Friday, June 17, 2005

I've Been Tagged

Stacy Harp from Mind and Media has tagged me to answer a few questions on books. I love to read (I am a book reviewer, after all) so I welcome the opportunity to share a few thoughts on some of my favorite reads.

What is the total number of books you have owned?

Literally hundreds. Books are a tremendous weakness for me. It's been that way for many years. I've either sold or given away many but still have too many to count in my house. Thankfully I have to drive some distance to get to a decent bookstore. Otherwise I would be in big trouble. Although online shopping makes it easier to buy books there is nothing that compares with spending hours browsing through a bookstore looking for the next great book to read.

What is the last book you bought?

Since I became a Mind and Media reviewer, I haven't had to buy many books because I get so many for free. The last book I bought was Why Is the Foul Pole Fair? by Vince Staten which is a fascinating look at the minutiae of baseball that people don't typically think about such as what goes into the design of a ballpark or the history of trading cards or the origin of the press box or how a baseball is made. It's a must read for any true baseball fan.

What is the last book you read?

The last book I read was Total Truth by Nancy Pearcey which I reviewed for Mind and Media. This is a book that anyone who is serious about developing a solid Christian faith will want to own. I suspect this is a book I will be reading many times in the future and be able to get something fresh from it each time I read it.

What are five books that mean a lot to you?

This is a tough question to answer only because I would have a hard time narrowing it down to just five books. Apart from the Bible, I guess it would have to be the following:

1. The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis
This was one of the first Christian books I bought after I accepted Christ and remains one of my favorites to this day. Lewis does an excellent job of exposing the tactics of the enemy through the correspondence between Screwtape and his nephew Wormwood. It 's a fine example of a book that can be read multiple times and still seem fresh.

2. The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis
If I had to choose one of the Narnia books as my favorite this would be it (at least so far - I'm still reading the Chronicles to my daughters). One the most wonderful aspects of this book is the relationship between Lucy Pevensie (she is the first of the four Pevensies to discover Narnia) and Aslan, the lion who represents Christ in the books. Lucy has a sense of wonder in her when she is around Aslan that seems foreign to many Christians today. In many ways I wish my faith were more like that of Lucy's - a willingness to be awed by the power of Christ.

3. The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman
This is one of the few books that I can really label as "life-changing". That's a term that is too easily thrown around these days but this book really lives up to that claim. This book has helped our marriage more than any other we have read. It's one I don't hesitate to recommend to other people because of Dr. Chapman's ability to cut to the chase on what really makes a relationship tick. This book will help you understand how you can best show love to your mate as well as understanding how you need to be shown love as well.

4. Choose the Life by Bill Hull
Dietrich Bonhoeffer once wrote that "Christianity without discipleship is always Christianity without Christ". Bill Hull explains that modern Christianity is much like the Christianity that Bonhoeffer describes. He then goes on to explain what can be done to develop true followers of Christ: disciples and not just believers. This is a must read for anyone who is serious about growing deeper in their relationship with Christ.

5. The Selfish Giant by Oscar Wilde
This fairytale is more than just another children's book. It is at its heart the gospel presented in very simple terms. I was first introduced to this book when I was in college (long before I imagined I would have a family of my own) and it has been one of my favorite stories ever since.

Now it's my turn to tag a few other bloggers. I will tag Portia Rediscovered, The Anchoress, News from the Great Beyond, The Dawn Treader, and Mark Daniels. Let's see what some of their favorite books might be.

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