Thursday, October 3, 2019

Nine Books Worth Reading - Or Listening To!

I recently went along with Alan Shepard, the first American in space. I also orbited the earth with John Glenn. And then I flew in Apollo 11 and experienced the amazement of being the first human to set foot on the moon along with Neil Armstrong. It was a fascinating experience!

Of course, I didn't actually join these men. But I listened to the book Shoot for the Moon; The space race and the extraordinary voyage of Apollo 11 by James Donovan. Although I'm not into rockets, space, or even sci-fi, this book captivated my attention (and made doing mundane jobs like cleaning floors and dusting more enjoyable).  It's just one of the books I've gone through this year. And one I would recommend.

Since October is National Book Month, I thought I would tell you about some of the books that I've read or listened to recently. Maybe you are looking for a good book for yourself or to read to you family. I am a voracious reader and my favorite genre is biography or autobiography, but I venture out into other categories as well. I remember enjoying Eddie Rickenbacker's biography so much that I read chapters of it to my kids during a car ride. They were engrossed by his exploits as a WW1 Ace, race car driver, and his twenty-four days adrift in the Pacific after his plane went down. At the time, my four children were aged five to fourteen. And yet it held all their attention.  A book that will help connect your family, doesn't have to be a children's story!

I find most of my books through our public library's electronic lending library, but I also read paper copies checked out from there and loans from friends. Once in a while I even bite the bullet and buy a book! Here are some more books I've enjoyed recently.

Daring to Drive: A Saudi woman's awakening by Manal Al-Sharif. This is the story of a woman in Saudi Arabia who went from being a strict Muslim, even melting her brother's cassette tapes in the oven because they were not allowed, to challenging the status quo to be able to do the simple activity of driving herself around town. She never intended to become an activist, but ended up even going to prison to fight for her rights.

My daughter was in the Middle East recently looking into Arabic language schools, so I read another book that she had about Middle Eastern culture: Miniskirts, Mothers, and Muslims: A Christian woman in a Muslim land by Christine Mallouhi, an Australian married to an Arab. The book is full of anecdotes about herself and other expats who were learning how to live in the Middle Eastern cultures and their successes and failures. I found it particularly interesting because there were parts I could relate to having lived in South America and also made me wonder what faux pas I have made in various parts of the world that we have visited for our work with Emmaus International

I decided to take a plunge into some fiction for a while and listened to Lynette Eason's series Hidden Identity, No One to Trust, Nowhere to Turn, and No Place to Hide. I have to say that I find most Christian fiction insipid and most secular fiction too immoral to want to read, so these books were a refreshing change. My one complaint was that there was a lot of killing. The books do tend to follow a pattern after a while, but it was still a fun read, or actually, listen.

I listened to Orphan Train Rider: One boy's true story, by Andrea Warren. This is the story of one of the children who rode on the trains in the early 1900's to find a family in the midwest because their parents were dead or unable to care for them. The chapters are interwoven between historical facts about the 200,000 children who rode these trains and Lee Nailling's own story of his life as one of the children who had to leave all his family and start a new life at nine years old.

Usually I am enjoying two books at the same time, one to read and one to listen to. I generally get two very different genres so I don't confuse the stories. I'm currently reading How I Know God Answers Prayer by Rosalind Goforth, a book that encourages me to take every need and desire to the Lord in prayer.  And I'm listening to Becoming Dallas Willard: The formation of a philosopher, teacher and Christ follower by Gary W. Moon. This is the October free book from I have appreciated some of Dallas' writing in the past, so I thought I would enjoy his biography. I have only listened to about an hour of it so far, but it is amazing to hear what difficulties God allows people to go through to allow them to be used later in life by Him.

So tell me, what are you reading these days? I'm always on the lookout for books worth reading!

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