Summer holiday reading for hazy afternoons
and warm evenings. Ever the optimist, writing this in early July, I am expecting August to be as gorgeous as today, so – the Football World Cup is over, Wimbledon’s done for another year, time to sit outside with a cool drink and a good book. You could do worsethan try one of these, all 4 or 5 “star” books according to their readers and reviewers in the Christian Press and elsewhere. And, of course, we at Sign of the Fish will be happy to obtain them for you (if the Library can’t – some are not yet in paperback and are a bit expensive.)
Movies are prayers , by Josh Larsen (IVP 2017)
Perhaps a startling claim, but those of us who remember our Lent courses based on Les Miserables and The Way may not be surprised. And by the end of this book you may have gained a whole new“to watch”or“see again” list too. Among the diverse films he explores are Avatar, Toy Story, The Piano, 12 years a slave, Godzilla (yes really!) Quoting from a review: ‘Josh Larsen, co-host of
the Filmspotting podcast, makes a compelling case for seeing movies as prayers…instinctive recognitions of things that are worthy of praise, of things being broken and needing to be put right, and our desperation for things to be other than they are…(He) identifies 9 expressions of prayer framed within scripture…(and) for each type of prayer he explores a diverse range of films, reflecting on his own spiritual journey…The result is a remarkably thoughtful and spiritual book.’
Steve McQueen: the salvation of an American icon, by Greg Laurie (Allen Lane 2017)
If you like biographies, if you are a film buff, if you like uplifting stories of rackety lives made whole, this could be for you. The author is a megachurch pastor and fan; hearing that Steve McQueen had become a Christian towards the end of his life he goes on a “road trip”style journey
to meet with the people connected with the film star to explore this theme and ends up with this
original and insightful biography written in a travelog style, ‘ retaining enough mystery and
tension to keep the reader interest’ as one reviewer wrote, (and including that of the author’s own story which parallels with McQueen)
Cold, cold heart by Christine Poulson (Lion Fiction 2017)
This is a mystery thriller, written in a pacy style (with some examples of faith in trying
circumstances). You will (probably!) be kept guessing until the end. From the blurb: ‘Midwinter in Antarctica. Six months of darkness are about to begin. Scientist Katie Flanagan has an undeserved reputation as a trouble-maker and her career has foundered. When an accident creates an opening on a remote Antarctic research base she seizes it, flying in on the last plane before the subzero temperatures make it impossible to leave. Meanwhile patent lawyer Daniel Marchmont has been asked to undertake due diligence on a breakthrough cancer cure. But the key scientist is strangely elusive and Daniel uncovers a dark secret that leads to Antarctica. Out on the ice a storm is gathering. As the crew lock down the station they discover a body and realise that they are trapped with a killer.’
Tying together the themes of films as prayer and books with Christian themes you could always try to get through at last, or rediscover, Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien !
Enjoy your reading, whatever you choose, and be blessed.
for Sign of the Fish
NEW NEW For those of you who prefer something to dip into, and out again, I have deposited a pile of “Christianity”magazines to browse through, or borrow and pass on to another friend.