I love summer vacation breaks, especially where internet connections are weak. Unplugging from the world helps slow one down and have time to reflect. It is important to carve out quiet “me time”. My parents read a lot. I can still see them in their comfortable chairs with good reading lights positioned on either side of the fireplace. That role model has inspired me to be a lifelong student, continually seeking knowledge. I’ve also heard, recently, that children who observe their parents reading are more likely to be readers. Beware if you do all your reading on your phone or tablet as they may not see this as “book” reading.
This summer was the perfect setting for reading and listening to audio books when we were in the car. Here is a short recap of the books I read:
Commonwealth by Ann Patchett. Nice character development illustrating how each of our decisions has a consequence on people in our lives. If you like the stories in the Old Testament, you will enjoy this story. Lots of twists and ultimately ties into the overlapping character stories.
Redemption by David Baldacci. How can anyone not enjoy the Baldacci story telling ability? As my wife is a “Buckeye”, the connection to Ohio State was a bonus, so I did a second of his books, The Forgotten. The Forgotten is set in Florida with a recurring character. Again, written with the white sands of the panhandle as your back drop. This has human trafficking with a surprise twist at the end.
With Christ in the School of Prayer by Andrew Murray was recommended by a client. It was written over 100 years ago. Very deep insights into prayer and my relationship with God. Always amazes me as to the relevance of these topics, even a century later.
God is a Gift by Doug Reed. Having visited Thorncrown Chapel, a wayfarer’s place, you feel the peace of nature and God’s creation in Eureka Springs, AR. I was inspired to read about Doug’s faith journey. If you are ever in northwest Arkansas, a stop at the glass chapel is worth the visit. Each of us has our own unique story about our relationship with God.
Discrimination and Disparity by Thomas Sowell. He is a Stanford professor I have enjoyed following for years. His observations about the distortion of data to promote a particular view were so insightful. He writes from a strong economic background and with the eyes of a conservative thinking minority who has succeeded in academia.
Smokin’ Seventeen by Janet Evanovich. Trash talk might be too strong of a description of this light mystery read. But, raised in the area of the country Janet is writing about, I could relate to the personalities and geography. Definitely lighter than the Thomas Sowell or the following book.
Upheaval by Jared Diamond. If you enjoy history and the interplay between countries, you will enjoy the examples given in this book. I found this book especially timely with all the conversation about socialism and “free” everything. It is a book that one must wade through the first 23-30 pages. The background sets up the rest of the book. Professor Diamond makes his case for global/climate warming. This is a topic that is getting much more attention. Will my hometown, Houston, home of fossil fuel advocates be hurt by the climate change believers? He also covers the polarization that is occurring between our politicians and raises some powerful concerns about our loss of civility.
Miracles by Eric Metaxas. What a disappointment! I give any book 50 pages before closing it up and saying, “NEXT!” Sorry, I enjoyed a number of his other books but this one just wasn’t worth the read. I was looking for stories and it was more of an academic to me.
For the readers, imagine no TV, a tranquil lake setting, capturing the experience of a quieter, slower time in a very relaxed setting. That setting enabled me to get this fill of reading. If you have a good book or two that you would recommend, please share the titles and comments with me.
Ron Schutz, author