This is not meant to be an exhaustive review of the books I've read this summer, but in case the three of you that follow my blog care, I thought I'd at least let you peek at my summer bookshelf.
I finally got around to reading John Eldridge's Wild at Heart during the first camp. A lot of my guy friends and mentors hold it in about the same light as our Mormon friends hold Pearl of Great Price. There's a lot about it that I like. The parts about grace and our new heart/new creation and about fogiveness. And I can't deny that I have a little "Knight in Shining Armor" complex that makes me want to do great things and live dangerously and rescue the damsel. That's some of what the book is about. Still...I'm not entirely sure it passes the "universality" test; that is, it seems very "Western", very "American" to me (and he discusses that in the book) and I'm not sure some man Africa that's thinking about if there will be a next meal is really all that concerned about the feminization of his Christianity and about going camping with the guys and letting it all hang out.
I also read Francis Chan's Crazy Love during the first camp. It was a great book. Lots of people back home should read it. But compared to hearing him speak, I'd say the book was "Francis Chan LITE". I suspect going through it with a group and being able to watch the internet video's that go along with each chapter would be an enhancement (that I wasn't able to take advantage of out in the Ukrainian boondocks). Like Wild at Heart, one of the main themes of the book is grace and I can't get enough of that! It's also about living more simply; something I continue to learn more about the more I'm exposed to the world and it's inequalities.
I finally read Rob Bell's Velvet Elvis. I've started it a half-dozen times, recognizing each time that it's not a book I can casually read over a long period of time...a few pages here and there. This time I disciplined myself to read a chapter (most of them are long) each day...to stay with it lest I forget what I read already. I think it's a brilliant book. One of the best I've read in a long time. He's a smart dude. I don't think I agree with him on everything, but for the most part...amazing. He articulates so well a lot of what I feel about being a Christian and about the church...without bashing the church....much. He is a rabbi whose yoke I would gladly take up.
Back during Spring Break in London, there were 2 special exhibits at the Empirial War Museum. One about Children in the War and the other about Anne Frank. The Anne Frank Exhibit picqued my interest. I read part of the diary in high school but I wasn't mature enough to appreciate it back then. A few years ago one of my "student" friends played the role of Anne Frank in a stage production and I cried watching her portrayal. So, during the last camp, I read The Diary of Anne Frank. It is amazing. I have a 6 or 7 hour layover in Amsterdam this Thursday and Lord willing, I'm going to try to get out of the airport, catch the train downtown and the tram to the Secret Annexe and see her hiding place.
Lastly...I downed a Tom Clancy novel The Cardinal of the Kremlin (I really like the Soviet/Eastern Bloc thrillers a lot lately...I wonder why?) and Clive Cusslers Treasure of Khan. Great books for long train rides!