cultural reads

These books are not necessarily written by Christian authors, but I celebrate their gift of writing, given to them by God - even if they don't recognize this or give Him glory for it.  It's easy to sink into my little bubble of Christianity and forget how others with opposing views think and feel and interpret the world they live in.  These books have opened my eyes,  challenged me, encouraged me, and most importantly - they have made me thankful for the grace of God and given me a heart of compassion for those who have yet to know Him.

Beautiful Boy: A Father's Journey Through His Son's Addiction, David Sheff - this book broke my heart over and over again as I read through this father's struggle with his son's drug addiction.  I knew very little about drugs prior to reading this and found it very informative.  The author is a journalist and he writes so honestly.  It's so raw and real and I found myself at times praying for him and his son!

Dispatches From the Edge, Anderson Cooper - I first learned of this CNN Journalist during Hurricane Katrina.  While reporting the devastation, he showed emotion and teared up and was ridiculed for it by other journalists.  Professional or not, I liked that he showed his humanity and didn't report the facts in a cold manner.  He's covered all sorts of wars and disasters and is also the son of the famous designer Gloria Vanderbilt.  Years ago, his older brother committed suicide.  Taking all of these things into consideration, I wanted to hear about his life and his story.  I loved the book and found myself reading it at red lights in the car!  When I watch AC360 at night, I pray for this man.

A Thousand Splendid Suns, Khaled Hoseini - Wow, this book took my breath away, literally.  I chose to read it on vacation this summer at my Mom's fervent recommendation.  The story takes place in Afghanistan and covers 3 centuries of history through the lives of characters you instantly love and instantly hate.  Hoseini writes beautifully - absolutely beautifully and is a master storyteller.  He puts just the right amount of detail in, but not too much.  In other words, I didn't want to skip a single sentence of this book.  Beware - there is some sexual content and while it's not graphic, it could stumble some readers.  I could barely read the last chapter of this book because I was weeping so loudly.  Yep, it's that good.

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