Unshelved ~ What I Read in February

“Why do we feel so passionate about books, and why do we accumulate them in a seemingly uncontrollable fashion throughout our lives? Our libraries express something more than learning – they link us with the past, present, and future in a way that is portable, affordable, and aesthetically pleasurable” (1).
There is so much more that could be said, but these words convey much abut the joy of reading. Because reading is so important, each month I share the books I read the previous month as an encouragement to others to read. So here’s what I read last month. Unfortunately, because of the circumstances of last month, I did not read as much as I would have liked . . . and tended to read more books that required less thinking as a result. So here’s the list for February, 2017 (click the links to purchase the book):
2017 marks the 500th anniversary of the Reformation and we can expect a number of new books as a result. Michelle DeRusha offers a unique perspective for readers by shedding light on the relationship and marriage of Martin Luther & Katharina Von Bora. I found myself enjoying the time in the book and would recommend it. You can read my review of the book here.
Shalom in the Psalms is meant to be a devotional from a. Messianic Jesish perspective on each of the Psalms. The authors have utilized a new translation of the Psalms that they utilize for this work. While I appreciate the concept, I found the book to be very devoid of depth because it lacked connection to the Messiah. You can read my review of it here.
 
Our prayer lives definitely need work. Knowing that and having heard a bit about Tony Evans, but never actually reading or listening to him I was curious to see what he had to say. I was greatly disappointed and wouldn’t recommend this book at all. You can read my review of the book here.
 
This month I finally completed the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy. I’ve had the books for quite some time and finally decided to sit down to read them. I found the plot lines of each book fascinating and intriguing, however, at times it was explicit and graphic, which took away from the overall impact of the book.
Last year I discovered author Clive Cussler as part of a reading challenge. Enjoying mysteries, I found I really enjoyed his books. He has a number of different series out and I have started reading through the Oregon series. You’re not going to get deep intellectual knowledge or cultural insights from the reading, but the plots are fascinating and come with lots of twists. So for casual reading, I find them enjoyable.
 
Martin Fierro is the literature classic of Argentina and so I decided to tackle it in Spanish as part of my cultural reads. I confess that because I am still learning Spanish, I probably missed much of the imagery and connections, but the read itself was worthwhile. Written in prose and using words not common in Spanish, it can be hard to follow and requires attention. So I am sure I will need to come back to it again when I understand more.
 
El Manual del Conductor
Literally this is the driver’s manual . . . and yes I am counting as part of my reading this month. In trying to get my license here in Argentina, I had two options. They would give me one based off of my United States license, but only valid for a few months, or I could take the entire course (class, written exam, and driving exam) and get it for five years and keep renewing it without the class. I opted for that because it made more logical sense. However, that meant reading the driver’s manual. At about 115 pages, and in Spanish, it took me some time to get through, which is why I am counting it as part of my reading . . . actually the whole process was beneficial because it gave me insights into the very culture into which I am ministering to.
Unfortunately I didn’t get the opportunity to dive into some deep theological and Christian living reading like I wanted. The month threw some curves at us, and so I focused my reading on the book reviews that needed to be done and the driver’s manual. Worn out after everything, any extra reading I simply looked to some casual books. So not a lot of great recommendations on this month’s list. If you wanted to look at one, I would suggest Katharina and Martin.
(1) Estelle Ellis, Caroline Seebohm, and Christopher Simon Sykes. At Home with Books. New York: Carol Southern Books, 1995), 1.