Cross your fingers

I realized today that one of my goals for this year, the Countdown Challenge, ends tomorrow. I still have to read another 7 books in order to complete the challenge…and I’m not sure if it can be done! Here’s a look at the books I’m going to be trying to finish:

Luke Cuddy, ed., The Legend of Zelda and Philosophy: I Link Therefore I am

Brian Leaf, Defining Twilight: Vocabulary Workbook for Unlocking the SAT, ACT, GED, and SSAT

Jayne Anne Phillips, Lark & Termite: A Novel

Joseph O’Neill, Netherland

Dan Brown, The Da Vinci Code (Can I just say that I’m so embarrassed to be reading this? But for the challenge I needed one more 2003 book. I really, really feel ashamed to admit it.)

J.R.R. Tolkien, The Legend of Sigurd & Gudrún

Mitali Perkins, Secret Keeper

I’m already halfway through the Zelda book, and the others are all reasonable lengths and hopefully they’ll be quick reads. Cross your fingers for me! I really want to finish!



by Max Lucadofearless
{ 2009 | Thomas Nelson | 220 pgs }

Though Lucado’s Fearless is a much more casual tone than I’m used to in my religious texts (this is more like it), the author addresses many valid points about why we are so fearful and how our faith in God and Jesus Christ can help us overcome the fear that plagues us.

With a dozen different fears, ranging from fear of not mattering to fear of worst-case scenarios, Fearless discusses how a reliance on God and belief in His words can help us find peace. I enjoyed Lucado’s frequent real-life stories, and he did a good job explaining the original Greek and Hebrew words from scripture that give a new perspective on familiar verses. However, he used verses from ten different translations of the Bible. Call me traditional, but I was raised on the King James Version and it’s the only one for me. It has unparalled poetry and beauty – the “new” translations are way too casual for my taste.

Lucado makes an interesting analogy. He describes a fetus in the womb, developing all the organs and capabilities it will need after birth. He points out that many of these are useless in the womb – the fetus cannot use its nose to breathe or tongue to taste. “Certain chapters in this life seem so unnecessary, like nostrils on the preborn. Suffering. Loneliness. Disease. Holocausts. Martyrdom. Monsoons. If we assume this world exists just for pregrave happiness, these atrocities disqualify it from doing so. But what if this earth is the womb? Might these challenges, severe as they may be, serve to prepare us, equip us for the world to come?” In other words, not only do we have nothing to fear from death (it is a continuation rather than an end), but there is a purpose to our suffering here – even if it does not become clear during our earthly time.

Fearless is written well, and I think his target audience will appreciate this new volume of faith-centered advice on how to deal with our fears.