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You are invited to Join us In A Summer Book Club!

I read more in the summer, and I’m always looking for a good book.

This week we’re going to get ready to read a good book together.

What book, other than the Bible, has been applauded by Christians more than any other?

What book brought sanity to the world in a time of Hitler’s insanity? 

What book caused Charles Colson, founder of Prison Fellowship,

to pull his car off to the side of the road and surrender his life to Christ?

What book caused Tom Monaghan, founder of Domino’s Pizza,

to stop building his dream house when it was 1/3 done?

What book convinced me that I needed to take the claims of Jesus Christ seriously?

Without looking ahead, can you give a guess?

If you are new to us, you can be a silent reader, or better yet,

join in on the discussion. All you have to do is click here for

the easy “getting started” directions. 

Getting Started


1. What book do you think we’re talking about?

2.  It’s Mother’s Day. What is one thing your mother did right? (If she didn’t, did God give you another mother figure?)


I’ll tell you the title of the book in a bit, because if you don’t have it, I want you to purchase it, however you prefer: hard copy or kindle — because you are going to want to highlight and make notes in it. I’m sure you can get it from any library, but I’d prefer you have your own copy. We’re going to try a five week adventure, beginning next week — and then assess.  This book was originally given as four radio addresses during World War II — we are going to take Part I of the book, which has 5 chapters. It’s not light reading, but we’re taking it in small pieces, and doing it together, which means we are more likely to succeed. I know so often I do better at accomplishing good goals when I have support. My hope is that the reflection questions here will ripple out into your family and friends, causing you to be a fountain for good and rich discussions.

What is it? Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis.

If you are game, please get the book this week and we’ll start May 20th. You can buy it in any bookstore or on any book website. This week we’re also going to give you a chance to share some of your favorite books, for what we put into our hearts and minds, Jesus tells us, shapes who we are. Each day there will be a different category of book for you to list some of your favorites, and why. The books I’m going to choose will all be related to World War II, as this is the backdrop for the writing of Mere Christianity. You may want to pick up one of them to read along for your summer reading.

Monday: We Are What We Put Into Our Hearts

3. Meditate on Luke 6:45.

A. What principle does Jesus teach here?

B. What are your most frequent topics of conversation?

C. A great book will get you talking, for it stimulates your mind. Name a book that got you talking. What is one take-a-way you had from it?

I am looking forward to having grandchildren with me this summer, and I plan to read to them. For those interested, here is an article on why we should be reading even to older children.


You might want to consider reading Narnia, or just The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe to your children this year. Four is not too young. When my daughter Sally read this to her 4 and 6 year old, they kept guessing who was doing to have to die to rescue Edmond from the slavery of the white witch. They were aghast when they realized it was Aslan. The setting of this series is in World War II when the children had to leave London for safety to go live with their uncle. Many of the truths in Mere Christianity are illustrated in Narnia.

4. Name a book that got you excited about reading as a child.

Tuesday: Historical Fiction

This is one of my favorite genres, for knowing that a story is based on truth heightens my interest. A well-written book based on the stories of three women who lived during World War II is “Lilac Girls.” This would be easily available from inter-library loan – definitely in print, and you may be able to download it onto your kindle from your library at home if you have a library card. My library gives me a choice of 7 to 21 days to have it on my kindle, and I always choose 21 days, and often still, can renew.

It’s title is based on the fact that lilacs bloom more beautifully after a hard winter, for indeed, suffering can produce beauty. This is not a Christian book, but I do think it is a book worthy of reading, giving us insight into the human heart. One of Lewis’s objectives in writing Mere Christianity was “pre-evangelism.” He wanted to demonstrate that there is a right and a wrong, and the human heart knows it. Either we can stuff that knowledge and quench that spirit, or we can agree with it, and allow our conscience to flourish. Lewis said he wanted to renew a sense of guilt.

5. What do you think of Lewis’s desire to “renew a sense of guilt?”


6. Can you name a book in the genre of historical fiction that you have loved?


Wednesday: Fiction and Audio Books

When I’m multi-tasking, I like to listen to sermons, books, or music. Because I really appreciated the reader, Sarah Zimmerman, who did my audio version of He Calls You Beautiful, I have been listening to a few of the fiction books she has read. One is called The Girl from the Train — not to be confused with the dark and trashy Girl On the Train. This book has to do with a girl from Poland who lived during World War II. This is a Christian book loosely based on some historical incidents. It’s also a lovely book on adoption.


