Thursday, July 28, 2011

What I'm Reading - Some Good, Some Not

I missed What’s On Your Nightstand this month, and chose not to link up this time anyway, but I thought I’d keep the blog alive and share just here what I’ve been reading this month, if anyone is interested.


Pendragon series: Book Five: Black Water - D. J. MacHale (F).

Pendragon series: Book Six: The Rivers of Zadaa - D. J. MacHale (F).

Pendragon series: Book Seven: The Quillan Games - D. J. MacHale (F).

Pendragon series: Book Eight: The Pilgrims of Rayne - D. J. MacHale (F).

Pendragon series: Book Nine: Raven Rise - D. J. MacHale (F).

Pendgragon series: Book Ten: The Soldiers of Halla - D.J. MacHale (F). Wow. Had I read the whole series first, I probably would have said, "No," to my kids reading it. The twinges I was having as I read the first books are confirmed in the last as the whole worldview is spelled out. Very humanistic, gnostic, New Age, yin-yang life-force balance view of the universe and mankind and the after-life. I did NOT like this. Much to talk about with the kids now that I have allowed them to read it. Knowing the truth - that God is, and that He is the Creator and we do answer to Him and there is 'right' and 'wrong', and that the only hope we have is to repent and bow before Him, trusting in Christ alone, this book series saddened me and left me depressed. Because I know so many people who, though they wouldn't describe it as vividly as what was fictionalized in the book series, think of spirituality in very eerily similar terms to what is presented in the series. 'Spiritual,' triumph of the human spirit as supreme, that is what most people think matters most. Here's a quote that sums up some of the book and was depressing to me: "We proved that the power of the human spirit is supreme. It will always triumph, no matter what the adversity. There are no simple answers in life. There is good and bad in everyone and everything. No decision is made without consequence. No road taken that doesn't lead to another. What's important is that those roads always be left open, for there's no telling what wonder they might lead to." Taken along with all that is said and 'taught' throughout the book(s) it leads to a heart-breaking and impoverished and ultimately dangerous worldview that teaches a kind of moralism that has no basis for deciding what is ‘good’ or ‘bad’ other than what seems right to you and faith in the faulty assumption that man is basically good and if left to himself he will choose good enough of the time that mankind will triumph, a view that is insidiously opposed to a biblical view of the world. And I’m really praying for wisdom as to how to talk to my kids about it, and wishing I’d read the series first before giving the ‘okay’ on it.

The Egypt Game - Zilpha Keatley Snyder (F). Summer reading assignment that my son has to read before the first week of school (cannot believe school starts August 3! Soooo not ready for them to go back yet!). I didn't like some reviews I read of it, so I read the book, too. I did find a few things I wanted to discuss with my boy, but I it wasn't as bad as the review I read made it seem. I'm still not sure I see why it was picked for an accelerated English class for 7th graders. Doesn't seem very 'accelerated' for a kid who reads The Lord of the Rings and enjoys it. Anywho.....

Counterfeit Gospels: Rediscovering the Good News in a World of False Hope - Trevin Wax (NF). Very, very much recommend this one. In fact, I will probably read it again and again. Refreshing reminder of what the true gospel is and how it impacts and transforms believers, and a sobering look at subtle counterfeits that creep in and to which I have found myself to be prone to allow to slowly take hold at times. May I continually preach the gospel to myself and my family and stay true to my Lord and Savior Jesus Messiah King. I want to be so gripped with the gospel of grace with my heart so full of gratitude to the Savior that I will faithfully live a life worthy of the calling He has placed on me when He made me His own. And I pray for my church that we would be a people so gripped with the gospel of grace that we as a body of believers will live that life of gratitude to our King that would lead us to be a glimpse of the restored heaven and earth as we live in true, biblical community, truly forgiving and loving each other and having our feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace and sharing that good news in our community and world.

Holiness (Abridged) - J. C. Ryle (NF). I am quite sure this is the best book I've read in a long time, and I know I'll be reading it again.It was especially refreshing to read it while I was in the midst of the gnosticial, New-Agey mess I was reading in the kids’ series I mentioned above. I found Holiness very thought-provoking, saturated with the gospel, and deeply encouraging. I found myself often stopping to think and pray over what I was reading, and found great encouragement to grow in love for Christ Jesus my Savior. I don't think I can recommend it highly enough. It is seldom that I find a book I can recommend without qualification or hesitation, but this is most definitely one.

The Black Echo - Michael Connelly (F). One of my favorite authors, and this is a re-read, but it’s been so long since I read it I had forgotten enough of it that it’s a good read again. I got it for $0.99 for my Nook this month and couldn’t pass it up. I want to read all the books in the series again, in order this time.

Last month I said these were next up:

The rest of the Pendragon series. Finished today, as I wrote about it above.

The King Raven Trilogy (includes Hood, Scarlet, and Tuck) - Stephen Lawhead (F).

Starting this today.

The Princess Bride - William Goldman (F). Also haven’t gotten to this one yet. So, it’s still on the next up list.

New to the ‘Next Up’ List:

Little Women - Louisa Mae Alcott (F). I read this a long time ago, and I’ve wanted to read it again. I don’t remember much of it, but I remember that I liked it. Also, it came free with some other books on my Nook. Bonus!

Les Miserables - Victor Hugo (F). I bought a copy of the unabridged version of this for my Nook for $1.00. I tried reading it when I was in high school (I think) but got bogged down in some of the social commentary sections and never finished it. I’ve always wanted to try again. So many people talk about what a great story it is, and I just want to read it. I didn’t want to read it abridged, either, so this will take a while. Not sure when I’ll get to it, but it’s there waiting for me.

Reading Out Loud With the Boys:

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - J. K. Rowling (F). Yes, still. We’re slow. We don’t get to read it together every night, but when we do, they are always begging, “Just one more chapter, Mom!” Even when my voice is giving out, they never want to stop, even though they have read the books and it is not new to them. They like it when I try to do voices. They really like my Draco Malfoy, I must say. Joshua said, “Oh, you read that just right.” Not quite sure what it says about me that I can read him just right, but anyway. As I said, we really enjoy that time together.

No comments: