I love to review books. It makes me think about what I’m reading more deeply and forces me to understand multiple facets of the book that I might not have thought of otherwise. However, I mostly review the Christian life/theological books that I read. Not fiction. Ironic for an aspiring novelist, I know.
So today I thought I’d give you a look at my Goodreads “Currently Reading” shelf. Am I doing it to prove that I read more than just nonfiction? Or as a chance to write mini reviews about everything I’m reading? Maybe. But, either way, I wanted to share with you the books that I’m in the middle of reading. And maybe you’ll have some suggestions for where to go next…
The Sacred Search by Gary Thomas
Yes, I’m starting with a nonfiction book, even after all that about needing to review more fiction. It was at the top of the list though. The Sacred Search takes a look at why we get married and thinks about whether those are good reasons. Is being “in love” enough to sustain a marriage through the decades? And if not, what is? Now, I’m not contemplating getting married any time soon – don’t worry. But I know it never hurts to be a little more prepared when that time does come.
The Little Prince (Der Kleine Prinz) by Antonie de Saint-Exupery
Somehow, I made it through childhood without reading this book, so now I’m discovering the little boy who rules his own planet for the first time. In German. That’s right – senior year rocks when your German assignment is to read a children’s book, complete with pictures.
Dreamlander by K.M. Weiland
I have taken a break from this one to finish off a few other books that I’m almost done with. However, I love the out of the ordinary plot involving the real world and a dream world. One thing that K.M. Weiland excels at is world-building and this is no exception. It is one of those books that is fun to read, but definitely has some substance to it.
Gregor and the Marks of Secret by Suzanne Collins
This is one that I’m reading to my little brothers, albeit very slowly. The fourth book in the Gregor the Overlander series sends twelve-year-old Gregor on another adventure involving saving the city of Regalia in the aftermath of a devastating plague. This is my second time through the series and it’s still fun to read.
Just Write by James Scott Bell
I’m not sure I can honestly include this in “Currently Reading” seeing as it’s been several months since I last read some of it. But it is an interesting book on not only the craft of writing fiction, but also what a life of fiction writing looks like. James Scott Bell’s perspective as an author has been valuable through this book and I should probably start it over.
The Berlin Candy Bomber by Gail S. Halvorsen
Do you ever get to the last chapter of a book and then inexplicably not finish it? Yeah. This is the sweet and heroic story of the man who dropped candy for children during the Berlin airlift after WWII. It’s a little dense with military (and especially airforce) language, but worth the read. Now to finish off those last 30 pages…
Crazy Busy by Kevin DeYoung
My mom and I are reading this for a Sunday School class and it has changed the way I’m thinking about busyness and obligations, even four chapters in. DeYoung writes about the problem of busyness in America today and how we’re hurting ourselves. But he also provides key truths about us and God that should change how we see our busyness – and make us think twice before signing up to organize another event. This might come back as a full review at the end of the semester, but I recommend it already.
Notes from Underground and The Double by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
I finished Notes from Underground for school and wanted to read The Double on my own. The former is a jab at what would become of society should the ideals of Romanticism be realized (if I remember correctly from class). The nameless narrator tells stories that illustrate his version of freedom: bitterness and acting against his own self interest just because he can. It was a little bit disturbing to read, but very intriguing to listen to that perspective.
When People are Big and God is Small by Edward T. Welch
I’m reading this one with a woman who is discipling me and we’ve just finished chapter two. This book is about fear of man versus fear of God. It takes a look at the root of our fear of man (because pretty much everyone fears people to some extent) and I’m hoping it will go on to explore how to more fully fear God instead.
Cress by Marissa Meyer
This book is, admittedly, not the most scholarly of what I’m reading right now. It’s serving as some light reading (listening, actually – I’ve got the audio book) in the middle of all of the heavy reading I have for other purposes. The third book in the Lunar Chronicles mixes fairy tales with dystopia to form a new kind of future. It holds my attention while driving or running and gives a nice break from the the seriousness of life. It also provides a good opportunity to look past the story into the themes and messages and examine whether those are true or not.
Beyond Good and Evil by Nietzsche
Okay, so this one’s for school and I don’t understand it at all. Based on class this week, it’s apparently about postmodernism. Nietzsche has kind of a sarcastic tone in his writing, in my opinion, and is not respectful of women at all (beware, ye feminists). I’m going to keep working on understanding his philosophy though, because I know it would be valuable to understand.
Battle Cry of Freedom by James M. McPherson.
Another book for school, but I love this one! Battle Cry of Freedom is an 800 page history of the Civil War. McPherson writes about all the contributing factors and looks at each side of the war by quoting directly from speeches, letters, books, and newspapers written at that time. Some of my classmates have called it dense and don’t seem to be enjoying it as much, but this future history major is loving every page.
A Confusion of Princes by Garth Nix
This is another for-fun one that I’m reading rather slowly. It’s a dystopia set on different planets. The universe is ruled by millions of princes and this book tells the story of one of those princes coming into his title. So far, I’m enjoying it. I chose this book because I’m outlining a dystopian right now and I want to consider as many aspects of the genre as I can in the hopes of making my book unique and meaningful.
So there you have it. The exhaustive list of books I am in the middle of reading. I keep saying I need to finish a few and pare the list down so I can focus more on what I’m reading, but the number keeps staying the same. And it’s nice to have such a variety going at once.
Now I’d like to know: what are you reading? Do you have any recommendations for me? Have you read any of these books before? Comment and let me know! I’d love to hear your thoughts.