Saturday, April 12, 2008


**Here (at last some may say) is the final section of this series on books I have/am/or will be reading. I realize there are "threads" or "streams" of themes and topics in what I gather to read. As my interests wander across the years, I will sometimes spend months or more seeking out anything ever published on the subject in my focus at a given time. That's a trait I got from my mother who was similarily driven when she got hooked on a project or area of research. It is admittedly a compulsive behavior, but always results in interesting and educational or enjoyable books to read. I have never begrudged the search as it too has been enlightening. The rest of my reading materials is gathered through general shelf browsing in bookstores or estate sales, by reference in my other reading, by recommendation of friends and family,or by random serendipity. Feel free to route the titles of good reads my way at any time.

**One observation I have of the upcoming batch is that a number of biographies are showing up. This is partly because I have trouble getting into biographies because they take so long to get to the good parts, i.e. the adult lives and accomplishments of the subjects. Consequently I tend to put them off. Oh, well, I'll read them eventually, I'm sure.

**Books that are High on the “Read Soon” List:

**1. Unveiling Glory; Visions of Christ’s Transforming Presence. – Jeff Childers and Fredrick Aquino. [Another offering in the “Heart of the Reformation” series; this one considers Christ more as being an ever-present companion than as the topic of academic search in an ancient text.]
**2. Only What We Could Carry; The Japanese-American Internment Experience. – Edited (and Forward) by Lawson Fusao Inada. [A compilation of accounts, most gathered in California, of the disruption of lives and the subsequent impact upon Japanese persons and families roughly and ruthlessly impounded in rude, inadequate, and hastily assembled detention camps between February, 1942 and March 1946. Here are personal accounts, annotations, historical materials, and newly documented finding of what 120,000 Americans experienced because of war-borne fear by others.]
**3. Rabbi Jesus; An Intimate Biography; The Jewish Life and Teachings that Inspired Christianity. – Bruce Chilton. [Hailed as a new and perceptive look at Jesus in the context of his Jewish times and traditions, with contrast between “Galilean” Judiasm and the political forms by which national leaders encountered the Roman Occupation. Some content expands upon the role of key figures in bring Jesus to execution, an intense interest of my own in studying the sacrifice and resurrection of my Lord.]
**4. Mockingbird; A Portrait of Harper Lee. – Charles Shields. [I taught “To Kill a Mockingbird” for years in high school, both for its merit as a brilliantly crafted novel and for its powerful social message. It ranks in the top five among my most favored American Classics, and I treasure my copy which has Harper Lee’s extremely rare signature. She is such a private person that I strongly suspect this book is an unauthorized biography.
**5. Sandy Koufax; A Lefty’s Legacy. – Jane Leavy. [A Brooklyn Dodgers fan in the late forties, I was elated when the Boys in Blue moved to California to play in the Coliseum just a few miles up Vermont Avenue from my college dorm room. Sandy Koufax was awesome to watch as he dominated every batter he faced during in the early years in the new stadium in Chavez Ravine. What a guy! What a career! What a team it was!]
**6. The Good Husband of Zebra Drive (#8). – Alexander McCall Smith. [Here is the newest in the No.1 Ladies Detective Agency. The series of eight is cultural fiction at its mysterious best with wonderful characters and intriguing solutions to unique problems. Check out Smith’s other books too; he’s an all-around delightful writer.]
**7. The Innocent Man. – John Grisham. [A non-fiction, true-crime book in the genre of Truman Capote’s “In Cold Blood”.)
**8. The Suspect. – John Lescroart. [Here is a mystery author who can present a complex crime, detail the intricate investigative phases, generate a believable and readable trial, all with characters so realistic and appealing, I would like to meet some of them.]
**9. Witness the Passion; Discover the Hope, Embrace the Power, Experience the Grace, through the Eyewitness Accounts of Those Who Were There. – Richard Exley. [Another addition to my collection of books and materials concerning the Passion Week and the eternal impact in our behalf of Christ’s sufferings and victory on the cross.]
**10. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. – Barbara Kingsolver. [I’m pretty sure this non-fiction text chronicles the author’s experiences in feeding and maintaining her family on locally produced, sustainable foods and other goods for a year – and beyond.]

Thank you for your posts and comments on these book-driven entries. If you would rather not comment here on the blog by using the "comments" button, please e-mail me on the side. Either way I appreciate the feedback. It keeps me posting new offerings from time to time to know there are actually readers out there. Your thoughts and questions help keep me focused on presentable topics.

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