Friday, December 12, 2014

Book Hunt

Judging a book by its cover?

Written by Dr. Bill Bagents

I admit that I like books too much. Among my flaws, this one is relatively harmless and actually has some value. It’s hard to like books without benefiting from them. .

We sometimes bargain shop for the Overton Memorial Library books. It’s like treasure hunting. You never know what you’ll find, sometimes the covers or titles fool you, and sometimes the titles themselves prove to be a blessing. They invite introspection and improvement. .

Recent finds include The Twentieth Train: The True Story of the Ambush of the Death Train to Auschwitz. What a reminder of the stunning evil that men do! At the same time, what a reminder of the courage that some have in opposing and enduring savagery. My problems are seldom anywhere near as big as I imagine them to be. .

One title invites us to Discover Your Destiny. Does each of us have only one? Will that book include the spiritual, relational, family, and vocational aspects of destiny?

Another is Life-Defining Moments: Daily Choices with the Power to Transform Your Life. The cover suggests there are ten of those moments that are most significant. I can’t help but ask, “Really? Ten and only ten for each of us?” Obviously I need to read further.

A favorite recent title is Get Over It and On with It: How to Get Up When Life Knocks You Down. I love the realism. To the best of my knowledge, life knocks each of us down multiple times. Sometimes it does that with our help. Sometimes we just get blindsided. I hope there’s an art to getting up. I hope I can learn that art more fully, but I don’t look forward to the practice that it will take.

On a related front, I found The Stress Test: A Quick Guide to Finding and Improving Your Stress Quotient. The book seems way too brief, but we all know that good things sometimes come in small packages. I suspect that this book is going to expect me to work at identifying and reducing stress. Virtually everything that’s helpful seems to expect good thinking and hard work.

We found Organizing Genius: The Secrets of Creative Collaboration. Not being a genius, I wonder how good I can be at identifying genius in others. Will I know it when I see it? Will I have wisdom enough to listen and learn?

The Art of Growing Older: Writers on Living and Aging intrigues me. There has to be an art to growing older. How can that art be learned? Are writers the best ones to teach us that art? Even if they’re not, might it be both educational and entertaining to let them try?

A novel, The Gate Seldom Found, stood out because of the endorsement. A somewhat famous man is quoted as saying, “If I could have only one novel on a desert island, this one would give me family, faith, and hope.” Wow! What a compliment. It makes me want to read the book now. But I’m prepared for disappointment. What connects with one reader might miss with another. As odd as I am, I’m likely to be that “other.”

If you’d like to evaluate any of these books, all are part of the Overton Memorial Library at Heritage Christian University. Most are housed within the Heritage Marriage and Family Resource Center.