Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Books of 2008 - September

Okay, this has not been a prolific reading month. I have, as you might imagine, numerous excuses as to why this is so. Here's the list in all of its pathetic non-glory:

1. The First Born Advantage. Non-fiction by Kevin Leman. Eh. I'm not the big fan of birth order psychology that I used to be. Dr. Leman is growing a little repetitive for my taste. Suffice it to say: firstborns are best. Oh, wait, that's not what the book said. Whatever.

2. A is for Atticus. Non-fiction by Lorilee Craker. Awesome baby name book. I love names. I'm fascinated by names, why people choose certain names, and why we have the reactions we have to certain names. Yes, I have a blog about names. No, it is not available for public consumption just yet.

3. Cousin Phillis and Other Tales. Short stories by Elizabeth Gaskell. As always: don't get attached. Death is a main function in Mrs. Gaskell's works. Along with completely implausible events. Some of these stories you should not read before going to bed as Mrs. Gaskell enjoyed a good ghost story. That's all I'm sayin'.

4. Note To Self: On Keeping a Journal and other Dangerous Pursuits. Non-fiction by Samara O'Shea. Fascinating but repulsive.

5. The Streets of Babylon. Fiction by Carina Burman, translated by Sarah Death. Odd. Very, very odd. Translated from the original Swedish. I wanted to like it, I wanted to enjoy the characters. Unfortunately, neither thing happened. The mystery is implausible and sewn up too quickly. The characters are strange. The situations bizarre. I think I'll avoid Swedish literature in the future.

6. The Criminalization of Christianity. Non-fiction by Janet Folger. Sobering essay type chapters. Not difficult to read or understand but difficult to process and comprehend. What has happened to the United States? I don't mind telling you: I'm afraid of what my children will have to deal with as they grow up. If I wanted socialism, I'd move to France. If I wanted religious suppression, I'd move to China. America is more than flirting with both concepts. Must read for Christians or anyone concerned with our culture.

7. The Oxford Book of Prayer. Non-fiction, edited by George Appleton. As a Baptist, I don't use rote prayers or liturgy in our corporate worship. These are beautiful and have merit just for reading's sake - like poetry, in personal devotion. Beautiful. I read these in the few hours of daylight during the multi-day power outage. Something about having no electricity and reading some of these ancient words was very peaceful and reassuring to me.

8. Whirlwind. Fiction by Cathy Marie Hake. This is Christian fiction. It's okay. I'd never read any of the author's other works and I suspect that this would have made more sense if I had. Nothing offensive. Nothing brilliant. I'm beginning to suspect that I am very hard to please in the fiction category.

So, as to my excuses. Did I mention that I scrapbooked over 50 pages in one week? Or that we started our ladies' Bible study again? Or that our power was out for three days? Or that my mother-in-law gave me 75 awesome decorating magazines? Or that I'm reading Les Miserables (unabridged) for the first time? And that I'm on page 549 and I'm not even halfway finished?

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