My February Reads

Well, I must confess I have started more books this month than I’ve finished. I began reading a biography on Leonardo Da Vinci, but the author quickly fixated on the possibility of Da Vinci’s homosexuality and I got annoyed with his obsession to prove it, ignoring the aspects of the inventor and artist that makes him so appreciated. I also borrowed Francine River’s The Scarlet Thread, but couldn’t get past the main character’s shallow self-absorption and petty complaints. If I read fiction, I really want it to be worth my time. I also skim-read a book on the Enneagram types: The Enneagram Personality Types by Eleanor Cooper.

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This book’s captivating historical account of the events leading up to and around the year 1942 will stun and illuminate the unknown shadows that high school and college left behind. So many times while reading, I’ve had “Oh, so that’s why that happened…” moments. Being enamored with the 40’s–the jazz, the fashions, the courage–I’ve always been drawn to WWII. Both of my grandpas served in the Army (one in Germany, the other in the Philippines). Wow, such incredible respect to those who fought against the atrocious horrors of the time.

Pulitzer Prize-nominated Winston Groom also wrote Forrest Gump (haven’t read that one), and is an accomplished storyteller. This book’s theme thus far boils down to three words: prejudice, power, and pride…with a good dose of delusional megalomania. Of course, I haven’t even made it through the evil that erupted on Pearl Harbor, but I’ve already learned so much. With over 450 pages to explore, I’m about 15% of the way through the book. If you love history and gaining understanding with the cause (not just the effect), you’ll enjoy this book.

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  1. Recommended by a friend, I borrowed a Julie Klassen book from www.molib2go.overdrive.com (check it out if you have a Kindle). When I saw the cover, I remained somewhat skeptical, but Klassen delivered a delightful (albeit somewhat predictable) plot that marries interesting English cultural history with believable characters. Although The Lady of Milkweed Manor  isn’t as Gothic as Eyre or as eloquent as Austen, Klassen bows to the themes and stylistic undertones of all things Jane. God is referenced, but not in an overly cliched or trite way, and the hard realities of sin, hypocrisy, loss, and love are not glossed over.
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2. Bob Goff’s second book, Everybody Always, picks up where he left with Love Does. Although this book wasn’t as humorous as the first and carried some disturbing stories about witchcraft and child abuse, it was Goff’s limited definition of carrying out love to the world that grieved me. From the outside, his themes seem solid. Be love. Do what others won’t. Show up. Give grace. Don’t judge. But under it all, he seems to choose the way of a slightly different gospel that doesn’t align with Jesus’ commission in Matthew 28: 18-20, “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you” (emphasis mine). Goff prefers to avoid the disciplining and discipling approach to speaking what’s right and what’s wrong. Overall, his gospel seems to favor one aspect of God’s calling over us and neglect another.

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3. While equipping the Christian with the armor of God and the truth of Christ (and His power within us), Evans exhorts the reader toward full awareness, freedom, and hope. His practical approach and biblical support helps the believer understand what’s happening beyond our sight and how to engage in battle with the enemy of our souls. “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil” (Eph. 6:10-11). You won’t regret reading this book.