This novel about a high school boy with autism was that kind of book that really kept me reading. Having a disabled son, I easily related to the boy’s mother’s feelings and frustrations; and the author’s approach was so optimistic that some reviewers who have autistic children see it as entirely too simplistic. But others with autistic family members were encouraged and inspired as the boy, Holden, was slowly “unlocking.” Kingsbury took the opportunity to show how everything looked from this young man’s viewpoint. We always wonder what is going on inside a mind of someone who does not communicate normally. Kingsbury’s interpretation was very revealing – and even though we don’t know if her ideas are correct, there must at least a little space for that possibility.
The author deals with other issues of youth, such as bullying, parents’ divorce, suicide, and peer pressure. Even though this book is in the adult fiction category, it would be great for all teens to read. Some would certainly think about befriending the friendless at school.
I know that many experts don’t want parents to have false hopes about their disabled children; and even though we must be realistic, we need to have space for hope, for the miraculous. Hope for some improvement, some breakthrough, while walking everyday in reality, content with who our children are, yet hopeful for their future.
Like many of us, Peter and his wife awoke to see the “sharp edges of [his] reality rubbed smooth by an unseen hand…the creek had disappeared behind a wall of white, and the sky had indeed fallen.”
This fun and easy read takes us through a young father’s day off work – because of the surprisingly deep snow – while he runs errands, worrying some about that job and the meaning of his life.
This simple little book by by Sally Lloyd-Jones decries its depth. And, no matter what your age, you’ll know these stories aren’t just stories – they’re true. And they all tell the truth of Jesus, who was there in the very beginning, was with Abraham, Moses… all through the Bible, His name is whispered. This book shows the key to understanding the Bible – Jesus!
I’ve read a few critical remarks about this book. My response is that this is not a translation of the Bible. It is a book that joyfully, poetically relates the truths of the Bible clearly so that little (as well as we bigger) kids can understand.
After reading Sally Lloyd-Jones “Sallys” blog (with a lot of art references and images) I’ll be buying more of her books to sell in the store.
Touched by a Vampire, by Beth Felker Jones, takes a detailed look at Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight books and the movie to discover the themes and subtle twists on what is good and true. Discussing the Power of Desire, Dangerous Romance, Abstinence & Sex, Marriage & Children, the author shares discernment necessary for understanding the current rage with these stories. The questions at the end of each chapter are meant to be talked about with others. (There’s also a real-think-about discussion guide at the end of this book that goes through each of the Twilight books.) I appreciate the way Beth (this author, also pastor’s wife and mother) emphasis that human nature and evil cannot change by our vigorous moral effort, but only by His Grace. Her helpful introduction of Augustine’s ideas of “love of use” and true “love of enjoyment” remind me of C.S. Lewis’s talk of Need-Love and Gift-Love.
The next book is Escaping the Vampire by Kimberly Powers. The subtitle, “Desperate for the Immortal Hero,” reveals her approach. This book is warmly written to girls to help them find the eternal love story they seek. Kimberly Powers helps girls to see the scenes between Bella & Edward and other characters in the light of Scripture. The short reflective “breathe” questions and thoughts at the end of each chapter lead young women to talk to and know their real heart’s Desire.
This true story was so easy to see, to become involved with, as I read alternating chapters, each told by two very different people, who eventually met and found they were not so different after all.
One man, Denver, tells his heart-wrenching story of his beginnings in mid-20th century in rural Louisiana and his life as a sharecropper. The other man, Ron, meets a young college girl in Texas and eventually becomes an international art dealer. The lives of Ron and his wife, Debbie, and Denver come together in a Ft. Worth homeless shelter.
This book goes a little deeper and a little further than simply feeling good about spending a day serving food at a shelter. The insight and true Christian love that is in this story has affected so many readers and it soon will be coming out as a movie for all to see.
