Thursday, April 07, 2011

Good Reads.

Since getting a kindle for Christmas, I've been reading a few more new books than normal. I used to wonder if I would like using an e-reader and wasn't sure that I would, thinking I would miss the aesthetic experience of reading an actual book. Let me tell you: I LOVE our kindle - being able to carry around several books in one small reader is fantastic. And I don't really miss the physical book at all, although I feel like if I get a kindle book that I just love, I might feel compelled to buy an actual copy to own. I also love that they are less expensive than an actual book. The only down side I see is that it is almost too easy to download new books and since you don't have to put in a credit card number or anything (you order through your amazon account) it almost feels like they are all free.

Here are some recent favorites:
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks: I have been wanting to read this one ever since I first heard about it. I feel like anyone would enjoy it, but especially as a student of science I loved it. It tells the story of the woman whose cancer cells became the first immortal cell line. All through college and medical school, I'd hear about research done on the HeLa cell line, research that has enabled scientists to discover many things and cure many diseases, but never knew anything about the person from whom these cells came. Now I do. This book is a really interesting study on medical ethics, research, and the complicated relationship many African-americans have with the medical profession.

Adopted for Life : This is a great book for anyone to read, not just people who want to adopt. Russell Moore writes beautifully about what our adoption in Christ means and how we are then called to adopt. I also really loved how he talks a good deal about fostering an environment of adoption within churches and how those who do not feel called to adopt can support this work.

Reclaiming Adoption: Missional Living through the Rediscovery of Abba Father: Another exhortation to the church about why we should adopt, but this one is a little more theological than the first. Adopted for Life seemed to me to be very pastoral, which was excellent, but this one had several great chapters that even more fully described what it means to be adopted in Christ and how that should affect the way we live. Excellent reading.

The Book Thief: A very interesting novel set in Nazi Germany and narrated by Death himself. It is definitely sad (no surprise there since Death is not exactly an overly optimistic character and he's telling us about what happened during the holocaust) but has a happier ending. I think what I most enjoyed about this book was that the characters all seemed very real to me - no perfect heroes, no complete villains. I will say that in looking at the amazon page I discovered that this has sort of been marketed as a teen/YA book. There is some bad language so you might want to read before letting your kids at it. Because of the subject matter, I definitely don't think it would appropriate for younger readers.

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