Monday, March 17, 2014

What I'm Reading - The Life List and For God's Sake

This is perhaps an unusual combo but this is what I'm consuming at the moment. I grabbed The Life List on a whizz through the library to pick up the other title, which I had on hold.

The Life List by Lori Nelson Spielman

This is an easy read - I started and finished it on Saturday. I like this novel it's chic-lit without being embarrassingly mindless. As you can tell, because I'm admitting I read it here! It's about a daughter whose inheritance is withheld until she completes her life list of goals that she wrote and tossed at 14 and her mother retrieved and kept. It is her mother's ultimate gift to her - the push to revisit the things that brought her joy when she was too young to deny herself that honesty.

As much as it's really an entertaining story it also gave me pause for thought about the things I once hoped for that I may have 'let go' as an adult, and question whether the reason for giving those things up was worthy of giving them up. Of course I never had buy a horse on my list! This is perfect holiday reading, simple, happy ending and a little bit tear inducing (for me anyway).

This is Lori's debut novel and the acknowledgements in the back made me really smile. It's well written and has some lovely characters.

Details - Publisher Arrow Books, Random House UK, 2013

For God's Sake - An atheist, a Jew, a Christian and a Muslim debate religion by Jane Caro, Anthony Loewenstein, Simon Smart and Rachel Woodlock.

I haven't finished reading this book yet so my comments can't be seen as a complete review but I think I am going to really enjoy the whole of this book. It makes me happy to see intelligent thoughtful people having a chance to present robust and well thought out opinions on big topics that refrain from becoming mud slinging, assumption-based arguments.

The authors are respectful of one another yet fully convicted in their beliefs. Each chapter of the book covers one of the big 'issues/arguments', written as short essays from each writers point of view, e.g What is it to be a human being, Where do we find hope, Doesn't religion oppress women? The answers are intelligent, well written, accessible to the average reader but show a true depth of feeling and thought to them.

My one criticism so far would be that they have chosen and Jewish atheist (as in, culturally a Jew but not religiously), which seems a shame as there is already one atheists point of view and I think there could have been the voice of a believing Jew instead. Having said that I pleased that there is a diversity of voice including a balance in gender as well.

Details - Publisher Pan Macmillan Australia, 2013. RRP: $32.99 Aus

* this year I'm committed to extending my reading repertoire beyond children's books and craft books - though I'll still be reading those as well! *

love you more than a day of indulgent reading xxx