Posted in Book Review

Voracious Reading

My reading pattern ebbs and flows, something that I’m still coming to terms with. Sometimes I read during every free moment that I have, and I feel this immense weight of all the time that I’m wasting that could be spent reading. Those are the days when I beat myself up inside for scrolling through Facebook or watching a movie. Those are also the days that my dishes sit a bit longer and a pile of once-worn clothes appear on my floor. Then eventually the guilt eats me up and I give in to those “bad” habits of binge-watching movies, doing my dishes obsessively, and keeping a clean house. My head makes appearances outside of the pages of a book, and my friends see me a bit more. Then the cycle begins to turn and I start berating myself for spending so much time not reading. I look at the stacks of books I have yet to read and think about the fact that there are books being written every day. Suddenly, dishes don’t seem as important and it’s a mad rush to get the basics such as edible food, minimal hygiene, and some social interaction over so that I can catch up on my reading.

Lately I have been in the part of the cycle where I am eating up books. Since I’m in the phase where all of my free time is taken reading, I haven’t been posting about the books I’ve been reading. All that to say, I have to write about two books today, and I have two more in the wings for when I finish them shortly.


The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Without knowing about this book and watching the movie (I know. Forgive me for watching the movie first. Walmart’s $5 bin is too tempting.), I wonder if I would have gotten through this book as quickly as I did. For those of you who haven’t read it yet, it’s a fictional story told from Death’s point of view about a young girl living in a German household that harbors a Jewish fugitive. She also steals books, listens to her Papa play the accordion, and plays soccer.

book thief

As a narrator, Death is a bit obnoxious. He spoils plot points in advance and bluntly interjects his analysis of characters. On the other hand, he does provide an outsiders perspective on the story. If told from the point of view of Liesel, the young girl, the story would have sounded much more sentimental. Death’s perspective allows the reader to see all of the characters without being an invisible omniscient narrator. He’s omniscient and still a character, but it’s completely justified because Death is part of every person’s life.

Contrary to its title, the book does not condone thievery per say, even though it happens a lot in the book. Instead, the story is about a love and passion for books and words. That is something I can appreciate. Many times, books and stories are what keep the characters pushing forward in an environment that tells them to lay down and die.

book thief cover

I’d give this book a 4.5 out of 5. It’s not the best book I’ve read, but it’s pretty darn close.


The Christy Miller Series, Volume 1 by Robin Jones Gunn

christy miller

This is actually three books in one, but they’re published as one every time I’ve seen them. I’m going to treat them here as if they are one book. Confession Time: I’ve read this book before, maybe more than one time before. Maybe it’s a sign of the end of my voracious reading or maybe it’s just nostalgia setting in.

This series is about a teenage girl named Christy Miller who spends a life-changing summer in California in which she begins a relationship with Jesus, learns about staying true to herself, makes some amazing friends, and falls somewhere between like and love. As a teenager, I could relate on every level with Christy’s confusion about boys and herself. If you haven’t noticed, being a teenager is hard.

Throughout all three books of this first volume, the lesson is to find a balance between being a child and being more independent. Christy must make decisions about friends, lying, family, and clothing. She has to learn how to be herself without compromising her relationships with friends and family. All mixed in are lessons she learns about God’s character. It contains some teenagers with wisdom about God beyond their age and some adults who still struggle with doubt about God.

I’d recommend this book to any teenager (or adult) who needs an encouragement in her faith. While it’s mainly geared toward females, males could learn a thing or too as well. On a second read-through, it’s reminding me to be conscious of the decisions I make, and it’s reminding me of just how precious time with God is. These books make me smile and leave an empty part in my heart when I finish it and have to let the characters go back to their own world. I long to be part of their world until I look around me and see that some of those characters exist in different bodies in my own world. I can have a Christy Miller lesson while still being Cathy.

I’d give this book a 5 out of 5 with the reminder that it is a young adult book, which is why the language is sometimes on a low level.



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