The Semi-annual Book Review
My semi-annual book review is overdue. I hope the suspense hasn’t been too much for you to handle. Here is what I recommend of the books I’ve read since my last review in December 2009.
Lamb by Christopher Moore
This author creatively fills us in on Jesus’ life from the ages of 12 to 30 – the period of his life of which there is no record in the Bible. If you would be offended by Jesus traveling around Asia and healing his best friend’s STIs, then this book is not for you. If you’re intrigued, go for it. It’s great.
The God of Animals by Aryn Kyle
This story is told from the perspective of a young girl – in middle school if I’m not mistaken – growing up on a horse ranch in or around Nebraska. Her family has a lot of problems and she is struggling to find her place in all of it. Yep. It’s good.
Deception Point by Dan Brown
This one is way good, and I’ll tell you why. At the beginning of the book there’s a note saying that all the technology described in the book (mainly military/intelligence grade espionage tools) actually exists. Naturally, the whole time I was reading it, I was like, what?? NO WAY. There were other good parts too. It’s a creative storyline complete with a trip to the arctic ice cap, politics and intrigue.
The Book of Joe by Jonathan Tropper
This book is about a man (named Joe) who recently became rich and famous writing a scathing book based on events and people in his hometown. He left town at the age of 18 and managed to stay away for 17 years, until his father has a stroke and he has to go back. It’s one of those back-and-forth deals where you follow what’s going on along with fill-in chapters on what went on when he was in High School which of course is in his book and has a big effect on what is going on during his present visit.
Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi
I highly, highly recommend this book. Nafisi was a professor of English language literature in Tehran for many years during the Iranian revolution. For the last two years that she lived in Iran, she had stopped teaching at the university and instead hosted her best students in her home to study banned books. There are also equally fascinating sections on her time at the university, her relationships with her students and their relationships with the texts they study.
Pathologies of Power by Paul Farmer
Dr. Farmer has dedicated his life to serving the poor through medical care. He draws on his vast international experience – mainly in Haiti – in explaining why TB and HIV are illnesses that primarily impact the poor and oppressed. He argues that medications and healthcare are much more expensive than they should be, and that researchers also abuse participants in developing nations by studying them without providing care and treatments known to be effective. He explains what is and isn’t being done and how it can be done better. Farmer also calls out the medical and healthcare community in the US for not doing more – namely asking whether they practice medicine in order to make money, or to heal people.
Lords of the Earth by Don Richardson
I’ve written about this book elsewhere on my blog: Intimidated, Inspired, Nervous, Hopeful and Here We Go Adventuring. It’s a great book if you want to learn more about Papua, just keep in mind that it’s about just one culture within Papua and not necessarily representative of the whole island. Also, the main character is not representative of all missionaries.
Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott
Anne Lamott has one of those kind of intimidating backgrounds where she used to do drugs but doesn’t now. You know what I mean. But the great thing is, what even though it may seem like I wouldn’t be able to relate to where she’s coming from (I’ve personally never done drugs), she totally has words of wisdom that speak into my heart. Looking forward to reading more of her stuff.
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