One nice thing about combining a long stretch of holidays and vacation days is the opportunity to catch up on some reading. Here are four short works that I’ve read recently on Kindle.
The Battle for Christmas Castle, by Eldon Eric Johnson. This is something of a morality tale for children, but the basic message is also aimed at adults. What Christmas rules your heart – the Christmas of materialism or the Christmas of the King? Johnson tells his story through the eyes of a little girl named Emma and a talking dog named Shu-Shu, along with a few talking horses, mice and a chipmunk who overcomes a bad self-image to become something of a hero. And applying his own lesson, Johnson is giving all the proceeds of this book to a special cause, which you can read about at Emily Wierenga’s blog.
Picturing Christmas: A Novella, by Jason Wright and Adrien Fuss. Jason Wright has written a number of popular Christmas stories, including The Christmas Box. In Picturing Christmas, Aubrey Porter, an only child, has just graduated from college and aims to make a career in photography in New York City. What she can’t deal with is her parents’ recent divorce. Her parents are also having a difficult time dealing with it. New York becomes a kind of getaway, with its glamour, Darwinian business practices, and street crime. She meets Jole Muller, a young and successful entrepreneur who has sought New York for his own kind of getaway. Picturing Christmas is a love story but it’s one with a strong dash of realism.
Vermont November: Poems, by Jonathan Neske. With all the controversy swirling in the publishing world over e-books versus traditional publishing, one positive thing about electronic publishing is the ability to create a poetry chapbook. This is a small collection of poems, written by Neske as he stayed a friend’s cabin in Vermont. The poems reflect much of the season and the natural world he experiences – the winter, the wind, what he sees on a given day, simple working tasks like chopping wood, and the snow thaw. The collection even includes a short, short ghost story. The poems are beautiful.
Why We Run from God’s Love, by Ed Cyzewski. This is actually more of an e-article than an e-book, and bit it thought-provoking and the subject will be familiar to many Christians (including me). Cyzewski found himself struggling to pray, and much of it had to do with how much he was running and the busyness that fills up a life. “the problem with loving Jesus, at least for me,” he writes, “is that I can’t see him.” He needs to touch the Lord, because he feels the gap between himself and God.