Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Whatcha Reading?

I have some good ones this time!
The Help...where do I start???
Ok, I saw the movie with the hubs and we were stunned. In what world was all this practice OK? I mean, I know this was a novel, but I also know this was a reality in some states. I left the theater embarrassed of the color of my skin. I just can't believe this is part of our American history. What's even more shocking is that it wasn't that long ago. I would also venture to guess, it's possible this still occurs to some level. We've come a long way in our country, but we still have a ways to go. I talked to my grandmother about this book and because she lived in Virginia and the rest of our family was from up north this was something they had heard of in those days but never saw with their own eyes. 

So the movie was amazing, BUT THE BOOK IS EVEN BETTER. I just finished it this morning. It's a sturdy 530 pages but you'll flip through it in a few days. I could barely put the book down. I didn't want it to end. I feel like this is a book that should be in the classrooms. I feel like it has all the elements of a good book. Though a novel, this book is loosely based off the writer's life in Jackson, Mississippi. I wonder what the people of Jackson, Mississippi think about this book? I am sure it gets mixed reviews. I would definitely put this book on your list of MUST READs for 2012 if you haven't read it already. I think it reminds us, even in today's time, that we are all people. We are all God's creation. We may have a different color of skin, different background, different culture, BUT we're still ALL human and people.  We should treat each other with love, respect and without judgement regardless of our differences. I feel like this is a good lesson for all of us to remember.
7 by Jen Hatmaker.
I learned of this book from a friend when looking for a new read. This one has already started to blow my mind. We live in a day and age where we feel like we need a new dress for every occasion, a new bathing suit each summer, another pair of gold or silver sandals, another bag of chips, a newer car, a new pair of earrings or bracelet to add that new pop to an outfit. 

All of it....excess. 

I'm guilty.

This book is gritty and disturbing. I LOVE IT! What I love is Jen writes honestly about her relatable shortcomings and she's HILARIOUS!!! BONUS! Her writing style cracks me up. I feel like I'm sitting down with a best friend. I'm not far into this book, but it already has me thinking and looking around my life and home. She talks about how the point of scripture and meeting Jesus isn't to simply study, but to transform us and change the course of our life. If there is not transformation when meeting Jesus, then we've missed the whole point and "forest for the trees".

If you're up for some honest, challenging, and funny realizations...this book is for you. 

The Poisonwood Bible: Barbara Kingsolver

I have this one on CASSETTE TAPE!!! LOL
One of my besties told me about this book. It's about 10 years old, but she said it's worth the read. I found out my mother-in-law had it on tape so we swapped books. I gave her Kisses from Katie, Hole in the Gospel and There's No Me Without You for 8 cassette tapes and a walkman. You read that right...A WALKMAN!!!! I should have held on to mine from years ago. Ha!

This book is about a family who goes to Africa as missionaries. The author states, "This tale of one family's tragic undoing and remarkable reconstruction, over the course of three decades in postcolonial Africa, is set against history's most dramatic political parables." 

This is also a novel but almost seems real. I haven't gotten too far, but this one is really good. I'll keep you posted.
Barefoot Church: Brandon Hatmaker

You may recognize the name...HATMAKER. Yep, this is the husband of the earlier book, 7 by Jen HATMAKER. 
If you follow our blog you know I am training for a half marathon in February to support two women: Gina and Abby with their fearless and faithful battle against breast cancer. I won't lie, it's not easy to keep to the training plan. I often have to force myself to go run when I would rather take a day off. I made a commitment and I have to follow through. I have to listen to music to keep up the energy. While I run, my mind often wanders and I get caught up meditating on aspects of life. Lately, I have struggled with some music. The style gives me energy but the lyrics can be less than "good". I find Christian music a little slow for running so I struggle with what to listen to. I got this idea of finding a good audiobook for my iPod. I remembered someone talking about this book and thought I'd see if it was on audiobook. SURE ENOUGH!!!
 I downloaded and tuned in for my moderate run yesterday. I was finished with my run before I knew it. I was fixated on the words of this book. This is also going to be a "game changer" for me. In a nutshell it's about how organized religion gets so focused on bringing people to the four walls of their church. They raise all this money to invest in a building when there are people starving, people homeless, people thirsty, etc. This book isn't just talking about things that happen in third world countries but things that are happening to people in our own neighborhood, city, state and country. Yet, we turn a blind eye. As Christians, is that really ok? I don't think so and this books stirs you to deepen that belief. Biblically, God doesn't call us to bring people to a building, but to GO AND MEET people's needs right where they are.  Christ didn't hold events posted in the temple's bulletin to bring people to the temple. NOPE! He went out to the people. 
This book is about moving. It's about getting out of your comfort zone and meeting the needs of others. Not just the homeless, poor, needy, widows and orphan, BUT ALSO your "neighbor". It could be for any reason, but simply taking your eyes beyond "self" and becoming more like Jesus and the God who will come again. The God who will come again not from a specific religion, but simply as God to take His people home. 
It's about taking off your Nine West, Michael Kors, Uggs, Anthropolgie purchased, Keens, Calvin Klein, Gucci, or Tory Burch shoes and becoming "barefoot". Letting go and meeting the needs of other right where they are.

Another game changer.

Well there you have it! That's what I am reading AND listening to these days. Phew...that's a lot of reading and listening!!! So far, I am loving this new batch of books!!!

Now I am curious...
Whatcha Reading? What books are sitting on your nightstand???
I'm always looking for a new book to read!


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