Thursday, November 3, 2011


*With the start of KKP I have had lots to blog about (and do in real life), so answering the questions from this post have been put on the back burner.  I am still going to answer every question as time and brain space permits- I promise.*

My friend from high school, Rachel, wanted to know what Blake and I love to read and also asked for suggestions for good reading that is Bible focused. I had already been mulling around writing a post about books because I love to read so I'm excited to answer this question.

If I had to choose only one book to recommend right now that would be Half The Sky by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. I actually wrote about this book last year and this is what I said:

Please read this book. Through firsthand accounts from women and girls who have suffered oppression, you will walk away heartbroken, inspired, and changed. I know that it is so hard for most of us to read about the brutal treatment of women, but we cannot turn a blind eye anymore. Especially if you are a woman, we owe it to other women to educate ourselves on this subject and fight for reform. As the book says, "It has probably become more dangerous to be a women than a soldier in armed conflict."

It is a book, in my opinion, that everyone should read. My second choice for a book that everyone should read is When Helping Hurts by Brian Fikkert and Steve Corbett. I think that it is required reading for all Christians who desire to help those living in poverty. Please don't go on a short term mission trip, volunteer with a local ministry, or give money to a ministry before reading this book.  We are already seeing the harmful effects of well intentioned, but ill-advised helping with the ladies in our KKP program.

The book that has had the biggest spiritual impact on my life this past year is Interrupted: An Adventure in Relearning the Essentials of Faith by Jen Hatmaker. From the back cover:

"Are you one of the millions who crave a new direction in the church? Have you had enough of religious games, empty promises, and 'playing' church? It’s time to discover what happens when Jesus interrupts an average life.

Join author Jen Hatmaker in a transformation that begins with one dangerous prayer, 'Raise up in me a passion,' and concludes with a life of service to the last, the least, the forgotten, and the forsaken.

It’s time for revolution in the church. Are you ready?"

This book is a quick read, but will rock your world. We are definitely in Peru due in part to this book.

Other books that come in as close seconds are The Hole in Our Gospel by Richard Stearns and Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream by David Platt. Currently, I am reading One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp and Blake is reading The Return of the Prodigal Son by Henri Nouwen. Blake's book recommendations are Crazy Love and Forgotten God by Francis Chan, Renovation of the Heart by Dallas Willard, The Sacred Romance by John Eldredge and Brent Curtis, and The Tangible Kingdom by Hugh Halter and Matt Smay.

I also love, love, love reading fiction books. The most moving fictional book I have read recently is Cutting For Stone by Abraham Verghese. Do not be discouraged by the length of the book because by the end you will not want it to be over. It is such a rich story with characters that will captivate you. It is also an intimate glimpse into Ethiopian culture and life. Just thinking about it makes me want to read it again.

I have been on a little bit of a reading rage since moving to Peru. The Passage by Justin Cronin is Twilight for adults (it has an actual storyline and characters with depth). Make sure you have time to read it all because you won't want to put it down. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot is a fascinating look at the ethics of science. It is actually a non-fiction book (that reads as a novel for most of the book) about an African-American woman whose cells were taken from her body without her consent. These cells went on to "make some of the most crucial innovations in modern science possible." Room by Emma Donoghue, I Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb, and The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls (also not actually fiction, but a memoir) are books worth reading.   Currently I am reading The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.

Of course, I'm obsessed with The Hunger Games and recently bought the first book in Spanish. I decided if I was going to have to read in Spanish it was going to be the most amazing book ever. Strong statement I know, but as I said, I'm obsessed. I love how the topics of justice, power, corruption, and war are explored in this series. I know that the Capital and the actual Hunger Games are over-the-top, but the reality of that world is not that far from the reality of our world today.  (And I don't mean the whole apocalypse stuff, but rather the theme of have and have-nots.)

So, what is everyone else's favorite books? Most life changing? Most informative? Most challenging?  And most importantly, Team Peeta or Team Gale?

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