OK, here we go with another fun edition of the SRC Monday Mashup. For now, I'm only including the first 7 participants. This is just a lack of time on my part - hopefully I can do the rest as I get some more time!
First, a recap of last week.
The book that seems to be circulaing the most is (no surprise) The Shack. I guess I'll have to break down and read it! Malcolm Gladwell was also mentioned a few times.
As far as music goes, Third Day wins. Hey man, I'll take it! Also mentioned a TON was the new Coldplay...
Oh, and apparently a lot of people have heard of Gainesville, GA. That also doesn't surprise me. I was just trying to point out the remoteness. Yes, I know it's a big town, but so is, um, Victorville, and, um, Pasco. And Odessa. And Shreveport. And Pottsville. And Binghamton. And Hickory. You get the drift...
Read on for the mashup goodness!
First of all, Dawnifer WINS this week for her review of Cooter's book!
#9 Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney: This is one of my favorite kids books (I won't be sharing too many of these since I'd have about 20 a day to write, but we just read this one again and I wanted to share). I bought this book after having our first daughter and we read it almost every night to her at bedtime. Although she's getting a bit too old to enjoy it like she used to, she still picks it out for her bedtime book now and then. Little Nutbrown Hare is telling his father, Big Nutbrown Hare, how much he loves him in a form of comparing it to the measure of actual things. Of course, being a typical male, daddy has to one-up his son and go one measure up from anything that Little Nutbrown Hare says. (LOL...just kidding about the typical male jab). Just before falling asleep, Little Nutbrown Hare amazes his Dad with the statement "I love you right up to the moon." Of course, Dad does one-up this too, but only after his son is sound asleep. Anita Jeram's illustrations for this book are beautiful and the colors are perfect for capturing the sleepy-time feel of this bedtime book. I give this book as a baby gift quite often and I highly recommend it to any parent.
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Santiago is a shepherd who sets out to follow a dream. Literally. He follows the advice of a gypsy who interprets a reoccurring dream about treasure at the pyramids of Egypt. He leaves the lush fields of Spain to cross the dessert. Along the way he meets spiritual guides, falls in love, learns to listen to his heart.
"My heart is afraid that it will have to suffer," the boy confides to the alchemist one night as they look up at a moonless night.
"Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself," the alchemist replies. "And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second's encounter with God and with eternity."
This tale is filled with beautiful spiritual truths, themes we teach our children and strive to live every day. Woven in a tapestry of adventure, we find dedication to a commitment, diverse cultures, a healthy respect for nature and the universal language.
Dustin also read Everlost:
(1) Everlost, by Neal Shusterman: Dark tale of a freak accident that causes two teens to not quite make it to where they were supposed to go in the afterlife. Quick, fun read with some interesting concepts (skinjacking, Afterlights, dead spots) about what happens after you die. The concepts could easily be turned into some cool special effects for a short film or made-for-TV movie. Worth a read for something summery.
Push My Life into a Duffle Bag has a good storyline, especially for
those who have a heart for people from a less than wonderful
environment. John Roger Schofield does a great job of developing the
characters in the story written from the viewpoint of abused child who
grows up to be an angry young man and his struggle with and through
that anger. In fact, one thing the book does extremely well is give you
the sense that this is indeed someone's personal memoirs.
The first few chapters of the book were extremely hard for me to get through primarily because of the graphic sexual descriptions. For the most part, they really were unnecessary to the story. It is possible to get the same points across without being quite so graphic and the human part of the interplay took so much of a backseat that it almost got lost. If one shies away from such things and dislike profanity, then this is probably not the best book to read. For a good example of something that can be a little "steamy" and still not be quite as graphic, the Song of Solomon might work. I am not suggesting that the story excise the less than pretty parts, but perhaps it could have relayed them in such a way as to not to cause young men to want a cold shower afterwards. LOL
The best and worst characteristics (outside of the nearly pornographic descriptions) are actually the same. John is quite good at adjectives and descriptiveness in the scenes he portrays through a lot of the book, but at times it is almost too much, as though he picked up the dictionary just to toss a few words in there. I found the use of the word "Forsooth" throughout the book to be both endearing and a bit of a distraction. It was endearing because I know John seems to love the word, and it made me think of him: however, as far as the story goes, it really didn't make sense. Most people really don't talk that way, and John is unique. ;) I also found that he used the word, "myriad" a lot. It is hard to know whether or not it really stuck out to me because I know the name of his band is "The Myriad" or if I would have noticed it anyway. I do tend to try not to overuse the same word when writing, so that sort of thing will jump out at me sometimes.
The other downside to the book is that the time line seemed a little confusing in some parts of the book. Maybe a chart would have helped. He does backtrack a bit in parts of the story.
Overall, the book is interesting, and I'd really love to see it rewritten a little less graphically, and perhaps with a little more editing on finer points. And if "forsooth" stays in the story, perhaps an explanation of why the character keeps using it since it isn't a word most people use routinely.
To it's credit, Push My Life into a Duffle Bag has a good message in the end, but I am not sure it makes up for it's graphic nature, and in fact, it seems somewhat a contradiction.
Short but excellent book. Matt Redman is an amazing songwriter (which everyone reading this probably already knows). To be able to get inside his mind and passion for worship music was very eye-opening. Matt explains how our worship should be ALL about God and not us or what we are going to get out of it. Matt tells us "to worship facedown is the ultimate outward sign of inner reverence". One day we know that EVERY knee will bow to Jesus but what a wonderful thing to bow now. Have you ever been brought to your face before Him? At Creation Northeast a few weeks ago now I was listening to Chris Tomlin sing "Amazing Grace" and I was so overcome with the magnitude of what Jesus had freed me from that I could no longer stand up. I was facedown in the dirt on that field and no one else was around but me and Jesus.
Matt takes us through different aspects of worship. What is it, what it is not, how it may look and how God is to be approached. One of my favorite quotes is "Yet let's not be fooled into thinking that this story is all about us. It never has been, and it never will be." Not many people today buy into that notion at all. I was also struck by the chapter pertaining to silence. We are such busy people and silence just does not seem to exist in our world. We miss God because of this....busyness (is that how you spell that?) and noise work to satan's advantage! There is a quote by Bill Hybels in the book "Is the ambient noise level of my life low enough for me to hear the whispers of the Lord?" Wow....ask yourself that one!
The chapter called AWESTRUCK hit me right between the eyes. I like the word "awesome" and I used it alot. That is going to change. Job 25:2 tells us that "dominion and awe belong to God". Awe is to be God's alone. Not a person, not a song, not a trip, not a movie....only God. I want to reserve my awe for the only one worthy of it!
I enjoyed this book and I actually thought about the Christian artists I enjoy listening to and wondered if they approached their music in the same way Matt tries to do.
And Jason, OF COURSE short stories qualify! I appreciate your resourcefulness...