Monday, August 27, 2012

What We're Reading - Week of August 27th

Reading is one of my most favorite activities...I love it.  Curling up on the couch with a good book is as good as it gets for me.

I've traveled the globe with adventurers, I pioneered a lost planet with a race of ancient human beings, heck, I've even walked with Saul on the road to Damascus - and I did all with books.  When I'm not reading fantasies, I'm immersed in Biblical literature.

Here's a few I've read this week - be blessed and enjoy!

Elijah, Steps to a Life of Power by Bob Saffrin - FREE on Kindle.  

This book is a guide, tracking the life of the Old Testament prophet Elijah, to discover God’s plan for us, and learn how to receive his power to accomplish that plan.Each of our lives is a story with a sum total that adds up to something. What does your life add up to so far? What will people say about you when your story ends? Will you make a difference? When people talked about Elijah, they said that the purpose of his life was to turn the hearts of the people back to the worship of the one true God. They said that his mission was: “…to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” 
God has given you a purpose and a mission as well. God has a plan for every life. My hope for you as you read this book is that when you are done you will not be satisfied, but hungry, hungry to hear the infinite God of the universe speak to you as a lover speaks to his bride. I pray that you will finish, panting for more.

The Apostle: The Life of Paul by John Pollock

The Acclaimed, Authentic Biography of the Early Church's Greatest Evangelist--the Apostle Paul.  Master storyteller John Pollock makes Paul and his amazing story freshly alive, so that you can know the greatest apostle much as Luke and Timothy did as they traveled with him. As you turn the pages, you'll sense Paul's motives, his aims and priorities; what mattered to him; and what he was willing to die for.  

Light Of Eidon (Legends of the Guardian-King) by Karen Hancock

Light of Eidon is the first book in the Legends of the Guardian-King Series. It is set in a fictional land during a time similar to our middle ages. The protagonist is a prince who is the fifth-born son in his family with no shot at the throne. Feeling rejected by his brothers, and worst of all his father, he leaves the family and joins a religious order as a novitiate. The book begins as his 8-year novitiate term is over and he is about to take an oath to join the Brotherhood. It wouldn't be much of a story if everything went according to plan, now would it? Very quickly a mystery unfolds. The story accelerates to be a page-turner that makes it hard to put down. It is packed with adventure, action, conspiracy and mystery. There were several times where I thought I had the story "figured out" and knew where it was going, but I was wrong. I love it when I can be "gotten" like that!

Light of Eidon is also an allegory. It is quite possibly one of the best allegories that I have ever read. Since I love J.R.R. Tolkien, I tend to side with him slightly on his opinion of allegories...they can be problematic. Too bad Tolkien couldn't have met Karen Hancock. :) 

Since I just finished Light of Eidon, the story of the kings of Israel (1 and 2 Chronicles) has a pulse it never had before--it was like I added a little salt. I connected with Scriptures in a different way. On the other hand, having a good basis of Scripture--which I firmly believe is inerrant and factual--was a good rock to stand on while reading this fantasy novel. It's easy to get caught up in a good book, especially when that book is a good reflection of the One Good Story. 

Elise Fitzpatrick says in "Give Them Grace" that every story is a retelling of the One Good Story, just that some stories tell it more closely than others. Since I have read that bit, I have been filtering everything I read through this lens and it has been really interesting to perceive. Light of Eidon is a beautiful retelling of the Gospel and how it touches the lives of not only the protagonist, but of nations. This book is suitable for Christians, and especially for non-Christians--though some might react like the negative reviewer on Amazon, "I hate being tricked into reading about Jesus." Though that's not a bad thing. Seeds are still planted. This book focuses not on the coming of the Messiah. That has already happened long before we enter the story. It is set in a world that has many different religions. Which one is right? The religions presented in Light of Eidon have similarities to religions in our world today.

This book is not, however, appropriate for the younger crowd. There is a lot of fighting and blood. There are descriptions of decapitations, sores, descriptions of evil, etc. I know that readers will be limited by their own imaginations in "seeing" these things, but it's still words and it still reaches into the heart. There is also a thread of romance in the story. There is one scene that made me squirm in my seat, and before I knew where it was going I was worried it would ruin my ability to recommend this book. If stories of romance cause you to falter in purity, then you may want to pass this book up, or at least commit to skipping those pages (since it is not long). It didn't go where I thought it would go, and it was a lesson that is useful for teaching. But I still recommend it with reservations. I recommend it for mature teens and adults.

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