Written by abbynormally
July 26th, 2010

Glad you all like the last barefoot post! Thanks for your feedback, and don’t forget that you can submit your own questions!

Now I’ve got a question for you all…

Remember how the last time I went to the beach, I took three books based on the wisdom of C.S. Lewis?

“…it is a good rule, after reading a new book, never to allow yourself another new one till you have read an old one in between.”

Well, since I’m beach bound again this weekend and I’m stocking up on my literature I have realized that I only have two books this time!

DISCLAIMER: Before you read any further, please note that I am unleashing my inner nerd. It’s a scary sight, that is for sure, and if you’re frightened, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

My “new” book this time is actually really new! Just released by Os Guinness, The Case for Civility. This was recommended to by my friend Gary. The leaf inside says,

“In a world torn apart by religious extremism on the one side and a strident secularism on the other, no question is more urgent than how we live with our deepest differences—especially our religious and ideological differences. The Case for Civility is a proposal for restoring civility in America as a way to foster civility around the world. Influential Christian writer and speaker Os Guinness makes a passionate plea to put an end to the polarization of American politics and culture that—rather than creating a public space for real debate—threatens to reverse the very principles our founders set into motion and that have long preserved liberty, diversity, and unity in this country.”

Fascinating, right?! I am so excited!

My “old” book for the trip was brought to  my mind during Sunday’s sermon when our pastor was discussing the passage in John 21 when Jesus commands Peter to “Feed my sheep”. He noted the different words for love in the Greek in this passage, both agape and philo (and being the nerd that I am, I was using my Greek Bible and saw it for myself :D ). So I decided to read The Four Loves by C.S. Lewis. NO vacation is ever complete without a book by my favorite author.


So now I need your help!

What should my third book be? I’m going to pick one of your suggestions! So just leave a title and if you want, leave an explanation if you want.

Here are the rules:

  1. Has to be a book that I have never read before (I’ll just rule yours out if I have read it, but don’t hesitate to suggest a book because obviously you don’t know what books I have read and what books I haven’t)
  2. Has to be some sort of story. These other two books will give me my fill of Philosophy and Theology and other forms of serious thought. I’m looking for a good know, with characters and all (but it can still be deep and make me think…I like those).
  3. Cannot be anything by Nicholas Sparks or books of the same genre. I just can’t stand it, so please be kind and don’t trick me.
  4. Has to be relatively appropriate. I am a firm believer in that little saying, “Garbage in, garbage out”. I don’t want to be disappointed in your suggestions.
  5. Has to be a book that you love. None of this I heard it was good, or I didn’t really like it but you might. The books that we enjoy say so much about this, and I want to know about you!

Oh, and feel free to suggest a few! I’ll let ya’ll know what book I pick when I decide!

Ok… ONE MORE THING! I posted a new “Greenhouse Roof” post today! It’s extra nerdy so proceed with caution!

Greenhouse Roof and Reflections of the Sun: Eucatastrophe



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32 Responses to “Recommendations”

  1. Evan Thomas says:

    I’m 100% serious in recommending–from one classicist to another–Kathy Griffin’s memoirs entitled Official Book Club Selection. What a life she has lead! God it’s juicy; tons of good dirt on Hollywood from someone who’s experienced the nitty-gritty of it all.

  2. Maggie says:

    It’s a LONG one, but “The Pillars of the Earth” is one of the best books I’ve ever read. I HIGHLY recommend it!

  3. Katie says:

    I just read “Girl with a Dragon Tattoo” and enjoyed that. I want to read the next one for sure! It was suspenseful and I didn’t want to put it down (disclaimer: I finish every book I start, even the most boring ones). In the translation, I don’t think the writing is as eloquent or amazing in English as it might be in the original Swedish. There are also a few religious references/thoughts in there but a lot of different characters and personalities.

    If I think of more, I will let you know- haven’t done much pleasure reading since I started grad school!

  4. Etta says:

    Ok. I’m not sure what sorts of books you enjoy. BUT!! I’ve enjoyed all of the following:

    The Life of Pi by Yann Martel. I’ve read it multiple times and it’s always good. Premise: Boy on a lifeboat with a tiger. It’s wonderful, though provoking, and prose is witty and gorgeous.

    Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. Also a multiple times read book. Less grounded in the world of reality, very much in the fantasy genre. Takes a witty, humorous, and unique view of the apocalypse–as outlined in the Bible. Oh, and did I mention hilarious (and very British)?! A little irreverent, but truly well written.

    Feed by Mira Grant. This summer was my first time reading it. I don’t recommend it if you’re not interested in (at least a little bit) the zombie apocalypse. But, it’s well written (a very straight forward and frank writing style), humorous, and (the scary part) believable. An interesting work of speculative fiction.

  5. Etta says:

    Oh, I just remembered!! If you haven’t read Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers, I highly recommend it. I was given it by my sophomore roommate who had been given it by our RA and Bible study leader. It’s a gorgeous and heart wrenching (one of the few books that has brought me to tears) rendition of the story of Hosea. Absolutely cannot say enough good things about it.

  6. Katie R says:

    Have you ever read “God on a Harley” by Joan Brady? It is a great story…a quick, amusing read, and a spiritual fable. I’ve read it at least 3 times, and it always makes me think.

  7. lindsay says:

    instead of taking a book, how about you take me??!?! I’m a good read, haha.

