Monday, December 8, 2008

Books, Books and more Books **ETA**

More answers to some of the questions that I received a few weeks ago:

Kat at Sunshine and Lemonade asked:
What books are you reading right now? What book have you read that you really wish they would make into a movie (that would be good - and not a horrible Hollywood version of your fav)?

Right now I am reading: Finding the Hero in Your Husband by Dr. Julianna Slattery, Parenting the Heart of Your Child by Diane Moore, and Stumptown Kid by Carol Gorman & Ron J. Findley.

The first two are 'self-help' style books, which I am not usually a fan of. However, I am enjoying both of these and have been able to glean good information that I can apply to my life from both.

Stumptown Kid is a book that Ben read this summer. It is set in the 1950's and is about a white boy who befriends a black man who had played ball in the Negro League. Ben really enjoyed this book when he read it this summer and wanted me to read it then but I never did. When my parents came to visit last weekend my dad was asking if I had anything for him to read. Ben jumped in and said that he had a good book and then disappeared to his room and came back with this one. My dad read it that evening and the next morning and then he and Ben had a discussion about it that I enjoyed listening to. So last week I picked it up one evening and am half way through it now.

Three books at one time and I am not doing very well at finishing any of them! I also have two books on hold at the public library. One is Wicked (which I am 11th in line for right now), the other is My Enemy's Cradle. Interestingly enough, I just found out that the later book was written by Sara Young, who is the same person who wrote the Clementine children's books under the pen name Sara Pennypacker.

As far as what books I would like to see made into a movie. I really cannot think of one. I am very excited to see the Tale of Desperaux. The boys and I love that book and will quite likely splurge to see the movie in the theatre when it opens in two weeks!

Meleea, Jennifer A., and Lula! all agreed that they wanted to hear my thoughts on The Shack:

So this one is hard for me to write. Mostly because I hate controversy and this book is a huge bestseller right now and has been highly acclaimed as Christian fiction.

And I did not like this book at all.

I started reading The Shack this summer, but could not get through it, so I set it aside. I wasn't to excited to pick it back up again because it is not an easy read. The writing is not grabbing and it requires quite a bit of concentration to follow the story. When I read fiction I want it to grab me. Draw me in and take me away. That is why I read fiction, as an escape. This book was definitely not an escape.

I picked this book up again early this fall because I was invited to join in a book club that was reading it. I finished it this time because I wanted to be able to participate in the book club conversation, not because I liked the book.

My determination is that while the Shack is a piece of fictional writing it is not being taken as that. This book has been widely accepted as eye opening into the persons of the Trinity however, it does not line up with the Biblical portrayal of the Trinity. That and the fact that so many people are claiming this as "life changing fiction". I do not believe that fiction can truly be life changing, it is fiction after all and the definition of fiction is "something feigned, invented or imagined; a made up story." So my struggle with this book comes when people say something like "this book changed my life, it opened my eyes to the ...............(insert whatever insight this book brought)", and I have heard this. In the above mentioned book club conversation I heard this: "The Shack has changed my life in the way that it allowed me to see that God could be whomever I wanted Him to be, including a woman if that was the way that God fit into my life". It was then that I realized that this lady was searching and when you are searching you often are looking for what sounds good although it may not necessarily be truth. This insight sounded good to her because it fit into the role that she wants God to play in her life. It reminds me of what I call the Church of Oprah, that god is in us as whatever we want he or she to be, and is only one of the ways into heaven. However, this is completely untrue as told to us in the ultimate authority, The Bible, in John 14:6 "Jesus said to him "I am the way the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through me."

So my take on The Shack boils down to this:

Read it with caution and take it as a piece of fiction (a made up story). If you find it to be "life changing" feel free to e-mail me and we'll discuss that.

And sorry, but I cannot loan you my copy as I returned it to Costco after I read it because I thought it was crap!

** ETA** I would never be one to tell someone not to read something. Probably because I am a bit of a rebel (just a little bit though!) and if someone told me NOT to do or read something, you can be pretty sure that i'd go right on ahead and do it anyway! Read it, form your own opinion, because this is MY opinion and opinions are what make the world go round!

And finally, since we're on the subject of books, my mom tagged me for this meme last week. I have never played along with any of her tags, but I happen to have four books here on my desk right now, so I'll play along.

These are the rules: Open the closest book to you, not your favorite or most intellectual book, but the book closest to you at the moment, to page 56. Write the 5th sentence, as well as two to five sentences following that.