Go to www.samekindofffdifferentasme.com for more info. Come buy one from me – as well as the sequel, What Difference Do It Make? (sept. 2009)
November 21, 2009, from 11 am to 1pm, Pleasant View resident and author, Rudi London, will sign his new fiction work, THE OPERATOR IS CALLING, at Stone Bridge Books & Gifts, inside A New Thing! Be sure and check out the info about his amazing book on his amazing site www.rudilondon.com. He’s good at making you wonder where fact turns to fiction – this book is a very modern day adventure that keeps you turning the pages – faster and faster!
I knew this book would be good and timely with all the fear-filled talk coming at us from every angle, every day in the media, on Main Street, and even in our churches. But I found it also to be timeless, as the author uncovers those lurking fears known to all mankind, such as the fear of insignificance – of not mattering, and the fear of not having enough – of running out of what we need. Of course Max Lucado counters these very real fears with very real scriptures: You were “skillfully and wonderfully made.” and IF you could count His thoughts of you, “they would be more in number than the sand.” – from Psalms 139.
Max uses the characters from his affirming storybooks to help us realize again we are loved and that perfect love does cast out sin and fear. Like any children’s book writer and good pastor, this author is so good at those little sayings that help us remember things. Better than “i before e” is his “Be a do-er, not a stew-er.” In the chapter on worry, he teaches with the acrostic, PEACEFUL. Pray, first. Easy, now. Act on it. Compile a worry list. Evaluate you worry categories. Focus on today. Unleash a worry army.. Let God be enough.
That brash, loud, rude fear-monster begins to cower and shrink as Max reminds us of the Lord’s Words to “take courage” and uses personal stories (often from his childhood or from other children) to help us see the scripture from a new perspective, a more big picture/God-view. In the first chapter, there is his 6 year old memory of trying to make it from his bedroom to the bathroom after watching a scary movie. Like Jesus in the boat in Matthew 8, “Dad was sound asleep in the storm. How can a person sleep at a time like this?”
Read the book and use the discussion guide, included at the end, to let Lucado’s stories, thoughts, and teachings grow a strong, love-powered trust that changes your world.
I just read another fun book, but with real (and gutsy) messages about just how to live the christian life. I love reading books about God by those who come from such a different background than myself. (Vince was raised by a Jewish mom and abandoned by a gambling father. ) They often have a fresh and crazy way of looking at familiar Christian culture and concepts.
An important concept he builds in this book is that we need more than a “relationship” with God. A relationship is better than just religion, but relationships come and go. But to ”’abide”- this is so much more – like the little babe in the womb – that relationship is vital – necessary to life itself. That’s abiding.
The author – who started a church in Virginia Beach and is now starting one is Las Vegas – gives some honest, sometimes very funny, personal examples of learning to abide.
Read this is you hunger for God, or if you don’t, but admire that passion. Vince will tell you that hungering – really wanting to be close to God - is great, but not enough. For example, we can’t just want to get in shape so badly that it just happens. There are things we must do if we want something. If we’re needing sleep badly, we can create the right conditions for sleep. If we need God, we can devote some time to reading, learning, experiencing, “…going from hungry to being filled would mean walking to the vineyard to pick some grapes [and eating them], or going fishing and then cleaning and cooking the fish .”
Lest you think this book turns back to works and rules, listen to this quote from the middle of this book: “Prayer is allowing myself to be gathered up into the arms of my heavenly Father, and listening as He sings His love songs over me.” That gets back to abiding.
I am having so much fun reading this new book – I took a break to see what others are saying about it – I saw Jared’s post and thought it was so good that I asked him if I could post it. I’ll write one when I finish it. Meanwhile, run down to my bookstore and buy your copy or borrow mine.
From Jared Totten’s Critical Thinking blogspot:
In the span of one paragraph, N.D. Wilson made me break out in goosebumps then made me laugh and cry at the same time. His writing in Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl from Thomas Nelson Publishers evokes emotion like the best fiction, scratches the brain like the best philosophy, and stirs a love for Creator and creation like the best theology.