7. Name a fiction book you have absolutely loved and tell us why.

8. Do you like listening to books as well — is there a book you have loved listening to?

Thursday: Biography

Another genre I love is biography, and biographies of men and women who have been so filled with Christ that they changed the world have been so stimulating to me. I’d love to hear your recommendations of well-written biographies. The one I will recommend that goes with our theme is Eric Metaxis’ Bonhoeffer. Though it starts a bit slowly and is mammoth, it is absolutely wonderful.

 Hitler distorted Christianity and formed a new German church, so Bonhoeffer returned to America to stem the tide of lies, even establishing a seminary. Bonhoeffer knew that our thinking shapes our actions.

9. Can you name a principle from Scripture that has lodged in your brain and affected the way you live?


10. Name a biography you have loved and tell us why.


11. We are going to be reading together Mere Christianity, which is non-fiction. But I’d love to have you name a non-fiction book that has impacted your life and why.


12. What’s your take-a-way this week and why?





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  1. 7. Name a fiction book you have absolutely loved and tell us why. 
    The old classic “To Kill A Mockingbird”.  The style of it’s telling gives it great interest and the storyline keeps you wondering and interested as it progresses.

    8. Do you like listening to books as well — is there a book you have loved listening to?
    I have not listened to any audio books. But need to consider doing that when we are traveling long distances.

  2. 5. What do you think of Lewis’s desire to “renew a sense of guilt?”

    I wonder if it were because during that time, the British people must have felt morally superior to the Nazi’s?
    We all need reminding that we are sinners and need grace as much as the next person.

    6. Can you name a book in the genre of historical fiction that you have loved?

    I love To Kill a Mockingbird, I also loved Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

    1. 2 of my favorites

    2. Chris, I loved both of those books!

  3. 7. Name a fiction book you have absolutely loved and tell us why. 

    Not it sure here…probably mysteries; Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayer (Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane), and Sherlock Holmes! Love that stuff. Enjoy the thrill and if there is a love story involved that’s even better 😉.


    8. Do you like listening to books as well — is there a book you have loved listening to?

    I do listen to books when I go on road trips. The one I listened to recently was Bill O’Reilly’s Killing England. I have a habit of not finishing books though 😔. If I don’t finish them right away, I don’t get back to them. That is what happened with that book. It wasn’t that it was not interesting, it just falls into the not important category. Finding time to read is very difficult for me.

    1. Laura…I LOVE Mysteries too!  🙂

  4. 7.  It sounds heretical, but I love the Foundation Series by Isaac Asimov. He makes me think, and opens doors in my mind. I see God in his stories, though he was an atheist and certainly didn’t mean to put God in.


    8.  I have a hard time picking out audio books. I need to have either a recommendation, or be able to rifle through pages first. So I don’t do much in this line.

    1. I wanted to comment on this earlier, but my post was too long.  Mary, you bring up a good point here…”it sounds heretical / it makes me think, opens doors in m mind / I see God in his stories”   For many many years I only read Christian books, my shelves were full of Max Lucado (a great writer) and many other authors.  One day my kids questioned me about it.  They said, “Mom why do you only read Christian books & nothing else?  You’re missing out on a lot of great reading & experiences!”  I thought about that long & hard.  I’d read plenty of secular fiction & non-fiction books alike, a lot of the old classics (which I love), but at some point just sorta got stuck in a rut of only the Christian genre.  And frankly, it was starting to bore me a little bit.  I needed to expand my horizon, and so I did.  Oh how glad I am that I did!  I cannot tell you how it has expanded & enriched my life, my world.  The things you can learn, experience, the ‘places you can go’, the escape into different worlds… it’s really just incredible.  There are so so many lessons that can be learned, and like Mary said, different, new & exciting ways to see God in those stories!

      1. I should have given an example, & I think this is one that may be the one that shall forever stand out in my book-reading experience!  The Pillars of the Earth is certainly not a Christian book, & I have read some books by the author since then, that are not worth more than the garbage can.  In my opinion, Pillars is extremely, brilliantly written.  There were plenty of parts in this almost 1,000 pg story that were not ‘Christian’ worthy.  And so, when I came to Chapter 13, and in the book Philip, the priest, is standing before the congregation & giving a sermon, I read with great interest as to how the author would write this.  Oh my goodness.  When I finished reading it, I just wept.  It was so beautiful, I could not believe it.  For a very long time, I wondered how the author was able to write it the way he did, when in fact, in the preface he writes this:  “What’s more, I don’t believe in God.  I’m not what you would call a spiritual person.  According to my agent, my greatest problem as a writer is that I’m not a tortured soul.  The last thing anyone would have expected from me was a story about building a church.”  And so, when I got to Chapter 13, crying my eyes out, I had this deep longing in my soul, a strong undeniable desire to sit down with this author & talk with him about it…how did this happen?  Where did this beauty come from, within his own heart & soul, when he denies almighty God?   Truly, it stretches the mind, in so many ways.

