Saturday, May 30, 2009

What have you been reading in May?

I have been following Kevin DeYoung’s blog lately and noticed that he has started a book log in which he mentions a book that he has read and then makes a one or two line comment about it.  With my busy schedule, I thought, “What a great idea!” I really don’t really have time to write out full reviews like I have in past months but this would give me an opportunity to share with you a bit of what I have been exposed to and maybe encourage you to look more at certain books or avoid others.

Anyway, here’s what I have been reading in May.

thumbdown United in Hate: The Left's Romance with Tyranny and Terror by Jamie Glazov. Points out a real issue (the strange tendency of the political left to side with human rights abusers like communist regimes and Islamists) but does so with such a condescending tone and his disdain so palpable that it took the edge off of the author’s arguments for me. Questionable research methodology as well (i.e. tends to quote quotes instead of going to the primary sources for his information).

thumbdown Suffering and the Sovereignty of God edited by Justin Taylor & John Piper. A collection of articles on suffering in the Scriptures ranging from incomprehensibly dense to overly simplistic. Piper’s articles are worth reading but not worth the price of the book.  Not much new ground covered here. Disappointing all in all.

thumbup Echoes of a Native Land: Two Centuries of a Russian Village by Serge Schmemann. If you are a Russophile like me, you’ll love this book. If not, pass on it. Tells the story of the author’s family and home village up until they fled Russia after the Revolution.

Dead Aid by Dambisa Moyo. As you can tell from my blogs from the last couple of days, I like this book. I like it a lot.  Addresses the fact that fifty years of giving aid to African countries has NOT improved the lives of Africans but made things worse.  But the author does more than just point out the problem. The second half of the book is dedicated to providing workable solutions.  This is a book that cannot be ignored by anyone serious about really improving the lives of those in need.

So what have you been reading?


Matthew said...

This is mildly embarrassing to admit, but I just finally finished "Why Haven't You Left?" School's been busy... but I'm glad that I finally got through it! I will probably reread through my favorite parts again soon. I cried a little at the end-- both for Marc, for his ministry, and for how badly I want to go! I'm sure that God has a reason for me being here for another few years, but it ain't easy.

I'm reading "Men and Women" by Larry Crabb at the recommendation of a friend because my current relationship is getting quite serious. It's a pretty simple book with a very persistent point about living the Gospel in relationships-- but what an important point to hammer hard on! It's been good.

I will probably start "He Gave Us a Valley" by Helen Roseveare soon. I loved "Give Me This Mountain" a lot and am looking forward to reading more of her honest reflections on life, spirituality, suffering, and missions!

Anonymous said...

It took me an embarrassingly long two months to read through Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan. It's the story of two sojourners; the first half is about Christian and the second half is about his wife, Christiana. I thoroughly enjoyed the first half, but the second half was very boring.

I am now reading Heaven by Randy Alcorn after my Sunday School class did an overview of it. It really investigates a biblical view of Heaven and it's quite interesting! (But, keep in mind that you have to have a Bible within close reach, as this book is saturated with Scripture.)

Glenn Penner said...

My wife starting reading Heaven a few months ago. Said it was pretty good, though it did become a bit repetitious after awhile, she said.

I absolutely loved Why Haven't You Left? It's why we are selling it online now at our main website. Great book and very inspirational.