Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Books I've Read Lately: In No Particular Order (Still in Progress)

And it might be long since it's been about a year since the last time I did a big reading update post. This one will be in progress for a little bit, especially since I'd like to write up more detailed overviews. Starting for now with a quick run-through:

Please see separate posts for Conversion Stories and Memoirs that I've read recently. This post encompasses "everything else".

C.S. Lewis' Space Trilogy: Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, That Hideous Strength

John and I and Ria all re-read the whole series last summer and enjoyed it very much - especially as a fun group project, so we could chat about it. Last time I read them, I was in eighth grade, and some of it definitely went over my head.

One Summer: America, 1927 by Bill Bryson

This was a fascinating slice of history in a connected format. So many things were intertwining at this point: Charles Lindbergh, Babe Ruth, the Model T, Prohibition, the Ponzi Scheme, and much more. I especially appreciated the remarks about eugenics. A fair amount of mature content.

Living Your Strengths: Discover Your God-Given Talents and Inspire Your Community by Albert L. Winseman, Donald O. Clifton, and Curt Liesveld 

This is a companion book, with a religious flavor, to the Gallup Clifton Strengths-Finder. A good read, but not as important as the Strengths-Finder itself, which is worth a look!

Praying Our Goodbyes by Joyce Rupp

The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence

Whose Body (A Lord Peter Wimsey Mystery) by Dorothy Sayers

My husband and I went through an extensive Lord Peter Wimsey phase early in our marriage. There was a paperback book exchange near where we lived, and we got several of these and kept trading them in. Just decided to jump back in and finished Whose Body last night. It's a somewhat gruesome murder mystery, but engaging, thoughtful, and funny as well. Not for the faint of heart. At first,  Lord Peter struck me as a smart Bertie Wooster. In the end, he turned out to be more thoughtful and more human too. I really appreciated the discussion/theme on what we would call "confirmation bias" today. First published in 1923!

North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell

North and South was originally a serialized novel, published in 1854 and 1855 in an English weekly magazine edited by Charles Dickens! It's an engaging novel, heavy on the quirks of human relationships and interactions and perspectives (with a pleasing romantic thread), with a strong social commentary undercurrent relating to the Industrial Revolution. I was left unsatisfied by the BBC Adaptation from 2004. Some of it didn't make sense to me as there too many jumps. So, I decided to go and read the original book and was not at all disappointed.

Books I'm Still Working On:

 The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories by Christopher Booker

Self-Esteem without Selfishness by Michel Esparza

Quiet: The Power of the Introvert in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain

Weight of Glory by C.S. Lewis

The Sunflower: On the Possibilities and Limits of Forgiveness by Simon Wiesenthal

The Arabian Nights by Andrew Lang

Watching Baseball Smarter: A Professional Fan's Guide for Beginners by Zack Hample

Saving Italy: The Race to Rescue a Nation's Treasures from the Nazis by Robert M. Edsel

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