What’s On Your Nightstand: March 2013

Categories Fiction, Nonfiction

NightstandI missed this roundup last month, but I wanted to take the opportunity to look back over the last month’s reading — and see what others have on their nightstands, too! Here’s my rundown, with excerpts from my reviews.

  • The Myth of a Christian Nation (Gregory A. Boyd): “I found it to be a challenging and thorough examination of the entanglement of evangelical Christianity with American politics, one which offers an attractive and restorative alternative to the ‘civil Christianity’ all too prevalent in America.” Read the rest here, and an excerpt from the book here.
  • Letters from a Skeptic (Greg Boyd): “The book represents the results of an invitation by Boyd, a theology and apologetics professor, to his father, who is not a Christian: let’s have a dialogue in which you ask me all your questions about Christianity. And wow, does Mr. Boyd senior ever have questions! They run the gamut from the personal nature of God, to the resurrection, to the inspiration of scripture, to the textual integrity and historicity of the gospels, to the presence of the miraculous, to the existence of hell.” Rest is here.
  • The Black Cauldron (Lloyd Alexander): “My brother-in-law says there are only about 5 stories out there, remixed over and over. I’m not sure if I agree, but I did find lots of connections between this story and others, especially Tolkein’s. Like The Two Towers, The Black Cauldron as the second book in the series is (in my opinion) the darkest. Its central mission is serious: to secure and destroy the cauldron Arawn uses to turn corpses into “cauldron-born” warriors who can never be killed.” Rest here.
  • The Castle of Llyr (Lloyd Alexander): “This tale included the further adventures of Taran and Eilonwy and their band of delightfully ordinary friends. They run up against a befuddled princeling named Rhun, a small-spirited giant named Glew, a giant wild cat named Llyan, and a few familiar heroes and enemies from previous books. Eilonwy is kidnapped and we had a few tense chapters while reading, but we came out on the other end completely satisfied.” Rest here.

I’ve started and set aside several stories lately: Les Mis, Elizabeth Goudge’s Towers in the Mist, Dickens’ Nicholas Nickleby, Greg Boyd’s Present Perfect: Finding God in the Now. I’ve settled into Goudge’s Scent of Water, a reread of the first of her books that I ever read, and I’m absolutely loving it. On the nightstand waiting are Speak (Laurie Halse Anderson), The Secret Life of Octavian Nothing (M.T. Anderson), and Juliet Barker’s biography of Charlotte Bronte.

How about you? What have you been reading — or looking forward to reading?

7 thoughts on “What’s On Your Nightstand: March 2013

  1. I love Lloyd Alexander’s series. They are retelling Welsh mythologies, and of course Tolkein drew on those too. All your books sound really good. I want to read the first two you mentioned now. Sigh…I already have too many books on my nightstand. It’s a nice problem to have though, that of overabundance. ;)

    Elizabeth from 5MFB

  2. Not retellings, actually — Alexander was a stickler on that point. But I see your point about the similar influences on both writers. I agree that overabundance is a good thing — always something to look forward to! :-)

    Carrie, I think you’d like the Prydain chronicles — I’m thinking you’d find lots of interesting comparisons with Narnia!

  3. As much as I love Dickens, somehow I’ve missed Nickleby as well as Bleak House over the years. Need to rectify that some day!

    The Bronte biography sounds interesting as do the Prydain Chronicles.

  4. I read Speak last fall and found it terribly riveting. It also reignited my homeschooling enthusiasm. ;).

    I read Octavian Nothing way back when and was blown away by it, but alas, I haven’t gotten back to the sequel.

    1. I need that homeschool shot in the arm right about now! :-) I remember your review and have kept Speak in mind because of it.

  5. I keep picking up Les Mis and putting it down myself. I’m in the middle of a long section on the Battle of Waterloo . . . oh, dear Mr. Hugo, I fear an editor never read your manuscript. :) Happy reading this month!

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