Friday, July 06, 2012

June Books

Breathless by Jessica Warman
This young adult novel is about a girl who is sent to boarding school after her brother's mental illness destroys her family. As you can imagine, it was a bit of a downer. And the main character's high school experience was so different from mine that it was hard to relate to. But, the characters were interesting, and I like that it didn't gloss over real issues as many teen books do.

Winning the Clutter War by Sandra Felton
This was offered for free on the Kindle, and I got it because I like to motivate myself by reading books about organizing. I was not the target audience for this book, which is directed at people who have serious clutter issues (not just laziness, like me). But, I did find some of the tips useful. One thing I'm really trying to be better at is doing all of the little things like closing cabinet doors, pushing in drawers, hanging clothes back in the closet, etc. It takes hardly any time and it really does make a big difference in how the house looks. 

A Drowned Maiden's Hair by Laura Amy Schlitz
This is another young adult novel. I knew it was going to be good when I read the first sentence: "On the morning of the best day of her life, Maud Flynn was locked in the outhouse, singing 'The Battle Hymn of the Republic.'" I mean, come on, how could that not be great? I wasn't disappointed. Maud, a precocious orphan who's adopted by three spinsters with ulterior motives, is so likeable, and her story is very intriguing, if a little predictable at the very end. Highly recommend.

The Crux of the Matter: Crisis, Tradition, and the Future of Churches of Christ by Jeff W. Childers, Douglas A. Foster, and Jack R. Reese
Darby and I bought this book to prepare for the class we're going to teach in the fall. It was a very interesting read. The authors argue that the CofC needs to stop denying its history (e.g., saying that we are the continuation of the Jerusalem church in Acts) and acknowledge that, for both good and ill, we are a product of the cultural climate at the time of the Restoration movement. They also emphasize the importance of refocusing on the cross (the crux of the matter) rather than issues of worship style and other less important matters. I think this is a great book for anyone who's concerned about the future of the churches of Christ. The authors are very honest about the challenges ahead but also very optimistic. Additionally, the book includes a paraphrase of the book of 1 Corinthians in more modern language, which I found very powerful.

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