Love it – Books!


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.

photo 5

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

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!

2 thoughts on “Love it – Books!

  1. Hey Arlene,
    Your cousin Lenora here :). Well, I never leave comments on blogs (lol), but when I see one of my all time favorite books ever – Twilight of Courage – I have to, to share my love of the book! I too, have read the book often, although now it has been quite a long time. I’ve actually been thinking recently about picking it up again, but I just know that I will completely forget about making meals, cleaning up dishes and messes, taking time to listen to my kids. I might even forget that I have a family as I live in the pages of that very thick book. Not sure my husband and kids are quite ready for that right now :)!
    Hilarious story about your dreaming/interrogation of your husband!! My story about my husband and the book isn’t quite as funny, but I’ll share it anyway :). Shortly after Peter and I were married, and I realized that he was serious when he said that he never ever read for fun, I went on a mission to find him a good book, to get him hooked on reading. I found a book of about 200 pages, a good novel that I thought a man like him would enjoy. He was a few chapters in, and starting to enjoy it. Perfect! And then I realized that he probably would never really love to read if he didn’t start with the best book ever. So, I went to the library, brought back his current book, signed out Twilight of Courage, and plopped it on his nightstand. When asked where I had put the book he was reading (and enjoying), I simply told him that I thought this was a much better choice. Peter never made it very far into the book, intimidated by its hundreds of pages, and also because by now he was kinda wondering what ended up happening in the book he’d started.
    Amazingly, even with my weird meddling ways, :), Peter did eventually end up developing a love of reading… maybe I should try to find the book he never got to read, so that he can finally know the ending. Naw, after years of reading now, he’s probably ready to tackle a really thick one. I’ll have to dig out the best book ever, see if he’ll actually read it this time.

    * I’ve actually been reading most of your posts recently. You’re great at making a person truly Laugh Out Loud (rotten coyote skulls at school in the city, that’s cool). It’s the heart of what you write about though, that truly impresses me. Taking the things that happen day by day, and being able to see them through spiritual eyes, finding the hidden gems of Christ’s character through our life experiences, that’s enriching. May God bless you as you continue the journey!
    Hopefully there isn’t a minimum word count limit on comments!


    1. Oh, Leonora! Thank you so much for your comment (and I’m glad there is no minimum word count! 😉 ) I love the fact that you love that book too! My family knows all too well what happens when I get lost in the story – not much around the house for a while! I actually stopped reading for a couple of years when the kids were all really little because I had no self-control. I would stay up all night to finish a book, and then be so tired during the day that I was very impatient (that makes it sound nicer even than it was!)
      I love what you did to Peter! Poor guy just didn’t know how much of a good thing he was in for!
      Thank you for your thoughtful encouragement – I feel like you saw my heart’s intent. I want so much for my writing to reflect who He is, in the big things of life and in the little. I will continue to pray for your family, that He will be your boat of shelter in the storms of life, and that you will be richly blessed with His presence!


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