Sometimes we get stuck seeing things our way. Would you like to see some things through another set of eyes? Maybe it will make you think and stretch or maybe just chuckle or shed a tear. Here is my world through my eyes...

Thursday, February 2, 2012

What I've been reading #12

Reading for me serves a lot of uses.  In addition to learning things that I would miss otherwise, or reinforcing ideas that I want to remember and use in my life, I also read for relaxation and relief.  That is reading can frequently be like a vacation.  The trick of course is to read to enhance life and not live to keep on reading.  There is a difference of course.  The latter means you get so involved in the books that living life in between reading times gets onerous because you want to be in that book.  I suppose that isn't a problem for short periods, when a book has gotten your interest so much that you can hardly wait to get back to it, but if that were to become a way of life it would seem that life itself would get lost in the reading and become less important than what one was reading.  In our life we have lots of control (although certainly not total control) and in the book we have limited control (i.e. how to picture the characters and adding things that the author cannot possibly totally fill in--like attitudes etc) however we do not control their actions or the adventures or lack of them--that remains with the author.  I hope you can find reading enjoyable as well to enhance and give some relaxation from life when needed. 

Abinadi by H.B. Moore
This last summer when I was at BYU library looking at the special collections I checked out an area that had several authors that they were highlighting and some of the books they had written.  I noticed Heather Moore and that she had written several fictional books about incidents in the Book of Mormon and thought I would like to try those out.  The first one in this series was about Abinadi.  He is a prophet that ends up giving his life to comply with the the instruction of the Lord to tell the remind the people about Christ and to warn them to repent or great hardships would be coming their way.  Needless to say they didn't really want to listen and their king had him killed.  In the Book of Mormon there really isn't much told about him and this book imagines more about his life including a wife and child and the consequent difficulty to choose to do what the Lord said despite knowing the Kings attitude toward the gospel.  I found the book very enjoyable and seemed to bring in a lot of authentic aspects of the time.  Many characters were fleshed out until they started to have meaning for me--which is to say the characterization was good and helped me care about the people and what they were going through in their lives.  This obviously is not doctrinal (and not intended to be) but gives one some possibilities to consider about the people while reviewing the doctrine from this very small part of the Book of Mormon.  Well worth the time reading.  I hope to read the next book in the series sometime soon as well. 

The Christmas List by Richard Paul Evans
Richard Paul Evans is noted for his several Christmas stories that add to the meaning of the season as it influences individuals for positive change.  he has written other books as well.  His writing is typically clean and wholesome and enjoyable.  This story is about James Kier who has learned the wrong lesson in life.  When he was cheated in business early in his career he learned to do the same to become very successful at making money.  The problem is that his wife knew and married him before that change and knows what kind of man he can be.  James decides to divorce his wife and get rid of everything that reminds him of who he really is.  But then he sees his own obituary in the paper and that gives his best self enough leverage to eventually come back and lead him down a better path.  A path that leads him to attempt to help some of those he has cheated to seek some redemption.  This is a very quick and enjoyable read in the tradition of Christmas stories that encourage those of us to keep trying to be good--if we already are, and to make a turn if we aren't (although I'm not sure if that second group would get very far in this book).  I was a little late in reading this Christmas book this year because I didn't find it until I was in a dollar store in January.  Even though it was past Christmas I found it enjoyable and you may too. 

Chasing China: A Daughter's Quest for Truth by Kay Bratt
Kay Bratt is the author of Silent Tears: A Journey of Hope in a Chinese Orphanage.  While that book was about the authors experience in China volunteering in a Chinese Orphanage, this book is a fictional story about an adopted Chinese orphan reaching young adulthood and returning to China to find her real parents. It is an enjoyable story about a girl who realizes that she has developed with some difficulties because of feeling abandoned by her birth parents.  She returns to China and seeks to find her parents in hopes of understanding herself better and being able to put behind her those feelings of loss so she can move on more confidently in her life.  She meets several Americans that are willing to help along the way.  The parts of the story that she brushes up and comments on Chinese culture and orphanage happenings, feel most authentic.  There is a portion of a young adult love story when she "hangs out" by today's parlance with another Chinese American.  Overall I thought it was effective in showing how adopted children might feel about their past and want to settle their past to better seek their future. 

Rangers Apprentice: Book 3: The Icebound Land by John Flanagan
Book three in this series recommended by my teenaged daughter picks up with Will and Evalyn being kidnapped and taken to Skandia to be sold as slaves.  The leader of the army gains respect for them as he sees them adjust mostly well to their new lives.  This respect comes in later as he makes an effort to save them when it becomes evident that their slave placement becomes particularly dangerous for Will.  The story splits between Will and Evalyn's predicaments to Halt and Horace as they come to save Will and Evalyn and find themselves in sticky situations in their travels.  The most interesting part of the book for me is when Will is placed as a slave and he is disliked because of his best efforts to do well.  His enemies take an opportunity when he is sick to get him hooked on a dangerous drug that makes him forget who he is and his skills learned as a ranger's apprentice.  It appears that Book 4 will answer the question of if Halt and Horace will be able to find Will and Evalyn and save them or not.  Since I know the series goes through about 10 books, I am guessing it happens.  But even though it isn't a mystery, I like his writing enough that I will want to read it and enjoy how it happens. 
"So please, oh PLEASE, we beg, we pray, Go throw your TV set away, And in its place you can install, A lovely bookshelf on the wall."
— Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

1 comment:

  1. That picture at the top is really cool!! I like how you write something about reading sometimes before you go into the book synopses :) it's really cool what reading can do for you. I am still struggling to make time for it! :) but anyhow that abinadi book sounds really interesting to me as well as the Christmas list one. I need a new book to read for fun so maybe I'll have to go through your reading posts and find something that looks like a fun read :) love you dad!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...