Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Books December 2010 to August 2011

That I had so many months with no reviews is a sign of my depression. Little reading and no writing.

1. The Confession' by John Grisham

Grisham is back on form in his best location, the South. A good story which raises ethical questions. The pastor is a brave man who suffers for his integrity.

2. 'Mr Chartwell' by Rebecca Hunt

A fascinating first novel combing a study of depression with historical novel.As someone who battles with the black dog I found this an interesting story which does communicate truths about depression. The insidious start, the denial, the hiding all are very familiar. Te persistence of the beast and his negativity are well portrayed.

3. Study Bible: English Standard Version (ESV)

I have over my 65 years gone from AV to RSV to NIV and now ESB. I have enjoyed study bibles for the last three and this one is the best. But first the translation. More literal and faithful than the NIV which being more dynamic reads better at the cost of some fidelity. ESV is a very faithful translation and the study notes, articles and introductions are excellently evangelical. There is web access too, so if you travel you do not need the heavy hard copy.
4. 'Mission Scapula: Special Operations in the Far East' by Maurice Arthur Christie

This is the autobiography of Arthur Christie, edited by his son. A Staffordshire lad, he joined the army at 16 in 1938. When war came he was summoned to the War Ofice and posted to MI6, Military Intelligence which was to become the Special Operations Executive. He worked on explosive devices while in England before being sent to Singapore to take part in its defence. He was taken prisoner by the Japanese and sent to prison camp in Korea where prisoners were forced to do factory work. The regime was brutal but not in the terrible way other POWs suffered The author declines to give details of the brutality but the horror of his years in captivity are well related.

6. 'The King's Speech' by Mark Logue

I saw the film first and found it uplifting and a worthy Oscar winner but this is the real thrilling story and all the better for its accuracy. The story is spread over the real time scale and the person who introduces the duke to the therapist remains uncertain. Nor do we have the chummy Aussie over familiarity with the use of Christian names. One learns of the depth of this friendship over the years and the deep mutual respect of these men. Unlike today's kiss and tell celebrities, Logue remained quiet about his most famous patient. Two people helped the duke become a respected and loved king. One was his wife, and this is the other.

7. 'Kindly Sit Down!' editor Jack Aspinall

Compiled from the best stories the good and great could provide this is an excellent book for a quiet read, though the quiet is likely to be disturbed by loud laughter. Some of the stories are well worn, others new to me. They all provide a rich treasure trove for anyone who has to give a speech. If you in need a light moment or three, here is a good resource.

8. The Valley of Vision - Arthur Bennett

Four years ago I wrote this,'The late author was known to me as a lecturer at All Nations Christian College . His lectures were not memorable but his book is. This is a book I have read more than once. I recommend it as a devotional guide for Christian prayer. Puritans were usually against set forms of prayer. The prayers here are more according to Puritan theology than to their practice. A young Christian may have to study to understand them. The language is thee and thou but this is an excellent collection of reformed, Calvinistic spirituality. In language, Bennett is not Cranmer but he has given us a great aid to devotion. 'I have continued to use this book in daily devotions. It continues to be a blessing.

No comments: