Books on the Road

There are few things in life that make me feel more secure and content than a large supply of books. I like to have lots of them on my shelves, keep a few in my purse and take them with me when I travel.

I like to have between 3 and 5 different books going at the same time:

  • a page-turner for entertainment
  • something deep and reflective to savor
  • the Bible to lift me out of the mundane and keep my focus where it needs to be
  • and something instructive to keep learning, growing, moving

While on vacation in the U.S. this year my sister (who is arguably one of the most awesome people ever born) gave me an entire shelf-full of books, and inspired economist husband (another of the most awesome people to ever walk the earth) to get me a kindle for Christmas.

The page turners (which I highly recommend) were the three books from Suzanne Collin’s “The Hunger Games” series. Great stories, set in a futuristic North America ruled by a vicious capital similar to ancient Rome where children are chosen from surrounding districts to fight to the death in what are known as the annual “Hunger Games”.

I liked the powerful female heroine in this book, the emotion and adrenaline-filled scenes, and the futuristic setting with so many haunting parallels to today’s consumerist culture.

Also, the first book is being made into a movie!

The reflective book that I read was another title from Donald Miller called “Father Fiction: Chapters for a Fatherless Generation.”

It was typical Donald Miller fantastic-ness, with lots of laughs, lots of underlining and absolutely zero tolerance for taking yourself too seriously.

I liked his thoughts on God’s desire to father us, and how real-life fathers are often such a poor example of the amazing Father example God wants to show us.

One quote I liked had more to do with self-righteousness than with father issues and made me think about how hypocritical I and so many other church-going Christians are.

I’m pretty good at following traditional church rules. I am, if you like, one of the most obsessively “good girl” types you’ll ever meet. I like being the “good girl” – turning in my library books on time, being careful to wear modest clothing and always saying thank you. Sadly, for me, and for many other Christians I think, this rule-following is more of an attempt to gain approval from God and your mom and your Sunday School teacher than anything else. What I like is that God never actually meant for it to be that way. He wanted love to come first and obedience/good behavior second.

“We obey God. Scripture says if we love God we will obey Him. It’s cause and effect. Most people turn it around and think of it like a dysfunctional father-and-son-relationship. We obey because we don’t want to get in trouble. We obey because we want Dad’s approval. We try to make obedience the cause and love the effect, but it doesn’t work. We will eventually bag the whole thing. Love comes first.” -Donald Miller

Great book. What have you been reading lately? Any recommendations? Any good quotes?

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3 Responses to Books on the Road

  1. Hi Elizabeth,

    RYC, I really enjoyed seeing you and talking with you last week too. It’s always odder over a loud table with lots of people, but it was nice to catch up and hear what’s on your brain.

    Hmm, I didn’t know Donald Miller had another book out. That father discussion with the obedience/love discussion reminds me of Keller’s prodigal son story that culminates in murder. Whew. Jason Sorley and Mark used to have good discussions about that parable.

    What other books fill up your new bookshelf area? 🙂

    Jennifer
    http://www.jenniferdougan.com

    • Hi Jen!
      Actually, the Donald Miller book isn’t a new one – I guess it’s his “To Own A Dragon” book with a new title. It wasn’t what I expected the book to be – I think I thought it would focus a lot more on father issues, but it was a lot about Christianity and misperceptions about God (or at least that’s what stood out to me.)
      Currently reading: Ann Voskamp’s “One Thousand Gifts” and Julia Child’s “My Year In France” – both really good so far…!
      Have you read the Keller Prodigal Son book?
      E

  2. Pingback: Russia’s Untouchables | Breakfast in Moscow

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