Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Off My Bookshelf: January 2015 Books

Looking back over my book choices for January leaves me scratching my head. The three books have no connection: one fiction, one memoir and one self help. In regard to subject matter, they have nothing in common. So see if you can figure my brain out by what I read.

1. Us by David Nicholls  

I heard about "Us" from a podcast, "The Readers," and found it irresistible. So I bought it....last year. This year my goal is to read off my bookcase instead of buying books on a whim...which is what I've always done. So I picked this as my first book off my bookshelf this year. It was a interesting read, but not one many of my friends would enjoy. There was alcohol use, drugs, premarital sex, family discord, just to name a few reasons for a mature audience. It's the story of a man's quest to save his family from breaking apart. And he's totally inadequate to the job. His wife tells him she's leaving him after their final family vacation. His son can't stand the sight of him. How can one win a family back in such circumstances? Vacations tend to place stress on family dynamics, at least that's been my experience. I can't say I would have handled the situation in the same way, but then I have different values. Values that involve being Christlike as much as possible in my flawed human body.

Jackie is a missionary to Hong Kong, inside the Walled City. She has done amazing work with the drug addicts. Actually, it was and is God doing the work. Jackie is the vessel. What an amazing story...God is still at work! I'd recommend this book to everyone with one caveat. It is written by Jackie; and that being said, it's not the best writing. Or the easiest to follow. Sometimes it's as if she wrote whatever came to mind without regard to structure or transition. You just have to follow her the best you can. But it's worth it. The biggest lesson I learned from Jackie is the value of commitment. She spent years loving and serving the unlovable and because of that commitment she was love back, protected and trusted. Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book:

""...'What is sin?'...'That's simple. Sin is walking your own road.'"

"The disadvantage of short-term missions is a wrong perspective based on this generation's need for instant results."

"What is important is that we have loved in a real way - not preached in an impassioned way."

"Stay for the party. The fleeting volunteer sometimes catches a course - sweet and sour - but no one savers the whole menu like me."

"And so much of the rest of the Church was engaged in discovering their gifting a rather than giving."

My Suggested Wardrobe Colors
So, then to some light reading....and I kind of skimmed it. But I found nuggets of advice here and there. One is that you should have a basic wardrobe, and many of the items I already own. Check. Also, everything you wear should be a "10". It should fit perfectly and make you feel great while wearing it. Check. Finally, Brescia listed colors that should be in your wardrobe based on hair color. And surprise...I'm wearing the right colors without even knowing it! Check. So I'm basically set, except that now I'm off to buy a trench coat for my basic wardrobe...and some hoop earring. Just kidding about the earrings. They're not my thing.