Wednesday, January 3, 2007

On Reading

I've been thinking (believe it or not). When so many people are using the Internet or watching TV, how many still read books? I used to read tons of books... I think I've read about 3/4 of the books in our house (and we have a lot of books), a good number of which I've read several times. But over the year's, it's gradually dwindled to a very small number. As I've had some more free time lately, I've been trying to get back into it again. I'm happy to say that it is definitely well worth it.

Here's a couple of books I've read lately that I really enjoyed.

How Sleep the Brave, by James Hunter.
This book is historical fiction (fiction in history) about the persecution of the Presbyterian Kirk of Scotland by King James Stuart of England. It's a really neat story about the incredible exploits of Duncan Fenwick (I am not sure how much of the book is real) and how he took up the cause of the Kirk to become the Black Avenger, the avenger and protector of the weak and helpless of the land. I think Duncan is somewhat based upon William Wallace, the real (almost legendary) defender of Scotland (on which Braveheart is based.) This book is exciting, has a beautiful love story threaded through it, and demonstrates throughout simple faith and trust in God acting in difficult situations. A very good book (though it is a little over-dramatic at times.)

Twice Pardoned, by Harold Morris.
This book is the life-story of Harold Morris, an ex-con. He writes telling about his own life as he moved from starting a friendship with some slick criminals. His 'friends' got caught and framed him so well that he was sent to the Georgia State Penitentiary with two life sentences. He quickly became a hardened convict, until by the grace of God, his family finally tracked him down and started visiting him. He finally gave his life to Christ, and after much hard work and petitions received his freedom (hence the name 'Twice Pardoned'). This book is quite a powerful testimony.. I read most of it twice. (It is NOT a kid's book however.)

Three Shall Be One, by Francena Arnold
(F. A. is also author of Not My Will, which I haven't read, but I believe it is quite well-known).
This fiction starts off with a happy marriage between a lonely woman (Pat) and a lonely man (Tony), and is told from Pat's perspective. Pat and Tony are not Christians, but are very happy together (the two are one). However, things start to go wrong between the two when Tony's mother-in-law steps in. Midway through the book, Pat gets in a car accident, and gets a solid case of amnesia. Tony, meanwhile, thinks that Pat has separated from him and has run off. I'm not going to wreck the ending (which has quite a non-expected twist), but suffice it to say that they both come to love the Lord, and are reconciled to each other, such that Three Shall Be One (Christ becomes the center of their marriage).
This was the second time I read this book. The first time I read it, the ending didn't make any sense to me. But now that I reread it, everything made sense. Very well-written, and quite an enjoyable book.

If any of you have any good books you'd like to suggest, then comment away! Brad V. also has an excellent post on reading books at his blog: http://bjv-maranatha.blogspot.com/2006/12/books.html

18 comments:

Laurie said...

Good point, Matt. On a related note, I just heard on the radio today that it would take an average person approximately 78-80 hours to read the ENTIRE Bible at a non-hurried pace! And how much longer does it take most of us to get through the whole Bible :(

Gloria said...

Right now I'm borrowing a book from a friend called "Stepping Heavenward One Women's Journey To Godliness." Its a story about this girl growing up in 1800s and her journey as she grows closer to God. Its pretty good.

Ruth said...

Hmm, you raise a good point. I do a fair amount of reading these days, but it's all assigned homework, and not at all edifying.
I definitely loved "Three Shall Be One", and look forward to "How Sleep the Brave", if I can wrest it from your grip.

Krista said...

No worries Matt. I'm always reading something. I go through a book (sometimes 2) a week!

Lizzi said...

I must admit to being one of the individuals who have read at least 95% of the books in our house (not counting the study, I'm not smart enough for all Dad's theological stuff lol) and when I have a book it tends to get in the way of school...

Steffi said...

speaking as someone who has been a bookworm pretty much ever since she could read, i agree with you.

I have read Not My Will, which is a good book if I recall (it's been a long time since I've read it). I will have to see if I can find Three Shall be One, as it sounds good. I've also read the book Stepping Heavenward, which Gloria talked about, and would highly recommend it.

CalG said...

i am a crazy reader!
i read one book at least every month or 2

Matt said...

Thanks everyone! It was encouraging to read how much everyone likes reading! And how many people are still book-worms at heart! I will have to read Not My Will sometime... I know we have it somewhere in the house. (Sorry Gloria, the other book sounded a bit too... womanly. :) )

Gloria said...

*laughing* Yah for a guy that could be true. But how about... Oh dear I can't remember the name of it. Anyway it about this ex-con who murdered his brother. He get stuck with the shepherd and the shepherd ends up leading him to God. Its kind of a humorous book because the ex-con is trying to learn how to take of sheep. But now that I think of it... it might have some romance in it. So never mind. Unless you like that sort of thing...

Steve said...

Great blog Matt!

Thanks for the encouragement to read - I sometimes wonder how much I would accomplish in life without a computer complicating it.

Stepping Heavenward is an interesting read. (blush...I read it a number of years ago)

Curt & Jen said...

Happy Birthday Matt! I think I'll give you some books to read... (How about something on preparation for marriage? ;) )

Anonymous said...

¿Nuevo poste, por favor? ;)

Matt said...

Primeramente, antes de un nuevo poste, mi persona misterioso(a), ¿quien est├ís?

Matt said...

Oh btw, thanks Curt. You do take the cake sometimes. :)

candace said...

" (How about something on preparation for marriage? ;) ) "

Have any of you read "I Kissed Dating Goodbye", by Joshua Harris?
It has some pretty good points, and the way this guy writes is just amazing. He really makes you think.

Matt said...

Yes, great book! I haven't read through it thoroughly, but I did like what I read.

Rebekah said...

If anyone's interested in a bit of a philosophical tangent, I shall put forth my passionate recomendation of Francis Schaufer's "Escape From Reason." In my humble opinion, philosophy is much neglected universally. :)

Good thoughts Matt. Lets start a renaissance of readers in the twenty-first century!

Lizzi said...

Oh,

If anyone wants a short read, just a fun book, I'd reccomend "Dutch Color" by Douglas Jones.

It's about a dutch teenage girl who's trying to find her father, and she's quite a character. Pretty much all the characters are very unique. =) You learn a lot about art too. And the writing style... yeah. Humorous, but not in the way you'd expect.

It's really good.