The closest book of the five is Stumptown Kid. Page 56, fifth sentence and the following sentences read:

" I said I didn't say nothin'," I repeated.
"I think you called me a name, Stumptown," Lobo said.
He came out and stood there on the line between home and first base, his hands on his hips.
"He called you a creep, Lobo," said one of Lobo's friends. He sneered, probably thinking about what Lobo was going to do to me now. Will was watching from behind. He looked scared.

Now I want to know what you are reading or have read lately............


Hot Tub Lizzy said...

I won't tell what I'm reading because it is BEYOND fluff... it's the fluffiest of fluff.

My mom really liked the Shack, but I tend to turn and go the opposite direction when anything gets to be "THE" thing everyone is reading...

Hot Tub Lizzy said...

Oh - and the "God is whomever you want he/she/it to be" yeah... that doesn't work for me.

Elena said...

Okay, haven't read the Shack, so I have nothing to add about that. But WHAT?! You can return a book after you've read it? I've never even thought of trying such a thing. And I'm smack dab in the middle of Wicked. It's a very strange book. It's deep and dark and funny all at the same time. I'm still undecided as to if I love it or hate it.

Lee Ann said...

Don't be scared to tell us how you really feel :-)

I can't remember if you wanted my opinion or not. Did you? Here it is. I didn't think it was crap. It did grab me and I couldn't put it down. It's the ONLY book I have ever skipped to the end. That said. It is NOT biblical. It should not be read by anyone who is new to faith or not strong in their faith.

I'm not reading anything right now. I have a couple lined up....just need to get them started.

Trish said...

Lizzy, I DO want to know what you are reading! I like fluff too!

Elena, you can return just about anything to Costco! The book was still in perfect condition and I just told the gal that I didn't like it, and that I would not be reading it again or passing it on to anyone. No other questions asked.

LeeAnn, of course I wanted your opinion! One of the things I forgot to mention is that alot of my friends that love this book have daughters........what is the link??

Valerie said...

Thanks Trish for your candid thoughts -- I appreciate it. While I can't say that I wasn't deeply impressed by the writing, I was more disturbed by the content. I agree with LeeAnn, it is not biblical and misrepresents God on so many different levels that it is dangerous to true understanding of a majestic and awesome God.

I would have to say that I am LOVING Knowledge of the Holy by A. W. Tozer. Great, great book on the character of God. I had to buy my own so that I could underline in it (and I have a serious aversion to writing in my books -- it is a sickness).

And Riley and I are reading the original Pilgrim's Progress among others and I have been so blessed by this book. I had only read the children's version growing up which has some vital parts missing. Those vital parts are just amazing allegories on the Law and grace and how those two work together -- really got me thinking! Our version has little sidebars that really help to understand what Bunyan was saying -- amazing mind! And strangely, even in the original language, Riley loves it and asks to read it.

Kel said...

Thanks for your thoughts. I haven't read the Shack for myself but have skimmed through it, read the back and read many reviews and even the best of reviews give me great caution about the book and show me it is not Biblical therefore should not be read with so much anticipation for life change. After listening to the author speak on a short clip I had little to no desire to read his imaginary story when their are so many great true stories out there to read...and also so many great imaginary stories that have a biblical base (or at least not a non biblica base )to make them worth my time to engage in.... :)

Gramma 2 Many said...

Can't comment, have not read The Shack and do not intend to.

The Arthur Clan said...

I just wanted to stop by to thank you for visiting my blog today as part of BATW. It is very cold and snowy here in Ohio right now, but the snow isn't here to stay...yet. It has melted a few times and then we've had another snowstorm. Within a few weeks, the snow will probably be here to stay for good. :)

I enjoyed reading your opinion on the books you mentioned in your post. I can't even tell you how much I agree with your comments about Oprah and her church of "god can be anyone you want him/her to be." That was one of the key reasons I quit watching her years ago.

JourneytoFamily said...

Uh, Twilight? (again and again... and again and again) :)

Adam said...

There is a great children’s book called Other People’s Shoes that helps teach kids the importance of kindness. You should check it out! Here’s a link:

Shannon said...

I haven't read the Shack and I don't plan to. I've read excerpts and lots of reviews. I've talked to many people who have read the book. I've heard it all...from "life changing" to "caution"
I choose not to read it on principal. I think it is a dangerous book that has the potential to lead people to wrong conclusions about who God is. My mom walked into a Starbucks and saw a long time friend sitting there with the book. She had just finished it. My mom asked her what she thought of it. (by the way this is a woman who has been in and out of church over the years) The woman's response was this..."It was amazing! God is WOMAN!"
That's what someone who is not firmly rooted in faith walked away from the book with. That is dangerous..and I believe you hit the nail on the head with how it is very similar to what Oprah is touting around.
Here is what I don't get about this man who wrote the book. Obviously as christians we all know that the world would like to make God convenient. The world wants to say.."God can be whatever you want him to be. Whatever works for you is fine." So if this man is a true biblically minded christian why would he put a book out there that plays right into the hands of the "world's view" of God instead of a steadfast biblical view!

