March 18, 2014

Winter Book Snippets




For every few months, I'm posting little snippet reviews--my thoughts on the books I've just recently read. Here are the books I finished through all those snowy weeks.

Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Erix Metaxas. This is one of those books I just want to put in everyone's hands to read. I haven't read any other biography on Dietrich Bonhoeffer, but I'm told this is the most robust and extensive one yet. For those of you who haven't a slightest clue as to who Bonhoeffer is or his story and role he played in Nazi Germany, I highly recommend watching this and this, but basically Bonhoeffer was a Lutheran minister in Germany who became a spy for Operation 7 in an effort to smuggle Jews out of Germany during World War II, as well as aid in the plot of the assassination attempt on Adolf Hitler. Truly a compelling and moving story, with a lot lessons on bravery, courage, and justice that are extremely relevant to you and I still today. I have a little ways left to finishing this massive, fantastic work, but this will no doubt be one of my favorite books for this year.

Angry Conversations with God by Susan E. Isaacs. As the subtitle states, 'snarky' does indeed describe this memoir about the author's relationship with God and the church over the course of her life. The premise is this: Susan (the author) takes God to martial counseling... because you know there's that whole metaphor as God being our spouse in scripture. And because she's angry and disillusioned with her life and with Him. No fear though, they reconcile in the end, and Susan comes away with a new perspective on God. A quick, funny, and at times poignant read, as well as commentative on some of the whacked things that go on in some Christian-churchy sub-cultures. If you can get past the occasionally cussing and enjoy sarcasm then I think this could easily become one of your favorite memoirs. The only complaint I particularly have is that I think the book could've easily cut a couple of chapters. Don't get me wrong, I can laugh and be entertained by snark and sarcasm quite a bit, but I did find that towards the end it got to be over-kill, and then just became more irritating and whiny-ish than thought provoking for this here reader. But overall, a fun read and I enjoyed the author's overall concept.



The Divergent Trilogy by Veronica Roth. I hadn't even heard of this series until a few months ago when the trailer for the movie (out in theaters later this week) came up and a friend told me how I needed to read the books beforehand. Without giving a whole lot away, the story is about a dystopian society set in Chicago, where people are divided into these factions where they spend the rest of their lives cultivating that specific faction's virtue. And it's all about this girl Tris, who cannot actually be placed in just one of these factions because she's 'divergent' (meaning she exemplifies more than just one virtue). The whole story then is about how she comes to terms with being divergent and how that causes all these other problems for the world she lives in. If you enjoyed The Hunger Games, you'll most likely find the same to be true for this series as well. In fact I enjoyed Divergent even more, because I find that the main character, seems (as strange as this is going to sound) more true in her actions and character as a female. I also think there's a lot more substantial commentary on some of the more ethical and philosophical issues presented underneath the whole story... because that tends to come with the territory in this genre.

Paige Rewritten by Erynn Mangum. I honestly don't want to say a whole lot about this one because the final book will be released in the series next month, but I will say that Erynn Mangum is one of the super few Christian fiction authors I really enjoy reading. Maybe it's the laugh-out-loud humor, or the fact that I can relate to her characters a little too much, or the story threads she incorporates that give an honorable nod to the great Jane Austen... if Mangum wrote it, I'll read it. I've said it before, but I'll say it again, definitely give her Miss Match series a read since my favorite, but I think this current series will be my second favorite.

Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Peter Scazzero and The Emotionally Healthy Woman by Geri Scazzero. I ended up reading the first half of both of these books pretty intently, but then ended up skimming through them to the end. That tends to happen with me and christian counseling/health type books, because I've already read quite a few and it can get repetitive. So that's not to say anything negative about these two, but if you have read other books along the same line, these two may end up being more repetition for you. The Emotionally Healthy Woman book though had some great topics that are applicable to nearly every one of us regardless of age, such as learning to die to the right things, dealing with emotions in a healthy manner, and the giving up on the idea and pursuit of trying to live some other woman's life (seriously, that's a swift kick we need). These are the type of books I save my money on and just read selectively in the bookstore when I've got an hour or two to kill.

Fellow book lovers, what have you been reading lately?

9 comments :

  1. I'm waiting for the last Divergent book to come in at the library. I've really enjoyed the first 2 so far!

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    1. I don't want to give anything away... but I will say that last book really threw me off. Totally not the plot twists I was predicting.

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  2. I saw "Paige Rewritten" in the photo and could not wait to read your review. It is hilarious to me that you are mentioning it right now. I just finished it last week and my sister and I have been discussing it. I have to say I am a little disappointed. The humor is still there, but I think it is more drama than I'm used to with her books. She is such a great writer though. I can't wait to read the new one next month. Have you ever read Melanie Dickerson? My sister loaned me one of her books, and, Natalie, I finished it in 2 days. (That never happens.)

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    1. I haven't read Dickerson... I'll have to look into that recommendation Paige.

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  3. I read the first Divergent book, and Bonhoeffer is on my list!

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    1. Bonhoeffer is fantastic, but I have to read it in small bits because it also can be a challenging read too.

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  4. OOoh, these are good! I have not ready any of them. I have heard excellent things about Bonhoeffer's biography, so I may have to pick that one up soon!

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    1. I wish you and I could just borrow from each other's book collection! That would be great.

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  5. I just got a book to review called The One Jesus Loves by Robert Crosby (one of Louis' college professor) and I'm trying to finish The Road Trip That Changed The World by Mark Sayers today. I might pick up Divergent from the library though!

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