        1. wow! Wendy! You make me want to read this book! I’ll have to check it out; that is, after I check out all the others….

      2. So glad you make this point, Wendy. Every good gift is from the Father above, and He often uses unbelievers — like Cyrus!

    2. Mary, I think the Harry Potter series would fall into this category as well. My Christian friends thought “…how could I let my children read about witches and magic?” I thought, “wow, this reminds me of Christ!”

  5. Wednesday

    7.  Name a fiction book you have absolutely loved and tell us why?  Eagle in the Sky by Wilbur Smith.  This is a book I read over 30 years ago and it still remains one of my favorites.  Wilbur Smith puts a lot of research into his writings and it really came through in this book.  It’s a romantic story but with many twists…I couldn’t put it down!

    8.  Do you like listening to books as well – is there a book you have loved listening to?  I have not listened to books.  It may be something I do in the future but right now I prefer to read them.

  6. Wow, I missed a lot the last 3 days while I was working! Welcome to all the new ladies!!

    I loved “The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe”. I also loved a book called “The Silver Sword” when I was a kid. Its about 3 children in WW 11 who escape across the Alps into Switzerland. Cant remember the author & haven’t found it in USA, but a wonderful rich story.

  7. Thursday: Biography
    9. Can you name a principle from Scripture that has lodged in your brain and affected the way you live?
    The power of the Cross! 
    Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
    2 Cor 5:14-15 & 17 
    “14 For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; 15 and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.
    17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”
    It’s not about me but it’s all about Jesus. Everything comes under the cross and shapes my life. He can and will redeem every broken thing for my good and to His glory. 
    10. Name a biography you have loved and tell us why.
    I have read many biographies over the years. They are probably my favorite genre. Too many to list and many that were powerful stories.  Great men like Abraham Lincoln, CS Lewis, Bonhoeffer ( I would like to read the one by Eric Metaxas) and Luther.
    Gracia Burnham’s book “In the Presence of My Enemies”  stands out in my mind. I had the pleasure of meeting her a couple of times. One of her quotes that stood out to me was  “I resolve to keep living in the embrace of God’s gladness and love for as long as he gives me breath.”  She refused to let any bitterness over the hostage situation she endured that ended in her husband’s death rob her of God’s joy in her life. 

    “Same Kind of Different Than Me” is another book I loved and is such a powerful story of the Gospel lived out and the far reaching effects of one woman’s determined love for the homeless. I haven’t seen the movie yet but I hope it does justice to the book. 

    11. We are going to be reading together Mere Christianity, which is non-fiction. But I’d love to have you name a non-fiction book that has impacted your life and why.
    A little book that is no longer in print by someone named Miles J Stanford originally called “The Green Letters” and later  published by Back To The Bible  under the title “Principles of Spiritual Growth” was full of good spiritual teaching when I was younger that helped me greatly in my walk with Christ. It just clarified many good biblical principles for me personally. It was one of those I reread for a number of years. 

  8. My favorite fiction books are espionage stories usually by British/ Scottish authors like Alistair Maclean or Colin Forbes. Love “The Guns of Navarone”, “Ice Station Zebra”, etc…Also P.D James mysteries..something about solving the mystery & watching it unfold, the suspense & getting to know the same characters. I feel like I know them  🙂    The good guys always win but it takes genius, hard work, devotion & courage.

    I’m not a great reader as the only time I really have is at bedtime.When I do make time I love it tho.  Haven’t got into audio books but I did listen to The Hobbit, with my husband & kids on a road trip once…that was fun!

  9. 5. What do you think of Lewis’s desire to “renew a sense of guilt?” – I think we all know right from wrong but the choices we make depend on how bad we want to do good or evil. If there is peer pressure you may not make the right choice because you want to fit in. Today at work I was put on the spot with our credit card company and she asked me why they were told to stop enrolling people. I didn’t feel that I had the right to tell her what was going on so I told her I didn’t know. I hated being put in that spot and to have to lie about it. I hate lying and felt that my bosses should have already told her what was happening. I had that sense of guilt for not telling her the truth.

