Not In Jersey: What I’ve Been Reading #38 What I’ve Been Reading #38 - Not In Jersey

What I’ve Been Reading #38

Friday, January 3, 2014

The amount of books I’ve been reading really slowed down at the end of this year. For some reason, all the books I’ve read have taken me much longer than normal to finish. In fact, I was supposed to review another book for TLC Book Tours today and I had to ask for an extension. I also just found out that Allegiant is waiting for me at the library – so I need to pick it up and read it, on top of the books I need to finish for scheduled book reviews coming up this month! Maybe this is a sign that I need to stop watching so much TV.

In any case, I have finished two books since I last updated!

I borrowed the book If God Is Good Why Is The World So Bad by Benjamin Blech from my friend, after I shared with her my questions on whether God is believable when he causes children to die and people to suffer, etc. “In these troubled times, people are asking very difficult questions about God and their faith: If I suffer, does that mean I deserve it? Why do innocent people, especially children, die tragically? How can God be so cruel? Does God ever intervene during times of trouble? Who really runs the world-God or man? Do my prayers do any good? Why does God allow sickness, torture and evil to exist? Benjamin Blech admits, the answers are not simple. There is no one-size-fits-all explanation. Indeed, not only are there many answers, but in different situations several explanations may apply. Blech wrote this book as an intellectual analysis of Jewish wisdom on the subject of suffering. His theories are the fruit of thousands of years of debate, examination and struggle. Jewish wisdom teaches that there are rich and inspiring answers to the ultimate question: If God is good, why is the world so bad?” I actually met Benjamin Blech and heard him speak back in college and I love his other works that I have read. This book was well-written and attempts to provide answers to questions that many people have asked before I did. While offering many various answers to the questions mentioned above, the greatest explanation is that people cannot begin to understand God. And as he says, “having questions doesn’t make you a non-believer. Doubting isn't the same as denying.”

My next read, The Help by Kathryn Stockett, was a lighter read, but still intense and thought provoking in its way. “Aibileen is a black maid in 1962 Jackson, Mississippi, who’s always taken orders quietly, but lately she’s unable to hold her bitterness back. Her friend Minny has never held her tongue but now must somehow keep secrets about her employer that leave her speechless. White socialite Skeeter just graduated college. She’s full of ambition, but without a husband, she’s considered a failure. Together, these seemingly different women join together to write a tell-all book about work as a black maid in the South, that could forever alter their destinies and the life of a small town...” The three main characters in this book are so interesting, entertaining, and likeable. The supporting characters are less likeable, but still compelling, as their beliefs and actions are determined by the time and space in which they live. The book within a book concept is so well done, I only wish I could have read more of the stories of the black maids, especially the ones in which they became like family to their white employers. I found it amazing that Aibileen was able to live through changing times and I loved reading about them through her eyes, as well as through Minny’s and Skeeter’s. I look forward to watching this movie!

Have you read anything good lately?