Friday, December 31, 2010

Recollections of My 2010 Reading (Part 1)

Italo Calvino's The Baron in the Trees tells the story of a boy who went up a tree and never came down again--he moved about from tree to tree living and loving there. A lot of people like Calvino, so maybe I'll have to try another of his books. This one disappointed.

My best read of the year was Paul E. Miller's A Praying Life. It very nearly revolutionized my perspective and approach to prayer. Three things Miller did for me: 1) he made prayer more accessible for me; 2) he helped me understand the truth of "whatever you pray will be answered" passages (eg., 1 Jn 5:14-15); and 3) he helped me see prayer's proper place in parenting. I've written more on this book elsewhere.

Sara and I read Skid, by Rene Gutteridge, together. The third book follows a third Hazard family sibling, Hank, as he is employed by an airline to test the customer service of their flight attendants. His Christian faith carries him--and the rest of the crazy passengers--through a hilarious set of circumstances on his first flight. Not a book I'd pick up myself, but an entertaining one to read aloud to your spouse. We equally enjoyed the first two books, Scoop and Snitch.

Malcolm Muggeridge's Jesus: The Man Who Lives was written by a journalist who loved Jesus, and who came to love him as an adult. The book is, in a sense, a gospel, albeit not a divinely inspired one. It is also a commentary on the gospels, one that provides new perspectives throughout. A good read.

Anna and I read the first three Narnia books together. For the most part, I do not tire of reading The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Prince Caspian, or The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

Charles Williams, member of the Inklings and thus a friend of both Lewis and Tolkien, wrote some bizarre novels that drop the partition between our world and the supernatural. The Place of the Lion--I'm not sure what to say. I think I understood All Hallow's Eve a little better when I read that a few years back.

I'm always interested in what other people like to read, especially when it's a person I greatly respect, like Eugene Peterson. Take and Read swelled the list of books on my wish list.

I read Kevin DeYoung's short Just Do Something: A Liberating Approach to Finding God's Will as teaching prep. Helpful and liberating, though I'm not sure his case is completely air tight.

One of the books Peterson recommended was Walter M. Miller's A Canticle for Leibowitz. The story takes place after a nuclear holocaust sends civilization back to the dark ages. Through the centuries, the Church helps and hinders the rebuilding of society. Some interesting themes. Read my review.

I loved Dashiell Hammet's Red Harvest. A good detective story with a lot of great lines. Read my review.

Speaking of detective fiction, that's exactly what P. D. James does in Talking about Detective Fiction. It was fun to read her opinion of some of the great mystery writers, like Doyle, Christie, Chesterton, and Sayers. Among other things, she corrected my misperceptions of Sherlock Holmes.

I re-read Tozer's The Knowledge of the Holy during my devotions this year. There's a reason this book is a classic. Read previous comments.

Herman Wouk's A Hole in Texas was disappointing. There's a reason it was only a dollar at the dollar store. (I'm surprised it wasn't on sale.) Read my review.

No comments: