2011 Book List

I haven’t blogged every book I’ve read this year; let me give my (more or less) mid year book list. These are in the order read from earliest to latest. The links from the titles go to my book reports where you can find links to the books on Amazon should you desire.

Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived 

  • Author: Rob Bell
  • Publisher: Harper One
  • Pages: 224
  • Rating: ****
  • Quick thoughts

Great book on the theology of Radical Grace. I don’t think it is unfair to say that Bell’s theology can be summed up by the last two verses of Romans 8 (Romans 8:38-39)

“For I am conviced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord””

Talk about good news. This is where my heart and head is these days.

 A very quick read. Rob Bell is a dynamic speaker; the books isn’t as great his speaking style. If you don’t want to spend the time reading the book, take 15 minutes out of your day to check out these two videos

My book report on this and the next book can be found here.

Speaking Christian

  • Author: Marcus Borg
  • Publisher: Harper One
  • Page: 238
  • Rating: *****
  • Quick thoughts

My reading notes just say “Awesome” I’ve loaned this book out so many times I don’t know who has it; but I’m glad someone is reading it. Borg takes a look at the usual Christian terminology and looks at those words not as used by the first century Christians, not as we so often use them today in this post-industrial, scientific world. The word “belief” means so much less after the start of the age of reason; it gets second billing under “know”. But what did the first Christians mean when they said “believe (they meant something much closer to “belove”. This bood will give a whole new perspective on Christianity for many.

We left the Presbyterian chuch about 10 years ago but we are still friends with our old pastor from that church. We had a great discussion over dinner a few weeks ago about Borg; bottom line, Borg and Bell have gone a long way to helping me get closer to Christ.

Very Good, Jeeves

  • Author: P.G. Wodehouse
  • Publisher: Harper, Collins & Row
  • Pages: 217
  • Rating: **
  • Quick thoughts

A group of semi-related short stories from 1926 – 1930 compiled in novel form. If you want to read some Jeeves and Wooster stories, skip this and move on to Right Ho, Jeeves and The Code of the Woosters

Rebirth of a Nation

  • Author: Jacskon Lears
  • Publisher: Harper Collins
  • Pages: 359
  • Rating: *
  • Quick thoughts

The theme of the book is “Regeneration”. The author takes that theme and pushes everything that happened from Reconstruction to World War I into that framework. It’s very disjointed, hoping from one topic to another and not really diving into any one aspect of the time in depth.

Thank You, Jeeves

  • Author: P.G. Wodehouse
  • Publisher: Arrow Books
  • Pages: 263
  • Rating: ****
  • Quick thoughts

Working in novel form rather than short stories really lets Wodehouse stretch out and do what he does best: complications upon comlications; fantastic dialogue.

Unbroken

  • Author: Laura Hillenbrand
  • Publisher: Random House
  • Pages: 398
  • Rating: ***
  • Quick thoughts

A tremendous biography of Louis Zamperini a young man who ran in the 1936 olympics in Berlin, then joined the Army Air Force at the start of World War II. His plane crashed in the South Pacific in May 1943 and he and two crewmates spent over a month in two rafts in open water beset by hunger, thirst, sharks, exposure, and a strafing. He was then taken prisoner by the Japanese and lived (if that’s the word for it) in prison camps until the war was over.

1959: The Year Everything Changed 

  • Author: Fred Kaplan
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Inc
  • Pages: 244
  • Rating: ***
  • Quick thoughts

Nice book on the pivotal year that was 1959. But it’s not like 1959 was the year ALL of it happened; rather, 1959 was a moment in time where a lot of influences in science, music, art, and politics that had been building or were starting to build came together.

  • Author: P.G. Wodeshouse
  • Publisher: Penguin Books
  • Pages: 248
  • Rating: ****
  • Quick thoughts

Here, with his 2nd J&W novel, Wodehouse is at his best.

The Code of the Woosters

  • Author: P.G. Wodehouse
  • Publisher:  Vintage Books
  • Published: 1938
  • Pages: 286
  • Rating: ****
  • Quick thoughts
Fire and Rain:
  • Author David Browne
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press
  • Published: 2011
  • Pages 334
  • Rating: **
  • Quick Thoughts:

Unsatisfying. A few glimpses into the breakups of the Beatles, CSNY, and Simon & Garfunkel, but overall a dijointed story. Browne throws a lot of political, musical, and biographical information but it just doesn’t seem to be a coherent whole.

 

About howardwthompson

I'm a person who likes to travel, read, cook, and eat
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