Since starting my new site last week, I have published six posts, and three were part of a series, The Reading Life. The series spotlighted an illiterate friend in Honduras. I simply cannot imagine my life without being able to read, and reading abundantly, reading extravagantly, whenever I choose.
Here’s a few good reads that I have on my desk or in my head recently.
1. The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden by Jonas Jonasson and Rachel Willson-Broyles begins with this preface: The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits. This fictional book is simultaneously a farce, a suspense novel, and a historical account of a girl who leaves South Africa only to well, as the title suggests, save the king of Sweden. It’s a light-hearted, fantastical read that will take you away from the mundane life most of us inhabit.
2. Disarming Scripture: Cherry-Picking Liberals, Violence-Loving Conservatives and Why We All Need to Read the Bible like Jesus Did by Derek Flood is a book I am reading as part of group study. I have read about 1/4 of the book. Thus far, the author’s focus is that Jesus’ interpretation of Hebrew scripture rejected the fundamentalism of Jewish thought of their day. Instead, he embraced a radical world-view that God wanted everyone to know his love, and therefore, we shouldn’t kill our enemies. In light of increasing fundamentalism today, it’s a thoughtful read to consider.
3. The Book of Strange New Things by Michael Faber. I loved this strange mix-up of a book that is one-part science fiction, one-part romance novel, and one- part Christian eschatology. The book starts with the two main characters making love in their car at the airport, so some readers may be turned off from page one. Keep reading. It’s great! Interplanetary voyages, evangelizing the aliens, and Earth sinking into the last days are all woven into an improbable, delightful tale.
4. Small Victories: Spotting Improbable Moments of Grace by Anne Lamott is the author’s latest book. I received it this week so I have not opened it. Anne Lamott is a white lady with dreadlocks who attends an African-American church in California. I freaking love her stuff. If grace is not part of your vocabulary, or you are stumbling in the dark hoping for grace, reading something, anything, or everything by Anne Lamott. I recommend it without opening it yet because Lamott is just that good.