Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Book reading update - 9 down 11 to go!

Oh dear my plan to read 20 books this year is going to require either:
1) a miracle, or
2) no sleep for the rest of the year!
Unfortunately I sort of stopped reading shortly after Easter and didn't really pick it up again much over the summer. Nevertheless I do have a few mini-reviews to update you with and a revised list of books I am going to try and get through - a new target if you like.

The world needs more elders - PJ Smyth
I had started reading this on my last update back in April! It's an excellent thought provoking book, not only is it a good tool to use for training future church leaders, but also for anybody in a church to consider a measured and biblical view of what church leaders should be focusing on. Reading it challenged me in many ways in terms of my thinking about church and leadership and I would recommend it to anyone.

The Associate - John Grisham
I really enjoy the pulp fiction nature of John Grisham books and until the last chapter this book was engaging, fast moving and a 'real page turner'. However I have never been so diappointed in the ending of one of his books, it just stopped - no suspense, no future possiblities - sorry John you need to re-write that last chapter.

Disabled Church-Disabled Society: The Implications of Autism for Philosophy, Theology and Politics – John Gillibrand
I have never read a more difficult and challenging book. Actually I still haven't because if I am honest when I got to the almost impenatrable sections I skimmed quite a bit. However, the chapter about his life with his son Adam was incredibly moving and in amongst the rest of the book there are some challenging questions. Above everything I was left to wonder, as Gillibrand does, are people like his son who has no means of communication with the 'normal' world much closer to God than we can ever be?

Persian fire: the first world empire and the battle for the West – Tom Holland
I am a massive fan of Tom Holland's award winning book Rubicon about the rise and fall of the Roman Empire. Alas, whilst this book no doubt was as accurate and detailed as Rubicon it seemed to me very dry. That may be in part due to the incredible complexity of the tale it tells - not only many different nations, states and cities but tribes and clans within cities and states. The most interesting part of it was finding out about the complex and very clever bureaucracy of the Persian empire, that even a duck had to have a travel pass to move along the Persian highway!

The books I want to read before the end of the year (in one month)
Making Time: Why Time Seems to Pass at Different Speeds and How to Control It – by Steve Taylor
You Can Change: God's Transforming Power for Our Sinful Behaviour and Negative Emotions – by Tim Chester
The Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger
In total these have 610 pages, that means that on average I need to read around 30 pages per day - not a lot for an avid reader but a challenge for me! Wish me luck, and why not share what you've been reading lately?

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