The Value of a Picture

Once again, I am slacking on my photo-a-day project. I’ll catch up. I always do.

Yesterday’s assignment was “what you’re reading” so I figured I’d give you one thousand words about the books currently on my Kindle in place of a picture. If a picture is worth 1,000 words, surely the reverse is true as well, right? So here goes. 1,000 words.

Currently reading:

1. Jesus: 90 Days with the One and Only by Beth Moore

My current devotional and first Beth Moore study. I’ve always been skeptical of Moore. She’s just so…Texas. I was expecting a lot of emotional, feel-good fluff in this book, but have been pleasantly surprised. I’m about 2 weeks in to the study and have really enjoyed it thus far. The daily readings are short, but insightful and thought-provoking. I’m still not sure she and I would ever be friends, or even get along for that matter. But this study seems solid and I’d be willing to consider another one of her studies in the future.

2. Crazy Love by Francis Chan

This was yet another book I judged by its proverbial cover. It was so popular when it came out, I just assumed it was one more in a long line of “health and wealth gospel” books. As I was perusing Amazon the other day, I saw that the Kindle edition was free and thought to myself “why not?” It is not at all what I expected. This book is a must read for all Christians.

My only question is this: if so many people read this book, and were truly inspired by it, why hasn’t the church experience the kind of revolutionary change Chan calls his readers to?

3. Behind the Beautiful Forever: Life, Death, & Hope in a Mumbai Undercity by Natasha Solomon

I just started this one last night. Seriously, I am only a quarter of the way through the prologue so I really can’t render an opinion on it.

4. The Life of Pi by Yann Martel

I always have a classic in rotation in my “currently reading” books. Right now it is The Life of Pi. This is one of my all-time favorite books. I have no idea how many times I’ve read it, but I never get bored of it. I actually bought the Kindle edition (even though I have a real copy), so that I could always have it with me. If you haven’t read it, you should probably go get yourself a copy and start it immediately.

A boy. A tiger. A life raft. And the Pacific Ocean. What more could you want in a book?

Recently read:

1. The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer

A Christian classic. Honestly, I cannot believe that this book was not required reading when I was in high school (private, Christian school). Tozer is honest and straight forward about how we should be living. He doesn’t sugar coat biblical teachings, but he also isn’t raining down fire and brimstone from the pulpit. It is definitely a book that makes you think. Which is my kind of book.

2. The Tiger’s Wife by Tea Obreht

The Tiger’s Wife was one of those rare books that I immediately re-read because I loved it so much and couldn’t bear it ending. So I went back to the beginning and kept reading. It was just as good the 2nd time through as it was the 1st.

Set in a nameless Balkan nation after the war, a young doctor comes to terms with the loss of her grandfather and in the process finds a way to once again believe the unbelievable, a luxury stolen from her years before by the cruel reality of war.

3. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

An interesting take on WWII. Death, in the role of narrator, tells the story of an orphaned German girl’s coming-of-age during the rise and fall of Nazi Germany. Unusual, but well-written.

4. The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan

I loved this book but can’t whole-heartedly recommend it. If you abide by the motto “ignorance is bliss,” do not read this book. Pollan brings his journalistic curiosity to the American food chain and you’ll be surprised at what he find. It is extremely well-written. A true journalist, Pollan tries to leave his own opinions and emotions out of the picture and comes to the table without overt judgment. It is witty, insightful, and even full of self-deprecating humor. It may not change how you eat, but it will certainly change how you think about what you eat.

5. Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys over Girls, and the Consequences of a World Full of Men by Mara Hvistendahl

This has been my most challenging read of late. Easy to read, but not easy to read. Hvistendahl strikes the prefect balance between compelling personal narratives and solidly-gathered data that confirms the truths behind the stories. She breaks down the numbers in a way that makes them clear, but without watering down their significance or patronizing the reader’s intelligence. In that sense, there is a flow to this book that is rare in non-fiction, making it easy to move through at a good clip.

That being said, this is not an easy read. The horrifying tales of secret ultrasounds, forced abortions, and female infanticides will have your morals outraged. You will want it to be fiction. You will try to convince yourself it isn’t true. It can’t be. Some absurd Orwellian prediction of a future that will never come to fruition. But it isn’t. The stories are true. The facts are undeniable. And the solution is…elusive. How do you protect the future’s women without shackling those in the present? There is no easy answer to this very real problem.

If you are wondering “Does she like everything she reads?,” the answer is “no.” If a book doesn’t capture my attention in the first 30-50 pages, I just stop reading. Such was the fate of “Twilight” (yes, I did try) and “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.”

1,000 words. Exactly. Go ahead. Count ’em.

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17 May 2012. Bookworm.

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