Monday, December 30, 2013

Book Favs of 2013

This year I have been intentional about reading stories. I'm not a fiction reader and 2 books is an accomplishment for a normal year.  My fiction count went up to 18.  This year was different. I gave myself a fool-proof jump start - C S Lewis was my writer of focus.  I love Narnia, I just didn't remember how much.  I read Flannery O'Connor for the first time. Intense and redemptive in the mind-mulling kind of way. Mojo and the Pickle Jar was fun, ridiculous fluff and Peace Like a River left me trusting in God's Sovereignty more.

Top Five Fiction  Moment Favs of 2013
  1.  The Horse and His Boy; C S Lewis - Facing  the Lion barehanded. Growing up into who you are named to be...a lesson for the young of any age. This is also Kel's favorite Narnia story- I had that bias going in, it probably stuck.
  2.  Prince Caspian; C S Lewis - "'Aslan,' said Lucy, 'You're bigger.' 'That is because you re older, little one.'  answered he."  I hear those words in my head - the tip of my nose tingles and I feel water rushing towards my eyes. I want Him to say that to me.
  3.  Peace Like a River; L. Enger - Lying in the snow, Rueben is hovelled against a dying horse, care taking a broken up man.  Choosing love without integrity always has unforeseen yet, predictable consequences.
  4.  The Last Battle; C S Lewis - Heaven - Narnia but better. What if this world is just a shadow of heaven. Maybe. I want to go to all the places I'll never see on this side - only better.
  5.  The Secret Life of Walter Mitty; J. Thurber - A cautionary tale. Disjunct, topsy-turvy, sad.  The movie was much more redemptive although (Spoiler) I'd rewrite the ending where the family ends up together and the father actually becomes a man. I listened to the story because I'd seen the movie. The best scene in the movie was the first skateboard scene.  That's heroism, as is the scene in the story where Walter rushes to get to the hotel with the items he's purchased for his wife and waits  in a chair in the lobby (I assume to be easily spied).

Top Five Non-Fiction Picks and Why They Come to Mind Often

  1. Bound Together: How We are Tied to Others in Good and Bad Choices; C. Brauns - The truth that we are bound to Christ, and that through His resurrection He pulls us and the rest of creation up with Him is the antidote to all of lives bad choices, whether ours or those we love.  Shortly after reading this, I heard or read this(maybe a few words paraphrased?) from Pastor Wilson and I posted it inside one of my kitchen cabinets.  "When a man resurrects THAT irrevocable principle is established.  He's pulling the world to life." It's true, we're tied, in Him, to Him, through Him, by Him. Give Him Praise. He is come and we are saved. 
  2. A Call to Spiritual Reformation: Priorities from Paul and His Prayers; D A Carson - I love this book.  I bought it for my sister, because I loved it so much. Praying like Paul prayed, praying His Word, praying His will with His words. I love it because I am learning the passages that I pray over different people and when I think of them the Word comes to my mind amid the worries and the inclination to work out in my mind what I think should happen. It helps me to have Words to pray to learn to leave it to God and trust Him in obedience.
  3. For the Life of the World: Sacraments and Orthodoxy; A. Schmenmann - Best place in the book; He is giving a eulogy and he directs to the grieving wife, that in heaven she'll know him even better than she did on earth. What a jewel at the loss of a long and loving marriage. But it got me thinking, my husband knows me at least fifty times better, deeper, richer than anyone else. In heaven I'm going to know not only him, but all the saints better than I know my husband now. That's just cool.
  4. Pilgrim's Progress; J. Bunyan - The Dungeon of Despair, giving up, having the key hanging at your heart, a trusted sidekick that helps you remember it when "all is lost"...not only is this universal, this is part of the journey to the Celestial City.
  5. Luther and His Katie; D. MacCuish - It made me laugh and cry.  I saw Luther as a brother, husband, father, refugee- not just a hero of the faith. That got me thinking - who else have I archived like that. 

So there's the story on my favorite stories and the story on my favorite books. And about 2014... my gray matter's still percolating.