It’s that time of year. The leaves are falling right along with the temperatures. It’s time to grab a hot drink and a cuddly blanket and curl up with a good book. I thought I might recommend a few of my recent reads that you might enjoy!
The Envelope by John Agliata – I might be prejudiced because a friend of mine wrote this book but truly, it’s brilliant. Based on the personal experience of the author this is a fictional story about how a man named David Tebbins, struggling after the loss of his hours-old infant, gets some help making sense of it all. As David drives into the cemetery one day he notices an envelope on his son’s tombstone. Inside the envelope is an invitation, but to what he’s not quite sure. I don’t want to give away what happens. You’ll have to read it. Yes, it’s sad in parts, but please don’t let that stop you from reading it. I can tell you this; if you liked The Shack you’ll love this book because it’s even better. If you didn’t like The Shack, don’t let that stop you from reading this. This book is really far superior. You can preorder The Envelope on Amazon before it’s release date on October 21 OR you can order it today straight from John and get an autographed copy.
Learn Me Good and Learn Me Gooder by John Pearson – As soon as I saw the title, Learn Me Good, I was hoping it would be funny (which would be the only reasonable excuse for using such horrific grammar) and I was not disappointed. I couldn’t really go wrong with purchasing Learn Me Good for my Kindle because it was offered as a free selection the day I got it. When I needed some “laughter medicine” recently I knew that purchasing the sequel, Learn Me Gooder, would be money well spent. And I was not disappointed! Like The Envelope, these fictional books are based on the author’s real life experience. In this case, John Pearson is known in the book as Jack Woodson who was let go from his position as a thermal design engineer at Heat Pumps Unlimited and is now a third grade teacher at a low-income school in Texas. In the forward of Learn Me Gooder the author claims the books are “based mostly on real experiences, but they have been embellished, fictionalized and condensed into a single school year. All of the names have been changed to protect the innocent, the red-handed, and the apathetic.” The stories are shared in emails from Jack Woodson to his former co-worker, Fred Bommerson. When you simply write stories about what happens in a classroom on a daily basis you’ve got a great formula for funny because just like Art Linkletter always said, “Kids say the darndest things.”
Side note: Though most people won’t find this book offensive in any way, it is not a Christian book so don’t anticipate receiving great spiritual insights from its content. But l will say this: based on Proverbs 17:22, (“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.”) you’ll be healthier when you’re done reading these books.
Anonymous by Alicia Britt Chole – I heard Alicia speak last summer at our church and afterwards I was standing by her book table perusing the offerings. My pastor was there and he I asked me if I’d read Anonymous. I replied that I hadn’t and he turned towards me as though I had just told him I was considering another religion and said (in a loving, admonishing tone), “You need to read this book!” Pastor Rob has never said anything to me so strongly before so I went home, downloaded it to my Kindle and started reading. I wanted to be prepared in case he quizzed me on it later! But here’s the funny part, about six weeks had passed when I mentioned the book to him and he had no recollection of what I was talking about. I hope you won’t think I’m nuts when I say, “I’m pretty sure that the words that came out of Pastor Rob’s mouth were really from the Lord.” He was right, I did NEED to read this book.
Anonymous is about the “hidden years” of Jesus’ life and the reason why they were so important. Alicia writes that it is in Jesus’ hidden years that he makes “unrecorded, unapplauded choices that had prepared him for everything to come.” We all want to “be like Jesus” but what we really mean is that we want to love like Jesus loved, speak boldly like Jesus spoke, and make miracles happen, forgetting the fact that Jesus spent most of his life in anonymity and was eventually crucified. We certainly don’t want to sign up for that crucifixion deal!
Anonymous is a fabulous book. I love this line, “Has it ever felt as though God poured his kingly dreams all over you but left the crown at home?” Um yes, I don’t think I thought it in those exact terms but that’s certainly been the gist of my thoughts. If you feel like your life is a little bit more anonymous than you want it to be, read it. If you have dreams yet to be fulfilled, read it. You’ll love it!
Next up on my reading list is The Best Yes by Lysa TerKeurst. My friends over at The Ruth Experience are starting an online six-week study of Lysa’s book THIS WEEK! I know they’d love it if you’d like to join us.