Friday, January 3, 2014

What I’ve Been Reading #38

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?

17 comments:

Janine Huldie said...

Yay, you read The Help finally. I swear I just loved that book and couldn't put it down. Seriously, if you loved the book, the movie definitely will not disappoint. I know sometimes the book is totally better then the movie, but in this case they both we amazing and truly don't think I could tell you which one was better to be quite honest :)

Dara said...

my mom was saying that at first she thought the movie was better than the book but then she liked both just as much! I have to see if I can download it!

Tamara Bowman said...

I think we have cosmic timing because I'm writing you a comment and my phone dinged with a new email - your comment to me!
I'm so excited to hear what you think about "The Help." I still haven't seen the movie. I'm about to start a book called "The Light Between Oceans."

Dara said...

haha too funny that we were reading each other's posts at the same time! :)

Jenn said...

Loved Loved Loved this book!!! Definitely one of my all time favorites! I almost didn't see the movie because I was afraid it would destroy the book!

What the Schneck - the blog said...

Along my 30+ hr (each way) road trip - only 7 left! (in which am not driving any of) I finished 4 books! Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn and Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight were both really good! I also read Diane Chamberlain's Necessary Lies which was amazing (although I'm a little biased since she's one of my favorite authors). - I also read the short story prequel called The First Lie. I threw in a kindle freebie called A Family Affair by Mary Campisi which was good (although predictable). Earlier this month I finished reading In the Company of Heros by Michael Durant which was about Michael Durant being held captive in Somalia - it was excellent!

Dara said...

and was the movie great too then?

Dara said...

thanks for all the recommendations! I've read Gone Girl but none of the others!

Jenn said...

Yes! It obviously wasn't as good as the book but they definitely did a good job! I didn't feel like anything major was left out.

Amanda said...

The Help is such a good one! I haven't seen the movie either, but I am excited to!

Leslie said...

The Help is such an amazing book and I have to say the movie really was well done in regards to the book. They did a great job. The actors and actresses they picked brought the characters alive.

Sara said...

The Help was great but I liked the book way more than the movie.

tamarsb said...

I've read both of these. The Help is a favorite. Love the movie too. If God...was a great read. I still ask that question but the book helped with some of the deeper thoughts/issues I was grappling with.


I just finished the Divergent series. Wow! I am in love with it. Maybe more than Hunger Games. I read the whole series in 2 weeks!

Dara said...

me too! I have to get it!

Dara said...

I'm excited to see it!

Dara said...

good to know! I still want to see it though!

Dara said...

that's awesome that you read both of these! I love Benjamin Blech's stuff. I'm going to pick up Allegiant at the library tomorrow so I'll be done with the series soon!