Saturday, January 23, 2010

90 Minutes in Heaven (Miscellaneous, #5)

I was skeptical about reading Piper's memoir of having died, gone to Heaven, and come back to life. Can this be true? How would that happen? Maybe more importantly, why?
This is actually what Piper struggles with throughout the book. Why was he killed in a tragic car accident and whisked away to Heaven only to be brought back to Earth to endure extreme physical pain and a lifelong recovery? It is something that Piper comes back to time and time again. This gave the book a very real quality and I actually started to believe it. Yep, if I had gone to Heaven and had to come back to Earth, I'd probably be a little mad too.
The story is not only convincing but captivating, making the book a quick read and an enjoyable one (even if Piper does seem to get a bit whiny at times). There were many instances in the book where the hand of God is evident in Piper's life and the lives of those around him; the impact of praying to God is also demonstrated powerfully.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Library Thing's 1010 Category Challenge

Some of you may know of the "book community" called Library Thing. Although I am already a member over at GoodReads, I decided to join Library Thing as well, so that I could participate in the Early Reviewers program. (Get free books! Review them! Very cool...) Anyway, as 2010 began, I was feeling a little sad about my 100 Books List. I hadn't made very much progress, although I had been reading since May. So my solution was to make another Books List! (It is an obsessive-compulsive thing with me, I think.) I have incorporated all the books still left on my original 100 Books, and added a few, and instilled categories. So now I'm not only reading 100 books, I am reading 10 books in each of 10 categories in the year 2010. This is, on Library Thing, known as the 1010 Category Challenge. I am definitely up for the challenge for this new year. Bring on the books...

Inspirational Nonfiction

1. God is the Gospel
2. Get Out of That Pit
3. Jesus, the One and Only
4. The Myth of a Christian Nation
5. The Four Loves
6. Love Beyond Reason
7. How to Read the Bible For All Its Worth
8. Exclusion and Embrace
9. The Love Dare
10. 12 Steps for the Recovering Pharisee (Like Me)

Award Winners

1. Life of Pi (Booker Prize)
2. The Executioner's Song (Pulitzer Prize)
3. Middlesex (Pulitzer Prize)
4. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay (Pulitzer Prize)
5. The Road (Pulitzer Prize)
6. Possession (Booker Prize)
7. The Confessions of Nat Turner (Pulitzer Prize)
8. The Echo Maker (National Book Award)
9. The Stone Diaries (Pulitzer Prize)
10. March (Pulitzer Prize)


1. The Courage to Start
2. No Need for Speed
3. Fast Food Nation
4. How My Breasts Saved the World: Misadventures of a Nursing Mother
5. 90 Minutes in Heaven
6. Stumbling on Happiness
7. My So-Called Freelance Life
8. Notes to Myself
9. The Winged Seed
10. The World As I See It

Saturday, January 2, 2010

A Few More Down :: Here's to More Reading in 2010!

1. God is the Gospel
2. American Gods
3. Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell
4. Atlas Shrugged
5. Life of Pi
6. Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister
7. Confessions from an Honest Wife
8. Telegraph Days
9. The Courage to Start
10. Mirror Mirror
11. The Sirens of Titan
12. Gates of Fire
13. Something Happened
14. A Thousand Acres
15. Good Faith
16. Thirteen Ways of Looking at the Novel
17. No Need for Speed
18. Anna Karenina
19. Get Out of That Pit
20. Jesus, the one and only
21. The Bluest Eye
22. Prodigal Summer
23. The Know-It-All
24. The Witches
25. Fantastic Mr. Fox
26. The Myth of a Christian Nation
27. For Whom the Bell Tolls
28. Out of the Silent Planet
29. The Four Loves
30. The Complete Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde
31. Unspoken
32. Unafraid
33. Finding Stefanie
34. Lies My Teacher Told Me
35. The Executioner's Song
36. Love Beyond Reason
37. Middlesex
38. The Shack
39. The Amazing Adventure of Kavalier & Clay
40. The Joy Luck Club
41. Hinds' Feet on High Places
42. Mountains of Spices
43. A Walk in the Woods
44. Fast Food Nation
45. The Girl's Guide to Hunting and Fishing
46. The Maltese Falcon
47. How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth
48. The Poisonwood Bible (re-read)
49. Two Rivers
50. It's Not News, It's Fark
51. The Road
52. Persuasion (re-read)
53. The Silver Chair (re-read)
54. Lucky Man
55. Matilda
56. The Adventures of Augie March
57. Possession
58. Everything's Eventual
59. Written By Herself
60. Perelandra
61. That Hideous Strength
62. Memoirs of a Geisha
63. The Time Machine
64. Peculiar Treasures (re-read)
65. On a Whim (re-read)
66. Coming Attractions
67. Last Light
68. Night Light
69. True Light
70. Your Money or Your Life
71. The Perfect Thing
72. Moneyball
73. The Fifth Book of Peace
74. Early Bird
75. An Anthropologist on Mars
76. Exclusion & Embrace
77. A Short History of Nearly Everything
78. Sex, Drugs & Cocoa Puffs
79. Predictably Irrational
80. Finding Battlestar Gallactica
81. Hopes and Impediments
82. The Love Dare
83. Redeeming Love
84. Sappho's Leap
85. High Fidelity
86. Pilgrim's Progress
87. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich (re-read)
88. The Pillars of the Earth
89. The Confessions of Nat Turner
90. A Christmas Carol
91. Gulliver's Travels and Other Writings
92. The 158-Pound Marriage
93. The Winged Seed
94. Driving Mr. Albert
95. Notes to Myself (re-read)
96. The Emotions
97. Mel Gibson's Passion and Philosophy
98. How to Win Every Argument
99. The World As I See It
100. Twelve Steps for the Recovering Pharisee

Friday, January 1, 2010

70. Your Money or Your Life

I started reading this book purely out of curiosity. I had no intention of subscribing to the formula that is presented or doing any actual work the authors demand suggest I do. I did learn a lot from this book, although at times it was dry/repetitive, and somewhat contradictory. Dominguez and Robin, the co-authors of the book, have devised a system of tracking living expenses and income that make a regular old budget (something people struggle with enough as it is) seem like child's play. They assert that budgets don't work because they require will power and people always give up on trying to restrain themselves. Yet they go into great detail to explain how using their program must be done to the exact letter. For me, it just seemed a little too hypocritical. However, the authors' hearts are definitely in the right place, as they attempt to teach one the value of a dollar, and how that affects the quality of life. They are of the Save More, Spend Less mentality--a stunning new concept?--which I am definitely in support of as well. I just don't think I need to track back every dollar I've ever made to do so, or make a wall chart showing how much I make and where it is all going. In short, I liked the book and it inspired me to be more conscious of my spending/saving, but it was too preachy at times.