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ProjectTHINK -- April


I have a stack of books a mile high and I don't know which ones I'll actually get to this month.  How about doing things a little differently?  Instead of listing "April's Wishful Thinking Booklist", I'll give you a review of what I actually read in March.  There were some goodies.

Find out what ProjectTHINK is all about.

Books I read in March:

Whole 30 -- Melissa Hartwig & Dallas Hartwig -- I tell way more than you ever need to know about this book in my blog series So, I'm Doing the Whole30.  If you have any health issues or if you are tired and sluggish, I highly recommend doing this.  It's hard, but it's worth it.

Taking Your Place in Christ - Understanding Your Identity & Inheritance In Him -- Mark Hankins -- This was a good book that reminds us how what Jesus did for us on the cross translates into our ability to lead a victorious Christian life.  I had been looking for a book that would cover who we are in Christ, but would also be an easy, entertaining read for people.  This book fits the bill.  I will be putting it in our church bookstore.  Please note that it is written with a definite Pentecostal/Word of Faith slant, which is great for us, but might not be your thing.

The Lost World -- Arthur Conan Doyle -- This was a fun book by the creator of the indomitable Sherlock Holmes.  As a story about the discovery and exploration of an unknown territory, this is totally different from his well-known mystery stories.  In fact, it reminded me far more of H.G.Wells' Time Machine than Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories.  If you are squeamish about books that explore dinosaurs and evolution, this book isn't for you.  It does have man and dinosaurs living together, so there's that, and it was written at a time when most of the world believed strongly in creation and questioned evolution, so it isn't in-your-face about it.  But you have to take it as a fun little story and not take it too seriously.  Another thing I must mention:  This was written in the time of British Imperialism, so there is a definite negative slant toward minorities. The main characters are all white British males -- strong, intelligent and brave.  The other characters are minorities in minor roles whose sole purpose is as a foil for the great feats of the main characters.  Their personalities fall very much in line with the negative stereotypes of the day.  I find it is best to take these books in the time period they are written, understanding the prejudices widely held at that time.  That kind of thinking was the accepted and expected norm.  Now it is intolerable and offensive.  I don't like it that people in the past thought this way, but I can do nothing to change their thinking.  They're dead.  I can only change my own thinking and the thinking of my children.  I could refuse to read anything that handled minorities and women unfairly, or I can read these things and let them make me think and examine my own thought processes toward others.  I choose the latter.  Wisely read, these kinds of novels can teach us not only to recognize blatant racism, but help us learn to recognize hidden racism -- the kind of racism that often goes unnoticed.  In the case of this book, the prejudice is not really implicitly stated.  Rather, it is cloaked in what is an otherwise very exciting story.  It is softly revealed in the descriptions and actions of people who play a minor roll in the story.  We are so distracted by the plot that we may be tempted not to notice stereotypes in the characters.  Learning to see it here can help us recognize it when we see it in the workplace or as we go about our daily lives.  In this way, an otherwise negative element of a novel can be turned to a positive purpose.  Aside from those two issues, I found this to be a fun read.

The Strange Case of Benjamin Button -- F. Scott Fitzgerald -- You may recognize this title from a movie that was made. I have never watched the movie, but from what I have heard, the movie was mostly about a very poignant romantic relationship in a very strange situation.  That's sad, because the book only barely touches on Benjamin Button's relationship with his wife.  It is about so much more.  Benjamin Button was born old, and grew young.  Throughout his life, he is on the wrong end of what is proper.  When he is young, he is old.  And when he is old, he has grown very young.  He is unable to fit with his peers, and must find his own way and his own crowd as he grows in the opposite direction of everyone around him.  Yes, he marries, and yes, he grows younger as his wife grows older, but from what I have heard, that is where the similarity to the movie ends.  His wife does not understand nor does she even believe what is happening to him.  She thinks he is doing it on purpose as some sort of cruel game.  He barely understands it himself.  This is not a romance novel.  It is a book about never really being at the right place at the right time, and trying to find ways to make life work anyway.

The Tale of Two Cities -- Charles Dickens
If the only Dickens you know is A Christmas Carol, you have never really met Dickens.  I'm not sure how I missed this book, since I've read so much Dickens, but there you have it.  Another great book by a great author.  In classic Dickens style, he takes you right into the heart of a social issue and forces you to look at the gruesome details.  In this case, the details, of course, are the French Revolution.  Unlike The Scarlet Pimpernel, which also deals with the horrors of the French Revolution, but skims the gory details and lands you in the British aristocracy, The Tale of Two Cities plants you right in the smelly prisons, puts you in the clutches of blood-thirsty "citizens" and ends with a classic Dickens-style killing-off of the villain.  Perfect for a leisurely read.  Personally, I would save this one for upper high school and adults, simply because the French Revolution is such a difficult, bloody subject, and Dickens doesn't spare his readers.  That being said, I enjoyed the book.

That's all I managed this month, except for Bible reading and a lot of research for homeschool and ministry.  How about you?  Have you read any good books lately?

Have a great day (preferably with a good book and a cup of tea),


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