Sunday, March 31, 2013

The World We Found

by Thrity Umrigar

I have a habit of getting stalled when reading books that I don't care for, and that is what happened with The World We Found. I kept trying to engage with the story line and I kept trying to care about the characters, but it never happened, which was a huge disappointment given how much I liked Ms. Umrigar's previous novel The Space Between Us.

The theme had potential. Four girl friends who have been separated by time and circumstance try to reunite when one discovers she is dying of cancer. The problem was their friendship seemed to rest solely on one event that Umrigar kept rehashing. And although the characters had some interesting aspects, they were underdeveloped and came across poorly.

In this book, Umrigar tried to present both political and religious tensions in India. Through one of the women's marriage, she offered a compelling perspective on the status of Muslim women within their homes and societies, but then failed to take a stance. She also highlighted some political and social tensions through the husbands, but again just presented the issues without a particular point of view, which is good for a newscaster, but not so much for characters in a novel.

At least this meets one of the reading challenge's title requirements.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Two more books about fasting

A Hunger for God
by John Piper

In this book, Piper presents an in-depth look at the Christian discipline of fasting. He lays out the history of fasting in scripture and explains why we should incorporate fasting in our lives today. Whereas Franklin's book was a general overview, A Hunger for God delves deeply into the subject, explaining how fasting is an effective way to glorify God and bring us into a closer relationship with Him.
While the why's of fasting are completely divulged, this is not a practical book for a how-to.

Fasting for Spiritual Breakthrough
by Elmer Towns

Here is the "how-to" of fasting! In Fasting for Spiritual Breakthrough, Towns gives a brief introduction stating a case for fasting then gets right to the point. He introduces nine basic fasts found in scripture and gives the purpose and some specific devotional ideas to guide you as you abstain from eating. His devotions include fasting for: freedom from addiction, to solve problems, for evangelism, to overcome fears, for wisdom in decision making, and more.

Both of these books use Isaiah 58 as a main text.