The Paradoxes of Mr. Pond by G. K. Chesterton
Mr. Pond is an odd character. He's always saying things that just don't make sense...at first. Take this from the first story, "The Three Horsemen of Apocalypse" : "... Grock failed because his soldiers obeyed him. Of course, if ONE of his soldiers had obeyed him, it wouldn't have been so bad. But when TWO of his soldiers obeyed him--why, really, the poor old devil had no chance."
And then there were the two doctors who "came to agree so completely that one of them naturally murdered the other..."
I'm enjoying this book. :)
Her Father's Daughter by Gene Stratton Porter
I've only just begun this title, but expect it will be an enjoyable, if somewhat flowery read. Porter's interest in birds and plants again comes to the fore in this story of a young girl living on the outskirts of 1920's Los Angeles.
The Radical Reformission: Reaching Out Without Selling Out by Mark Driscoll
This book took me a while to finish, simply because I found it hard to get past Driscoll's tone. I found it both overly familiar--this diminished after the first chapter or so-- and times abrasive. However, now that I've made it to the end, I find myself wanting to read it again. There are many things he says about evangelism and culture that make me uncomfortable. But this is a good thing, because I am forced to ask myself "why?".
One thing in this book that I appreciate is the emphasis on evangelism through hospitality. This is an area I would like to grow in. Here are a few other things I've been thinking over:
"The way to avoid sin is not to avoid sinners but to stick close to Jesus." (p. 40)
"As long as Christians fail to repent of self-righteousness, we will continue to speak of evengelism in terms such as outreach, which implies we will not embrace lost people but will keep them at least an arm's length away." (p. 78)
"Jesus told us that the kingdom will be filled with joy, and so we make it a habit to take God very seriously and everything else very lightly." (p. 187)
My husband has written a review which covers the contents of this book more in depth.
The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey
A mark of a good book of historical fiction is that it makes you want to read some real history. Even better if a bit of mystery is in the mix. This book fits the bill. It's a criminal investigation held hundred of years after the suspect(s) and victims are dead. On trial: Richard III.
Overall a great read, even though I was quite irritated at some historical revisionism regarding the Covenanters. Seems a bit much to marginalise them as simply political radicals, none of whom actually died for their faith.
From the Holy Mountain by William Dalrymple
A travel book in which Dalrymple retraces the steps of John Moschos, a 6th century monk who traversed Byzantium in its declining years, and then wrote a book called the Spiritual Meadow . I suppose what I liked best about the Holy Mountain was how I could learn ancient and modern history simultaneously. I was fascinated by the accounts of many strange sects, such as the Stylites, ascetics who lived on top of pillars. This book gave me a greater understanding of the difficulties that Christians face in the Middle East, and of the complexity of the issues behind conflict in the Holy Land.
Lincoln's Dreams by Connie Willis
One of the most intense books I've read. Probably wasn't a good idea to pick this up right after finishing Fahrenheit 451! Lincoln's Dreams is the story of a young researcher who meets a girl who is having very strange dreams. He soon concludes that they are not actually her dreams, but the dreams of Robert E. Lee, somehow transferred across the years (an idea I found quite disturbing). He sets out to help her, and soon finds himself in a bit of a predicament. There is a twist to this story that in retrospect I should have picked up on sooner. A very strange story.