Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Stack

It seems as though every new January comes with a new intentionality. I reflect
on ways that I can prioritize different areas of my life, and one of those areas is reading. Last week I went to our bookshelves and pulled this stack of books that I intend to read during the next twelve months. However, being a woman, I reserve the right to change my mind. Since I already have a new book on order, that is a real likelihood. And if you'll look closely, you will notice several of the books have bookmarks protruding, indicating that my prior intentionality didn't quite pan out. That's why I avoid the word resolution.  ;)

Here's the line-up:

Fiction selections:

Strong Poison by Dorothy Sayers, one of her Lord Peter Wimsey murder mysteries. Why? Ashlea recently named her new kitty after Sayers' mystery sleuth, title and all. Weird reason, maybe, but perhaps not any more unusual than naming a cat after a fictional detective. Unusualness seems to run in the family.  

The Code of the Woosters by P. G. Wodehouse.  I have never read anything by Wodehouse, so it's about time!

1984 by George Orwell.  Why?  I'm making up for my poor high school education.  I graduated in the '70s. . .need I say more?   

The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky. Getting through this classic has become a life goal, and this will be my third attempt. I am determined to make the third time the "charm." Better start on this one soon!

Joel and I are also reading through the Lord of the Rings trilogy together; it's probably the only way I would make it through those books.

Theology/Christian selections:  

Love in Hard Places by D. A. Carson. Admittedly, I need some encouragement when it comes to loving and forgiving those who have hurt or disappointed me.

The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. After reading the excellent biography of Bonhoeffer by Eric Metaxas, I want to meditate more on the difference between "cheap grace" and "costly grace" from the writings of one who lived the latter.  

Pillars of Grace:  A Long Line of Godly Men (A.D. 100 - 1564) by Steven Lawson - a survey of church history. I've often heard the names, so it's time I read about the church fathers who held fast to the doctrines of grace through the centuries.

What Jesus Demands from the World by John Piper - my book club read for this year. Piper reflects on fifty of the commands of Christ in connection with his person and work.  

Other selections:

Undaunted Courage by Stephen Ambrose - the adventures of Lewis and Clark and the opening of the American West. Historical reads are always fascinating to me.  

The Road to Serfdom by F. A. Hayek.  My political/economic fix for the year, and a timely look at the relation between individual liberty and government control. I hope I have the brain power to process this one.  

The Consequences of Ideas by R. C. Sproul.  An overview of the concepts that have shaped our world - my dabble in philosophy.  

Tesla, Margaret Cheney's look at one of the twentieth centuries' greatest scientists and inventors.  Now I'm wondering why I selected this book since I'm not science-oriented, other than it's a biography. . .oh, and Tesla was a character in one of my favorite movies, The Prestige. ;)

And last but by no means least, Down the Garden Path by Beverley Nichols.  I'm continually grateful to my friend Roxie for introducing me to the works of this delightful author. I read several of his books last year as he recounted the refurbishing of his English manor Merry Hall and its gardens. And I am currently working through one of his books on cats.  It's truly a shame that Nichols' prolific writings have fallen off the reading landscape. I'm sure I'll being adding more Nichols' books to the list.

Reading Regret:  I read all of Erik Larson's (link) books over the course of the last year or so, and how I wish there was one to add to this year's list!  His book In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin is being made into a movie and will be released sometime this year; though I already know it won't measure up to the book.  

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