Summer of Reading

So I decided that it would be fun to put up a current and recent reading list.

After graduation from a Bible college and having read text books for the last four years of my life I decided to take a bit of a journey and read some stuff that I hadn’t had time for in the past four years.

To start off the summer I went through a spy novel stint where I read several of the splinter cell novels that sport Tom Clancy’s name on the front, but are not actually written by Tom Clancy. I’m not sure if this is common knowledge and I just missed the memo but very few of the Clancy books on your local bookstore’s shelves are actually written by the man himself. I’m still not sure how I feel about being deceived into purchasing a book with a famous authors name on the front, only to find out it’s written by some random no-name guy trying to sell books. I give the Splinter cell series a solid C. They are entertaining but average, nothing spectacular.

After getting sick of the spy novel books were the girl always seems to get shot about half way through the book, I turned to the classics. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Fin are fabulously entertaining. Mark Twain is incredible. I got lost in a fantasy world where I sailed a raft down the Mississippi, fell in love with Becky Thatcher, and was scared out of my mind trapped in a cave with Injun Joe. I loved these books and will definitely read them again. Solid A
From here I read about 100 pages out of the book Wicked which is the prequel to The Wizard of Oz and deals mostly with the origins of the wicked witch of the west. You may be asking yourself why I’d want to read something like that and if you are it’s probably because you’ve never seen the musical. If you haven’t… It’s SPECTACULAR. I couldn’t really get into the book though. It’s pretty slow and the little green baby that bites off peoples fingers kinda creeped me out. The play at ASU’s Gammage theatre gets an A++ but the book… I’m going with a C-

After Wicked I read about 150 pages of “The Brethren” by David Baldichi. It’s got a really interesting premise involving the CIA trying to rig a presidential election, but it was too slow and I lost interests. There are a couple of these books that I feel bad rating because I didn’t finish them, but if they aren’t interesting enough for a full read then they aren’t interesting enough for a good grade. C-

Next was Dan Brown but not what you might think. He’s got a book called Digital Fortress and I freaking loved it. There are plot twists and interesting characters as well as end of the world suspense that kept me up till almost 3:30 one morning because I just had to know how it ended. Definitely would recommend this book. The only thing keeping the book from an A is a couple minor holes in the plot towards the end but it’s definitely a B+

After having such a good experience with Dan Brown I tried reading the Davinci Code and while I do feel it is very well written and gripping I’ll be honest and say that the bad guy really makes me uncomfortable and after loosing sleep a couple nights in the row thinking that he was coming to get me I gave up on Davinci’s code. I’m going to have to go with a C+. It was written well but I just couldn’t take the bad guy so… Ya.

In the last week I read a book by Ravi Zacharias entitled “The end of Reason” in which he combats what he calls “new atheism”. This new atheism is spurred on by guys like Richard Dawkins (the author of “The God Delusion”) and Sam Harris (author of “The End of Faith” and “Letter to a Christian Nation”) who both claim to be intellectuals but write books un-intellectually whining and throwing a fit about religion and how horrible it is. Ravi Zacharias breaks down Sam Harris’s book and logically points out the flaws in his arguments while providing answers from a Christian worldview. This book was really good and I definitely recommend it. One hundred twenty-eight pages, so it’s short and it’s an easy read but if you’ve ever struggled to know why an atheist would ever be an atheist this book reveals a lot of those answers. Ravi Zacharias does a great job of breaking down arguments and rants from the atheistic side, showing where they stem from on a worldview level, and then revealing the truth. I give it a strong A

Currently I’m reading a book called “Prayer and the art of Volkswagen Maintenance” by Donald Miller. (“Blue like Jazz”) I like Miller but I don’t always agree with him. I feel like he and I usually asks the same questions about life and ministry but I usually come to a completely different answer than he does. I’m looking forward to this book. I’ll have to let you know how it turns out. I haven’t gotten far enough in to the book yet to grade it but I’ve enjoyed the first chapter or two.

Hopefully I didn’t bore you with my summer reading selections. If there is anyone actually reading this blog I’d love to hear about what else you’re reading. Thanks for following.

Andrew

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2 thoughts on “Summer of Reading

  1. Gregory Maguire's Wicked is the only book I have ever started reading and refused to finish. Like you said, the show is spectacular, but the book…it just keeps getting worse. And worse. Until it finally disgusted me and I put it down. I NEVER stop in the middle of a book, it got that bad. But the show…yes, it's amazing. It's a sign of how much I love it that I haven't gotten sick of "Popular" with four voice students all doing it in their lessons at the same time…Also, books to check out are "Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti" (Bill & Pam Farrel) and "The Christian Atheist" by Craig Groeschel. Haven't finished either, but so far, pretty insightful.

  2. Thanks Laura, Ya Wicked was amazing live but not so good in book form. I've heard that "Men are like Waffles…" is good but haven't gotten to it yet. Never heard of the "The Christian Atheist" but it sounds fun. I don't know what it is but I've developed a real understanding and compassion for atheists in the last year or two. There is a part of me that totally get's where they are coming from and to be honest… If I wasn't a Christian, I'd probably be an Atheist.

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