Monday, April 14, 2014
March Book Report
at 5:31 AM
There weren't a ton of "hits" on my reading list this month, but sometimes it only takes one really good book to alter your entire way of thinking and re-inspire your faith in the written word and what it can do for a soul.
Or something like that.
Here's what I read.
The Daily Study Bible Series (The Gospel of John) - William Barclay
Though I took some Bible classes in high school and college, I never quite grasped how to study the Bible. I'd never experienced an in-depth look at passages of scripture. When I stumbled upon this book at the library, I wasn't sure whether to get it - this particular book is on John, which wouldn't have made sense for me to read since I am reading the Bible cover to cover this year and am still knee-deep in the Old Testament. But I picked it up anyway.
I took a peek at the first pages when I got home and didn't put it back down until hours later. Maybe anyone else would find this totally boring, but I was hooked. If you've never heard of this series, it's basically an in-depth look at scripture written by scholars for the common reader to understand. It goes verse by verse, giving the reader the cultural background, historical context, exact meanings of words in their original language, etc. I ate it up. I've just never learned to study the Bible in that way and it has completely opened up my eyes as if I'd never read the Gospel before. Life changing. I could go on and on but I'll just finish by saying that if you're into that sort of thing, you absolutely need to check it out. The end.
The Reading Group - Elizabeth Noble
I'd heard a couple of people rave about this book so, despite the cheesy cover, I picked it up. I expected a book on, well, a reading group and how these women from various walks of life found some sort of meaning in their newfound friendships with each other. Instead in read more like a soap opera where these women and their dramatic lives occasionally got together to talk books. I thought that Noble was actually a pretty good writer, but the multiple plots of these desperate housewives wasn't worth the energy for me. If you're into housewifey British chick lit, you may enjoy it.
This Momentary Marriage - John Piper
John Piper isn't for everyone, but I truly enjoyed his cut-to-the-chase style in this book on marriage. Instead of a how-to book, it's more of a description of what marriage is meant to be, which is a symbol of our relationship with Jesus. Piper paints a Biblical picture of what marriage was originally intended to be and how we can either neglect that high calling or put too much emphasis on it and idolize our spouse (I've never heard that at a marriage conference!) It is the most straight-forward, Christ-centered book on marriage I've ever read and I wish I had gotten my hands on it years ago. I would highly, highly recommend it, especially to newlyweds.
Kisses from Katie - Katie Davis
This book has been out for a while, but to be honest, I'd always been afraid to read it. A nineteen year old girl gives up her life, moves to Africa, and adopts fourteen orphans - how could I not feel like first world scum after reading it? But. But Jesus came not to condemn. And Katie's story is dripping in love and hope. I closed the book breathless, but encouraged. God has called us all to a life of love and if I, too, want to do radical things for the Kingdom, I'd better start where I am, right here in the suburbs. This one is a must-read.
What's the best book you've read lately?