Book Recommendations

I’ve had the good fortune of reading some interesting and helpful books in the last several weeks. Here are some very brief blurbs that might help you decide if any of these might be something that you’d like to read. They are in no particular order.

The Good Soldiers by David Finkel. I like to read a few war books each year. This book details the story of the Army unit 2-16 Rangers under the command of Col. Ralph Kauzalrich as they participated in the surge in Iraq in 2007. The author, who writes for the Washington Post and was embedded with the unit, presents the right mix of personal story and military action. Not as good as With the Old Breed by E. B. Sledge or The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien but close.

The Hawk and The Dove: Paul Nitze, George Kennan, and the History of the Cold War.
This is a fascinating look at two men who held very divergent views on nuclear arms and the cold war and yet considered themselves good friends. If like me you grew up hearing terms like Containment, Mutually Assured Destruction, ICBMS, SALT 1 and 2, this book allows you to place them in historical context. But because the author follows the lives of two men, it reads more like a novel than a text book. I highly recommend it.

Family Driven Faith: Doing What It Takes to Raise Sons and Daughters Who Walk with God by Voddie Baucham Jr. The primary strength of this book is that it challenges parents to make Christ the priority in their home. You may not agree with all the author’s conclusions, but he will make you think about whether you have allowed something other than Christ become your family’s ultimate priority.

King’s Cross: The Story of the World in the Life of Jesus by Tim Keller. Keller tells the story of Jesus through the gospel of Mark. If you have read his other books, you already know that he is very gifted at connecting the story of the gospel to the spiritual and psychological needs of the modern man. There’s a good chance that this book will end up being a class or book discussion at The Crossing.

The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman. This novel is based on an English speaking newspaper in Rome. Each chapter focuses on a different person in the newsroom. Their individual stories make for a compelling narrative.

Room: A Novel by Emma Donoghue. The narrator is a five year old boy named Jack who lives in an 11×11 room with his mother. On most nights they have an unwelcome visitor that Jack calls Uncle Nick. I can’t tell you much more without ruining the story. The unique thing about this book is that it is told by a five year old’s perspective. But I have to admit that by the time that I was finished, I’d grown a bit annoyed by listening to a five year old.

The Passage: A Novel by Justin Cronin. This is a post-apocalyptic vampire novel. Had I known that I never would’ve started it. But it turned out better than I thought it would. The writing and the storyline are engaging enough to keep you going.

The Mission of God’s People: A Biblical Theology of the Church’ Mission by Christopher Wright. I know that the title will scare some people away but this is an excellent book. Wright does a phenomenal job of connecting the Old and New Testaments and showing the Bible’s theme of God’s mission to the world. Because God is on a mission his church will be also. Reading this book might make you realize that God’s mission is broader than you thought. This is one of the best books that I’ve ever read on this topic.

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