Aliens in the Apple

Books we’ve read recently

Ben 24 Mar 2012 Books Culture Thought-provoking

For your interest, here’s a list of some of the books we’ve read in the last year or so, with a tiny summary of each. Most of them are really good. I’ve put B after the author’s name if only I’ve read it, F if just Franci’s read it, or BF if we’ve both read it. Feel free to ask further about specific books if you’d like!

So here goes, in more or less our reading order:

The Reason for God by Tim Keller (B). Great book by the well-known New York City pastor answering doubts about and defending the Christian faith from a thinking point of view.

Total Truth by Nancy Pearcey (B). A lengthy but very readable look at how Christianity is not just a private matter, but should affect the public sphere as well. Some overlap with Keller’s book.

The Hobbit, by J. R. R. Tolkien (B). I read this to Marica almost a year ago now.

The Good of Affluence: Seeking God in a Culture of Wealth by John Schneider (B). A thought-provoking discussion about how wealth can be compatible with Christianity. Schneider critiques left-leaning folks such as Ronald Sider.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith (BF). Really engaging novel written from the perspective of a girl from a very poor family in Brooklyn, set around 1912.

The Dragon’s Tooth by N. D. Wilson (BF). Doug Wilson’s son has a serious imagination. A strange and full-on but compelling story, definitely American rather than British. Complete with its own book trailer video.

One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp (F). A book that transformed Franci’s outlook on life to becoming more thankful to God for everything — from the simple to the profound.

My Name is Asher Lev and The Chosen (BF) and The Gift of Asher Lev and The Promise, all by Chaim Potok (F). Very readable and interesting novels, all about orthodox Jewish boys and their interaction with the “outside world”.

When People are Big and God is Small by Ed Welch (F). An interesting look at keeping things in perspective, and overcoming the fear of man.

Loving the Little Years by Rachel Jankovic (BF). A very encouraging look at how to pursue motherhood joyfully. One of Franci’s favourite books about mothering kids.

A Book of Bees: And How to Keep Them by Sue Hubbell (F). A creative look at bee farming — Franci said it’s a great read whether or not you’ll ever keep bees.

C. S. Lewis: A Biography by A. N. Wilson (B). Very interesting, though too Freudian for my taste, and somewhat factually incorrect. Here’s a thoughtful, critical review of this biography.

The Four Loves by C. S. Lewis (B). Discusses four kinds of love: affection, friendship, romance, and charity. Very perceptive in places, though overall not one of my favourite Lewis books.

Sleeping Murder and The Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie (F). The first and last of the Mrs Marple detective stories. A light and easy read.

Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo (F). The account of a father whose young son had a near-death experience and described things he saw in heaven, despite never having been taught about those things. Franci said it was a fascinating read, even if she didn’t agree with it all. She was expecting much worse after reading this very negative review.

Lord Peter (a collection of Lord Peter Whimsey stories) by Dorothy Sayers (F). Sayers is a fantastic mystery writer, and Franci marvels at how she comes up with such different scenarios for each of her stories.

Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White (F). Franci read this classic to Marica recently.

The Gift of the Magi and Other Short Stories by O. Henry (BF). Punchy, twist-at-the-end short stories.

Wordsmithy: Hot Tips for the Writing Life by Douglas Wilson (BF). Short and fun book with things writers should think about. Not the usual list of grammatical advice.

The Chronicles of Narnia, by C. S. Lewis (B). I just finished reading the last of these to Marica (for the second time). Brilliant, and they get better every time.

Comments (4)

Bruce Hoyt 24 Mar 2012 at 12:06pm

Warms my heart to see the list of books you are reading. I’m presently in the middle of Bonhoeffer (reading to Lois) and Jonathan Edwards. Both excellent about two very different men.

Have you ever checked out: ?

lianahavelaar 24 Mar 2012 at 5:50pm

I’m amazed at what you read to just-turned-five Marica! We’re partway through the Narnia books now with the girls, but that’s only the first time through!
So I’m curious - do the books with BF by them mean that you’ve read them aloud together?
Franci, have I recommended “The Mission of Motherhood” by Sally Clarkson to you yet? Rather different from Loving the Little Years, but one I also really appreciated (and need to re-read).

Laurel 25 Mar 2012 at 3:50am

I love reading browsing book lists, for ideas of good books … now to just get time to read them. I should ask Robert to put together a list of what he’s been reading sometime as he reads a lot more than me, quite widely too.

Am enjoying “Little Britches” by Ralph Moody (at Liana’s recommendation) right now - I read it quickly first, and now am reading it to the family.

Ben 26 Mar 2012 at 5:55pm

Thanks, Dad. No, I hadn’t heard of LibraryThing. Sounds similar to Goodreads, which I had heard of. Can you describe why I’d want to join either?