The Aribibola Clan said...

My favorite author is Karen Kingsbury! Her Redemption, Firstborn & Sunrise Series are incredible... they're easy to read and grab you from the get go!

Right now I'm reading "Where Angels Go" by Debi Macomber, "Home Again" by Kristin Hannah (I get my NW fix through her) and I'm anxious to get started on Karen Kingsbury's newest "Every Now and Then"!

Meagan said...

I almost bought The Shack a couple months ago...I had no idea about most of this. My brother in law did make one mention about God being a woman in the book and it made me lose my interest in it.

It breaks my heart when I think about how many people are searching desperately for God and then are being drawn away from Him and finding hope in talk show hosts and fiction books. The Church, and I unfortunately need to lump myself in here, is not doing its job. We need to boldly speak biblical truth and not get caught up in the wishy-washy talk that is floating around many churches today.

Currently I am reading "Peace Like a River" by Leif Enger. So far I am really enjoying it. The writing is quite engaging. I am reading it with some caution however, because one of the main characters is somewhat of a miracle worker, but I am not getting the impression so far that he is being portrayed as God. So we'll have to see where that goes. Other than that, this is one of the better books I have read in the past several months. I have a couple Francine Rivers books waiting in line and I'm looking forward to that as I always enjoy her books.

Debbie said...

Still reading Twilight in between coughs...bought "the Shack" for hubby and who is reading "Crime and Punishment" right it is sitting on the nightstand...However, your commentary is very enlightening...and I'm sure I will agree with you as you and I tend to agree on this stuff.

Dee said...

I haven't read the book but I am curious. I shy away from what is popular and what is current "craze".

However, my man recently purchased the CD series nd wants to have date night every night at 9 pm and listen to it together. We can't seem to get to the couch by 9 pm. It's usually 11 pm and we are just plumb tired.

Anonymous said...

If someone wrote a fictional book about Meleea (my lovely wife and best friend of over 22 years that I share my heart and life and laughter with, that I talk with and listen to and dream with), I would be able to tell the difference between what was true and what was fiction. Someone else's perspective may even help me understand her more. But it would not endanger my understanding of her or our relationship because I know her. Self help books, fiction about vampires or child warlocks and the BIBLE can all be used by God to awaken our hearts or by the enemy and our own tendency to hear what we want to send us off course. Someone who hopes that God can be what she wants could hear that at church or at a bible study just as easily as she could in the Shack. However, she probably would not often hear that we should forgive people who murder little girls. This book is a watershed. Very few people have a mediocre response. I think that sparking our imagination is a FANTASTIC and very important for reading fiction. Walking 24/7 with Jesus is the only thing that protects us from the lies of the enemy. While this book may be fanciful, it is only dangerous if you take it out of context. It is not trying to be "scriptural", it is trying to open our hearts and minds to an amazing God who is much more multi-dimensional, personal, fun loving, passionate, forgiving, present, powerful, patient and mysterious than we know. Is this portrayal of God worse than what most of us carry around in our heads? Some super limiting version... We can't begin to imagine how amazed and shocke we will be when we meet him. I guarantee, he will NOT be anything like whatever we think now. However, if I know him now, I will know him when I step into eternity. I believe that many of the characteristics that were imaginitively displayed using the limited decayed language we have available will be displayed by our creator in a magnified and glorious way. Who knows? Walking hand in hand with God is always a surprising adventure. Seekers find what they seek. If their hearts long for God, He will be found rightly. I thought it was a great book. Like almost every book I have ever read, it changed my life to some extent. I cried, I laughed, I hoped, I dreamed and I can't wait to meet Jesus and the others some day...
Sorry to go on.

FNLboy said...

Hey trish,
I read this book called The Road.It is fiction ( at least I hope the end of the world hasnt happend yet)but man, it has left me thinking much differently about how much I love the life I have and the people in it. I guess its being made into a movie.

Kat said...

Man...I am so far behind!

And all your comments on this post. Wowsers.

I don't have the Shack in my stack. But it does not sound like a book I would like.

Right now I am reading "Nation" by Terry Pratchett. I like it. Of course, I like alternative history books. I also have Tales of Beedle the bard on my nightstand too. I am glad I got it from the library. Katie finished it in less than 30 minutes.

I hope they do a good job with Desperaux. I loved that book!

Ronnica said...

Thanks for your thoughts about the Shack. I didn't like it either, for about the same reasons you've mentioned.