Nov 13, 2011

Books that make me thankful

I'm getting a jump on Thanksgiving by posting some great book recommendations early. This time next week I'll be roasting on a beach in Cancun consuming a pile of mind-candy (ie paperback novels) in between reacquainting myself with my niece and nephews. Oh, and eating enormous amounts of food, snorkeling and touring Chichen Itza. Sounds like paradise, right? I hope so.

Peace Like A River by Leif Enger. The story follows the saga of Reuben Land's family as they deal with the aftermath of Davy Land's retribution against the town bullies. MC Reuben narrates his father's unique faith, his sister's storytelling ability and his brother's struggle with the law. Enger's writing is flawless. His strong setting and character development will pull you in until at the end, reading it is a very sweet sorrow.

Blue Like Jazz by Don Miller. The subtitle of this book is: "Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality", informing you that Miller's essays encompass the deep questions of life. This book changed the way I think about my own faith by confronting the hypocrises in some evangelical circles in a gentle, logical way.

Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis. When Katie was 19, she went to Uganda on a mission trip and came home determined to care for the orphans there. She started Amazima Ministries, adopted 14 girls and now heads a staff of international people determined to make a difference for the people of Masese.  This book is the story of her journey from high school graduate to a modern version of Mother Teresa. Every time I read her blog, I'm humbled at God's grace/ provision and Katie's courage in living her faith. Learn more about her here.

Sorta Like A Rock Star by Matthew Quick. Amber Appleton lives on a school bus (Hello Yello) with her alcoholic mom, teaches English to the KDFC (Korean Divas for Christ), routinely dresses her tiny dog, Billy Big Boy, in ridiculous outfits and manages to stay positive despite struggling with homelessness.  When Mom disappears, Amber's despair causes her huge collection of friends - society's misfits, rejects and other outcasts - to surround this amazing girl and her remarkable faith. Amber is one of my all-time favorite heroines, right up there with Emily Starr, Hermione Granger and Katniss Everdeen.

The Space Trilogy by CS Lewis. (Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, That Hidden Strength) I first read these books as a student at Oxford University and they're still among my favorite reads. Although the technology and space knowledge is dated (Lewis's hero goes to a Mars populated by various Martians) the unique way Lewis views mankind is not. One of the 20th century's great apologists, this series proves the Narnia Chronicles weren't the only stories Lewis had in him.

So those are my choices. What books have you read that make you thankful?


Carrie Butler said...

I'm so jealous! Have fun next week! :)

Cassie Mae said...

Ooh, lots of books to put on my shelf! I will be eternally grateful for Harry Potter. Like many people, it sparked my love of books. :)

Botanist said...

I'm sure I've read Out of the Silent Planet, but so long ago that I can't remember anything about it now.

You went to Oxford? Do you mind me asking when & which college? *hastily snaps out of reminiscing mode*

Hope you have a great vacation.

E.R. King said...

The Space Trilogy is awesome. I reread them every couple of years, that and The Screwtape Letters. They're both great reads!

Melodie Wright said...

Thanks Carrie!
And I agree, Cassie Mae. Love HP!
Botanist - I was an exchange student. My tutors were at Regent's Park and St. John, altho I rowed crew for Regent's Park.(91-92) Fun times!
Emily - CS Lewis is one of my favorite authors.

Jolene Perry said...

I'm embarassed to say that I've only read ONE of those.

Botanist said...

I was at Jesus, 1979-82 (and I rowed too). Would have been kinda spooky if we'd been there at the same time. Yes, fun times!