Every time I read the title of this theme, I swear I hear Julie Andrews' voice singing in my head:
Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittensPlease make it stop!!!
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things
But I think I'll refrain from singing (though singing along to the radio is one of my favorite things to do when I'm driving). I was tempted to do a top ten list of my favorite things but since I did one last week, I refrained from doing one this week. I think I will focus on one thing: books but before I do, I want you to know that my favorite ice cream flavor is Bailey's Irish Cream, my favorite food is a toss up between rib-eye steak, baby back ribs and lobster, ny favorite restaurant is Legal Seafoods, my favorite color is burgundy (though, I look best in black and red according to Samantha), my favorite TV shows are "Veronica Mars" and "Numb3rs" (even though I really don't like math) and my favorite movie is a toss up between "The Terminator," "The Incredibles," "National Treasure," and "The Philadelphia Story." I just thought you should know :-)
I love books. I love the smell of a bookstore and of new books and the feel of the books in my hand. I love the anticipation of knowing that I'm about to sit down and spend hours inside someone else's head. I'll get to look at life from another perspective. I love it when I walk into the bookstore or the library (or go on Amazon) and discover that my favorite author just published a new book. Especially one that I had been waiting months for.
Reading has been my favorite activity since I can remember. I loved to read romance novels and murder mysteries when I was a teenager. I would spend hours escaping my world and living in another. I also liked to read about Greek mythology and lI oved reading plays. I liked comedies and "Arsenic and Old Lace" and "Midsummers Night Dream" were my favorites. And of course I was forced to read the classics and vaguely remember "Of Mice and Men," "Catcher in the Rye," "Treasure Island" and others. I would spend many hours with my books and would sometimes read until the wee hours of the morning. Setting all kinds of bad habits that I keep regressing into now that I have the summer off :-) Sarah has fallen into her Mommy's bad habits and is up past 2:00 am reading in her room.
I don't read many classics today because my brain is too fried from seminary to read anything but fluff. Occasionally, I will challenge myself like I did last summer and read The Name of the Rose but mostly it's fluff. My favorite genre is murder mysteries and thrillers. I especially love the funny ones like Donna Andrews' computer sleuth and I just started reading James Rollins and like him a lot. I just checked out Black Order from the library and I can't wait to read it. I loved Leslie Silbert's The Intelligencer and P. J. Tracey's books (it's a mother and daughter writing team). And I just saw that their new book is coming out this week, so many books, so little time!
Currently I'm reading comeback which was written by a mother and daughter and it is non-fiction. One of the authors emailed me and asked if I wanted to read it. She thought I might like it because I have daughters and she was right. I will be reviewing it on my blogs when I'm finished. It is a very powerful book filled with the darkness of our world but its also a story about hope and forgiveness and how you can turn your life around, even when you go so far down the wrong pat but mostly it's about a mother's love. I very much identified with the mom in the book and I have been engrossed in it. It is well-written and keeps the readers attention. Since I'm only half done, I can't recommend it yet but if it continues the way that it is, I will.
And of course a seminary student reads a lot of theology books. I can't say this is my favorite type of book because sometimes the writing just makes me nuts. Theologians aren't the best writers in the world. Meredith Kline may be a brilliant man but I didn't have clue what he was talking about when I read Images of the Spirit and it took me two readings to understand Walter Brueggemann's Texts Under Negotiation. I actually read these books all the way through, usually you don't. In seminary you don't usually read the introductory material or maybe you only read a chapter or two. Sometimes it's hard to get the context of the passage you have to read but there isn't too much you can do about it because you may have to read a 1,000 pages over the semester. You learn to stick to what you have to read to get by. There are a couple theologians that I actually like to read, K. Scott Oliphint's The Battle Belongs to the Lord, Sinclair Ferguson's The Holy Spirit is excellent and well worth your time. I highly recommend both these books. Also Herman Bavinck is an excellent writer (he is a favorite of many of the professors at Westminster), read anything of his. Goldsworthy is an excellent writer and if you get his Goldsworthy Trilogy you will thank me (it is dirt cheap, less than $10 :-)
I read commentaries as well. (I better if I'm going to teach the Bible!) I'm currently reading a commentary on Revelation by my hermeneutics' professor, Dr. Poythress The Returning King. This is a link to the actual book on line. Poythress has made a lot of his writing available on line (including his course material). This is a great resource that you should take advantage of since he is a wonderful writer and very kind (except for when he's stabbing a certain seminarian in the heart by giving her a B- *sniff* I'm still upset by that) and godly man.
But of course, my favorite book is the one that I keep coming back to over and over again, the Bible. It's the only book that I can read over and over again and see something new each time. I love the Bible because the author speaks to my heart and helps me to get to know Him. I'm blessed to be able to communicate with God every time I read. How cool is that, the maker of heaven and earth and the creator of all things, is willing to have a conversation with such an insignificant person like me. It is truly amazing.