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    Books, Books, Books!

    October 30, 2007 by Brandy Vencel

    I woke up this morning with books on the brain, so I thought I would go through the Official Book Pile, including things I have neglected to place in the sidebar.


    The Case for the Real Jesus:
    A Journalist Investigates Current Attacks
    on the Identity of Christ

    by Lee Strobel

    I am about a third of the way through, and this work is great so far. I’m not sure I will be using my usual review format because I’m not sure it’s a good fit for a book in this genre. This isn’t your usual nonfiction that attempts to be a bit emotion, a bit fact, prove the author could write real literature if he chose, etc. Strobel is a journalist going after the “facts.” He’s a good writer, but I still don’t think the format works.

    If you have struggled with any of the “new evidence” that hits the mainstream {new documents proving x in the Bible is not true, etc.}, this is the book for you. You will also gain an understanding of how historians do their jobs, what textual criticism is, and such.

    Secret Believers:
    What Happens When Muslims Believe in Christ

    The publisher is checking on why this book hasn’t arrived on my doorstep yet. However, I am assuming that I have been slow enough at my reviews that it will arrive when I need it, and no sooner.

    The Divine Conspiracy:
    Rediscovering Our Hidden Life In God

    I have always wanted to read this book, but I have never broken down and bought it. This is because I keep buying books for the children or about the children. I guess it could be said that I buy emergency books. I also tend to buy used unless it is a special occasion, and I’ve never seen this book used.

    With that said, the publisher’s 30th anniversary is coming up, and they are sending free copies of their oldies but goodies to the critics. I put in my request for this one, and I’m hoping they send it my way. They can consider it an early Christmas gift.

    Current Reading
    Not every book I read was free from the publisher. There are a number of others floating around our house. When I see them, I pick them up and read a couple of pages, or more if the children are sleeping. Here they are, in no particular order:

    Poetic Knowledge:
    The Recovery of Education

    This is something Cindy mentioned about a year ago, and I finally got my hands on a copy. This book is at the top of my reading level, and I am relishing the challenge, even if I do end up reading some pages twice.

    This guy uses phrases like “Cartesian legacy” like he means it.

    Charlotte Mason’s Original Homeschooling Series

    What would the Official Book Pile be without a little something from Charlotte Mason? Right now, I’m reading Volume 6: A Philosophy of Education. I’m not reading these in order, so when I’m finished I intend to read Volume 2. I am so thankful that such a treasure is available today. This collection contains thousands of pages written by a Christian woman who devoted her life to the education of children and those who teach them.

    The Last Disciple

    This is one I borrowed from Kimbrah. I told her it would be a while before I could start it. But it called to me. So I’m almost done with it. Besides, Si and I decided we would read it together in the evenings. I can’t tell you how nice it has been since we finally turned the TV off for good. We’ve been reading a chapter or two each evening, enjoying the story and learning a bit about the Roman persecution of the Christians at the same time.

    Warning: some of the romance is a bit…cheesy.

    New in the Afterthoughts Bookstore
    It was time for another change to the store’s front window. This time, I am featuring the work of Holling C. Holling. This is what I said in the store:

    If I could describe Holling C. Holling’s work in a short sentence, I would say it is geography in literary style. Coupled with a large blank map, a child can amble through a foreign countryside, learning what it is like through Holling’s unique storytelling. Have them sketch what they see in their mind’s eye on the map for added delight in what they are learning.

    Holling’s work is a joy to children, but I’m not sure they would really get a lot of actual geography out of it until they are a minimum of five or six years of age.

    The bookstore, for those of you who are new, is linked to the most beautiful copies of a book I can find. I don’t think that folks need to spend that much on every book in their entire library, but I think there is something very special about handing a beautifully bound book to a child for Christmas or their birthday. This is a tradition on our house: one beautiful book per child per occasion starting at the age of one.

    You do not have to shop the bookstore to be my friend. However, I won’t pretend that I don’t benefit if you do. If you buy something using the Amazon searchbox in the sidebar, that benefits me too. Many of you don’t know this, but you really have bought some of the children’s curriculum this year, and now is a good time to thank you for that.

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  • Reply Brandy November 5, 2007 at 6:39 pm

    I will, I will! I am still waiting for my copy to arrive, but I’m trying to finish up The Case for the Real Jesus quickly so that I’m ready when it gets here…

    Book Club! Wonderful.

  • Reply Gracie November 5, 2007 at 6:32 pm

    Hi! So, there’s a website devoted to all of this.
    I got a signed copy of the book (hee hee, the benefit of working here). So let me know when you start reading and we can have a little ongoing discussion!

  • Reply Gracie November 2, 2007 at 7:51 pm

    Sorry gals! I don’t know any more than you do. I know, I work here and I don’t know the answer. Shame on me! 🙂 But I do know that Brother Andrew is a very funny man and he’s so nice!

    Kristie, if you want, you can call in and ask if they are still giving the book out for free. I believe that they will honor the request even though it ended 2 days ago. 🙂

  • Reply Brandy November 2, 2007 at 3:12 am

    I haven’t received it yet, but my understanding is that Secret Believers is technically nonfiction, but written in literary form. And I did read on Amazon that it is based on a true story, though all the names and places have been changed.

    Grace? Maybe you know more about this than I do.

  • Reply kristie November 2, 2007 at 2:48 am

    Hmmm, Grace, I didn’t realize you had such connections! I guess that makes sense now that I think about it. Do you get books for free? Suddenly I want your job…. =)

    By the way, am I correct in understanding this book is a work of fiction, or am I confusing it with something else? (I happen to be a big fan of fiction!)

  • Reply Brandy November 1, 2007 at 9:57 pm

    You know, we could all read it together when the time comes…

  • Reply Gracie November 1, 2007 at 9:01 pm

    Kristie: Let me know if you would like a copy of the book. I do work for the authors. 🙂 I’m glad to hear that it was good. I haven’t read it yet.

  • Reply kristie November 1, 2007 at 1:39 am

    I’m interested in reading “Secret Believers.” Our pastor said it was very good…. And The Divine Conspiracy is a real favorite in our house…as are almost all Dallas Willard books. You’re overwhelming me —I wish I were a faster reader!!! =)

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