Throughout 2019, I am documenting reviews on the books I read each month. I love getting reading recommendations from others, so my goal is to be a similar resource. Here are my thoughts on the books I read this past month:

1. Appointment with death | Agatha christie | fiction
  • In five words: Who killed the matronly curmudgeon?
  • My thoughts: Agatha Christie is my go-to author when I’m wanting a fun and lighthearted read. I love the way she thickens the plot with multiple, complex relationships before slowly narrowing it down. While this wasn’t my favorite of her books (that crown belongs to And Then There Were None), it was quite enjoyable; particularly due to the fascinating Middle Eastern setting.
  • Key quote: “On the whole, you know, people tell you the truth. Because it is easier! Because it is less strain on the inventive faculties! You can tell one lie – or two lies – or three lies or even four lies – but you cannot lie all the time. And so – the truth becomes plain.”
2. If You only knEW | Jamey Ivie | Nonfiction
  • In five words: Transparent testimonies bring God glory.
  • My thoughts: I grew up in a Christian home. So in many ways, I resonated with Jamie’s good-Christian-girl identity. And though I have not had the same sin struggles that she has, I was gripped by her Prodigal Child story. I’ve been her. I am her. And thus, I found her testimony incredibly encouraging. Specifically, it was a good reminder that the Church has largely dropped the ball in regard to transparency and brokenness; As Christians, we shouldn’t feel ashamed to say, “Yes, I struggle too.” Jamie is an excellent model of godly transparency and humility. While the writing isn’t stellar (is it ever really that good in biographies by non-writers?), the story is clear and compelling.
  • Key quote: “God didn’t choose you and then find out about all your mistakes. He knew about your sin and chose you to be His daughter anyway.” 
3. A.D 33 | Ted dekker | Fiction
  • In five words: Jesus befriends a hopeless woman.
  • My thoughts: After reading A.D. 30, I knew I wanted to read the sequel. Unfortunately, it fell short for me. I think it’s only fair to judge a book with strict standards when the author uses Jesus as one of the main characters; That’s a tall task, and while Dekker did some things really well, this book was lacking for me. I was fully gripped by the early scenes with Jesus and his crucifixion. I also found that this book opened my eyes to his suffering and live in a wonderful new way. Yet, I found the shifting love interest (Judah to Saba) to be contrary to early characterization of the men in the first book. I was also really annoyed with the book’s ending. It seemed like Dekker was trying so hard to craft an epic ending; but it really just came off as dramatic and a little cringe-worthy. Again: If you’re going to characterize the Lord in your writing, you’d better do it with expertise and care. Dekker’s approach,while valiant effort, was lacking.
  • Key quote: “He learned obedience through what he suffered… Right now Yeshua was like me. He too suffered without advantage, and this truth drew me to him as I had never been.”
4. The reason for god | tim keller | nonFiction
  • In five words: Let’s address the tough questions.
  • My thoughts: I found Keller’s insights to be, while not exhaustive, extremely helpful and sound. I definitely don’t recommend listening to this as an audiobook though- it needs to be read and meditated on, and I’ll likely re-read it in the future to do just that. The content is helpful because the questions are ones that people have and will ask me. I want to be able to mark them up in a physical book to better ingrain them in my memory.
  • Key quote: “[It is] impossible…to stay fully human if you refuse the cost of forgiveness, the substitutional exchange of love, and the confinements of community…You were made for mutually self-giving, other directed love. Self-centeredness destroys the fabric of what God has made.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s