Last year, when embarking on this conscious journey to become better / more / whatever the word should be, I made the declaration that not only was I going to make myself read more in 2013, but I was going to write about what I had read.
When I initially thought about this catch up post, I was going to chastise myself and try to explain why I had failed so. Then I thought about it and you know what? I read a ton in 2013, I might not have completed my list, but I read books not on there and I also read more blogs than I ever expected to read in my entire life. It’s amazing how much pleasure can be found in reading blogs, prior to entering this world I’d probably never have believed you if you told me.
When on vacation recently I finished up a book that I have been reading (very slowly) over the last year. I found myself really enjoying reading, I enjoyed the peace and quiet, I enjoyed being still and completely against my norm, I enjoyed the tv being off. So without trying to make it a chore, I am once again going to try and read some actual books this year. I mean, I have half a shelf full of unread books, it only makes sense to read them!
So lets see if I can remember enough of the undocumented books I have read in the last year to at least say something on them.
Fire in the hole by Elmore Leonard
This is the book I finished on vacation. It is a collection of excellently written short stories. The title story was the inspiration behind the tv show Justified, my favorite show. I expected that to be my favorite part of the book, however knowing exactly what was going to happen definitely detracted from that somewhat & I found myself enjoying some of the other stories more. Short stories are an interesting concept to me, they allow you to read the story & then put the book down without being compelled to start the next story. This is convenient, but if you’re like me can make for a very extended book reading. It is nice to be able to complete the tale in one sitting, however in the case of most of these stories I found myself wishing there was another chapter, they were just that well written. I really enjoyed this book and already have another collection of the late Mr Leonard’s stories waiting to be read.
Fathered by God by John Eldredge
I read this book as part of a study with my men’s group at church. It is both an excellent book and an excellent guide to authentic manhood. In today’s broken and confused society with so many man finding themselves as adult children as opposed to having masculinity bestowed on them as it should be; this book in the context of a healthy group study is an invaluable tool. It can really help to straighten things out in your mind, help you find healing, help you find some direction and purpose and help you to recover some of the lost parts of growing up that we all have.
It’s not about me by Max Lucado
Another book that we read as part of a study, the great part for that use is that the study guide is contained in the book itself. The book is interesting, it starts of kind of basic and feels a bit simple, yet every chapter deepens, the book will open your eyes are really challenge you with how you live your life and live out your faith. The last chapter of the book is probably the most powerful word picture I have seen with regards to how we as Christians represent the Father and how we live our lives shapes the perspective and opinion of God for those who have not met Him yet. It is worth reading for the last chapter alone!