Book Picks: 2

With two book clubs to keep me plenty busy, it’s time for another installment of some of my favorite recent books!

And the Mountains Echoed, Khaled Hosseini

Khaled Hosseini, the author of two other fabulous books (The Kite Runner & Thousand Splendid Suns), just came out with his newest book – and I loved it. I’d highly recommend this book, as it’s similar, but still so different, from his first two novels. It takes place primarily in Afghanistan, but it also spans Paris, Greece, & San Francisco. It’s the tale “about how we love, how we take care of one another, and how the choices we make resonate through generations. In this tale revolving around not just parents and children but brothers and sisters, cousins and caretakers, Hosseini explores the many ways in which families nurture, wound, betray, honor, and sacrifice for one another; and how often we are surprised by the actions of those closest to us, at the times that matter most.” I loved discussing all of the parallel story lines, family members, choices that people made, and the final scenes in our book club, and we all wholeheartedly enjoyed this novel.

The Book Thief, Marcus Zusak

Another book club pick, and another excellent book! It’s also coming out as a movie next month, and I’m excited to go check this one out come November 15th! I loved this book, despite it being quite a sad read – it takes place in Nazi Germany, so there’s that. I also found it utterly fascinating that the narrator of this book is Death. Death! I thought this was such a unique, original idea and it was the perfect narrator for such a story. The story follows young Liesel, who is the book thief. It’s an intricate, compelling tale of “a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.” Though an overall sad book, namely because of its setting and history, The Book Thief was an excellent read!

Multiply, Francis Chan & Mark Beuving

My entire church (McLean Bible Church) – yes, the entire church- is reading Multiply by authors Francis Chan (of Crazy Love & Forgotten God) and Mark Beuving. I think it’s an awesome, radical movement for our entire church to read the same book, + to study the book in countless small groups across Washington DC. My small group is also studying this book intensely, and it’s a simple, powerful statement to go out and multiply. Jesus commands us (all of us!) in Matthew 28:19: “Jesus told his disciples, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” This book pushes  and challenges all disciples of Jesus to turn others to Him – it’s our command to obey and to do so. I haven’t finished the book yet, as we’re going through it week by week, but it’s a convicting message and I’m loving it so far. Francis Chan has long been one of my favorite Christian authors, and I love how matter-of-fact and simple (in a good way) his messages are. We cannot sit idly by or live within our comfort zones, as Jesus calls each and every one of us to do the exact opposite, if we really love Him.

In my queue:

The Signature of All Things, Elizabeth Gilbert (author of Eat, Pray, Love)

The Silver Star, Jeanette Wells (author of The Glass Castle)

The Lowland, Jhumpa Lahiri

Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls, David Sedaris (author of Me Talk Pretty One Day)

Have you read any wonderful (or awful!) books lately? Do you have any suggestions for books that I need to check out?! I’d love to hear your picks!

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