the Bible,” this book has advice on all kinds of matters relating to business. Some of it is good; however, I stopped the book at the 36th lesson, tired of how it seemed to be teaching a kind of prosperity gospel while sometimes misapplying and even changing details of Biblical verses and stories. The book tries to draw applications for business from Scripture, and some of them are good. But after yet another Scripture misapplication, inferring something different than what I think the passage communicates, I decided the book just wasn’t worth finishing.
- The Art of Theatre by Downs, Wright, and Ramsey - This textbook presents a broad history of the theatre, along with closer looks at various aspects, from acting to design. It was interesting, and I got some good ideas. However, it made me sad and a little mad at how corrupted a lot of theatre is. This book isn’t from a Christian perspective – rather, it seems to make fun of Christians – and it rejoices in all kinds of evil and perversity done onstage now and in the past. It’s truly sad what goes on. I wouldn’t really recommend this book; there’s better ones on theatre out there. However, it opened my eyes once more to what’s gone on in the name of art, and it was saddening. It made me all the more eager to use theatre for good!
- The Story of the Trapp Family Singers by Maria Augusta Trapp - Written by the mother herself, this book presents a true-life account of the family made popular by the musical and movie “Sound of Music.” The movie having been one of my favorites, I was excited to find this true story at the library. I found the real story to be much more engaging, believable, and down-to-earth than the movie, for which a lot of details were changed. Though a lot of the humor in the movie was fictional, there was plenty of humor in the book that actually made me laugh at loud – which is rare for me to do while reading. It was fun to see the continuing story that the movie didn’t have, about the children that Maria had (making the children a total of 10!), their concert tours all over the world, and finally their settling down and building a life in America. It’s a beautiful story of a family that loved each other deeply, worked together well, and made music that touched lives.
- Start Here by Alex and Brett Harris - Want to do hard things, but have no idea where to start? This book, subtitled "doing hard things right where you are," will help. It's full of practical advice, answers to common questions, and a continued challenge to do hard things for the glory of God. Something I particularly found helpful is their advice on how to answer people who act as if you're a super-abnormal person because of what you do. As the book says, "We are called by God to be examples, not exceptions," and Alex and Brett and the stories they include give you ideas on living that out while pointing to God, the Giver of the ability to do hard things. It's written mostly for teens, but as I near my 20th birthday, I found it a challenge to keep doing hard things - even new ones - and not just get comfortable doing what I've always done.
- The New Evidence that Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowell
- Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville
- America's Christian History by Gary DeMar
- The Joy of Natural Childbirth by Helen Wessel
- The Treasury of Christian Poetry compiled by Lorraine Eitel, with others
- Life-Span Development by John W. Santrock
- Mentoring by Bobb Biehl
- Faith Alone by Martin Luther, edited by James C. Galvin
Completed This Month:
- Along For The Ride by Sarah Dessen - This was a very relaxing read, seeing as I haven't read a book in a long time! While there were a couple instances of language, the book was very good on the whole. A high school senior decides to spend the summer with her father and his wife. Having been brought up by her mother, Auden is used to doing as she says to the point of how she dresses and acts. Upon coming to her father's small town, a new way of life is presented to her and Auden makes real friends for the first time in her life. I enjoyed this book, but I won't recommend it on the reasons I stated earlier.
- Flee The Night by Susan May Warren - Another very simple book, but a suspense story at the same time. I read this on a weekend while I was home relaxing, and again, I enjoyed it, possibly for the reason that it didn't require much thought at the time. =) The first book in a series of three, it kept up the suspense very well but was sweet at the same time. If you enjoy real suspense, then it may not be your thing, but if you need a book to just sit down with and relax, this is a good one.
- Simply Christian by N. T. White