Saturday, February 15, 2020

What I've Been Reading Lately (Quick Lit)

Today I'm linking up with Modern Mrs. Darcy's Quick Lit to bring you some short and sweet reviews of what I've read in the past month. For longer reviews, you can always find me on Goodreads.

The Next Evangelicalism: Freeing the Church from Western Cultural Captivity by Soong-Chan Rah: Rah makes an important argument, that the Western evangelical church is clinging to a white-centric paradigm while the growth in the church is happening among other racial groups. Unfortunately, he doesn't synthesize his sources well so the writing is clunky, and he lacks nuance and intersectionality.

There There by Tommy Orange: This is an Important book that is also not my type of book — too many characters, so I never get to emotionally connect to any of them, with frequent switches between first, third, even second person, interspersed with narrator-less essays on the State of the Urban Indian Today. I hope this paves a way in the publishing world for more stories, more perspectives on being a modern Native American in a city, including some that aren't just men with MFAs writing in flowery, experimental styles.

How We Fight for Our Lives by Saeed Jones: Jones' writing manages to be powerful and lyrical without being overwrought as he adds his voice to the gay literary canon to share the story of this generation — what it was like to grow up gay and black in the 1990s and 2000s. I'm not sure what, exactly, will stay with me from this book, but I'm glad it exists. It's worth a read.

Greenglass House by Kate Milford: This was so great! It strikes just the right balance of quirkiness and seriousness, and there's a mystery, and there's an excellent plot twist, the hard-to-pull-off kind where I was genuinely surprised but immediately saw how the clues had been there all along. There's humor, storytelling, mystery, and sweetness. Definitely getting a copy for my own kids.

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston: I originally read this book in college, and I decided to revisit it on audio. To be honest, the book is much more interesting as a synopsis (independent-minded black woman finds her voice in the South in the 1930s) than reading through the actual details of Janie's daily life. This is the kind of book where I definitely see why it's been analyzed up and down and why it's an important piece of literature, but the experience of reading it in 2020 wasn't especially captivating for me.

Ghosts of Greenglass House by Kate Milford: This was a fun sequel to Greenglass House. We get a good mix of familiar and unfamiliar characters, another mystery to solve, and several plot twists along the way. This wasn't quite as good as the first one, but it was still an enjoyable read, and I'm glad I picked it up.

Activist Theology by Dr. Robyn Henderson-Espinoza: This book sounded right up my alley, as I've always been interested in how we live out faith in everyday life. However, despite all of Henderson-Espinoza's talk of living out their theology "on the streets" and "enfleshing" theology, this was a dense, academic read that was highly repetitive. I think the author would probably be an interesting person to talk to! But I can't recommend their book.

Call Down the Hawk by Maggie Stiefvater: I can't imagine recommending this to someone who hadn't read The Raven Cycle, which leads you slowly into Stiefvater's fantasy world, but as a fan of that series, it was fantastic to return to that world and go even deeper. We're left with quite a lot of cliffhangers, but at least one story arc was resolved by the end of this book, and I'm content to wait for what happens next.

Stolen by Lucy Christopher: I'm glad I had the chance to reread this. I wasn't reading so frantically this time, so I had the opportunity to appreciate the complexities of Christopher's writing. It provides a broad and vivid picture of nature and of the range of human emotions. Definitely a good book for reading and discussing.

Looking back:
One year ago I was reading: On the Come Up, Prince Caspian, and Moneyball
Five years ago I was reading: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, All-of-a-Kind Family, and A Letter to My Congregation
Ten years ago I was reading: The Jungle Books

No comments:

Post a Comment