Summer Books

This summer I read six books (assuming you count comic books as books).  To some of you that may not seem like a lot but I really don’t read all that often so it is kind of a big deal for me.  It’s not that I don’t like reading, but I usually take a while to read and I also don’t go to a book store and just randomly pick something out.  I usually read things once enough people talk about it or recommend it (I’m coming for you next, Maze Runner).  Here are my quick reviews of these six books.

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Allegiant by Veronica Roth

I enjoyed this book.  I will start off by saying, I only watched the movie Divergent.  I did not read the book but the movie was so good I wanted to continue to series and did not feel it was necessary to read the book.  I’m one of those people that are like “Eh, I watched the movie.  That is good enough”.  Allegiant was great.  I really enjoyed it and would recommend it to people if you haven’t read it yet.  I’m gonna be hypocritical and say you should check it out before the movie comes out.

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Overall, I was glad that I read this book and finished the series.  I did have some problem with this book though.  It took me a loooong time to get through it because it switches point of view almost every chapter between Tris and Four.  The writing style and personality between the two is almost the exact same so it sometimes makes it hard to remember whose POV you are supposed to be reading from.  I thought the ending was GREAT (some people will be upset by that but I think it makes it more “real”).  Overall, I wouldn’t rate this series higher than The Hunger Games but it was still a great series.

Gray Areas by Mike Glenn

I did not enjoy this book.  This book is a newer spiritual book that deals with “gray areas” in faith that supposedly don’t have a lot of scriptural backings to hold one stance or the other.  Topics range from addiction, depression, truth, divorce, dating and human sexuality.  My problem with this book is that the author doesn’t really look at both sides of the issues and ultimately gives cop out answers to each topic.  I think this book had great potential but the author plays it safe with discussion.

Radical by David Platt

Another spiritual book that I had a few problems with.  I went through this book with a young adult small group and we also watched an accompanying video series with it.  I liked the book but I hated the video which is weird because the videos are the author basically recapping the book.  But the author wasn’t a very good public speaker and he kind of made me mad the way he was speaking.  The ideas in the book were good though and I think it is worth a read.  Just don’t watch the videos.

DC’s Doom Patrol vol. 19-25 and vol. 26-34 by Grant Morrison

I want to preface this by saying these might be only the 2nd and 3rd comic books I’ve read in my life.  I didn’t read comic books as a kid.  After watching X-Men Days of Future Past in theaters I wanted to google something about X-Men.  During my googling I came across articles that said the X-Men are a ripoff of DC’s Doom Patrol which came out around the same time.  This intrigued me and after doing some research on the Doom Patrol I decided I wanted to read their comics.  Everyone online recommended the books done by Grant Morrison which their are 6 of.  I’ve read the first 2 and really liked them so I’ll be ordering the rest of them soon.  I wouldn’t recommend these comics to kids because there is some adult stuff in them but they are pretty fun to read.

Have you read any of these books and if so, do you agree with my reviews?  What books did you read this summer?

– Jacob

Radical by David Platt

If you haven’t heard of this book here is what is written on the back:

“What is Jesus worth to you?

It’s easy for American Christians to forget how Jesus said his followers would actually live, what their new lifestyle would actually look like. They would, he said, leave behind security, money, convenience, even family for him. They would abandon everything for the gospel. They would take up their crosses daily…

But who do you know who lives like that? Do you?”

Radical-Taking-Back-Your-Faith-from-the-American-Dream

The book was published in 2010 so many of you may have read it by now but I just finished going through it with a small group and I wanted to do a mini-review on it.  I am going to give my thoughts on both the book and the video series that goes along with it because we read/watched both of them in the group.

The Book:

I loved it.  The book makes a lot of good points (although he does repeat himself a few times) that I think are very good and thought provoking.  My post from a few weeks ago about our response to the homeless was from something I read in the book that got me thinking.  Overall, it wrestles with the idea that being a follower of Jesus Christ is a big decision, one that should ultimately change your life in a huge way yet there are tons of people who say they are christians but look no different.  Pretty good and challenging stuff.  It’s also an easy read.  It will go by quickly and isn’t something that will be hard for you to understand.

The Video Series:

I hated it.  You might be wondering how I can hate the video series since it is based on the book that I loved and trust me, I was wondering the same thing each and every week.  Part of it is I just really did not like his delivery and speaking style.  David Platt is a good writer, but he turned me away as a public speaker.  Also, the video doesn’t exactly line up with the book so sometimes I felt like the weeks didn’t really go together.

Overall I would recommend the book to people.  As I said, it is a quick and easy read but it also touches on subjects that are very important.  It will challenge you to look at your life and say “am I really following Jesus with everything”?  But don’t watch the video series, you’ll waste your time.

-Jacob