    6. Can you name a book in the genre of historical fiction that you have loved? – I can’t really think of any that are fiction that I’ve read. I will have to keep thinking about this one.

  10. 9. Can you name a principle from Scripture that has lodged in your brain and affected the way you live? 

    My grandmother used to say, “Idle hands are the devils workshop.” I believe this comes from Proverbs 16:27. I truly believe it to be the truth! I see many a bored teenager who certainly gets himself into trouble.


    The other scripture that sums up a way of life for me is that from the book of Esther…


    “For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?””

    ‭‭Esther‬ ‭4:14‬ ‭ESV‬‬



    The way this was played out in the story  makes me weep. Esther waited for the right timing; she was lovely. Oh how I long to be like Queen Esther…


    10. Name a biography you have loved and tell us why.

    I haven’t read too many biographies, however, one that you suggested years ago was about Eric Liddell; Chariots of Fire (?). I don’t think I read it though, I think I ended up watching the movie. It was awesome. He was a courageous person when he stood up to the Olympic committee about running on a Sunday. He would forfeit the race if that was the case. Loved that he stuck to his guns!

  11. I am loving all these book recommendations. I must make a list!

    1. I was thinking the same thing. Going to get the Lilac Girls to start with.

  12. 7. Name a fiction book you have absolutely loved and tell us why.

    I used to try and read the book the Midday Connection book club was doing. How I miss that!

    There are two that stand out in my mind. When I was reading Wuthering Heights I couldn’t put it down. I had a house full of teens at the time and I neglected my duties. I couldn’t wait to get home from work to read it! The laundry piled up and I didn’t care what we ate for dinner until I had finished it.
    Another that l will never forget is Frankenstein. I would never have chosen that book on my own. I dislike horror. The book was so different from the movies, the real monster was the dr. I felt such compassion for the ‘monster’.

    I was, and still am, profoundly moved when I contrast Dr. Frankenstein, whose creation was disgusting to him so much so that he at first abandoned him and then pursued him trying to kill him, compared with God our creator whom we rebel against and yet he pursues us and woos us to himself…it still makes me weepy!

    1. I’d love to read a great biography of the Bronte sisters, Chris — don’t know if there is a great one, though.

      Interesting about Frankenstein!

  13. Thursday

    9.  Can you name a principle from Scripture that has lodged in your brain and affected the way you live?  The Golden Rule.  “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you.  This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.”  Matthew 7:12.  I can still hear my Mother quoting this verse and one I passed on to my children.

    10.  Name a biography you have loved and tell us why.  Left To Tell by Immaculee Ilibagiza with Steve Erwin.  This is her story of “how she discovered God amidst the Rwandan holocaust.”  It is amazing that through the loss and suffering she experienced, how she came into a deep relationship with the Lord.  But I think the main reason I loved this story so much is the healing and forgiveness that she brought to this country through her own example, which she talks more about in her sequel Led By Faith.  

  14. 4)  Childhood book favs:   Does anyone remember The Bobbsey Twins?  I loved those (fat) little books… and was so excited when I would get one for a birthday present.  Also read a lot of Nancy Drew, and when I got a little older, I loved going to the library & checking out all the Grace Livingstone Hill books.   The other night (I do all my reading late at night when the house is quiet) I was too lazy to go all the way downstairs to find a new book to read, so pulled one of the grandkids’ Little House books off the shelf in the room.  Little House in the Big Woods (the first in the series).  Oh my gosh, what a shock…so unpolitically correct in today’s world!  (details of the kids helping Pa load his gun, also cringed reading details of killing animals (which had to be done to survive).   One of the most surprising chapters was titled “Sundays”.  A few excerpts:

    “On Sundays Mary & Laura must not run or shout or be noisy in their play.  Mary could not sew on her 9-patch quilt, and Laura could not knit on the tiny mittens she was making for Baby Carrie.  They might look quietly at their paper dolls, but they must not make anything new for them.  They were not allowed to sew on doll clothes, not even with pins.

    They must sit quietly & listen while Ma read Bible stories to them, or stories about lions & tigers & white bears from Pa’s big green book, The Wonders of the Animal World.  They might look at pictures, & they might hold their rag dolls nicely & talk to them.  But there was nothing else they could do.”

    (further along, Pa telling a story about his own father…)

    “…Sunday did not begin on Sunday morning, as it does now.  It began at sundown on Saturday night.  Then everyone stopped every kind of work or play.

    Supper was solemn.  After supper, Grandpa’s father read aloud a chapter of the Bible, while everyone sat straight & still in his chair.  Then they all knelt down, & their father said a long prayer.  When he said, ‘Amen’, they got up from their knees & each took a candle & went to bed.  They must go straight to bed, with no playing, laughing, or even talking.

    Sunday morning they ate a cold breakfast because nothing could be cooked on Sunday.  Then they all dressed in their best clothes & walked to church.  They walked, because hitching up the horses was work, and no work could be done on Sunday.

    They must walk slowly & solemnly, looking straight ahead.  They must not joke or laugh, or even smile.  Grandpa & his twin brothers walked ahead, & their father & mother walked behind them.

    In church, Grandpa & his brothers must sit perfectly still for two long hours & listen to the sermon.  They dared not fidget on the hard bench.  They dared not swing their feet.  They dared not turn their heads to look at the windows or the walls or the ceiling of the church.  They must sit perfectly motionless, & never for one instant take their eyes from the preacher.

    When church was over, they walked slowly home.  They might talk on the way, but they must not talk loudly & they must never laugh or smile.  At home they ate a cold dinner which had been cooked the day before.  Then all the long afternoon they must sit in a row on a bench & study their catechism, until at last the sun went down & Sunday was over.”

    Can you imagine!   Wonder how that would work out for our families today!






      1. Whew, relief!….after I wrote that post, I had thoughts of you all wondering “….she’s reading & quoting from the Little House books?!–how is she ever going to get through CS Lewis’ Mere Christianity!”    quite a transition… ;}

  15. 6. Can you name a book in the genre of historical fiction that you have loved? – Thinking back on this, I came across a book by Craig Parshall, Janet Parshall’s husband called Crown of Fire. It is based on the reformation and was a well written book showing what the Scottish Reformers endured because of their love for Jesus.
    7. Name a fiction book you have absolutely loved and tell us why. – My friend gave me a book that she had gotten called June Bug by Chris Fabry and showed how forgiveness is really given. It was an easy read but one that made me cry. 
    8. Do you like listening to books as well — is there a book you have loved listening to? – I’ve tried listening to audio books, but I find my mind wanders and I start thinking of all the things I need to do. I’ve tried even listening as I fall asleep, but don’t remember what was going into my ears. 

    1. Julie, I recommend Chris Fabry’s latest book, Under a Cloudless Sky. I read it last year; it’s really good!

      1. Thanks Susan, I have him on my authors to read list, I will add this book by his name. I love to read and finally got a library card so now I can do it for free most times.

  16. 9. Can you name a principle from Scripture that has lodged in your brain and affected the way you live? – I love Jeremiah 29.11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” This says it all and shows just how much the Lord loves and cares about those who love and follow him.
    10. Name a biography you have loved and tell us why. – I loved reading ‘I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban.’ Wow this was an eye opener, to make us realize and understand what other countries go through and it’s made aware they love Jesus. It was sad to me to see what torture they went through but amazing to see how they continued to fight.

  17. 9.  The principal that you reap what you sow. Having grown up seeing the negative examples in my family of origin, I wanted to have a different outcome. So in my late teens, I sought people to pray that the generational chain would be broken in my life. I have been very conscious of Prov 14:1-the wise woman builds her house, but the foolish one tears it down with her own hands.


    10.  Biography…Henrietta Mears And How She Did It. She was the founder of Gospel Light, which grew out of her Sunday School, the largest ever. She heavily influenced future leaders like Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade. Oh, to make that kind of legacy!

  18. 11. We are going to be reading together Mere Christianity, which is non-fiction. But I’d love to have you name a non-fiction book that has impacted your life and why.


    You are killing me with trying to remember books I have read! It is sad. It’s because all I have time to read are textbooks that I need for teaching! Those would be considered non-fiction, right?! They have impacted me because they are so time consuming and make my brain tired. It’s a hazard of my profession…others are self-help books; “The Happiest Baby on the Block,” and “The Breast Cancer Care” book are 2 that I have needed over the last few years. One that was sort of self-help was “Out of a Far Country” by Christopher Yuan and his mother. It is a story of his living a gay life style and then coming to Christ. Wonderful book!


    I’m  thinking that the Bible fits in here for me though; the only other book I read (daily) is it. It is so profound, in that every time you pick it up it leads you to a new way of thinking! A passage I have read over and over becomes alive when I remember another passage that relates to it. If I look for Jesus within the passage and find Him, how sweet it is; another thought I never considered prior to this blog study I participate in over the last several years! The Bible is dynamic for me; each time I read I learn. I guess that’s why it’s the best selling book every year?

