January Bookshelf: A Glimpse of Jesus, Artemis Fowl Series, The God of All Comfort

I decided that I want to be more intentional about reading more books this year. I guess you could call it a New Year’s resolution but that just seems like setting myself up to fail once you start calling it that. So don’t and I won’t either. I should note that some of these were “read” as audiobooks. I do quite a bit of commuting to work and audiobooks help keep me awake and alive.

A Glimpse of Jesus by Brennan Manning, Rating: 5/5. This was the first book I finished this month but I didn’t start it this January. Actually I started it in January of last year after my wife had purchased it for me for Christmas. Taking a year to read such a short book seems a bit ridiculous but I feel like theological and self-improvement books are best consumed slowly. So you can savor the words and let them impact you over an extended period of time. After all if you were attempting to learn how to play the guitar you wouldn’t go through an entire instruction book in one day and expect to know how to play the guitar would you? The same is true of books that deal in matters of faith and just better living in general .

But about the book itself…I had never heard of Brennan Manning until he passed away on April 12th, 2013 when a couple of my Facebook friends posted some thoughts on how he had impacted their lives. That led me on a search to figure out who Manning was and when I read a couple paragraphs from A Glimpse of Jesus on Amazon, I knew that it was a book that I needed to read. I was not disappointed either, Brennan Manning had such a simple and effective way of explaining Gospel truth and God’s love for His people.

The God of All Comfort by Dee Brestin, Rating: 1/5. Due to some tragic circumstances within my family I decided to seek out a book about dealing with personal tragedy from a Christian world view. Unfortunately this book didn’t connect with me at all. It is more of an autobiography with excerpts from Dee Brestin’s journal that jumps back and forth in time as she attempts to adapt the journal into a product with commercial viability. I don’t often give up on books but after forcing myself to stick with it 3/4 of the way through, I finally gave up. Perhaps others could find value in it but it wasn’t for me.

Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer, Rating: 5/5. I also read 3 books from the Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer. The books are aimed at young adults but are a good enough read for adults to enjoy as well.  Specifically I read The Eternity Code, The Opal Deception, and The Lost Colony. The books follow the adventures of Artemis Fowl, an Irish teenager with suspect morals whose life becomes entangled in the affairs of elves, dwarfs and other mythical creatures. I highly recommend these books as a fun quick read.

The Maze Runner by James Dashner, Rating 4/5. I had never heard of this book until seeing the movie title at a Redbox and decided to check out the book first. I enjoyed The Maze Runner but have to acknowledge that the subject matter of the book definitely stretches the limits of what my mind is willing to accept as a plausible scenario for the characters to be in. Still, it is enjoyable and I look forward to watching the movie and reading the other books in the series.

Wow 6 books in one month! I can’t imagine that I will continue that pace all year but it is a good start anyway. I’m not sure what books will be in February yet other than the first couple that I am getting a jump start on.