  8. Koelle says:

    I also enjoyed Pillars of the Earth, so I second that one. Another good book is The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. It’s about a family of missionaries in the Congo and their incredible experiences – fiction, fantastic story. I also just read Shutter Island. The movie STUNK, but the book kept my interest and it was a very quick and easy read. If you want my copy of Shutter Island, I can drop it on your parent’s porch on one of my morning runs this week.

    Have fun!

  9. Koelle says:

    Abby – you can have my copy of the Poisonwood Bible too, if you want. Save you a trip to the library or the book store! :)

  10. Amber says:

    I am also going to suggest The Poisonwood Bible. One of my fav’s. Also, the The Girl with … series of books. Absolutely amazing… Impossible to put down.

  11. Lindsey says:

    Atlas Shrugged. Long but totally worth your time.

  12. Nikki says:

    I’m not much of a reader. I wish I was, but I have a hard time sticking with a book. But my two favorites that I couldn’t put down were “Blue Like Jazz” by Donald Miller.

    And a book that will always be at the top of my list…Extremely Loud and Incredible Close by Jonathan Safran Foer.

  13. Ashley says:

    Into the Wild. Into the Wild. Into the Wild. Did I say that 3 times? Yes, I did ;) If you haven’t seen the movie yet, I highly suggest it. Plus, it’s a pretty quick read. Anything by Jon Krakauer is completely impressive. Check him out if you haven’t yet!

  14. Lexie says:

    Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier is my all time favorite book. And it’s also my favorite old movie. Seriously, it’s in black and white. Here’s the wikipedia summary: I would suggest only reading the first few paragraphs though, because it gives away the huge twist that happens at the end of the book, which is one of the things that makes it so good.

  15. Julianne says:

    How about East of Eden by John Steinbeck? I am working my way through all of his books, slowly. This is the first one I’ve finished so far, but its a really compelling story and I’ve re-read it a handful of times.

  16. Emily says:

    Eat, Pray, Love! I read this book a few years back (when it first came out, before all the movie hype) and I absolutely fell in love. It will make you think, but in a fall-in-love-with-the-characters kind of way. Definitely read this book before you even think about seeing the movie!

  17. Marci says:

    I tweeted last night, but I am hooked on Jodi Picoult’s books. They are long but seriously you want to keep reading. I loved Nineteen Minutes, Change of Heart, Perfect Match, The Pact, etc. etc. I blogged about some of her books too. You will actually learn facts from all her research! They are really great.

  18. The Pact by Jodi Picoult. This is one of her older books and one of the best.

  19. Kathrine says:

    Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers!!!
    I’ve never commented before but I love your blog! It is inspiring to read about your relationships, your walk with God, and your love for running! Thanks for keeping me entertained. Now read this book and enjoy your trip!

    • abbynormally says:

      Hi Kathrine!! Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving me these encouraging words! I’m always happy to hear from readers! Hopefully I’ll get to this book eventually! :)

  20. Heather says:

    I just finished American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld and loved it. I also love Animal Vegetable Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver and Love Story by Eric Siegel!

    • Stephanie says:

      “American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld ”

      That’s sitting in my library pile! Good to know that it’s good.

  21. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. SO. GOOD.

  22. East of Eden
    Redeeming Love (oh so good)
    Also by Francine Rivers is The Mark of the Lion Series…fabulous
    Poisonwood Bible
    The Time Traveler’s Wife
    The Fountainhead Ayn Rand
    ahhhh too many books so little time!

    Also, your barefoot essentials posts have been inspiring me to quick waiting for my VFF and just start barefoot running! I’ve started a section on my blog called VFF adventures and I can’t wait to start transitioning more! Hope you have a fantastic trip to the beach!

    • abbynormally says:

      Yay! I will have to check your VFF page out! So glad it has helped you! Thanksfor the book suggestions, too! East of Eden is a personalfavorite!

  23. katie says:

    purpose driven life
    redeeming love
    crazy love
    blue like jazz
    lady in waiting


  24. Luna says:

    So… I don’t know if you like detective-style stories, I enjoy them and one of my favorite authors is Fred Vargas, I love the french atmosphere (some of my fav. are A Dubious Place, Wash This Blood Clean from My Hand, Seeking Whom He May Devour, but stay away from her last book!!)
    I love Santo Piazzese’s books too, but I can’t find any news about him in english so I guess his books aren’t translated… What about Ruiz Zafon (the first book) or anything Allende (as always, older books are better that her new ones)…

  25. Stephanie says:

    Saving Fish From Drowning by Amy Tan was excellent. And Secrets of Eden by Chris Bohjalian was amazing too.

    I also really liked the Many Deaths of the Firefly Brothers by Thomas Mullen.

  26. melissa says:

    Eat Pray Love – honestly one of my all time favorites. easy to read so it feels beachy, but really thought-provoking and so honest at the same time.

    Water for elephants – sad (but then again i cry at the majority of books i read) but such a good story

    And this next recommendation is not just 1 book, its actually a whole series, and i warn you if you get hooked you will be forced to read the entire series..and they’re all about 900+ pages, (i read them over a course of 7 yrs or so as they came out…finished the 7th book several months ago – they take a WHILE to read). It’s by Diana Gabaldon and the first one is called Outlander. its sorta hard to explain the story line but it’s a mix of history with fiction and there are amazing characters and it sucks you in. honestly, and this is from a harry potter obsessed girl who dressed up like hermione for the last book opening, they are tied with HP.

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