Sunday, October 26, 2014

2014 Reading, Books 106-108

106) Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein

I think this book is even better than Code Name Verity, which I read last month. The heroine, Rose, is a an American girl just out of high school who uses family connections (she has an English uncle who's a high-ranking officer) to get a job with the British Air Transport Auxiliary in 1944. After she's captured in France, she's taken to Ravensbruck--in what's probably an unlikely scenario, but one that makes a certain sense given the chaos of the late stages of the war. What follows is a moving story of survival and then bearing witness.

107) City of God: Faith in the Streets by Sara Miles

Sara Miles is one of my favorite Christian writers, not least because she found the Episcopal Church a few years before I did, albeit coming from the opposite direction--she wasn't a believer of any kind, while I was raised Southern Baptist and spent some time as two different flavors of Presbyterian along the way.

While I didn't love this book as much as I did Take This Bread or Jesus Freak, I still found it a very moving account of finding God in the midst of a city (San Francisco) all culminating in a public Ash Wednesday service--after all, in the Bible, Heaven is the city of God, not the floaty cloud-land of popular imagination nor the cross between New Zealand, the Scottish Highlands, and the more spectacular bits of the Pacific Coast I tend to picture.

108) Cat Sense by John Bradshaw

I got this book from the library after hearing the author interviewed on NPR because it sounded like the kind of practical science-geeky book I enjoy. And it proved to be what I was expecting--an account of how the domestic cat has evolved to live alongside humans, along with biological explanations of their behavior. The only downside is it left me a little wistful, because Mr Fraser is so severely allergic to cats that we can't have one in our household. (And yes, I know there are hairless cats. I just don't think it'd be that satisfying to own a cat without nice soft fur to stroke.)

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