February’s Book of the Month

It’s been awesome hearing about different books people have been reading this past month. So many people reading Brothers K…I’m humbled and inspired! Even if the monthly theme is no longer “Cultivating the Mind,” I hope that picking up a good book or two this past month has motivated you to keep reading throughout this year.

According to polls, the average American reads about 12 books a year, while the median is 4 (that means half the country reads less than 4 books a year). That’s not to discourage you, but to motivate us to keep reading. Let’s shoot for above average. 🤣

And let’s keep talking about what we’re reading with one another, because love of reading and learning is contagious. We can create a culture of reading and learning, from the young to the not-so-young!

February’s book choice is Forgive: Why Should I and How Can I?, Timothy Keller’s new book, released this past November.

It expands on his September 2021 essay “The Fading of Forgiveness,” which was referenced in the Signs of the Times presentations we heard last summer.

The book’s anchoring text is The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant from Matthew 18. I don’t want to say too much more, but I found the book to be a mix of educational, devotional, practical.

It’s timely as I’ve been talking about The Sun Does Shine with some people, marveling at Anthony Ray Hinton’s ability to forgive, and to not be consumed by anger and vengeance. And this past week I’ve been reflecting upon and having conversations about Joseph, and his perspective on his life and all that he endured. I hope that this book will help each of us appreciate how central forgiveness is in all of our relationships, with God and with one another; to appreciate how costly it is; and to learn how to both receive and grant forgiveness continually.

The Stuck-at-Home Book Club

Hello, Gracepoint Family! It’s been awhile. I hope 2019 was a great reading year. I realize that’s a bit belated, since we’re now a quarter of the way through 2020. 😂

With all of us at home from school and work due to Covid-19, this can be an awesome opportunity to make headway in our 2020 reading goals. I’m apparently 3 books behind schedule in my goal to read 0202 books in 2020, but I’m determined to put a big dent in my TBR pile!

This is also an opportunity for me to revive this blog, and to post some recommendations for what you can read with your family, or on your own. There’s also been a call for a Family Reading Challenge, so we’ll see what we can come up with.

For my first Stuck-at-Home Book Club recommendation, I present to you The Green Ember series, written by S.D. Smith. There are four main books (with the fourth coming out April 14th!), plus four other novellas set in the same world.

The-Green-Ember

I don’t want to give away too much about the series, but I will say this: Do *not* let the fact that they are rabbits dissuade you from reading this book! It is a captivating adventure, and there are lessons and themes that are for everyone in the family.

Families have read these aloud together, others have listened to the audiobooks (which are excellent), and other pre-teens, teens, and adults have just read them on their own! This series is so beloved that one of the 7th graders just told me that in anticipation of the April 14th release of Ember’s End, she re-read the series as a refresher.  More great news – the kindle version is only $2.99, and free if you have Kindle Unlimited.

If you’re still not quite convinced, there’s a Green Ember super-fan I’ve asked to provide an endorsement, so stay tuned for that!

What are you and your family reading during the next few weeks? If you want to write a recommendation, send it on over to me, and it might be featured here!

Recommended Read: The Action Storybook Bible

Hey, Gracepoint Berkeley church and beyond! You probably forgot about this here blog. I confess I kind of did too…until my *mom* mentioned to me that I hadn’t posted since last October. (Shout out to Mrs. Kim for reminding me to keep spreading the love of reading!)

I don’t want to make any promises, but I realize I should just write some posts about the books I most often recommend to people. Today I’ll start with a relatively new book from the super popular Action Bible franchise. As many of you who have read and love The Action Bible know, there are some intense parts (Valley of Dry Bones, anyone?). It might not be appropriate for younger kids, but at the same time, it’s a great way to get kids excited about reading the Bible. It’s awesome to see kiddos who come to Bibliopolis devouring The Action Bible, and reading it cover to cover multiple times.

Action-Storybook-Bible-3D-coverEnter The Action Storybook Bible: An Interactive Adventure through God’s Redemptive Story which came out this past October. It is designed for children ages 8 and under, and it is, as the subtitle states, an interactive reading experience.

I have one testimonial from a mom of a kindergarten boy here at Gracepoint Berkeley who said that her son asks to read it each day! There are questions to stop and talk about at the end of each section, so it can become a devotional type of experience for you and your child(ren) to share together.

So if you’re looking for a good book to go through with your child, or a good gift to get for the child of a friend or relative, I recommend it! We are carrying a limited number in our bookstore now. 🙂

Do you have an Action Storybook Bible testimonial to share?