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Friday Reads - The Crazy Christian Edition

I'm currently working my way through three books.

With all the personal challenges facing my family over the last year, I've revived my faith and reexamined it as we've gone through these trials and tribulations. So I've read a lot of books relating to Christianity.

Last year I received an ARC of Brian Liftin's The Sword, which is the first book in a post-apocalyptic Christian fantasy series. Hundreds of years after a plague and nuclear apocalypse knocks out 90% of the human population, the world is reset to medieval times. What happens when a scholar discovers religious writings from the people who came before? With the intriguing premise, I was especially disappointed that I couldn't get into it when I first received it. The second title in the series, The Gift, showed up in the mail this spring and I decided to give the series another try. I'm still on the fence. Liftin is another one of those theologians trying to write fiction and connect Christianity with the masses, but he's not a natural fiction writer. Still the premise really is interesting and he's created an elaborate world. I also suspect that part of my problem is that I often have a hard time getting into standard formulaic fantasy, which this somewhat is. I'll probably give this to my fantasy devouring husband when I'm done with it to investigate further.

On the nonfiction side of Christianity, I've been getting into the Duggar Family of TLC's 19 Kids And Counting, and they just came out with a new book A Love That Multiplies. While I'm not as extreme in my beliefs as the Duggars, I respect them because they understand that their beliefs aren't for everyone. Still, I can't help but notice there's a kernel of something good and right in the way they live because they are a genuinely close and happy family. If nothing else, they're a good lesson in being happy with whatever God gives you. Plus there obviously is the novelty factor of learning how a family of 21 operates. I loved their first book because it did exactly what it set out to do and I'm hoping this title is just as straightforward.

And in non-Christian manners, I've been reading Young Mandela by David James Smith. I'm enjoying learning about Nelson Mandela's early life, but since I knew almost nothing about it before picking this up, I'm having trouble putting it in context, so this one is going to be a slow go. After reading Invictus, though, I genuinely what to know what happened to make Mandela the icon he now is.
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