Tuesday, July 16, 2013

On my nightstand

Isn't it fun to read in the summer?  I sometimes grab my current book and head downstairs to the basement where the temperature is often MUCH cooler than upstairs and there are big, soft chairs to drape your arms and legs over with your glass of something iced.  Where do you like to read in the summer?

I think you’ll be surprised by this story, as I was.  It is not full of blood and gore or even detailed descriptions of mistreatment or killing.  Running For My Life is heart-warming and written in a simple style that makes it easy to read. This young man is from war-torn southern Sudan.  At six years old he was kidnapped by rebel soldiers and taken to a training camp where he was to be groomed as a child soldier.  The story of how he escapes, grows up in a refugee camp in Kenya and eventually comes to the U.S. is nothing short of miraculous.  You will love the perspective he maintains as God puts a desire in his heart to be an Olympic runner and how he expresses himself very simply but eloquently as he tells his story.  Here’s one excerpt – one of so many I loved - when he is preparing to start his first big NCAA race:

“Outside I put on my game face.  Sunglasses on, stern look of determination on my face, I looked ready to dominate.  Inside, I wore a huge grin.  How could I not smile?  Although this was the biggest race of my life up to this point, I did not run for my life.  I ran that race a long time ago when I took off in the night with my three angels.  We knew the rebel soldiers might open fire at any moment, which made us run even faster.  In the refugee camp, I ran every day, not just to play soccer but to take my mind off of my empty stomach.  Today, I ran for pure, absolute joy… no man ever felt so blessed by God as I did in that moment.”

Side note:  I've heard several people say they have read this aloud as a family and that their kids were mesmerized!  Also, if you haven’t yet seen the movie “God Grew Tired of Us” be sure to check it out at your local library, rent it or view it on Netflix. 

This little book is actually a graduation speech.  What Now? is very short but offers a great perspective on all the decisions we make in life and what influences them.  The author tells about working as a waitress after getting her master’s degree and the lessons she learned as a result.

“It helps if you realize that this part of life when you don’t know what’s coming next is often the part that people look back on with the greatest affection.”  Very true.

This one was a delight.  I have been reading Sophie’s blog for many years and have looked forward to this, her first book, with great anticipation.  A Little Salty to Cut the Sweet is a book about family – written in Sophie’s unique and pretty hilarious style.  I read it with a southern accent in my head.

I’ve just started When Crickets Cry but it comes highly recommended by lots of people who blog and people who read blogs (my current source of book recommendations).  I often don’t agree but I’m on page 18 and pretty much hooked into the story so that’s a good sign!  Here is the publisher’s short description:  A man with a painful past.  A child with a doubtful future.  And a shared journey toward healing for both their hearts.  Lots of people love this author and his praises are sung by several Christian book reviewers – I’ll be sure to let you know what I think!

I know not many leave comments here but I'd love to hear your book recommendations!  And I'll bet others would love to get them too.  Please share!

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