Sunday, January 11, 2009

More book reviews...

I just read The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson for my woman's book club at church. I've read it before, but it's been YEARS! It is a quick, fun read (you can finish it in a little over an hour). It's a fun story about a troubled family of kids that decide to be part of the local church's Christmas pageant. It gives a refreshing (and many times comical) look at how it feels to hear the Christmas story for the first time.

My aunt, Fay, gave me this book to read when our family was together for Thanksgiving. She also recommended Too Small to Ignore, which became one of my favorite books. I tried to find a link to my review, but it seems I read this before I started doing these reviews. One day I need to review some of my favorite books that I have not read in recent months. Anyway, back to the book at hand...

Amish Grace looks at the Amish communities' response to the schoolhouse shooting in 2007. Some were amazed and inspired by their quick forgiveness and grace extended to the killer (who committed suicide after his crime) and his family. Others criticized them for trivializing a horrific act of evil. The authors not only explore the public's response but also explain how the Amish belief system lends itself to this kind of forgiveness. The chapters get a bit redundant, but I enjoyed this book none the less.

Radical Gratitude by Ellen Vaughn was December's book club selection, and I am regretting that I did not write this review sooner as I am now struggling to remember specific examples of why I liked this book. This book is well written, and despite it's unappealing cover, it
is certainly worth your time. I found it to be witty but with depth to each story. To quote the book jacket..."Radical Gratitude isn't about yet another discipline to master. It's about God's thundering waterfalls of love, and how to recognize and celebrate His presence in days both light and dark. It's about living in today's jungle, with practical--if offbeat--ways to grab hold of God's good grace and to swing free of the pesky vines that so easily confine...yodeling all the way."

I was recently in a book lull...I know it doesn't seem possible with my posts about books I've read, but I was. Patrick recommended I read a few of the shorter novels and stories about Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Oh. My. Goodness! There is a reason these are classics! I loved that I could read an entire mystery before going to sleep, and I loved that they were thought provoking but not scary. I loved the creativity (in a Jason Bourne kinda way) of how Holmes would solve the murders. These are great when you just need something quick and entertaining.


krista said...

I'll have to check out the Sherlock Holmes! It definitely sounds like the length of story I can handle right now.

I too enjoyed Amish Grace despite it's redundancy. It did a good job of making clear the way the Amish think of forgiveness--their faith hinges on it really.

While I believe you do need to forgive as Christ did, I don't agree that we can't expect Christ to forgive us (salvation) if we don't x,y,z first.

BTW, I'm reading (attempting to anyway) The Memory Keeper's Daughter right now. Wow. That's all I have to say so far.

ChrisandMissy said...

I love Sherlock Holmes! Did the book you have include the mystery with the four orange pips? That one is my favorite. =)

Christie said...

Here I am, trying not to spend money, and then I come across this blog. You're killing me, Lynn!

Momma Roar said...

I loved The Best Christmas Pageant Ever when I was a kid. I always think about that book at Christmastime.

We had a speaker at church who was very involved with Nickle Mines and is still working with many of the families now - he works with MCC. He mentioned the book and I think our church has a copy and it is on my to be read list...which, thanks to your blog, is 10 miles long now! ;-)

Kristen said...

Thanks for the great reviews- as always.

I love the best Christmas Pageant Ever - so fun. Morgan read it last year and we listened to it on CD when on a trip last year.

Thanks for the tips on the other books. I now have more to add to my never ending list.

Dave and Jenni said...

I used to love reading Sherlock Holmes - I'm not sure why I ever stopped, come to think of it. Thanks for the reviews on the others. I have some reviews to post myself if I can ever get around to it! :)