"Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Paul to the persecuted at Philippi (2:5-11)

29 December 2012

Stuff to read

My stocking, like so many of yours no doubt did, included an Amazon gift card this year.  Now, I think gift cards are impersonal and lacking in thoughtful creativity, but when it comes to books, I'm happy enough to receive.   So I'm contentedly mulling over how to spend ye olde gift card, courtesy of my mom.

So I thought to ask you, dear readers, what should I read?  Fun stuff especially, as I've gone through a number of novels this year without finding more than a couple worth finishing.  You're welcome, of course, to post anything from "brain candy" to a healthy mental main course.

And since several of you are no doubt in the same boat, here are a few books I've read in the past year or two that are worth passing along for your consideration:

North of the DMZ: It's a little dated now but a classic text of modern North Korea.  I've been reading one or two brief sections before I go to bed in the evenings, which has occasionally made for some funky dreams that I'm actually IN North Korea (on vacation, in the snow, and they took my passport and kept it.  Seriously.) 

There are several good books out right now on North Korea, but a lot more of what is coming out has a poor signal to noise ratio.  The problem with North Korea being so much in the news these days is that everyone feels the need to publish something, which makes the good books a little harder to find among the rubbish.

New Testament in Antiquity: I have finally found an introductory New Testament textbook that I like.  I'm looking forward to teaching from it next semester.  Again, textbooks are another area with a poor signal to noise ratio.  The average reader is probably not in the market for a textbook, but this one is worth having on the shelves, for those of us who have a geeky side.

I'm frustrated that I can't remember the title of the novel I read while I was in Alaska this summer.  I picked it up at a local bookshop there and read it so intently that I was finished with it in time to pass it along to another book seller once I got to Anchorage.  She was interested in the book, so I gave it to her.  Rats that I can't remember the title because it was good... the life story of a fictional but not far-fetched woman captured in Africa and taken for a slave in the US.  The writer was listed as a "best new writer of 2011" or some simliar award.  Rats and rats that I can't recall it.

**Later addition: I found the book.  It's Someone Knows My Name. I think I'll toddle off to Amazon now and see if the author wrote anything more.**

Trying to google whatever that book was brought up Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl which I read many years ago and still have on my shelves and is a very worthy read indeed.

I've also been reading through Our Little Korean Cousin and if you find the title condesending you should probably avoid it.  If you can mentally file the title as dated and quaint, then its an interesting image not only of Korea at the end of the Choseon Dynasty but also of how western eyes saw anything foreign.  Yes, its condescending.  It is also quaint.  And its free on Amazon for Kindle.

But another interesting portrait in time of Korea is Korea: A Walk Through the Land of Miracles which was written in teh 1980's and Korea's come a long way since.  Still its an image of that time of transition from war-torn third world to the globe's eleventh largest economy. 

So what should I read next?  Fifty dollars, free shipping... how to go about enjoying the bounty?


  1. http://www.amazon.com/Simple-Life-Changing-Prayer-Discovering-Ignatius/dp/0829435352/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1356933686&sr=1-1&keywords=a++life+changing+prayer


    All the usual good wishes.

  2. I don't know why I wasted your time with two suggestions when this is available. Lots to choose from.


  3. I've been reading the detective novels of Henning Mankell--the Swedish novelist most famous for his detective Kurt Wallender. Something about the spare landscape is just very attractive to me. P.D. James at Ikea, maybe. Anyway, blessings and much love in the New Year!

  4. Thanks gents! Detective novels. The whole mystery/detective area is one that is an almost untapped wonder for me. I don't often read mysteries, but I have no idea why not because when I do, I tend to enjoy them. For the curious, I bought:
    Forgotten Country (Catherine Chung), which is a novel set during the Japanese Occupation of Korea
    The Baker' Daughter (Sandra McCoy), which is a novel set in Nazi Germany
    The Calligrapher's Daughter (Eugenia Kim) which is also set in occupied Korea
    and The Living Reed: A Novel of Korea (Pearl S. Buck)... just keeping it classy. I guess I ran with the historical novel theme.