January 2012 Reading

Here’s the roundup of books that I read this month. Pardon the fact that I haven’t reviewed all of these. (It takes a lot of time for me to review a book, so I don’t always get around to it.)

The Books I Read

When the Rivers Run Dry:  Water—the Defining Crisis of the Twenty-First Century, Fred Pearce

This is a highly informative and eye-opening book. After reading this book, you’ll never think about water the same way. Water is, as the subtitle states, the defining crisis of the twenty-first century. Keren has an excellent review at her blog.

A Wrinkle in Time, Madeleine L’Engle

Keren and I both read this book and are mulling over its meanings and implications. It is Lewisesque in its style, but markedly unique at the same time. Essentially, the book presents the classic theme of good vs. evil, where good ultimately triumphs. I’m still thinking through the details.

A Wrinkle in Time: 50th Anniversary Commemorative Edition (Madeleine L'Engle's Time Quintet)

With Morning Comes Mistfall, George Martin

I read only one of the short stories in this collection (free from Audible). It seemed to have sort of an environmentalish kind of moral, but I can’t be quite sure.

A Song for Lya: And Other Stories

The Voice of the Buddha:  The Dhammapada and Other Key Buddhist Teachings, Sean Barrett

This is a collection of readings from the writings of the Buddha. There are just a few explanatory notes along the way.

Voice of Buddha: The Dhammapada, the Mangala Sutta and Other Key Buddhist Texts

The Middle Way:  The Story of Buddhism, Jinananda

If you’re researching Buddhism, this work is a helpful starting point. The doctrines of Buddhism are laid out in a readable and understandable way, especially for the western reader.

The Middle Way: The Story of Buddhism (Religion)

This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage, Ann Patchett

Another short free story from Audible. Patchett is a skilled writer. I’m glad she has a happy (2nd) marriage, but I’m not impressed with the themes she communicates about love and endurance.

This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage | [Ann Patchett]

Sundown Towns:  A Hidden Dimension of American Racism, James Loewen

This book is flat-out remarkable. I highly recommend it for its thorough history, profound implications, and thought-provoking content. I’ll share some thoughts on it in a future post.

Sundown Towns(2005 Softcover) (A Hidden Dimension of American Racism)

Catching Fire (The Hunger Games #2), Suzzanne Collins

The Hunger Games Trilogy was a fun read.

Mockingjay (The Hunger Games #3), Suzanne Collins

Loving the Little years:  Motherhood in the Trenches, Rachel Jankovic

This is a short, light, and easy read, providing tips on mothering. The audience is mothers, and Rachel has five young children, which she often reminds you of in the book. It has some helpful bits of advice, albeit mixed in with some not-so-helpful stuff.

Knowing God, J.I. Packer

This book is a classic, and warmly devotional doctrine of God (theology proper).

The Happiness Project:  Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun, Rubin Gretchen

I reviewed this book here.

Frankenstein, Mary Shelley

Believe it or not, I’d never read Frankenstein, nor seen any movies about it. Finally, I got around to reading it.


Flow, the Psychology of Optimal Experience, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

An amazingly insightful work on positive psychology. This isn’t a three-steps to boost your happiness kind of book, but it is thoughtful.

Everyday Talk:  Talking Freely and Naturally about God with Your Children, John Younts

Reviewed here.

“The Elephant Vanishes,” short story by Haruki Murakami

This guy can write! I only read one of the short stories, from which the title of the book is drawn, but now I want to read more. (I love the cover of this book.)

The Blue Parakeet:  Rethinking How You Read the Bible, Scot McKnight

Reviewed here.

The Art of War, Sun Tzu

Another age-old classic book that I’ve wanted to read for a long time. The book is sort of a how-to manual for military generals. I am not a military general, but there are some helpful gleanings for the non-generals among us.

My Favorite Book:  Sundown Towns

If I had to pick one favorite books from my reading this month, I would pick Sundown Towns, by James Loewen. The book is eye-opening and surprising, but true. Thanks to Nikku for his recommendation based on books that I read in 2011..

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