That Book Goal {March Reviews}

The book goal is moving forward!  Six more books finished, however, one of them is counting for 2 because it was so ridiculously long!! (and I didn’t like it)

The March reads:

  1. The Saxon Shore by Peter Whyte (audible)
  2. The Desert Mailbag by W. G.  Kruse
  3. The Broken Way by Ann Voskamp
  4. Impossibilities are Targets for Miracles by Cassandra Lee and various SK authors (compilation)
  5. Mansfield Park by Jane Austen (audible)
  6. Autopsy of a Deceased Church by Thom S. Rainer

This is quite a mixed bag of books this month.  Church politics, teaching, personal stories, and fiction.

The Saxon Shore is the one that gets the prize for being long, exhausting and an experience I don’t wish to repeat. That book was 36.5 hours long! It was read by a man with a lovely English accent and he was perfectly suited for a Camelot adventure, however, the book was plodding with long descriptive narratives about things that didn’t really advance the plot line. Not going to be reading any more of those! Yes, there is a series and if you love King Arthur, Merlin and bloody battles, have at it! 36 hours people!! I am claiming 2 books worth for that one!! 🙂

Two of my books were collections. The Desert Mailbag is a collection of thoughts from Mr. Kruse’s experiences in Paraguay. Mr. Kruse also happens to be one of my dear friend’s dads! He has a wonderful, whimsical writing style, telling of his adventures as a teacher with the Indian tribes and the Mennonite villages there. Each short chapter is a letter telling of his experiences. After reading this book I long for the opportunity to share in a conversation circle with a horn of mate tea! Fortunately, my sweet friend lives just down the street and knows all about setting up the tea!

Impossibilities is a book written for Justice Rising as a fund-raising project. I was actually asked to contribute but didn’t have it in me at the time to write anything. I know several of the contributors and it was lovely to see their words in print. Cassandra Lee, the main contributor, founder, President and Co-Director of Justice Rising works in war-torn regions of Africa to bring hope for children trapped in the mele of child soldiering and brothels. Many of her pieces reflect the chaotic, dangerous conditions that she, her team and the indigenous people experience. May I encourage you to pick up a copy of the book as the proceeds go towards the efforts of this ministry! Cassandra is originally from Saskatoon and all contributors are Saskatchewan authors. You can find out more about Justice Rising through their Facebook group and website.

Jane Austen, I have a little personal goal to read all of Jane’s books. Mansfield Park was not familiar to me. Written in classic Austen style and narrated by a classic British accent made it perfect. Of course, there is the young ingenue from a poor background, the wealthy upper-class benefactors, gold-diggers and all that. It ends happily and Fanny and Edmund get married. Classic Austen. I believe Persuasion will be next!

Autopsy of a Deceased Church was a gift book that came along with registration to a conference I attended. While it has a slightly grisly title, and a scalpel on the front cover, the contents are really a remedy for waking up the church. The author, Thom Rainer, has been a consultant to many churches and has a popular blog. His insights into the commonalities that all churches face were fascinating. I have been on the sidelines of two church closures and I have to say that Rainer’s symptoms of a dying church were eerily accurate. Both churches went down the paths he outlined right until the day the doors closed.  An excellent read to take stock of where your church or ministry’s health is at.

The Broken Way by Ann Voskamp was a timely read for me. Jesus was familiar with our suffering and therefore is the one who can comfort us in ours. Unless a seed falls to the ground and dies it doesn’t bear fruit. Seeds have to break open in order to pour forth life. It was in the breaking of Jesus’ body that real life began for those who choose to believe. Broken and poured out. Living not so cautious of what we have but freely giving. I will absolutely need to read this book again. For those of you a little scared of Ann’s poetic and deep writing style – this one is a little easier to read and digest than some of her other writings, I encourage you to let it stir your soul.

And that’s all for this month. Anyone else want to join in? Your year of 100 books can start now…why not, who says you have to live by the calendar!

On the stack for this month:

*still reading The Emotionally Healthy Woman (Geri Scazzerro)

*still reading Made to Crave (Lysa Terkheurst)

* still reading Safe in the Everlasting Arms (Elisabeth Elliott)

*one more chapter in Fervent (Priscilla Shirer)

Just started:

*Heaven in the Real World – Steven Curtis Chapman’s book – so far, I love it

*Quick Tips for Busy Families (Jay Payleitner)

*Treasured Grace (Tracie Peterson)

*Anatomy of the Soul (Curt Thompson, M.D.) – that one will take awhile – rather cerebral!!

Until next time…

About Lani

With six kids, a farm, a ministry and dreams poking out in every direction I need plenty of grace to keep all the balls in the air. The sweet thing is that when I drop them, that crazy grace of God is there telling me I'm still okay...and you are, too...welcome to this place of grace.

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