[identity profile] moredetails.livejournal.com
Hi, community.

Someone just joined this community which made me feel that I should contribute to making it a bit more active.

So here's something....I often hear Christians (me included) complaining about Christian fiction. I know what my own complaints are - often it's cheesy, portraying Christianity in a shallow way, and it seems there is a required ministry message that is almost always poorly written. Still, I read it. I like knowing the character is probably going to approach things from a Christian perspective.

I guess what I'm wondering is what would be the "right" way to write Christian fiction for those of you who don't like it? I often wonder how I would incorporate faith if I wrote a book. Sure, I can write a character who isn't Christian at all, but as a Christian it would be tempting to write from a perspective that I know and live. But how do I do that in a way that doesn't just seem silly? How does one write that in a way that can be appreciated by Christians and nonChristians alike? Does it always have to be allegory?

I suppose I'm also wondering if you have read any Christian fiction that you think was well done. If so, why do you say that?
[identity profile] sonneta.livejournal.com
Velma Still Cooks in Leeway by Vinita Hampton Wright- Christian fiction about a woman who sees the best and worst of her small town. I wanted to like this book, because for one thing, it takes place in (a fictional town in) Kansas, my home state. But I found it hard to keep track of when things were taking place due to use of flashbacks (and flashbacks within flashbacks). I also disliked how Velma would state something as fact that was really just in her experience. One of the main plot threads was pretty heavy-handed, and I predicted one of the big twists. Also, not that it matters, but have you ever gotten a picture of a character in your head, and then you can't get it out, even when the author's description contradicts it? Yeah, that happened to me with this book. In my defense, the author didn't describe the main character's appearance until later on in the book.

Purity Makes the Heart Grow Stronger by Julia Duin- Non-fiction about single (and celibate) Christian living. What I liked about this book: A lot of it rang true for me, and I did get at least one good idea for the future from it. What I disliked about the book: A lot of it seemed to be anecdotal evidence, and the chapters didn't really hang together-- jumping from one thought to the next with little or no transition. Also, the book was written in the 1980's, so clearly all of the statistics and such are outdated now.

July books

Jul. 31st, 2008 10:48 pm
[identity profile] sonneta.livejournal.com
Free for All: Oddballs, Geeks, and Gangstas in the Public Library by Don Borchert- Memoirs of a public librarian working in the Los Angeles area. I read this one for work. It is by turns sad, inspiring, disgusting, depressing, and humorous. This book gives a glimpse into what public librarianship is truly like- the highs and lows; the way you can help some people, and yet be powerless to truly help others. That said, I did find the book somewhat depressing (the "powerless to help" parts), and I could have done without some of the more disgusting parts.

Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen- 17-year-old Ruby suddenly finds herself in a whole different world when she comes under the care of the older sister she hasn't seen in years. This book was a fast read. I do love Dessen dearly, but I feel like something wasn't quite right with this one. I guess my problem is that, whether consciously or not, nearly every plot point was pretty clearly foreshadowed. Also, the symbolism was a little clunky. Yes, I know the book is aimed at teenagers, and not 20-somethings with B.A.s in literature. But I've really liked Dessen's other books, and I feel like this one didn't quite live up to her other works.

Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell- 17-year-old Molly Gibson's world is thrown into upheaval when her widowed father decides to remarry. This is a cozy novel, and if you like Jane Austen, I think you'd like this one. Unfortunately, the author died before she could finish it, but you can pretty much tell how it will end. I also highly recommend the mini-series.

Storm Surge by Rene Gutteridge- FBI agent Mick Kline investigates a suspect's death, as well as the strange case of a death-row prisoner who insists on his own innocence. Now, I usually like Rene Gutteridge, but she's not exactly the greatest at characterization. That really, really shows in this novel. Plus, some of the writing feels unrealistic, and the plot is too predictable to really be suspenseful. Also, the ending of the romantic arc felt rushed. Disappointment all the way 'round.

The World's Last Night (and Other Essays) by C. S. Lewis- Essays on topics including "good work" vs. "good works"; religion vs. science; and the Second Coming. Lewis always makes me think about my own theology, which is good. There was one essay in this book that I didn't really like (or maybe I just didn't get it- I'm definitely not ruling that out; Lewis= way smarter than I am), but for the most part the essays were good. You can see Lewis developing the ideas he would use in Perlandra in "Religion and Rocketry", and "Screwtape Proposes a Toast" is always convicting.
[identity profile] sonneta.livejournal.com
Hi! I'm relatively new here, so I thought I should introduce myself. I'm a 26-year-old graduate student studying Library Sciences. I want to be a reference librarian, or possibly an archivist. I live in Kansas. Besides reading, my main hobby is making greeting cards.

June wasn't much of a reading month for me, because I was on vacation for most of it. Books I read in June:

At Home in Mitford by Jan Karon- An Episcopal Priest has to deal with quite a bit of the thing he hates most: Change. This book was a fairly fast read, and an okay book. The things I didn't like about it were that it was fairly predictable and somewhat slow. I also didn't like that a lot of plotlines are left open-ended (which I know is because this is the first in a series, but still). Even though I might be vaguely interested in what happens to these people, I'm not interested enough to read 7+ books.

Snitch by Rene Gutteridge- A rookie, a cocky undercover agent, a preacher, and a cop who is nearing retirement are all a part of an undercover operation. Fast and fun, much like the previous book in this series, Scoop. This is Christian fiction that's not preachy. The only thing wrong with it is that I would have liked a bit more depth of character- particularly with Mack, whom this book is ostensibly centered on.
[identity profile] moredetails.livejournal.com
Hello!

[livejournal.com profile] eattheolives suggested we post to introduce ourselves, so here I am. While I enjoy reading, I am not known to *always* have a book in my hand, but no one would find it surprising or weird, either. A few reading facts:

1. Growing up I read a lot of books like Cam Jansen, Ramona Quimby books, Babysitters Club and that series with the twins who solve mysteries. They had titles like Marshmallow Masquerade. I also liked young adult books where the teenage girl finds love, etc. I guess I was a very typical chick. :) I have never read a Sweet Valley High book, for some reason.

2. In my 20s (I'm 31 now), my commute to work was mostly over an hour each way. I also took several long road trips. This is what got me started on audio books. I love audio books and consider them a fun treat while driving. Audio book pet peeves: readers who have an annoying voice, scratches or messed up tapes to ruin part of the book, no warning before the end of the CD, and once I even read an abridged book (I didn't realize) that had another voice for parts of it to tie sections together. It was ridiculous. :P

3. I can't read in the car or I'll get carsick. I can read in planes, though.

4. Aside from some of the Cam Jansen books that I read a bunch as a 3-5th grader, the book I've read the most times through is This Time of Darkness by H. M. Hoover. I obviously recommend it.

5. It wasn't until summer of 2004 when I was first introduced to the world of Christian fiction. For some reason I had only a passing knowledge that such books existed, and I assumed they were all very corny. Some are, but I've still managed to read a bunch over the past 4 years. Thanks again to [livejournal.com profile] trozzort for introducing me. :) My first Christian fiction book? The Princess by Lori Wick. I liked it.

6. I really enjoy mysteries and am always interested in recommendations for suspense/mystery writers (Christian and non) who don't get too gory. I can't handle that.

A final note: if you can try and remember to tag your entries, I think that would be great! Especially when you're discussing a particular author. I'm terrible at this, though. :)

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