Thursday, March 31, 2016

52 in 52 books is taking over my sleep.

Well... I am loving this challenge... But it is resulting in "accidental" late nights of reading many hours past my self imposed bed time.... Yikes! 
I'm reading a book I found on sale at Kmart called Pandora's Box. If you ever want to write a book, heaps of really short chapters are really effective at stealing sleep! All the light we cannot see was similar- many short chapters, swapping between character stories, meaning the book is devoured without realising that chapters have been finished. "Just until the end of this chapter" is a lie I've told myself pretty much all my life- it's never just to the end of the chapter, but that's not something I realise until several chapters later... Oops! 

In other news, I've almost finished book 14! 

Monday, March 28, 2016

52 in 52 book 13 - Crazy Love - Francis Chan with Danae Yankoski

Amazing. Powerful. Challenging. 
175 pages plus Q&A with the author, this is a hard hitting and challenging book that urges us to walk the talk. Be literal in faith. Don't leave God at church on Sunday. Don't let anyone be surprised when they find out you're Christian- that should be evident in every breath, if you love God and behave as if you do. 

Another book I recommend and I will read again. The call to action in this book has the power to change the world. 

Friday, March 25, 2016

52 in 52 - Book 12 - All The Light We Cannot See - Anthony Doerr

A book loaned to me by my sister, and it was amazing. 
Not QUITE unputdownable, but pretty close! 
It's been a while since I've been captured in the world of a book whilst "getting on with real life" 

The book is a fictional story based in WWII following the stories of a French girl, Marie-Laure, being raised by her widdower father; and an orphan German boy, Werner, growing up with his younger sister Jutta, and many other orphans under the care of a French house mother, Frau Elena. 
Marie-Laurie spends her days exploring and learning from professors in the museum where her father is the locksmith and master of keys. Despite losing her eyesight at age 6, she is able to use her other senses to perceive the world in colours of a different kind. 
Rumours abound of a cursed diamond, that has made its way through the rise and fall of nations and kingdoms, being stored at the museum. And when the invasion begins, it is with a precious stone that Marie-Laure and her father leave Paris on foot, walking past gridlocked traffic, a standstill caused by the occupants of the city fleeing invasion.  Marie-Laure is unaware of the stone her father carries, and he, not knowing whether it is the cursed diamond or one of 3 copies, anguishes over the risk they will be under the curse. 
The safe house arranged for them is deserted and being looted when they arrive, forcing them to press on to the seaside village his father grew up in, to the family home still occupied by his uncle, Etienne. A man haunted by ghosts of The Great War, Etienne has not left the house in decades, his radio collection allows him to be in touch with the world. 
Werner, being an orphan, will be forced into work in the coal mine as soon as he turns 15. The very place his father died. He and Jutta spend their days exploring, scavenging for extra food for the orphanage, finding odds and ends that have been discarded, and Werner's bright mind sees the patterns, asks questions, invents. He wants to be an engineer, an inventor... He fixes a found radio, then improves it, and before he knows it he is renowned as the radio repairman for the village. It is through this that he is tested and taken in to a excellent school, not knowing at the time of acceptance that he was being trained for war. 

As you can probably tell, this book has made an impression upon me. I will not spoil any more. It is a great read. 530 pages, excellently written. I highly recommend it. 

52 in 52- book 11 - Bad Girls of the Bible - Liz Curtis Higgs

So! The bible full of bad girls? I've just read about 10 of them! Eve Potiphar's wife, Lot's wife, the woman at the well, Delilah, Sapphira, Rahab, Jezebel, Michal, and "the sinful woman" 
The "badness" of these ladies varied between one bad attitude or decision, to a lifetime of sinful attitude and bad behaviour. 
But do you know what? It's far easier to relate to the imperfect than the perfect. We aren't all shiny and unblemished. We have made bad decisions and spoken in anger and without thought... But we are forgiven through faith, just like some of these women. Eve was God's hand crafted masterpiece, not made from dust like Adam, nope, created from Adam's rib. And she made a tremendous mistake in engaging in conversationwith the serpent, exaggerating God's word, and playing the blame game!! But she still went on to be the mother of humankind. She was forgiven. Women of ill repute were forgiven, just a matter of believing Christ is God and the saviour of all, and forgiveness is there for the asking. 

In May I'll be doing a 15 minute talk on one of the ladies from this book, I haven't chosen who yet, but I'm excited. Might even get some photos! 

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

52 in 52 - Book 10 - Communicating for a Change - Andy Stanley

I've listened to this one! I have listened to very few audio books, however they are quite enjoyable. This one I started months ago (in Jan) whilst driving around the south west. It was Brad's suggestion and so we put it on and I was instantly engrossed. Not only is it well written, it's easy to follow and educational (what more could a girl ask for!) the first half of the book is a story, followed by the second half, which consolidates the theories discussed in the story. I'm currently taking a public speaking course which follows this book, so already I am part way through listening (yep, weird!) to this book a second time. I think it is great, the theories in the book seem like they will require gradual implementation coinciding with growth in public speaking skill and experience. Highly recommend for anyone who does speak publicly, whether they enjoy it or loathe it- because even if you hate speaking, if you somehow get sucked into it, you should probably brush up on it!