Thursday, March 22, 2012

Book Club Reads Year 2

2007 was not disappointing.  We read some of the best, and some of the worst.

 January 2007
This is a classic told in letter form and this format allows us to hear the training methods used by Satan when teaching his assistant devils the best way to trap us.  The one I remember most is false humility.  It is easy to become proud of our supposed righteousness.  It is hard to see in ourselves but it is very visible in others. This leads to the deadly spiral of judgments and self-righteousness.

February 2007
This is the story of a friendship between two Jewish boys in New York City.  One is the son of a professor at a university and the other is the son of a Rabbi.  The Rabbi's family is extremely orthodox while the professor's family is more liberal.   The friendship begins as they are thrown together by accident.  The fathers understand how much the boys need each other even though the boys don't see it at first.  
This is an excellent read.  It is one of Potok's best.

We had two books this month.  The Woman in White was a longer read that we spread over a few months.  It is a very traditional English story with class conflict, romance and a ghost.

This is one my dad recommended to me when the first Laser Tag games came out.  It has a special place in my heart because it is a story we both enjoyed.  Ender's Game is the science fiction story of a very intelligent boy who is tricked into saving the world.  He is taught strategy and war through games.  This is the first of a series about Ender.  It isn't necessary to read the whole series but I would recommend following up with Ender's Shadow.  It is the story of another boy named Bean.  His story is happening at the same time as Ender's and the reader learns that Bean, a smaller character in Ender's Game, is actually instrumental in Ender's success.

April 2007
I didn't like this book at all.  The characters are selfish and the author justifies their bad behavior and choices based on the modern world view that "if it works for you, then it is OK."  That view bugs me.  
The story deals with lies in a marriage, the death of a child, and the worth of children born with disabilities.

May 2007
This is a fun fantasy.  What would you do if you were suddenly the ruler of a Magic Kingdom?  What if all the fairy tales were true and the "real world" was the world of fog and dreams?

June 2007

I think My Antonia was another long read although both books have some similarities.  My Antonia takes place during the homesteading years of the American mid-west and Walk Two Moons  is modern but both contain a journey for a young girl in search of answers and for something better than what they have now.  They both discuss the influence mother's have on their daughters specifically the absence of a mother.  Both main characters eventually find their way home and realize that is where they belonged all along.

July 2007
This is the true story of a man who lost his sight as a boy.  We are taught the ways he has learned to cope with the loss and what he can truly see with other senses.  He is able to use his memory of sight and his imagination to visualize the world and people around him.  He realizes that this ability is really a blessing and helps to reduce the pain of the loss of his sight.  

August 2007
I found this story bizarre which made me lose interest in it.  I may finish it one day just to mark it off my list but for now I don't find it necessary.  The local play house presented the musical and we all went to see the play together.  I enjoyed the play very much and the part of the story it portrays.  I just wish the rest of the book was as good.

September 2007

This is one of the books that had emotions running high.  The book is about a man who feels guilt for his betrayal of a boyhood friend.  He returns to the middle east to try to find the friend and make amends for the hurt.  There are some difficult scenes and issues but is really a story about true friendship and redemption.

October 2007

These three books all share a child hero/heroine. The heroes are small and seemingly insignificant against great foes but they learn just how strong they really are and just how much they are loved by those around them. It is fun to read and reread children's book as an adult.  There are may levels of lessons to be learned by children and adults alike.  All three have been made into movies.  The Little White Horse movie is called "The Secret of Moon Acres." 

November 2007
This author is very good at presenting important issues but I get frustrated with her style sometimes.  She often has more sex details than are necessary and I feel she includes them just for the shock effect or to seem more progressive.  I find much of it unnecessary for the story line.
There are many issues covered in this book but the major ones are euthanasia, infidelity and the different types and levels of love relationships.

December 2007
This is the love story of Mary and Joseph.  I read this book every Christmas.  It makes the relationship between Mary and Joseph come to life and they become more real to me than what I get out of the few verses of the New Testament.  The story develops the cultural hardship the divine pregnancy causes and teaches us how their relationship with God may have grown through their callings as the parents of the Christ child.  I specifically like the development of Joseph as he fears he will lose the love of his life and comes to realize that the Christ is being sent him to care for as much as He is sent to Mary. He discovers that the love between them is one of the major qualifiers for their calling.

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