      1. Oh yes Dee! I would love to do that!


        One of my issues is I always have trouble with libraries! A friend and I joke about the “library police” coming after us because we lose books (those children’s books that fall under the bed!). Lately I have struggled with logging on to library websites to borrow books. Always a password issue! We’ll see….

    1. I scrolled up and someone reminded me of another I have read; an account of her Islamic “culture,” called “In the Land of Invisible Women” by Dr. Qanta Ahmed. Loved that book!


    9. Can you name a principle from Scripture that has lodged in your brain and affected the way you live?

    “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God”

    I have an awful family medical history. I have always struggled with my weight and underneath that with caring too much what others think of me.
    A change has taken place in how I care for my body, my exercise used to be mostly fueled by fear and vanity. I have had some knee issues that slowed me down but also the Lord used the injury to change my mindset. I try now to treat my body as I should and leave the results up to him. I am grateful for opportunities he provides me of good food and a body strong enough to do many things, the day may come when my knee blows out or I find I have heart disease or cancer but for now I check my motives, which are regularly wanting to go back to the old familiar patterns, I ask myself, what are you hoping in?
    The places self-interest takes me to are sinking sand. I am much quicker now to see when I am heading in that direction.

  20. 4. Name a book that got you excited about reading as a child.


    I loved horses as a child, and read anything I could get my hands on about a horse: The Black Stallion, The Island Stallion are two. I also enjoyed the Little House on the Prairie books, Nancy Drew, and I also read a series in junior high called The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper, which really highlighted the battle between good and evil, and I remember really enjoying those books.


    5. What do you think of Lewis’ desire to “renew a sense of guilt”?


    I’m curious because you said the message of this book was delivered at the time of WWII….much of the world turned a blind eye to what was going on in Germany, even the church. Was that why Lewis wanted to renew a sense of guilt?



    6. Can you name a book in the genre of historical fiction that you have loved?


    I do remember reading The Crucible by Arthur Miller, which was based on the Salem witch trials. I remember reading it out loud to my grandma. Thinking about it now as an adult, it is awful to think of how innocent people were accused of witchcraft, and how that often came about because someone told lies about them.


    7. Name a fiction book you have absolutely loved and tell us why.


    You might think this strange, but it is Dracula by Bram Stoker. I was a Midday Connection listener for many years, and a frequent guest was Rosalie de Rosset, who always recommended reading works of classic literature. This was one of the books they read for the Midday book club, where the listeners and hosts were to read a book and then Rosie came on the show and they discussed it. I never thought I’d be interested reading a “vampire book”, but it was such classic literature – I enjoyed the writing style, the elevation of the English language, and the clear distinction between good and evil. As Rosie said, this was not “fluff”, and not the Twilight vampire-stuff where there are good and bad vampires. I found I could hardly put it down, and it was eerie….it had me looking over my shoulder at times; all of that accomplished without the gratuitous violence of many modern novels.

    1. Susan, you have intrigued me with the Bram Stoker book.  Maybe I want to read that one…although, like you, I would for sure be ‘looking over my shoulder’, reading it @ night.  I totally remember when Rosie (on Midday) picked that book, & how surprised we all were, I’m sure.  But she was so brilliant in explaining how & why she chose it (don’t ask me to recall the details), could have been that it was from her classics list.  (btw, on one program she gave a list of (her own) book recommendations by category & I printed it off.  No idea where I might have put that, prob. in a box down in the basement somewhere…)  Great book club,  always hated to miss the show when Rosie came on to discuss the book at the end.  Her insight & comments were outstanding.

      You also mention The Crucible.  Haven’t read the book, but watched the movie (w/Winona Ryder).  Yes, it’s completely heart-wrenching, unfathomable to think about what happened to those women who were falsely accused & put to death, just because of someone else’s lies.  To try to put yourself in their shoes–to try to imagine the torment, physically & psychologically—it’s horrifying and beyond my comprehension.  We have no idea.

      1. Yes, I had that list, too. I think you may still be able to google it by typing in her name and then “recommended reading list”? I loved her brilliant book discussions as well.  I have a copy of her book, Unseduced and Unshaken, and I am hoping to read it with my daughter this summer. She illustrates her points by talking about strong, fictional women characters, like Jane Eyre. Jane was so uncompromising, in a good way. My daughter and I watched two different BBC productions of Jane Eyre and loved them.