His bursts of thought are not always clear-cut and linear, rather they seem to be confusing and unrelated at times. As his ideas shape the chapters, however, and the chapters form the book, a step back reveals a beautiful piece of work.
And this, I think, was no accident. Wilson’s premise is that the universe we live in is a work of art and the masterpiece of The Artist. It is a drama, a play, and God is the Author. And so, just as his writing style reflects, there are surprises, twists, and turns. It doesn’t progress in an uneventful, gradual incline.
The best dramas have real tragedies, the best paintings have both shadow and light. Thus it makes sense that the best of all possible worlds made by an Artist/Author will have real tragedies, both shadow and light.
N.D. Wilson writes like Donald Miller on uppers and caffeine. He writes like someone with ADD who has sat through too many college-level courses on philosophy and art appreciation. He writes like I imagine Chuck Palahniuk (author of Fight Club) would if he found Jesus and switched to non-fiction.
My favorite book of the year, hands down.
You can read the entire thing online for free at Google Books. However, that’s kind of like choosing to look at a Rembrandt on the internet rather than having one to hang on your wall. Yes, I thought that highly of this book, but that’s just me. You have fun with your pixels.
** *** ** *** **
I can’t improve on this above review; but … I’m still adding my own:
Notes From the TIlt-a-Whirl by N. L. WIlson (october 2009)
Life is a giant, crazy circus, and our home is the tilt-a-whirl that tosses and confuses us. But it is exhilarating and loads of fun. Wilson asks all of life’s big and little questions and takes it all in with the wide-eyed wonder of a curious, energetic child. He takes us with him, through the real Poet’s poem, into the Writer’s Theatre and weaving (spinning!) in and out of The Play.
This is a delicious book and I love the way he spontaneously tastes life’s moments and experiences like a child, but includes references to the classics, philosophy, and art. A creative, must-read for all who want to see the ordinary as extra-ordinary – maybe it really is! This brings forth praise to the Great Creator!
I just read The Noticer, newest book by Andy Andrews. I did have to hurry up to get to the ending, although it is not a typical novel. This fiction/inspirational easy-read is loosely based on Andrews’ own life and what motivated him as a young man, like the power great biographies. There are two constants throughout the book: Andy, who is the narrator, and Jones, the suitcase carrying, casually dressed, flip-flop walking old fellow he meets at a low point in life. Jones is one of those warm, knowing persons who has just the right thing to say. It’s also a little mysterious that even his approximate age is not known by anyone and that he is also known as Garcia to some young Mexicans and as Chen to a young Asian woman.
One of my favorite chapters is when Jones meets Willow, an older widow who feels she is is too old to make any difference anymore. He treats her graciously, but gently teases her, especially about her life being finished: “If you’re still alive, you’re still here…still here, then you have not completed what you were put on earth to do. If you have not completed what you were put on earth to do… that means your very purpose has not yet been fulfilled. If your purpose has not yet been fulfilled, then the most important part of your life has not yet been lived….this is proof of hope…for more.” He reminded her that Harlan Sanders was 65 when he began to make his family fried chicken recipe famous – with his social security check. Ben Franklin invented the bifocals at age 78. Same age for Winston Churchill when he won the Nobel Prize for literature. Grandma Moses sold her first painting at age 90. Jones traced back the saving of two billion people from George Washington Carver’s “adopted” parents to Norman Bourlag – you just have to read it!
Jones continues to wander around an Alabama coastal community and show up just the right time – because he is a “noticer?”- to connect with various people during their greatest pint of need. Here’s a couple more of his wisdom nuggets: *Remember, what you focus on increases. ” *Wisdom is the ability to see the consequences of our choices.”
Even though I cannot agree with some who’ve said this is the best book they’ve ever read, it is definitely worth reading and helps bring a new perspective. The handy-size, hard-cover book with the little brown suitcase on the dust-jacket cover would be a worthwhile and welcome gift for anyone.
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