Sunday, July 23, 2006

Books I've read in July

I HAVE added on to this! And Since this is now the 31st I've completed my July Books. Lower count with my Mom in the hospital and completing VBS... Still a satisfying list.

The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde - I thoroughly enjoyed this. Thank you Melissa & John. Very fun. A fantastical mystery entangled with sci-fi elements, plus the strangely bent literary references- In particular, I enjoyed the Rocky Horror version of Richard III. Delightful & real main character, truly evil villain, fun twists, satisfying ending. Since the library had four of them I'm going to be able to just dive through them... I love finding a new-to-me series with a lot of books! (I'm going to admit this, although I probably shouldn't: I've never read Jane Eyre- when given the option I always read Jane Austen's stuff, which I love, and somehow I slid through AP English Lit and college without reading it. This book made me want to rectify that...)
Heaven by Randy Alcorn - See July Book Addition. I valued this book, and believe that if you haven't read it already you're missing out. Very few books strike me as don't miss books. This is one of them. I find myself thinking differently about the future now because of this book - I'm less stress about the whole thing at church and I'm more able to let God handle the problems with my pastor. It's really His mess anyway.
Sun in Glory by Mercedes Lackey - I like Mercedes Lackey! This is a book of short stories about Valdemar and only one of them is actually written by Lackey. Still fun to have holes in the Vlademar story filled in by other fans .
The Sleeping Dragon, The Sword and the Chain, and The Silver Crown by Joel Rosenberg- I last read these when I was 19 or 20 and they were some of my very favorite books at the time. Premise: A group of college friends are playing a role game much like Dungeons and Dragons and they get translated over to the actual world as the characters they played. I used to love these books, and while I enjoyed them this time they were not as "deep" I guess... I don't know... Definitely fun, definitely characters I liked, just not as life-changing or something.
Secrets of the Vineyard by Bruce Wilkinson- Wilkinson picks apart the practical applications of the John 15 passage regarding abiding in the vine. He separates this passage into four levels of abiding, and I particularly appreciated his vintner knowledge applied to this passage- excellent discussions of "lifting up" the vine, and the possibilities of producing more fruit. However, I was concerned about some of the implications of his first level of abiding in Christ. He states that a Christian who is not producing fruit will be brought through trials to cause them to abide deeper in the vine and eventually produce fruit. Sounded a bit like the arguments of Job's friends... "Your sins have caused the wrath of God to send these trials upon you..."
In Fury Born by David Weber- Military Sci-fi, Excellent story, Strong believable characters, Interesting world. The first time I read one of his Honor Harrington novels, I started flipping to the back to check out his bio. I had a very hard time believing that it was a man writing this very believable female character. (after reading most of what he's got out there, I believe Weber has a special & close relationship with his daughter, and that he uses that relationship to develop Honor.) After saying all that, I have to comment that the central character in this novel, In Fury Born, is not as believable- I like her, but she doesn't have the foibles and depth of emotion and experience that his Honor has. Also, he takes a LONG time to really get to the point of the story. It's almost like this should have been three books...
City of Dreams by Stephen Lawhead & Ross Lawhead- Premise: It's the year 2000 and Jesus was not born- the world is still waiting for the Messiah. The authors take the story of Jesus with all it's trappings, miracles and changed lives- and transform it into todays terms. The book is excellent. I particularly enjoyed a very humorous description of Washer John (John the Baptist) by a drunk hippie the main character meets in a bar- "This is what he does, okay? Pay attention, you might need to know this- it's a survivalist thing. The first thing you do is get some honey. Now, that's not as hard as it might sound- all you have to do is to find a bee and follow it back to where it lives. Simple. Next you take a little honeycomb from the bees. I don't know how you do that. Maybe you smoke them out or sneak up on them from behind or something. Anyway, you take this honeycomb and haul it to the nearest meadow or pasture or whatever. You put it on some leaves and leave it there for a few hours, or overnight, sticky side up, and you come back, you have a plate full of grasshoppers and whatnot. They smell the honey and wander over to take a look, and -Hey, presto! Instant protein and sugar hit!" There's more like this... However, the book is told through the eyes of an undercover cop given the task of infiltrating a radical terrorist organization so there's action, adventure and intrigue as well.

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