1. The Unbearable Lightness of Being, by Milan Kundera
Like an SBS movie, flicking between sex scenes and deep philosophical deliberations. This book has much to offer and I wish I could recommend it, but cannot.
2. The End of the Affair, by Graham Greene
Imagine Jane Eyre . . . written by a middle aged, cynical, Catholic guy: An adulterous affair, a conversion, a breakup, aching, anger, and musings on God’s existence and our love for him. Oh wow. I loved this.
3. Trains and Lovers, by Alexander McCall Smith
A more hypnotic than gripping read. Four strangers meet on a train and share stories of their lives. This isn’t AMcCS at his very best, but the rhythm of the prose mirrors the chug of a train and it is oddly reassuring.
4. Surprised by Scripture, by N. T. Wright
A collection of short pieces about topical issues.
5. The Happiness Hypothesis, by Jonathan Haidt
I am a Haidt fan-girl. This is one of his older books—Haidt considers ancient wisdom and modern science and gives us practical tips on happiness. I read this to get some context for his more recent books.
6. Vampire Academy, by Richelle Mead
Even allowing for the genre, this is rather dreadful. A teenage vampire princess falls in love with an off-limits guy . . . I read four books before I came to my senses and gave it away.
7. The Secret Life of the Mind: How Our Brain Thinks, Feels and Decides, by Mariano Sigman
Uplifting, interesting and inspiring. We are fearfully and wonderfully made.
8. The Unlikely Pilgrimage Of Harold Fry, by Rachel Joyce
Harold Fry nips out one morning to post a letter and then just keeps on walking. This has the flavour of Alexander McCall Smith. It’s great: involving, moving, delightful.
9. Bioethics: A Primer for Christians: Revised, by Gilbert Meilaender
We used this as the text for a church course. It covers all the topics you’d expect: assisted reproduction, abortion, euthanasia, refusing treatment etc., and while I might not agree with all of the author’s conclusions, I appreciated his clarity.