I’m making steady progress through the 52 books in 2015 goal. I’ve learned that several of you are pursuing the same goal – I’d love to see your mini-reviews. If you post your reading progress somewhere online, please be sure to add a link in the comments section.
And now, on to the mini-reviews for February:
The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis
I had forgotten the plot of this book, so reading it to my youngest was like discovering it anew. It is a lovely tale that illustrates the doctrine of Providence in a winsome way. Given our era’s engagement with middle eastern culture, I found that this book provided an interesting view on mid 20th century perceptions of the middle east. As a purist, I do believe the Narnian books are best read in the order of publication (rather than they way they are now arranged in the order of Narnia’s chronological timeline)
Seeing Through Cynicism by Dick Keyes
My generation marinated in decades of irony, cynicism, and snark. Keyes offers a helpful treatment in recovering from the deleterious effects of this deep jadedness. He acknowledges the benefits that cynicism purports to offer, and shows how they are indeed a sham. Keyes shows how cynicism rightly grasps the doctrine of human depravity, but wrongly forgets that there is more to humanity than this depravity. In the end, he shows how the posture of cynicism crumbles underneath its own weight. This book should be required reading for anyone under 45. (Thanks to Mike Jorgensen for this recommendation)
Procrastinate on Purpose by Rory Vaden
Among self-help books, this one is actually helpful. Vaden offers a commitment management system that is actually manageable, especially for those who lean to the creative side. A caveat, this is geared toward the sales professional. Engineers might find his approach maddening, and would probably get more out of David Allen’s Getting Things Done. I also like that he takes faith seriously, without being heavy handed about it.
The Good Shepherd by Ken Bailey
A magisterial survey of the good shepherd tradition by a masterful scholar. Bailey begins with the 23rd psalm and shows how the imagery used there is re-appropriated by the prophets and the gospel writers to point us to Christ’s work as the Good Shepherd. While this is a technical book, Bailey interweaves personal insights from a lifetime of experience among the people of the Middle East. This book breathes with wisdom and insight. It was worth every penny of my library overdue fines.
Do you like books? Perhaps you’d like my latest book: Geneva Two. A Parable of Christian Community and Calling. Or maybe you’d like my other book: Prophet of the Sun. I promise, they are not too cynical or jaded.