I love to read. I love books!!! The feel of a book in my hands. The smell as the pages turn for the first time. The anticipation of what awaits me in the printed words. The knowledge that by reading I will go places, dream dreams, meet people across time and space; I will laugh, cry, learn, and grow – I love books!
When I debated which book(s) I would start with in my ‘Love it!’ section, I was torn. Do I recommend a dear friend that has travelled with me for decades? Or, do I pick a fresh, new read I have just discovered? Well, when confronted with either or, I usually choose both.
Heaps of bones once moved by the proud breath of life
Scattered limbs, nameless debris, chaos of humanity,
Sacred jumble of a vast reliquary,
Dust of heroes, God will know you!
– War memorial at Louvremont
The Twilight of Courage by Bodie and Brock Thoene
I received this book from a friend in high-school, and for the past twenty years it has journeyed with me. When we travelled through Northern France and saw the rows upon rows of crosses by the beaches, it was alive with me, some of the characters resting under the very soil on which I stood.
I read it every other year (a restriction I have forced upon myself) and the characters are dear friends who I am always excited to meet again. As the cover picture depicts, the book tells of the mounting tension and hostilities between France and Germany prior to the German invasion in WWII. One year, early in our marriage, I was engrossed in the book once again. I must have been dreaming about it, because my husband woke up with a start to see me hovering menacingly over him. Somewhat disoriented and a touch frightened, he asked me if everything was ok. I responded quickly and suspiciously, wanting to know which side he was on. Not sure what I was referring too, he asked what his options were. Warily I questioned, was he German or French? Well, German seemed the more logical answer based on our heritage, so he went with that. Apparently I flew into quite a tizzy, and it took some smooth talking to get out of that predicament. He still eyes me suspiciously when he sees me pull it off the shelf.
Surprised by Oxford: A Memoir by Carolyn Weber
This is a relatively recent read, and I loved it! It is a memoir that reads more like a novel. The ‘story’ of an agnostic who goes to Oxford on a scholarship, and is surprised to be pursued by the very God she denied. It is fascinating to see how she reconciles her intelligence and education with a belief system that is often seen as simplistic and for the uneducated. If you are at all interested in apologetics, feminism, literature (she was a literary major), and a little love story too, you would love this book. There were so many pages I felt the need to mark up for future reference – definitely a book I will go back to time and again.
If you’ve read either of these books, I would love to hear your opinions of them!