Saturday, June 27, 2009

Recent Reading (Books #7-12)

Since last I updated about my reading list, here are the books I've gotten through:

#7- Through Painted Deserts: Life, God, and Beauty on the Open Road by Donald Miller: Donald Miller is a Christian writer that I've really enjoyed over the past several years. His books are often more like collections of essays and memoirs-- very easy to read. Miller is best known for Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality, but I've also enjoyed Searching for God Knows What and this one, about a road trip he and a friend took from Texas to Oregon one summer. What I like most about Miller is his honesty. He struggled to find what his faith really meant, and he's always straightforward about that, unlike many Christian writers.

#8- The Great Bridge by David McCullough: McCullough is widely acknowledged one of the best American historians out there. I've loved almost everything he's written, especially his Pulitzer Prize-winning biographies of John Adams and Harry Truman. This book, about the building of the Brooklyn Bridge, was also very good-- although the engineering jargon took a while for me to get used to. I most enjoyed the focus on the people involved in the construction of the bridge, like the great engineers John and Washington Roebling, and Washington's wife Emily.

#9- Prom by Laurie Halse Anderson: A teen book about an offbeat teenage girl who is uninterested in the prom, until her prom-obsessed best friend drags her into helping with prom committee after their advisor absconds with most of the money. Fun read.

#10- The Real History of the American Revolution by Alan Axelrod: My first thought was, "I wonder if the author is related to [Obama senior advisor] David Axelrod?". After that-- which I still don't know the answer to-- I really enjoyed this study of the American Revolution (a period of history I've been fascinated by since elementary school). The author brought up some interesting points about what might really have gotten the colonists into war with their mother country, and did a good job of detailing almost all aspects of the conflict.

#11- Every Boy's Got One by Meg Cabot: One of my comparatively few "beach reads." A fun book, written in journal and email format, about a couple who elopes to Italy, bringing along their respective best friends as witnesses-- best friends who don't exactly hit it least at first.

#12- The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton: I reread this book probably every other year. I don't care if it was written for teenagers. First of all, I spend at least part of my time working with kids and teen books, and second of all this story is one that can resonate with any age. It tells the story of Ponyboy Curtis and his friends, who are "greasers" in the Southwest US. They and the other greasers get into trouble with the "Socs" one night, starting a chain of events that changes the way Ponyboy looks at his world. Absolutely compelling, and a must-read.

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