Monday, November 7

What I'm Reading: November

Accidential Saints by Nadia Bolz-Weber // This book was amazing. There's a reason that it was a New York Times bestseller and one of MPR's best books of 2015. Nadia Bolz-Weber is a Lutheran minister in Denver. Her non-conventional (heavily tattooed) appearance only made me more curious to pick up her book. I have to issue a disclaimer: this book contains profanity. In fact, I lost count of the number of "f" bombs used. HOWEVER, if you can get over the language, you will not regret reading this book.

Nadia is unflinchingly honest in writing how she views the world, members of her church, people on a plane, etc. At one point, she actually talked about not liking one of the men who went to her church and later felt the need to confess those feelings (and that she removed his name from a church email) to a friend before visiting his widow, only to hear how the man loved the church. Not exactly the honesty you'd expect to read in a book written by a minister.

This book is full of ideas and thoughts that will challenge how you view faith. Church isn't meant to be stuffy, but to be full of broken people, all yearning for their Savior. Setting aside the profanity, I have to say that this book is full of underlining and will be added to my list of favorite books.

The Candidate by Lis Wiehl // This is the second book in the Erica Sparks series. I reviewed the first book in this blog post. In the last book, Erica was able to rise among the racks to achieve a top news reporter position, as the network head had planted crashes, poisonings, etc. to get her - and his network - to notoriety and a ratings king.

This second book follows Erica's relentless pursuit of the truth in the world of political intrigue and media speculation surrounding presidential candidate Mike Ortiz. Nothing is quite as it seems in the world of politics, and this is no different, especially when Erica digs deeper into what appears like Mike's picture perfect wife, Celeste.

As in the last book, I found Erica's character mostly likable, and perfectly flawed. Her relationship with her daughter seemed pretty dysfunctional, which made sense because she was quite focused on her career, and I'm not sure how anyone working in the news - such a fast paced environment - wouldn't be required to spend so much time at work. Suspenseful and interesting, I enjoyed reading this book.

She Reads Truth by Raechel Meyers and Amanda Bible Williams // These two authors have created a whole world of modern devotionals and Bible studies, covers decorated with trendy hand lettering and lovely photos. While being trendy, the studies are thought provoking and Biblically sound. This book points to a bigger picture - that God and His Word are true because that's who God is, not because of anything we do. Walking us through their two different lives and the realization that only God's Word remain unchanged as the world around them shifted and slipped away. I'm rapidly approaching my threshold for Christian living books, just hovering at the place where it's hard to take in more information about how I should be living as a Christian (not that these books are bad, but overwhelming if ingested in vast quantities). Being part memoir, I'd have to say that I appreciated this book. There's something so completely likable about both authors, and reading about their lives made them even more likeable through their real and raw stories.

Oh! And by the way, the yellow portion of what looks like the cover - that's actually a slip off paper (like hardback books have), and the cover is a nice gray linen like texture.

The Tunnels by Greg Mitchell // This nonfiction books tells the story of two tunnels under the Berlin Wall during the time of the Cold War. A group of young West Germans risked prison and Stasi torture to liberate their friends, lovers and complete strangers in East Berlin by digging tunnels under the wall. Catching wind of this project, two television networks in the United States started funding the tunnel project in hopes of documenting the escapes and thrills the tunnels would certainly provide upon their completion. Before long, President John F. Kennedy, afraid of a confrontation with the Soviets, tried to squash the networks' efforts and the tunnel construction.

Before picking up this book, I didn't know anything about the Berlin Wall except that when it "fell" it was a big moment in 1900's history. The history nerd in me thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, although it was a bit tricky not to get boggled down with names. It was interesting to read about the courage of the men and women who truly risked their lives for their fellow man. Does that kind of courage still exist?

Disclaimer: Some of the books in this post were provided to me free of charge in exchange for my honest review. All the opinions expressed are completely my own. Also, affiliate links used. This means that if you purchase a book via the Amazon links, I'll receive a small percentage. Thank you for supporting my blog!

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