Monday, 29 February 2016

Sofa Shelf

Two books on the shelf this week:

The Children of the New Forest - Captain Marryat

This is a book that I have read once before and loved, so naturally I am looking forward to reading it again. It's set during the English Civil War, or just after it and so there is a suitable amount of adventure and tension, but what I remember most from reading it last time was that there was  a lot of running backwards and forwards across the forest for no apparent reason. Anyway looking forward to having another read.

A Very Different Christmas - Rico Tice & Nate Morgan Locke

I missed reading this for Christmas but better late than never. This is a new book that came out last year to explain what Christmas is like from the Bible's perspective and I want to find out what it is like. It's not very long so I'm hoping that it will be a quick read.

Monday, 22 February 2016

Sofa Spotlight - Hudson Taylor's Spiritual Secret, Dr & Mrs Howard Taylor

This is a biography of Hudson Taylor and how he set up the China Inland Mission which is now OMF. When I started this book I wasn't sure that I would like, mainly because of a comment that I found in the foreword. The insinuation is that it's important to have a book about Hudson Taylor because he is being forgotten about and that many young people don't even know where China is on a map. Which I think is a bit unfair, and I had a twinge of guilt about not knowing anything about Hudson Taylor.

But that lack of knowledge on my part is now a thing of the past. It was worth moving beyond the foreword and into the book, which is a sensible thing to do with a book. I wouldn't say that I agree with everything that Hudson Taylor did and sometimes the tone in which the book is written grated on me a bit, but there is a lot in the book that is inspiring. His desire for people to know about Jesus is what drives his work and the sacrifices that he makes. And the sacrifices he makes are pretty big.

If you don't know who Hudson Taylor is then this is one you should pick up sometime soon.

Monday, 15 February 2016

Sofa Shelf - The Phantom of the Opera, Gaston Leroux

This is the second time I have read this book and the second reading was just as good. Although the problem with second readings is that you can't forget the key parts so you lose a bit of the suspense. For example once you have read Jane Eyre you can never feel as scared as the first time you read it when you didn't know what was lurking in Mr Rochester's attic.

Anyway The Phantom of the Opera will remain one of my favourite books because there is nothing boring in this book. At every page there is some puzzle you are trying to work out as Raoul chases around the Paris Opera House searching for the phantom like being that is playing havoc with his plan to marry the love of his life, Christine. The best part is when Raoul is accompanied by the Persian who sheds an awful lot of light on the dark goings on in the Opera House.

One thing that I noticed is that everyone has an opinion on the quality of the character of the Phantom. No matter what horrors the Phantom is behind, both Christine and the Persian at some level feel sorry for him. From Raoul's point of view all he can see is someone who is out to harm Christine, and so you have to go with Raoul on his journey to find out why the Persian and Christine feel the way that they do. 

Worth a read if you like a good bit of suspense. 

Monday, 1 February 2016

When Fictional Worlds Collide

Have you ever been reading more than one book and thought about what would happen if the characters from all those books met? So for instance what if Poirot found himself in the world of The Phantom of the Opera? Because that is what I have been thinking about as I've been reading my through The Mysterious Affair at Styles and The Phantom of the Opera.

I can't imagine that Poirot would feel out of place in the famous Paris Opera House. Once he had adjusted to having gone back in time that is. I also feel that he wouldn't have any problem working out what was going on behind the scenes. What I would love to see is if the Phantom would let Poirot reveal his secrets, and if Poirot would be able to avoid becoming the Phantom's next victim.

You can guarantee that the one person who would be lost would be Arthur Hastings - I am assuming that he made the journey across worlds with Poirot. When the chandelier comes crashing down in the Opera House he would be thinking that it was just an accident or that the Phantom was in fact just a phantom. In fact I think it would be very entertaining to see what Hastings makes of the whole thing.

Anyway I shall dream on.