A while back I reviewed a book which posited that many books that are not Christian are still good for our spiritual growth (see Recovering the Lost Art of Reading by Leland Ryken and Glenda Faye Mathes). They do this by making us think deeply about the human condition, to learn new things, to develop empathy for other people. So in this post, I thought I’d mention several books I’ve read recently that fit that description.
The Shape of Family by Shilpi Somaya Gowda
In this book tragedy strikes a family when their young son drowns in their swimming pool. Here are some of the questions it made me think about:
*What is a family, and what holds a family together?
*How do spiritual disciplines help us navigate grief and other challenges of life? Can spirituality become too self focused?
*Which is more important — achievement or relationships, honesty or success?
*What happens when we hide or misrepresent who we are or how we feel?
*How do different people react and cope with tragedy?
It also made me understand how a person from a different culture (in this case India) may react differently, and how a child with two cultural heritages may feel isolated and have trouble fitting in.
The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
This book can be best characterized as fantasy, not my usual choice, but I liked it. Main character Nora Seed, finds her life rather sad and unfulfilling. In a near death experience, she finds herself in a library where there are many, many books — each one telling the story of her life had she made a different decision somewhere along the line. It made me wonder ….
*What regrets do I have about my life?
*If I had made other choices would my life be better, or just different?
*What makes life worth living?
What good books have you read recently? I’d love to hear about them. Every book we read can teach us something and be an avenue for applying the Christian world view to life.
For more about reading see:
The Art of Mindful Reading by Ella Berthoud– Book Review
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