        1. Thanx, googled that list & found it!  I don’t think it’s been updated, but a lot of really good book recommendations on there.  I was going to include Barbara Kingsolver’s The Poisonwood Bible above, but didn’t…it was an excellent read, loved the story, didn’t like the ending.  John Steinbeck’s East of Eden is a classic I devoured—if memory serves me right, I think I read it on Midday, Rosie’s book club pick.  That book just blew me away with such deep truth about human nature.  I remember sitting out on my deck in the sunshine, totally immersed in the story, pencil in hand.  Every now & then I would just stop reading, look out over the beauty of summer creation, thinking, “wow…”  A good author will do that to you, their words will speak to your soul.

  21. 8. Do you like listening to books as well – is there a book you have loved listening to?


    Books on tape were something I always had around when my children were young, especially when we were driving on vacation! They made the hours fly by. We liked The Saturdays, Rabbit Hill, A Wrinkle in Time, Charlotte’s Web….my one son really liked to listen to his tapes at bedtime. Of course, they were mostly all for children that we listened to. I don’t listen to audio books anymore!


    9. Can you name a principle from Scripture that has lodged in your brain and affected the way you live?


    In Proverbs it says that a woman can either build her house or tear it down with her own hands. Over the years, I have done both, but this verse will usually come to mind to remind me to think about my words and actions and how they affect my family.


    10. Name a biography you have loved and tell us why.


    This is an autobiography, but I loved Chuck Colson’s Born Again. I found it fascinating, not only about his own life, but the workings of government in the Nixon era and his experiences in the White House.


    11. We are going to be reading together Mere Christianity, which is non-fiction. But I’d love to have you name a non-fiction book that has impacted your life and why.


    My problem is that I start to read many books only to never finish them! But one I did read cover-to-cover was Dee’s The God of All Comfort. It impacted me when my nephew died because it wasn’t a “how-to get through grief book in these steps” kind of book, but more of a personal journey (Dee’s) through grief that I could identify with and that helped me so much. I keep recommending it to others.

    Right now I have begun to read The Sacred Journey by Frederick Buechner. I’m about half-way through. It is his memoir, in a way, of his childhood….again, I love his use of language to put into words the things we experience in life. This passage made tears well-up….


    “How they do live on, those giants of our childhood, and how well they manage to take even death in their stride because although death can put an end to them right enough, it can never put an end to our relationship with them. Wherever or however else they may have come to life since, it is beyond a doubt that they live still in us. Memory is more than a looking back to a time that is no longer; it is a looking out into another kind of time altogether where everything that ever was continues not just to be, but to grow and change with the life that is in it still. The people we loved. The people who loved us…..Who knows what ‘the communion of saints’ means, but surely it means more than just that we are all of us haunted by ghosts because they are not ghosts, these people we once knew, not just echoes of voices that have years since ceased to speak, but saints in the sense that through them something of the power and richness of life itself not only touched us once long ago, but continues to touch us.”


    Wow. Who thinks and ponders like this? I love it when gifted people can articulate thoughts and feelings that all of us have at times but don’t know how to process them out like that.


    I am also reading Leslie Vernick’s book, “Lord, I Just Want to be Happy”. It is very practical at getting control of our negative, automatic thoughts that so affect our feelings. I am determined that I am going to finish it. Each chapter has great questions at the end.

    1. Susan, (yah me again)  Love that quote.  Powerful!

  22. 1st time here

  23. Friday 

    11.  Name a non-fiction book that has impacted your life and why?  I mentioned this book from our last study…A Shepherd Looks At Psalm 23 by W. Tim Keller.  This was a book given to us after we lost our first son, Zebulan, who at 4 1/2 months died of SIDS.  My husband and I read the book together and I credit it in part for helping us through a very difficult time.  I believe this book brought my husband and I even closer together and closer to the Lord.  I highly value this because many parents that we were in a support group with, eventually divorced due to the overwhelming loss.  I must also say that we both had parents who supported and prayed for us…and on that note I give the glory to God!

  24. I have not been able to join in this week, but am loving all the book titles I’m seeing! You all are such readers! I think I struggle to let myself just take time to enjoy a book rather than read something to ‘make me a better ____ (parent, wife, Christian…)’ So I really appreciated this response from Dee to Laura: “But I’m envisioning you on a summer night sitting outside and getting absolutely immersed in a great mystery and completely relaxing as a gift from God.” 

    A few summers ago, I read Home by Marilynne Robinson, a dear friend gave it to me so I really wanted to make myself read it and once I started I could NOT put it down! Read it cover to cover and loved it, and it reminded me of the joy of reading a good book. As Dee said above, seeing it as a gift from Him, I really like that.

