Book Chat

noticer1Time again to discuss one of my favorite topics:  books! Here are this month’s book reviews.

I have just finished The Noticer: Sometimes, all a person needs is a little perspective.  When I began this book, it reminded me of The Five People You Meet in Heaven in that it’s a series of chapters, each about meeting a different person.

An old guy (“Jones”) shows up around town, meeting people at pivotal periods and giving them just the advice they need to turn their life around.  One of Jones’s favorite sayings is “You lack perspective,” and he does have a knack of saying the right thing at the right time to people.

Honestly, at first the book struck me as a bit gimmicky.  If you’ve read Gary Chapman’s Five Love Languages, that’s the gist of the advice he gives one character.  Another character seems to get the message from The Secret (although I haven’t read that book, I’ve read reviews of it) that “what you focus on increases.”

Other situations in the book seemed copied from positive-thinking-forwarded-emails (at least some I’ve gotten):  a man asked to be buried with a fork because “the best is yet to come” (ie, dessert).

I began trying to identify which book or feel-good concept would show up in each chapter, but thankfully the copy-catting didn’t permeate the entire book.

I can’t join the book jacket praise that this is “the best book I ever read!”, but if you’re looking for a positive pick-me-up, try out this one.  You will probably gain a little “perspective,” to quote Jones.


paul1In the Footsteps of Paul: Experience the Journey That Changed the World is beautiful.  It’s a “coffee table” type book – mainly photos, but with text also.  It follows Paul’s life from his days as Saul until his death.

It’s full of wonderful photos of places he visited, and each page also has Biblical text to go along with the photo, and also other quotes from John Piper, Billy Graham, and others.

It helps Paul’s journeys come alive, much more than they do when you look at the little red- and blue-dotted lines in the maps at the back of your Bible.

I’ve been reading through a couple page of this book each night after dinner, showing the girls the photos so they can imagine the world Paul lived in.

I read a review someone wrote, complaining that many of the photos are described as “somewhere Paul most likely walked,” etc. The reviewer was bothered by this lack of certainty.  However, as someone who has visited the Holy Land (heck, even Europe), many things there are so old that it’s virtually impossible to pinpoint exact locations.  Our American perspective of “old” (say, 1776?) isn’t so ancient in much of the rest of the world.  Paul lived 2,000 years ago, so to see places he most likely lived and walked is just fine with me.


dorie3Dorie: The Girl Nobody Loved is a book I didn’t plan to read.  I picked it up at a $2/bag sale at a church a year or so ago (these sales are a total thrill, but that’s another post).

So, I read it recently, not expecting too much, but I really enjoyed it.  It’s the life of Doris Van Stone, who began life in an orphanage, and, believe it or not, things went downhill from there.  She was truly a girl that nobody loved.

Thankfully, her life improved as an adult.  She got married and became a missionary to a primitive tribe in New Guinea.  An interesting note was that she mentions one of her missionary friends being Darlene Deibler Rose.  I knew that name sounded familiar, and a bit of looking revealed why.  I had also read Darlene’s book about her missionary journeys, Evidence Not Seen, and it was excellent as well.

(Another side note: I think this was also the era of Through Gates of Splendor, the book written by Elisabeth Elliott about her husband and other missionaries killed by Auca Indians in Ecuador.  Were the ’50s a big time for overseas missions?  It seems unusual that all three of these books are approximately the same time frame).

If you’d like a bit of encouragement, I recommend this book.  If Dorie could make it despite all the obstacles in her way, you can too!


11 thoughts on “Book Chat

  1. I read the book by Rose, and thought it was excellent.

    Yes, the years during the ’50s saw some of the major advances in missions. Men came back from WWII, went to Bible colleges and seminaries on the GI bill, and then went out to mission fields around the world. If only we would see that same interest now. Now, that kind of interest in missions is seen in Asia. Missionaries from many Asian countries are going around the world. Shame on us Americans who have now lost our fervor.

  2. That Dorie book sounds really good. Thanks for the reviews!

  3. I have The Noticer sitting on my bookshelf nowto be read. I’m looking forward to getting to it! Esp. now that you’ve mentioned it’s a pick-me-up sort of book. Thanks for mentioning all this!

  4. In the Footsteps of Paul sounds especially interesting. (He’s one of my favorite people from the Bible).

    This month, I read 2 “green-themed” books and one on handling meltdowns.

  5. I loved The Five People You Meet In Heaven, so I’m thinking of adding The Noticer to my list. Thanks for the suggestion!

  6. Thanks for joining us this month!

    The Dorie book looked really good, but my library doesn’t have it.

    I need to read The Noticer…seeing that on several lists.

  7. Thank you for telling others about this book. I too read Deibler’s book, and was encouraged by it. We need to read these books, but even more important, we need to write our own. Keep a journal of what you pray for, and how God answers your prayers, and you will be amazed at how the Lord has moved in our lives.

    You know the Bible tells us in Revelations, that those who conquered Satan, did so by the “blood of the lamb and their testimony”….or own personal testimony conquers, tell it, and tell it again!

    God Bless you and your family….and again, thank you for the book recommend

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