Summer Reading Club

Mark Lee of Third Day fame has started his summer reading club on his blog. Instructions are that we are supposed to talk about the last two books we read. I have a bad habit of usually reading at least three books at any one time. I listen to one from Audible.com, read one on my phone (my preferred reading device) and read on paper book because I need something to do while I am taking off and landing while I fly. I haven’t been flying that much lately so I haven’t finished a paperbook recently. But I am in process of reading two books. Jesus Creed by Scot McKnight and Surprised By Hope by NT Wright. Jesus Creed is a good book but I think he gets across pretty much everything that is important in the first third of the book. So I have only gotten about half way through and am kind of bogged down. Surprised by Hope is a bit heavy for occational reading. I really need to sit down and read it through. So I will probably wait until my beach trip before I really get back into that one.

I got into NT Wright after hearing a lot about him but never actually reading anything. So I listened to several lectures, then I listened to Simply Christian. I have heard it called Mere Chrisitianity for the postmodern world. I imagine that is a fairly good description, but I have never been able to get through Mere Christianity, so I can’t say for sure. What I do know is that it is a Thick Book, not in pages, but in content. I am glad I listened. I seem to be able to process better when I listen. But after having listened to Simply Christian and started reading Suprised by Hope, I think that NT Wright is a better speaker than writer. Not to say he is a bad writer, but to say he is a great speaker. Very rarely do I hear a pastor that both has real content and a real pastoral concern for the audience to “get” the content. NT Wright exudes pastoral concern. I go to Andy Stanley’s Church. And I think he is a great speaker, but he is giving life application to scripture. NT Wright is explaining scripture. There is a subtle but profound distinction.

Just so you don’t think that I only read theology. The last book that I listened to was Seeress of Kell by David Eddings. It was the last of a 10 part fantasy series. I had read it as a teenager and decided to go back and read them all again. I read the first nine on my phone, but then listened to the last one. I should have just read them all on my phone. After reading that long I had the voices set in my head and the narator had a different conception of several of the characters and really detracted from the book.

On my phone the last book that I have read was Changer of Worlds. It is a miliary Science Fiction book. It is actually a group of short stories that are based in the world of Honor Harrington, a character from a series of books by David Weber. There is a book publisher, Baen, that has a library of free books. They ask their authors to contribute books, often the first book or two in a series. So I end up reading the first couple and then buying a bunch more. I probably would not otherwise have chosen to read so much military oriented Science Fiction. But I like supporting a book publisher that believes in both putting out material free so people can get an idea of what they like but also rejects all DRM. No books sold by Baen have any DRM on them!

2 Comments

Good for people to know.

I have had the kindle 2 for about 2 months and I love it. (I did not own a kindle 1.) I was worried that I might not like the fact that it’s not like holding a paperback, but that hasn’t been an issue at all. It’s more convenient than a paperback. I travel a lot and used to bring many books with me. I still do with the kindle, but my bags are now much lighter!

Pros:
– lightweight, lighter than most paperbacks
– convenient for travel, carry many books in one small package
– easy to read, truly just like a book
– long battery life with wireless off (I read several books before having to recharge)
– easy and fast to buy books
– very quick download
– less expensive than paperbacks
– people can’t tell what you’re reading
– many books available for the kindle
– can change the text font size

Cons:
– sometimes have to take it out of bag and case at airport security (just like a laptop)
– shouldn’t use the kindle on the plane when electronic devices are not allowed during takeoff and landing
– I worry about water and sand damaging the kindle when reading by the pool or at the beach
– the 5-way controller is a little awkward to use

Tip for a case:
I needed a case in a hurry because I was traveling soon after receiving the kindle. Instead of risking not getting it on time by ordering a case online, I went to Target to buy a Belkin neoprene sleeve for 7″ laptops. It’s bigger than the kindle so I kept the foam inside that came with the sleeve and split it in half. I slip the kindle in between the two pieces of foam and I now have a very protective case. I don’t think I will buy a kindle-specific case because this was less expensive ($12) and looks like it has more padding. I am very happy with this solution.

Tip for the cost:
If you purchased the kindle within 30 days of the price changing from $359 to $299, Amazon will refund you the $60 if you call and ask for it.

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