    I have read and re-read God of All Comfort several times, there is something about it that keeps drawing me back to it, the way Dee pours out her heart and we see how God meets her in her deepest waters. Stepping Heavenward is another I loved years ago. Last summer Jon & I started “Hope Heals”, the true story of Katherine Wolf–Oh it is really good, we just got sidetracked with China & didn’t finish, but want to get back to it!

    But honestly, my bedside table is usually stacked with books on parenting or spiritual growth…nothing “fun”!

    However, and I’m kind of proud of myself for this, a few months ago I bought myself the complete original Winnie the Pooh series. Haven’t opened them yet…but I do plan to this summer 😉 My 11 year old wants to read them together, so it may be a read-aloud!

  25. 11. Non fiction. Tracy Kidder has written a lot of books, of which I’ve only read one. I can’t remember the title and when I google him, I can’t find it. BUT, that one has never left me. He started out to explain why, if we have all these time saving devices, we don’t have the time we supposedly saved. It was more than 25 years ago. He traced the way decisions were made on public utilities. Most important to me was him saying that our culture, and especially our economy, is based on discontent.  I can easily see that and understand it ever since reading that book.


    12.  Take away. There is so much worthwhile out there to read. I should be reading more, and with purpose.

  26. My take away is WOW, I now have 4 1/2 pages, a small journal style size, of books to dig into. I went back through the comments and wrote them all down. If I could figure out how to get the list on here without having to rewrite them I would post them. Is that possible to do?

    I’m excited to get into Mere Christianity, I’ve started it before but was a bit overwhelmed so I’m hoping with Dee’s guidance it will help me get through it this time.

  27. I received Mere Christianity in the mail yesterday. We have a copy at home but I wanted an older cover. 🙂

    My third son, Andrew said he will read it with me. I am talking my youngest into it and would love to have Isaac read it, so pray. 🙂 I am going to get it on Google Play and listen to it. I think I will be better able to “read” books that way.

    I used to be an avid reader but haven’t had time the past few years due to being so busy with my boys so when I can read, like Lizzy, I read books that are spiritually edifying.  I haven’t had much to offer as far as input this week but am enjoying how you all are clicking in regard to reading the same books!! 🙂 I DO need and love this challenge because I want to get back into reading books. My mom is an avid reader and I think she would be interested in joining us. I am going to ask her today.

    I am getting ready for Isaac’s graduation and then his party in our home after his ceremony. 🙂 So excited for him.

    1. oh Rebecca–SO glad I saw this–praying now for Isaac’s graduation and the party!! H will pray too–we so love your precious boys!!!

    2. Congratulations on Isaac’s graduation!

  28. SATURDAY: 

    12. What’s your take-a-way this week and why?
    Many good reminders in the comments this week of the strong value of reading and the influence of books on our lives for good.  Feeling challenged to read more.

    1. I agree Bev…very well put!

  29. Take away:  I haven’t been able to finish reading the comments yet, but boy is my “reading” list full! I’m definitely going to read all of the comments. I love book recommendations.

    I have an hour+ (one way) commute to work every day and since discovering the Hoopla and Overdrive apps to check out free library books on my phone I have been spending that time listening to books.

    Two books that stand out to me in non fiction (autobiographical) is Glass Castles by Janette Walls and A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierley (I could see God’s hand in his story even if he doesn’t seem to. I pray for his eyes to be opened.) The strength and determination of these two when they were children is amazing.

    The fiction book that touched me the most (and I am going to listen to it again) is And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Housseini.

    I’m not sure if it falls under historical fiction but I loved The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buckley.

    Bonhoeffer was my most recent biography and I loved it.

    1. Also The Story of my life by Helen Keller was fascinating. She was one highly intelligent, determined, Christian woman. Reading her letters and her memories of what she was thinking and feeling when she was unable to understand what was going on around her and unable to communicate with others is something that only she can tell and it is so much more than what I’ve ever seen or read about her.

  30. 12. What’s your take-away this week and why?


    Just this: to earnestly try to read more! I always have loved to read since I was a child, and I am ashamed that I say I have been “too busy” to read. My mom kept an immaculate home and ran a tight ship, yet she always was reading a book. And, for a while I felt guilty if I wasn’t reading something “Christian, or spiritual”, but I believe many secular books can enrich our lives as well. I’m not talking about reading trash, but there are many classics out there that have themes in them which are good.

  31. Is it too late to join in on the Mere Christianity study?